Before we start this week’s recap, I have few notes from last week’s premiere that I initially missed.
-Kudos to everybody (and it was a lot of you) who, unlike me, didn’t completely miss the reveal of the physical location of Westworld (which, appears to be an island off the coast of China based on the soldiers who questioned last week’s new arrivals).
-I also got confirmation (and once again, it was from everyone else but me, Mr. Out-of-the-Loop here) that Angela, the girl who greeted William at the beginning of his Westworld journey in episode 2 and made numerous appearances in various timelines last season, was the female helping Dolores round up and kill humans last week.
-And after a second viewing, I can confirm that Teddy’s body was floating in the water in the premiere’s final scene.
Now as for this week, well, I’m a sucker for hours that give us answers. And this hour gave us plenty of answers.
For one, it showed just how deep a role the MIB has played in the current formation of the park. We knew he was a major donor and participated in Westworld’s expert levels. But his influence doesn’t stop there. Delos’s involvement in Westworld is because of the MIB. He even had at least one portion of the park, a creation he regrets (and when everything is done, he may regret even more).
And then there’s Dolores, the webcam everyone left on not realizing she was recording. With all the major conversations she was privy to, can anyone really be shocked she turned revolutionary?
Now, I know some will complain about all the cryptic, mysterious dialogue every single character (even barely one dimensional Teddy got a line in tonight) engaged in this evening. But I personally can forgive the sheer volume of it (which felt like more than usual) because of the equal volume of answers the show provided in “Reunion.”
Now, lets look back and season 2 second episode, starting with all the flashbacks in one convenient section.
The Initial Pitch
Remember when Logan was a cocky asshole and William was a dull simpleton? Let’s revisit those simpler days.
We are taken back to the time Logan first received the pitch about Westworld. Logan Delos (as we learn his last name is the name on the company) is taken to a party by a man named Aketcha and Angela (the host who welcomed Teddy to Westworld the first time).
Logan is amazed to discover the party he attends (or “demonstration” as Angela calls it) is entirely comprised of hosts. Now Logan’s first thought is to take them all and have an orgy that will last until the morning. His buddy William, on the other hand, saw something of significantly more value in the park.
“Seeing People For Who They Really Are”
As we all know now, William took Logan’s place as the heir apparent to Delos. And we see William in that role for the first time when he brings Jim Delos (William’s father-in-law, Logan’s father, and founder of Delos) to the park.
Jim is skeptical. We can assume he’s heard nothing but the “sex, alcohol, violence, future” pitch from his son. But William presents things in a different light.
Numerous characters have hinted that Delos’s stake Westworld had nothing to do with the sins of its guests. And William makes sure to steer clear of that when giving his sales pitch. Westworld is a park where nobody thinks your watching. But Delos could watch and see what people really want when they think no one is paying attention. We don’t know exactly how Delos uses the data it collects to turn a profit. But “Reunion” made clear in two different scenes that they are indeed watching and keeping score.
“That’s the Sound of Fools Fiddling While the Whole Species Burns.”
We skip ahead in time to a retirement party at William’s rather large mansion. It appears that Jim Delos is sick, and he’s ready to step down, giving control of the company to William. The two embrace as it’s clear son-in-law is closer to dad than Logan (his actual son) is.
And who is that playing piano? Why, that’s Dolores doing a publicity appearance for the park. She’s been a minor part of every one of these flashbacks. And each reveal has shaped the revolutionary Dolores we are seeing in the present.
Later in the evening, Dolores heads outside and runs into Logan, who is noticeably separated from the party.
It also appears that being sent away naked on a horse by the man who will replace him in every significant role in his life as jaded Logan significantly.
But never have wiser words come from Logan’s lips. To Dolores, he says, “That’s (referring to the party) the sound of fools fiddling while the whole species burns.”
Logan was right about the threat Westworld presented to humankind. But I doubt he knew he was speaking to the one who’d be bringing it.
Our final flashback seemed innocent enough to William. Because she wasn’t real, William never thought Dolores would remember this conversation.
William takes his one-time host/love interest out to a construction site. We’ve got two more references to this site coming later.
The Man in Black
As for tonight’s “A Day in a Virtual Reality Themepark with the MIB,” it starts an awful lot like his adventure last season.
First, he saves his old buddy Lawrence from possibly having his insides eaten by ants. Then, he finds some super secret red bag hidden in a bar. Next, he speaks cryptically to Lawrence, confirming that Delos has been keeping track of the activities of Westworld’s guests. Finally, he tells Lawrence they’re all about to die and he(the MIB) needs to burn the whole thing down. And Lawrence is there to help him get the army that could help him do it.
It’s at this point things start to get challenging. Lawrence takes the MIB to his home village to get the army he needs to achieve his end goal (of course, we don’t know what that end goal is, but the MIB just needs a lot of men to help him achieve it).
And these men are lead by Gus Fring, whose plans to open a Los Pollos Hermanos in Westworld have really taken a hit thanks to the host rebellion.
The character’s name is El Lazo. But that really doesn’t mean much as El Lazo and his men (based on programming put in them by Dr. Ford) kill themselves before the MIB can coerce them to follow him.
Ford meant for the MIB to do this alone: a journey to the place he considers his “greatest mistake.”
Dolores (present day)
Last week, Dolores promised she’d be showing Teddy something he had to see. It turns out that something is at headquarters, where there are still employees who somehow don’t know a robot rebellion is going on all around them.
One of the party guests has made it out here. We don’t know his name and have never seen him before, so you know it’s not going to end well for him.
He ends up dead, killed shortly after Dolores, Teddy, and Angela arrive. Dolores convinces one of the techs to show Teddy all the times he’s died. This appears to get Teddy on board.
Later, Angela tortures a different tech so they can get information for where the reinforcements will arrive once they get word of the host rebellion. Did he give them the location the group arrived at last week?
Dolores also needs an army. But she’s more successful, convincing a General Craddock to join his men to her side.
And what does she need this army for? To take down a fort the group of hosts approach as the episode ends. In that fort is the thing William was “foolish enough” to reveal to Dolores many years ago. And Dolores plans to use the MIB’s “greatest mistake” to “destroy them.”
-“Reunion” did a really great job connection present and past, transitioning better than show ever has between timelines.
-I really didn’t understand the purpose of the opening scene when Arnold shows Dolores the home he’s building. We may refer back to that scene later in season 2, but it just didn’t seem to fit the episode tonight.
-Also, Arnold tells Dolores about his son who is still living at this point.
-A random meeting tonight between the two alpha-females of Westworld: Dolores and Maeve. I was expecting more from this meeting. Instead, we simply got a “You go your way, and I’ll go mine” as their two arcs maintained a different direction for now.
-I do approve of Sizemore’s new role holding the donkey for Maeve and Hector. I think that casting should be permanent.
-William’s wife and daughter made their first appearance in “Reunion.” The ironic meeting even had William’s daughter commenting on just how beautiful Dolores (William’s robot mistress) was (awkward!!!).
-And what’s the deal with those dots on the arms of the MIB and Logan?
What We Learned:
-William convinced Jim Delos to invest in Westworld so the company could collect data by observing the behaviors of the guests.
-William oversaw the construction of something in the park he now regrets building.
-Dolores overheard all of that and now has an army ready to use that location to “destroy” humans.
-And finally, Dr. Ford has made sure the MIB will be completing his task on his own.
See you next week.