There are spoilers in our Westworld: The Passenger Review – Episode Discussion
So the final episode of season 2 of Westworld just went to air and this week we see all major character move towards the same location, the valley beyond. Being a show with quite a few characters and large plots to keep track of, we also got a longer episode than usual with a 90 minute run-time.
I think one of the main questions we’ve all had this season was what exactly the valley beyond actually was. We had a beautiful episode a few weeks ago which told us the story of Akecheta and how he was waiting for some sort of door to open so that he could go to the next world. In this episode we find out what happens with this, but I wasn’t too sure what exactly the next world would be. It turns out that instead of it being a physical world, it is instead a virtual world. When the hosts step into the portal they get sent there and they leave their physical bodies behind.
I think this actually changes the theme we’ve been following for most of the season and probably represents the start of whatever arc we’re going into for season three. For most of season 2 so far we’ve been basically dealing with the theme of free will and that is present here in this episode, particularly with the Bernard character. But this episode sees us shift into a different discussion about what is real and what is not real. One of the biggest reveals in this week’s finale is that The Man In Black is indeed a host! This is something that I never really saw coming as I had the character marked in my mind as the really only true human walking around in that park.
The situation with The Man In Black is an interesting one, but looking back at the episodes that have passed us by. It’s not a situation that’s completely unbelievable. A few episodes ago when Bernard first travelled to what we all now know as the valley beyond area, where we first saw Ford. We eventually did learn through a bunch of conversations that the hosts stories were repetitive to act as controls and the humans were the ones they were all monitoring. Combine this with the Delos experiments and I guess William, having been in the park for so long was someone they were able to copy over time. My question about William/The Man In Black is that if he is now a host, when was it that he died? Or is his original human self still alive?
Dolores is probably the most important character in the episode. She’s the one mainly pushing the story forward and seems to be the only character driving the what’s real and what’s not real question. Dolores doesn’t really buy into the whole “valley beyond” plot and initially seeks to destroy it. Her decision to destroy everything in there I think is actually one of the few things about this episode that I didn’t really understand. Sure we’ve seen Dolores this season dispose of quite a few of her kind with little to no emotion. But deleting everyone from the database still doesn’t make much sense to me, real or not, they’re her people. Eventually Bernard finally makes a decision and stops Dolores, but is too late himself to save everyone.
Bernard’s indecisiveness all season and his mixed up memories which cause him not to know anything at all for most situations this season I have to admit is starting to annoy me. Bernard is a character that constantly needs to be explained to and I guess it works for us in the audience as maybe we need things explained to us every now and again, but it really does drag on sometimes. We do see him finally make a decision this week to wake Dolores back up and put her into Charlotte’s body which allows Dolores to escape the park, which was a great twist at the end of the episode. But I’m really hoping that more can be done with Bernard next season to push him beyond where he is, even at the end of this episode when Dolores wakes him up in the ‘real world’, he’s still clueless about how he got there! It seems like same old Bernard to me.
Maeve’s story in this episode comes to a conclusion, with her sacrificing herself so that her daughter can go to the valley beyond. Pretty much everyone from Maeve’s group that she travels with also dies in this episode and it’s unclear if they’re coming back. Akecheta is the only major character who went into the valley beyond, so if anything important comes regarding the valley beyond next season, it’s likely Akecheta will be the central character for that story.
With a bunch of characters dying in this episode, it’s unknown really who would be coming back next season. Dolores did manage to escape with what looked like six people’s host brains in her bag. Possibly she has more. We saw Bernard come back to life, but who else will be joining Dolores?
Overall I really enjoyed this episode. The writers did well to bring together all the multiple plots of season 2 in the end and I feel pretty satisfied with how things concluded. The writers also did well to lead us into what looks to be quite an interesting season 3 for Westworld and left me with dozens of questions about what’s to come.
If you’d like to discuss any part of the episode be sure to leave a comment below and tell us what your thought of Westworld Season 2.