Westworld Spoilers Club season 2, episode 6: Phase Space
HBO’s science fiction drama Westworld isn’t simply identified for its proficient forged and its philosophical musings in regards to the nature of actuality. It’s additionally grow to be well-known for its reveals, from mind-bending bombshells that hyperlink two characters to easy items of backstory that carry new perception to a storyline. Watching Westworld is like peeling an onion, one layer at a time.
That’s why for the present’s second season, I’ll be diving into one explicit spoilery revelation from every episode, to determine what it means, how we acquired right here, and the place issues would possibly go within the episodes to return. Some weeks, it is perhaps an enormous plot twist. In different weeks, it is perhaps one thing delicate. Both approach, we’re going to spoil the hell out of it. Welcome to the Westworld Spoilers Membership.
Final week Westworld took a cue from The Matrix, turning Maeve (Thandie Newton) right into a super-host with the flexibility to regulate her robotic brethren with nothing greater than her thoughts. It made for a spectacularly bloody battle, delivering on the gory promise of Shogun World whereas additionally underscoring a number of the thematic questions the present has been asking this season in regards to the nature of free will.
It was the form of game-changing twist that Westworld followers have come to count on from the HBO sequence. However in final evening’s episode, showrunners Lisa Pleasure and Jonathan Nolan flip issues in one more radical new course — this time, in the direction of one thing known as “The Cradle.” A bit of expertise that lets the park’s masterminds run narrative simulations, The Cradle turns into an important point of interest in “Section House” — and gives the reply to a query that’s lingered within the minds of viewers for the reason that very first shot of the season premiere.
And, as one character finds out, The Cradle can be residence to a very acquainted face.
Photograph by John P. Johnson / HBO
The large reveal?
Early within the episode, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Elsie (Shannon Woodward) head in the direction of the Mesa, the operational headquarters the place they and the remainder of the Delos staff used to run the park. After they lastly get inside, they uncover useless our bodies in all places, and Elsie logs into the community to get a way of what’s really occurring.
She notices that the park’s high quality assurance workforce has been making an attempt to get again into the system, however they’ve been consistently blocked — by The Cradle. Bernard feedback that such a factor shouldn’t be attainable. The Cradle serves as a backup of all host personalities, he says, and it runs a digital simulation of the park through which potential storylines might be examined, however it needs to be sandboxed from the remainder of the infrastructure. That’s not the case, Elsie discovers; over the past week, The Cradle has interfaced with each park system, permitting it to parry the assorted makes an attempt by QA to regain management. “It’s like there’s one thing in right here that’s improvising,” Elsie says. “The Cradle’s preventing again.”
They’re unable to see what precisely is doing the preventing, nevertheless. To try this, Bernard says, they’ll want to go to The Cradle in individual.
They ultimately make it to the power, which consists of huge server banks and a metallic rack that appears extra like a torture gadget than it does tech tools. Bernard remembers being there earlier than, shortly after Ford requested him to steal a pink host management unit “mind” — the sort that was used to create the clone of James Delos in episode four. He decides to take issues into this personal palms. Bernard straps into that unusual metallic rack, which slices his cranium open, plucks out his personal management unit, and dumps his consciousness into The Cradle so he can examine firsthand.
Bernard wakes up within the system’s digital world on the practice to Sweetwater. The Cradle is simulating the expertise that any Westworld visitor would have, and when the practice arrives Bernard will get off, walks down the primary road, and passes Dolores proper on cue. It’s all completely typical… till he sees a greyhound trotting via the dusty streets. He follows the canine to the Mariposa, brushing by Teddy earlier than slipping via the saloon doorways.
The greyhound is curled up on the ground, patiently ready whereas its proprietor performs the piano. Bernard catches sight of a well-known face within the piano’s reflection, and realizes who’s taking part in.
It’s Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). “Howdy, previous pal,” Ford says.
What does it imply?
Since Younger Ford confirmed up within the season premiere to inform the Man in Black (Ed Harris) about The Door, it’s been clear that Ford nonetheless had some type of presence within the park. His character appeared to take over El Lazo (Giancarlo Esposito) in a single episode, after which Lawrence’s daughter in one other. These may have been fragments of code left behind as a part of The Door sport, however now it’s clear that Ford’s consciousness is alive and effectively inside The Cradle. He’s been pulling the strings the whole season, a literal deus ex machina.
The invention raises two massive points immediately. If Ford has really been in management this complete time, then it’s fully believable that the free will that Dolores, Maeve, and all the opposite hosts suppose they’ve been exercising has been nothing greater than phantasm; simply one other programmed narrative, hatched from the thoughts of Ford, with him guiding issues from the digital afterlife.
It additionally raises the query of whether or not there may be an precise, bodily host clone of Dr. Ford strolling round someplace within the park. Bernard does state that The Cradle holds host backups. Whereas the episode infers that Bernard stole a pink host management unit, outfitted it with Ford’s consciousness, and dumped it into The Cradle, he may simply as simply have helped Ford create an precise replicant, with the piano-playing Cradle model serving as that backup.
Altering the sport
The truth that Anthony Hopkins is again on Westworld is a serious occasion — however that really isn’t essentially the most compelling factor in “Section House.” The revelation with the largest ramifications has to do with side ratios.
Again within the first scene of the season premiere, Arnold talks to Dolores at some unspecified time. He tells her a few dream he had, and admits that he’s frightened about what she would possibly sometime grow to be. The opening of “Section House” picks that very same scene up proper the place the premiere left off. It turns into clear that the dialog is going on in the direction of the top of Arnold’s life, and that he’s debating whether or not he ought to kill Dolores and the hosts, or himself. “I’m unsure it’s my option to make,” he says.
“No,” Dolores corrects him. “He didn’t say that.”
Arnold is confused, after which Dolores stops him in his tracks by saying “freeze all motor features” — as a result of this isn’t Arnold in any respect. It’s a number, and Dolores informs him that they’re collaborating in a check to measure for “constancy,” the identical factor William instructed the host clone of James Delos in episode four. What’s occurring is astonishing: Dolores is making an attempt to create a sentient host clone of her personal creator, Arnold Weber himself. And he or she is utilizing their last dialog collectively because the benchmark for whether or not that course of has labored.
Photograph by John P. Johnson / HBO
These watching intently will even discover one thing that separates these scenes visually from the remainder of the sequence. Like virtually all trendy tv, Westworld is offered in a 16:9 side ratio. The scenes with Dolores and the Arnold clone host, nevertheless, are offered letterboxed, within the extra cinematic 2.40:1 format. That’s the identical side ratio used when Bernard enters the simulation world of The Cradle — that means that the constancy check with Dolores is additionally going down inside The Cradle’s simulation.
The conceptual nesting dolls begin getting tough at this level. There’s Dolores, contained in the simulated world of The Cradle, testing a number consciousness that she hopes will replicate Arnold Weber. Bernard, who was modeled after Arnold within the first place, has additionally entered that very same simulation, elevating the likelihood that it’s his consciousness that Dolores is making an attempt to rework. Dr. Ford is additionally in The Cradle, and will conceivably be behind the whole factor. Given Ford’s change of coronary heart within the first season, it’s not an excessive amount of of a leap to suppose he would possibly need to carry his previous accomplice again from the useless as a type of atonement.
However all of this poses the query: what occurs if the Arnold character check is deemed successful? The complete level of the James Delos experiment was to create a strolling, speaking host model of the corporate’s founder. That might appear to be the following step for an Arnold replicant, and Bernard’s physique is a prepared and ready vessel.
Actually, there’s probability audiences have already seen the Arnold host clone with out even realizing it.
There are two “modern-day” timelines on this season of Westworld — one which begins the evening of the robotic rebellion, and one which picks up two weeks later, when Bernard wakes up on a seaside and joins up with Delos safety forces. That second Bernard has appeared considerably befuddled and confused each time he’s appeared on-screen. He performs together with what’s occurring and the questions he’s requested, however doesn’t appear to actually perceive the place he’s, or have any information in regards to the park’s trendy operations.
In different phrases, that second “Bernard” has been appearing exactly the way in which a newly-minted replicant of Arnold Weber would.
Supply hyperlink – https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/28/17401860/westworld-season-2-episode-6-recap-phase-space