If you’ve been intently following Westworld like us, then episode 7 must have shocked you as much us here! Word of warning- there will be several spoilers in this review, so if you’re a little behind in the series, or yet to start, we highly recommend you stop reading now!
For those of you left with us, the major twist in episode 7 have left many fans bewildered after the shocking revelations at the end of the episode. But let’s begin with the interesting dynamics of the theme park, with the question of who is a robot host and who is human that can leave you wondering how the park actually works, especially regarding about how the gun fights work. (Interesting fact: the actors probably use air pistols to give the illusion of epic Western fights we’ve seen throughout the series).
To avoid the deaths of the humans in the park, the guns feature a sensing device that won’t fire at anything that has a body temperature, like the concept in the 1973 original film of the same name. Safety procedures are also established in the robots programming that stops them from hurting any living thing, but the ending of episode one saw the potential for violence in the hosts, with Dolores smacking a fly on her neck, which has only increased during the series and to the epic and unexpected end of Teresa in the latest episode.
“The longer I work here, the more I think I understand the hosts. It’s the human beings who confuse me.” These words from Bernard Lowe at the end of episode 7, that are bound to become one of the most iconic quotes of the series, echo in your mind in the last scene. Before it was a seemingly unimportant remark, but in the final scenes it is a glaringly obvious enigma of the events that followed and a beautiful example of perfect scriptwriting. This unexpected reveal is arguably the first revelation that has left viewers in a sense of utter shock, with many of the major plot lines easing the audience into them. Bernard’s comment makes us realise how human the hosts are in comparison to the ‘humans’. But can we trust that everyone we thought is human actually is or is everyone a construction of Ford’s ‘story’? Although, what better way to have control of everyone than to kill them off and make a host replacement to avoid suspicions!
Anthony Hopkins does what he does best in this episode. Ford, which has seemed somewhat reserved and mysterious throughout the series, turns into a chilling character hell-bent on power- reflecting what we loved so much about Hopkin’s portrayal of the renowned Hannibal Lecter. And if you’ve not been enjoying Westworld (which we highly doubt anyone will agree with) the show is worth viewing just for the undeniable talent of Hopkins.
The blatantly phony scenario that led to the termination of Bernard’s job left me cringing, that it was questionable when Bernard sought to help Teresa after she had an obvious role in Bernard losing his job that he valued so highly. At first we believed Bernard’s intentions were to use Teresa to find the missing technician and the secret hub she had reported to him in the previous episode. But the moment Teresa finds the door in the house of Ford you know something serious is about to go down, with alarm bells ringing in many audiences’ minds when they decided to enter the theme park with no security guards. Not that she was winning any awards for the most empathic character of the show, the brutal end of Teresa to the hands of her ex-lover leaves you somewhat sympathetic over her death as the “blood sacrifice”. And that chilling and classic fade to black-we think we’ll be having nightmares over that!
Ford’s speech simultaneously answers as many questions as it poses. The repetition of Charlotte Hale’s words to Teresa from the beginning of the episode, about the gods needing a “blood sacrifice” surely indicates that Charlotte must be another construction of Ford. And that blatantly obvious show we mentioned before, was clearly a way for Ford to test Teresa’s loyalty to him- and we can’t help but think it was sadistic enjoyment for Ford, messing with Teresa’s head. Maybe we can expect Teresa back next week, as a compliant follower of Ford? We will just have to wait and see for that one!
Our understanding of hosts is completely put on their head when we consider the heart-wrenching flashbacks Bernard experiences at the beginning of the episode. There are two possible explanations: one, this was a previous storyline Bernard has lived, like the flashbacks experienced by Maeve. And this sense of loss is something Ford tries to explore through the stories of his robots. Or secondly, and probably a more exciting, complex but plausible theory, Bernard was built in the image of Arnold. Arnold’s full name was Arnold Weber, with Bernard Lowe a perfect anagram -coincidence… we think not! And the flashbacks we have been witness to is the memories of the original Arnold, who did indeed have a wife and son. In addition, the conversations with Dolores in the same room where Teresa is killed is Arnold’s consciousness in the machine, with his talks with Dolores 30 years ago, before Bernard was even around, planting the idea of the “violent delights” in her head. These scenes appear like a linear storyline but we are seeing a clever construction disjointed scenes. Perhaps Arnold double-crossed Ford and the only way for him to take control was to kill him off, the way he has with Teresa? The only desperate question we need answering is what will happen when the hosts begin to take more control of their actions? As the series continues we can only expect to see more violence and more stark revelations about this constructed world.