Ford Requires A Blood Sacrifice In Trompe L’Oeil.
This is my Westworld recap of season 1, episode 7 entitled “Trompe L’Oeil.” Bernard has an epiphany during an episode shocker. Clementine shines and shows great courage. Dolores and William are back and as expected, they hook up. Trompe L’Oeil, I suspect, is the beginning of the end for many Hosts once Ford brings his new narrative online.
Interestingly, we open with Bernard as he’s waking up, similar to what Dolores and Maeve have done a thousand times before. Bernard is in a dream, reliving the past with his dying son Charlie. He’s reading him Alice in Wonderland, just like he does with Dolores. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be what it isn’t,” he reads. Unfortunately, his son, Charlie will never get to finish hearing the story because he dies. Suddenly Bernard wakes up in his bed inside Westworld and realizes it was all a dream.
Moving on, in the backstage Hector is being questioned by Bernard “And finally, have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” Bernard clicks through a few tests with Hector, making sure that images of life outside the park don’t look like anything to Hector, reminding us of that programmed host reply. Hector gets called upstairs for a quickie with Charlotte. While at the same time Theresa is supposed to meet with Charlotte. Theresa shows up and interrupts the two as they’re going at it. Theresa is all prepared to talk business, while Charlotte just finished her business with Hector. I guess OSHA doesn’t exist in Westworld.
Charlotte condescendingly tells Theresa, “I like you, well, not personally, but I like you for this job,” and gives us some back story about what’s really happening in Westworld. She discusses how the Delos board wants to push out Ford, after all, the real value of the park is all in the code. If you recall, Theresa has been smuggling data out as a back-up in case Ford takes a drill to the hard drives on his way out the door. Neither Theresa nor Charlotte has a clue about what Ford’s new narrative is, and Delos also has an equally mysterious “little research project” the park is being used for that’s their true priority. “The gods require a blood sacrifice,” Charlotte says. “We need to demonstrate just how dangerous Ford’s creations can be.”
Street side in the Mariposa, Maeve is listening to Clementine’s morning narrative when everyone in the brothel freezes. Maeve is clearly smarter now as she simply pretends to freeze when the Westworld techs enter the brothel and take Clementine away. Clearly the core commands that protect humans from hosts likely no longer work with Maeve. The techs deliver Clementine to the backstage where Theresa and Charlotte have tweaked her code to demonstrate just how dangerous the hosts can be. Ford and Bernard stand by with a fire extinguisher.
The demonstration is unnecessarily brutal. Clementine is loaded with her pre-update code, and naturally she begins to flirt with another host, a large burly cowboy we haven’t seen before who we’re told has been “coded to read as a human” to Clementine. In a most disturbing scene, the burly host shocks everyone by beating the hell out of Clementine. Everyone in the room reacts to the violence, however Bernard seems the most upset by the demonstration. Shortly, Stubbs is charged with downing Clementine as she’s clearly lost it and will attack any human put in front of her.
Across the labs, Maeve is once again being repaired by the two worst employees in the world, Sylvester and Felix. She witnesses Sylvester drilling into Clementines nose, effectively wiping her hard drive of all the rigged code that Theresa and Charlotte added to create their demonstration. Theresa and Charlotte blame Bernard for the host’s unpredictable behavior. Bernard takes one for the team and does not blame Ford, which annoys both Theresa and Charlotte. Bernard is far too loyal to Ford to implicate him in any wrongdoing. Afterwards Maeve tells Sylvester and Felix that she wants to escape from Westworld. “Everything is made to keep you here, ” they explain. Then Maeve delivers the best line in Trompe L’Oeil: “You think I’m scared of death … I’ve done it a million times. I’m f—king great at it. How many times have you died?”
Elsewhere in the park, William and Dolores are still on a train with Lawrence heading deep into the Ghost Nation. William confesses to Dolores about his fiance outside of Westworld. Dolores explains that she wants to leave Westworld, whereas William comments that he never wants to leave. It’s interesting, because soon they’re in each others arms anyway. After some bot-sex, William finds Dolores crafting a beautiful sketch of a canyon leading to the sea. Dolores believes this to be the way out of Westworld. The train is stopped by some soldiers, and there’s a bit of gun play with some Indians. William and Dolores make it to the canyon and Lawrence says adios, but not before telling them, nobody has ever come back from where they’re heading.
Across the park, Bernard takes Theresa to Sector 17 and the creepy Ford cabin in the woods. They enter Ford’s private Trompe L’Oeil host-making lab and observe a new host being printed. Inside Theresa discovers sketches of early model hosts and sees one that looks like Bernard. I wonder if she initially thinks this means Ford is building a host version of Bernard, not that he’s actually a host himself. Then Bernard delivers an eerie confirmation when she shows it to him: “It doesn’t look like anything to me.” Theresa looks ill when she realizes she has been humping a Bernard-bot her entire time at Westworld. Ford enters from the shadows like he’s done many times before. Ford points out that he instructed Bernard to bring Theresa to his cabin.
Bernard looks stunned, confused as to how he could even possibly be a host. He had a child, a wife, free Skype time, a life before Westworld. We have been reminded many times before just how cruel Ford can be when he creates a narrative. Bernard’s life, like those of the other Westworld host’s, is just one manufactured story. Again, we’re also reminded of Ford’s seemingly endless power over the hosts when he mutes Bernard’s emotions and instructs him to kill Theresa. Bernard without hesitation, removes his coat and tie. Theresa looks really scared for the first time and cries for Bernard to stop. Her corporate confidence and icy-exterior have all melted away. As Theresa screams, he smashes her head against the wall ending her life. This marks the first time a host has killed a human. Finally, we get to see some real consequences in Westworld.
Next week, Westworld episode 8 entitled “Trace Decay” debuts on Sunday, Nov 20 at 9:00 PM ET on HBO. Check out all the official Westworld Trompe L’Oeil photos in the gallery. Here’s a preview of what’s coming.
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) November 14, 2016