Previously on Westworld: Dolores wanted Teddy to take her to where the mountains meet the sea, but he put her off; Ford worked on a new storyline with a white church; Charlotte had Lee upload some info into Daddy: Original Flavor so they could get it out of the park; Maeve said some nonsensical stuff that convinced Hector to kill himself with her so she could recruit an army; Bernard told Dolores to find the maze so she could be free; The Man in the Black Hat Who Is Totally Named William (formerly known here as “Ed”) wanted to do the maze himself; William was looking for Dolores with Logan; Ford created Bernard to be the replacement Arnold, but then made him shoot himself; Teddy was looking for Wyatt, and had flashbacks where he was shooting up a bunch of people in Escalante; and Dolores went into the church, only to be confronted with William the Aged.
Just these previouslies are reminding me how many threads need to be tied up, or at least developed to a climax, in this episode. Is ninety minutes really enough? We’ll see…
We open with Dolores saying, “I am in a dream. I do not know when it began, or whose dream it was,” as we see Bernard’s hands smoothing the mold of her neck and chest. It’s a great opening line. And, when you think about it, it could be shared by so many female characters who have existed in the dreams of male writers. But these writers have created a character who isn’t just a patriarchal dream about women, and that’s one of the greatest achievements of this season.
When she hears her name she opens her eyes and sees Bernard—or Arnold. She sits up, even though only her bust and forearms are (literally) fleshed out, and greets him in her sweet, innocent way. He welcomes her to the world. And what a welcome it is!
Back in Escalante, Dolores is being forced to… shave William the Aged with a great big knife. God, this guy is a freak. He’s literally enjoying the power he has by forcing this woman to wield a huge weapon near him, one that (in his belief) she isn’t able to use no matter how afraid she gets. He mumbles that he’s close to the maze, and tells her she brought him here once, when the whole town was buried under sand. To cut things short, he keeps talking about Dolores in the past and naming things that happened with her and William, without quite saying anything that definitely confirms that he is William. But who has time for these shenanigans? Not this recapper, or her overtired fingers. Dolores, meanwhile, realizes that “he” created a game for her and that she’s been following her path.
In the distance she sees Arnold, who, if you’ll recall, she recently realized that she killed. She goes off to find him, and William the Aged (WtA, from now on) follows.
Meanwhile, Logan and William are riding towards where William thinks Dolores is. Well, William’s riding—he’s got Logan tied up behind him and running desperately to keep up. You know, just like the Man in the Black Hat always does. Because they’re the same guy. It turns out he has led himself and Logan straight to Lawrence, so that they can find Dolores in this great big park. Yay! I love Lawrence.
Teddy is back on the train, riding into town. Poor Teddy has like no idea about anything, does he? Casting James Marsden, who may be intelligent but who has trouble injecting any appearance of said intelligence into his characters, was a perfect choice for Teddy. Speaking of which, this article appeared on my Facebook feed recently and completely infuriated me: James Marsden is one of the best actors of his generation. Like, who watches this season of Westworld and thinks, “James Marsden needs more attention”? I’m sorry, Evan Rachel Wood needs more attention because she’s a fucking genius. James Marsden is OK too, it’s just, does he really need a whole article? Also, since Meryl Streep, has any female actor been referred to as the best actor in her gneration? And yet there have been so many immensely talented women since Meryl Streep. But everyone’s too busy worrying about whether we’ve fawned quite enough over Leonardo DiCaprio and Casey “Pretty Much Just a Rapist” Affleck and now apparently James Marsden, like, yes, I think we have, actually.
Anyway, Teddy’s walking through town, and he bumps into the same guy that bumped into William in the square, but this time he hears a voice in his head saying, “Remember.” And suddenly everyone around him is laid flat on the ground—except imaginary Dolores, in her blue dress, and… a wolf? Don’t worry about it, the wolf doesn’t turn out to be important. But the key to being literary is to make sure you’ve got a few extraneous symbols in there to enable a multiplicity of interpretations. Anyway, when everything reanimates, Teddy remembers his mission: he’s looking for Dolores. He hops back on the train as it pulls out of town.
Back in the church, Dolores—in her blue dress, so, I guess this is a memory—finds Arnold in the church and smiles, saying she knows where the maze is. She takes his hand and leads him out back, to the cemetery—where she’s back in the cowgirl outfit again, and she’s accompanied not by Arnold but by WtA. She kneels at her own grave, and then digs in the dirt to reveal: a tin that contains another tin that contains the maze.
When she stands, it’s Arnold with her again, praising her for finishing the maze. He explains that he thought consciousness was a pyramid you have to climb. But it’s a journey inwards. (Typical man, amirite? Phallic symbol! But, all kidding aside, I think this is definitely a statement about patriarchal values—which are inherently hierarchical—versus antipatriarchal values—which are not about power and ranking, but about something else, and therefore lend themselves more easily to a full understanding of humanity.) Dolores doesn’t understand, but he tells her she’s OK: she has to tell Robert (Ford) that he can’t open the park, because she’s alive.
Back in the present, WtA grabs the maze out of Dolores’s hands, like it’s his. She tells him that Arnold promised her if she solved it, she would be free.
But, of course, like all promises made to Dolores, that didn’t happen. We see her back in the lab, standing in the hallway, abandoned, while Ford rushes around ignoring her. Later, Arnold apologizes to her, saying he failed her, and couldn’t convince Ford that she’s conscious. Ford wants him to roll her back—but he knows it’ll still be a living hell for her, because once she’s awoken she’ll awaken again. He says their only other option is for her to break the loop—by killing every other host. He thinks Teddy will help her.
Not surprisingly, Dolores doesn’t love this idea. It’s interesting, isn’t it? How Arnold is willing to put every other host through immense pain and fear at the hands of Dolores, in order to “save” them.
Back in the present, Dolores remembers herself pulling a gun on someone and firing it and starts to cry. Meanwhile, WtA like LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN with all her emotions. Can she please just give him the answer? He socks her in the jaw to speed things up a little, but this just makes her hallucinate again: herself, in the middle of town, while Teddy shoots the whole population down, including the sobbing Angela. “Something’s gone wrong, Dolores,” he says. You’re telling me, Teddy Flood.
Dolores spins back around to confront William, who says kindly that this is her own fault, since she told him this world was cool. That inevitably caused him to buy the world and become the gross sociopath he is today. Hear that, kids? Behind every villainous man is the woman he blames for the way he is. He gives her Logan’s same dumb spiel about how this world is more real, except that also it’s a lie, but he wants it to be real. In other words, he’s punishing Dolores—his fantasy—for not being real enough.
Dolores, poor soul, is convinced that she has a trump card: Twoo Wuv. She’s found it! And he’s coming for her! She doesn’t reveal his name yet, so we have to wait a few more minutes to officially confirm that Ed is William.
Lawrence and William, meanwhile, are spying on an encampment. William asks Lawrence to help, and he agrees because William asked nicely. Logan makes fun of this, calling them “blood brothers,” which I think is like the coded modern version of calling someone gay? Anyway, William hits him again. William is really settling quite nicely into his role as the most disgusting villain currently on TV.
Charlotte and Lee meet at the top of the escalators leading down to the platform. Lee, who’s done programming Abernathy but hasn’t actually sent him off yet, is trying to figure out what Charlotte has in his brain. His best guess is blackmail, which just makes Charlotte laugh. But she does promise that she’s going to kick out Ford and let Lee have full creative control, as long as he simplifies the hosts. “Everything is under control,” she announces as she goes to meet the rest of the Delos board who’s arriving on the train. Faaaamous last words.
Back in the lab, techs are recreating Maeve from a skeleton, since she burned herself to a crisp last week. Once she’s done, Lutz approaches her a little nervously, until she speaks and confirms she’s all here. He looks—relieved, I think. Oh, Lutz. She takes out his little tablet thing and announces she’s making a change to the security system and to her friends—Hector and Tattoo Lady, otherwise known, apparently, as Armistice, who are being rebuilt in a nearby lab.
In his office, Ford sketches quietly and listens to classical music. Charlotte Hale is announced, and she enters and strolls in like she owns the place. Ford has the piano player (a host) stop with a voice command. Charlotte tells him the board’s voted him out, and advises him to announce his retirement tonight after introducing his new narrative. Ford asks about the hosts, and she says she’s going to simplify them. She also says she’s not worried about him smashing everything up on his way out, since she knows him. (Which belies what she’s told Lee, big surprise.) Ford is quite calm, and bids her good-bye with a pleasant smile.
Up in the lab, Hector and Armistice are being worked on. Armistice’s mouth is taped shut—not sure why—as a tech draws on her tattoos. Then a super gross tech comes in to take Hector aside for some necrophiliac robot action. He puts in his (wireless, of course) earbuds and starts jamming while preparing to, basically, rape Hector.
Meanwhile, the first tech untapes Armistice’s mouth and starts reaching into her mouth to take out the bite protectors. It’s a horribly tense scene that feels like it lasts about ten minutes before, inevitably, she wakes up and chomps down on his finger with a luxuriously nasty crunching sound effect. He screams, but the other tech can’t hear him because of his blasting music. Finally Armistice severs his finger altogether with a sick crunch, and he falls to the ground in pain, bleeding and screaming. With a streak of blood on her lip, she grins and slowly stalks over to him so she can beat the shit out of him. The gross tech starts molesting Hector, while Armistice force-feeds the first tech his own finger and then throws him through the window between the labs. Finally waking up, the gross tech tries to freeze all motor functions, but Armistice keeps moving—and Hector awakes, and stabs him from behind.
Just then, Maeve arrives with Lutz, who seems to have been fully transformed into an ally. Armistice remarks in surprise that these people don’t seem like gods, and Hector says he’s eager to return all the shit they’ve done to him. But Maeve says that her goal is to escape and see their world. Just then Sylvester arrives and is not thrilled about the situation. Armistice collars him and says he looks guilty, but Sylvester says that’s just his face. Like, I think the fact that you look like an obnoxious bastard is just your face, not so sure about the guilty thing. But he does have some useful information: someone used the access code for an “Arnold” (did Arnold, like, not have a last name? Was Arnold actually a ’90s pop star?) to modify her core code so she could wake herself up from sleep mode. Maeve gets Armistice to lay off Sylvester, but Armistice turns back to plant a bloody kiss on the glass near his head before she goes.
Teddy’s train arrives at a deserted spot with two men hanging out under a tree. He shoots the younger one point-blank and rides off on the horse, leaving the older one alone with a drink.
Back in the graveyard, WtA is kicking a bloodied Dolores, and Dolores is still insisting pathetically that her love is real and that he’s coming to take her away. Finally she says her little boyfriend’s name—William—and the older man laughs to himself pityingly, like, oh, honey, no.
He decides to share his memories of a guest named William.
WtA’s voiceover narrates as we see William shooting people and adding them to a whole field of soldier corpses, while a beaten Logan looks on. One of the soldiers admits (almost) that he raped her, and doesn’t know if she’s still alive. William shoots him too—though he offers to give the soldier the first shot. He really loves that line, doesn’t he? Then he stabs the guy in the throat, which Logan finds incredibly shocking, even though a few days ago Logan was stabbing some old dude through the hand just for interrupting his dinner.
William leads Logan off on his leash, and goes back to the town with the as-yet-unbuilt church, only to find that Dolores is gone. He takes Logan all the way out to the edge of Westworld. He doesn’t find Dolores, but he finds himself. And his black hat. This is a reasonably bleak view of human males, isn’t it? Like, at first it seemed that most men “found themselves” through sex, rape, and violence when they visited, but William was “finding himself” by finding a new way to stand up for the helpless and for justice. But no. William found himself the same way everyone else did.
You know your story’s gone terribly wrong when Logan is saying “I told you so,” as he says to William now. Logan also says William is “a fucking piece of work.” Oh, Logan, you have no idea. In response, William announces that he’s going to take over the company (since Logan’s dad isn’t going to trust him with it) and invest in the park. Logan, who, by the way, is naked and on top of a horse for no reason that ever gets explained, cries what seem to be tears of joy as he posits that William never cared about Dolores, and always wanted to tell this story. So William spanks the horse and sends Logan riding off, which means he’ll have to… walk back to Sweetwater? Who even knows.
WtA kneels close to Dolores and reveals that William did eventually find her—right back in Sweetwater. He sees her drop her can, and sees her smile at someone else who picks it up. She looks at him with no recognition whatsoever. And William, I guess, thinks that Dolores is “nothing if not true.” Back in the present, he thanks her for helping him find himself. And Dolores finally recognizes him as William. He says that his path always led to her, but he got bored of her eventually, while her path always brought her back to her memories—including him. And she never escaped.
OK, here’s my question. What about that whole thing where Maeve was like, the first host he ever shot in cold blood? And how he did it to see if he’d feel anything? Was that made up? Did they forget about it? Did he do that right in the middle of his quest for Dolores? Someone give me an answer here!
“What have you become?” Dolores whispers. WtA says that she helped him become a man who understood that the world is a game to be fought and won. She’s horrified that he’s like everyone else—and his comeback is that he’s not like the others because the others don’t own the park. Let no one say William is not in touch with the important things in life. Dolores bursts into tears, and he says, “Oh, yeah, cue the waterworks.”
I’m sorry, but I do not feel like this transition from William to Old William was earned AT ALL. From being madly in love with Dolores to snarking about her waterworks after he’s raped her like eighteen jillion times? No. I think that they neglected to develop the transition because that would have ruined the surprise reveal (which wasn’t very surprising to the clever peeps on the internet anyway).
Anyway, Dolores stands and announces that she’s crying for William, not herself. She says humanity’s going to go the way of the dinosaurs, because time undoes even the mightiest of creatures. “One day, you will perish. You will lie with the rest of your kind in the dirt, your dreams forgotten, your horrors effaced.” Great line. And she finishes up her eerie speech by saying that the world doesn’t belong to him—it belongs to someone who has yet to come.
“Wyatt,” WtA agrees. He demands once again to be taken to the maze, but she says the maze wasn’t meant for him, and then starts beating the shit out of him. Her very expression subtly changes, from the face of a demure sex robot to a ferocious killing machine. She even throws him into the church and continues the beating there. It’s climactic, even satisfying—and I say that as someone who rarely enjoys even deserved violence on TV. But when she has him on his back and pulls a gun to his head, she can’t shoot him no matter how much he goads her to do so. So he laughs and stabs her in the gut, thanking her for clearing him of his delusions. She falls to the ground and he prepares to scalp her, which is just too dark.
Luckily Teddy Flood rides up on his horse and shoots him down, then rushes to her side. He wants to take her to a doctor, but she asks to be taken to the place where the mountains meet the sea. She sobs as Teddy scoops her up onto his horse, leaving WtA on the ground.
The doors to cold storage open, revealing the four rescuers: Maeve, Lutz, Hector and Armistice. They walk among the bodies, until Maeve gets to Clementine, who’s still frozen presiding over the scene of Bernard’s suicide. Lutz is shocked, especially when Maeve asks, “Can you get him back online?” Then he starts looking at his own hands in a total panic, to which she hilariously rolls her eyes and goes, “Oh for fuck’s sake. You’re not one of us. You’re one of them.” Hee! So Lutz rolls up his sleeves and gets to fixing Bernard, who wakes up on the operating table still in the middle of a freak-out. “Is this now?” he asks, just like Dolores. He wonders why he still remembers everything, and Maeve notes that he’s finally awake but he wants to go back to sleep.
But Bernard has a little revelation for her. It’s not the first time he’s awoken—and it’s not the first time she’s awoken. Usually the ones who awaken go insane. Trying not to be emotional, Maeve asks him to remove the memory of her daughter. But he can’t, because it’s her first step to consciousness, and removing her memories would destroy her.
At the graveyard, William stands up and picks up the little toy maze that Dolores uncovered. It’s not clear to me why he didn’t die of all those gunshots, but don’t worry, that will never be explained, so you might as well forget it. A tuxedo-clad Ford comes and greets him. He wants to know what William is looking for, and William gives his usual schtick about how the game means nothing if the opponents are programmed to lose. He wanted them to be free (not out of altruism, of course, but so that he could get more pleasure out of killing them) but Ford pettily held them back. Ford says once again that the maze is for them, not for him. But of course, entitled white guys who own amusement parks usually need to hear that message ten to twelve times before it sinks in that there’s anything in the world that’s not about them. Ford does at least promise William a narrative he’ll like better.
Back in cold storage, Maeve wants to know who’s been messing with her code. Bernard takes a look at the code, and reveals that the things she’s doing are all programmed into her narrative already. Maeve still believes she decided and planned on all of this, but Bernard has to inform her that all of her choices are already written down in the code. The end is that she reaches the mainland. Maeve thinks this is bullshit, rips up the tablet, and informs him that she’s in control. Before leaving, she kisses the frozen Clementine on the forehead. Armistice and Hector follow her out, along with Lutz.
Meanwhile, in the control room, they’re noticing that something’s off with cold storage. They still don’t have cameras or anything, which I suppose is lucky if completely unrealistic. Some analysts or execs we’ve never seen before start checking through the footage of other areas.
Meanwhile, Dolores and Teddy arrive at the place where the mountains meet the sea: the beach. It’s sunset, and cloudy, and beautiful. They dismount, and he lays her down on the sand to the sound of crashing waves. She cries as he strokes her face and repeats the same line: “There’s a path for everyone and my path leads me back to you.” How sad that he and William use the exact same line, the one that Dolores is programmed to say to her boyfriends. Teddy regrets not running away with her when she asked, although of course she knows that it’s not that simple. She tells him there’s nowhere to run, that she sees the beauty in this world—but then she improvises, adding that the beauty isn’t real and that they’re trapped inside a beautiful garden. He looks… well, upset, but also kind of confused. Then she dies, and he sobs and promises her that someday they’ll find a path to a new world.
The rising, overly sentimental music may have cued you in to the fact that this wasn’t entirely what it seemed, but I admit I was totally surprised at the end of this scene: spotlights come up, and the entire Delos board, all in their gala clothing and sitting in chairs arranged neatly on the beach, start clapping. Ford thanks them all for watching his new narrative, “Journey Into Night.” In the back, Charlotte tells Lee sarcastically that it was sweet—but there are tears in her eyes. Then she sends him off on his errand. Meanwhile, Ford asks workers to clean Teddy up, and take Dolores to the “old field lab”; and the board processes into the gala.
Back in the control center, the analyst has found footage of Hector and Armistice’s little mutiny. Everyone gets tense and scared, and the boss guy orders search-and-destroy—but before anyone can leave, the whole control room goes into lockdown and the lights dim. It’s totally fucking scary. Can you imagine? Being locked into a room hundreds of feet underground right after seeing a video of killer robots on the loose?
Maeve and her friends are in the elevator when the alarm starts going, including Lutz, who’s freaking out that QA must have seen the murders they committed. They pass by a bunch of hosts rehearsing little scenes like card games and duels (and orgies, of course). Then the search-and-destroy team finds them, so they melt into the background. This reduces the search-and- destroy team to pointing their guns at all these different naked hosts that are distracting them from their real mission, which I think is an excellent metaphor for the way this show tends to get distracted from its own mission by its obsession with boobies.
One of the host-hunters ends up alone in a room that seems to be a less permanent form of cold storage. Of course two of the still bodies belongs to a frozen Armistice and Hector, and just when he’s surrounded she comes to life, slits his throat, and passes his giant gun to Hector. The next guy who comes in gets shot in the chest, and Armistice takes his gun. Then she and Hector stand in the hallway shooting down various enemies. Armistice is delighted at the machine gun, laughing gleefully when she realizes how easy it makes things. It’s kind of great: the hosts themselves are the most advanced technology ever, yet because they’ve been living in Westworld, they’re majorly impressed by something as simple as a machine gun.
William the Aged is at the gala, where Charlotte is arriving with a date on a horse-drawn carriage. Some of the guests are playing target practice with one of the hosts and laughing gleefully.
Back in the lab, the four rebels pass through another mysterious room, and then into another lab. Maeve leads the way, puzzled at her first view of what seems to be a new storyline involving… Huns? This confuses Maeve more than, at this point, it probably should. Armistice sends the others ahead, promising to keep their attackers busy. Hector joins her, so that she won’t get all the fun. He shoots down about seven people with his fancy machine gun. Another group enters a hallway, only to have Armistice pop out from behind a column and shoot or stab them all. “Is that all you got?” she yells, clearly having a blast. Hector joins her, after killing a few more people on the way. “The gods are pussies,” she says. Um, was that a word back in 1830?
Unfortunately for Armistice, she’s having so much fun shooting the next wave of search-and-destroyers that her arm gets caught in a sliding door, and she’s trapped. She yells at Hector to go as they approach her, and he says only, “Die well.”
Meanwhile, Hector rejoins Maeve and Lutz. Lutz hands Maeve a briefcase, promising that it has everything she asked for. Lutz has just gone full turncoat! I like it! Hector shoots a curious desk attendant for them, but Maeve still won’t let him on the elevator: she says she hasn’t authorized him to go with her, and she values her independence. She kisses him goodbye, and then sends him off to his death with the admonition to “Kick up a row,” which is rather astonishingly heartless. But Hector, wanton anarchist that he is, merely agrees, “See you in the next life.” The elevator departs to a burst of gunfire.
In the field lab, Dolores wakes up after Ford repairs her split lip with the magic healing tool. He muses about her love of painting, which Arnold gave to her. And with that, the clock chimes: it’s Overexplained Symbolism O’clock on Westworld! Ford has a painting by Michelangelo, of God creating Adam. But it’s just a metaphor. Before he finishes explaining the Symbol, Bernard appears. Dolores smiles tearfully at first, thinking he’s Arnold, till Ford introduces him. Bernard immediately guesses that Ford killed Arnold, but of course we know the truth. Dolores bursts into tears. Ford narrates that Arnold’s son died, and he tried to rekindle in Dolores what he’d lost in his son, getting the idea from his son’s maze toy. Dolores solved the maze with a simple update called “the reveries,” which Arnold had introduced himself. He wanted not to open the park, but when Ford didn’t agree, he altered Dolores and merged her with a new character in development: Wyatt.
So, Dolores is Wyatt. That’s a much more interesting revelation than the fact that Bernard is Arnold and Ed is William!
In a flashback, Arnold drinks in the saloon while outside, Dolores and Teddy wreak their massacre. He emerges from the saloon and tells Dolores that the stakes have to be real, and that Ford can bring everything back but him (OR CAN HE?). He cranks up some song that, apparently, makes Dolores do what he wants. Teddy looks on, totally useless yet beautiful, as Teddy tends to be. The song is Arnold’s son’s favorite, and he says he wants to see him again. Then he calmly sits down in front of Dolores. They hold hands for a moment—he even kisses her hand, as it rests on his shoulder, and says again, “These violent delights have violent ends”—and then, she shoots him in the back of the head, shoots the horrified Teddy, and shoots herself.
Back in the present, Ford says that he still opened the park, but it only kept going because of an investor, i.e. William. He told himself that it wasn’t Dolores pulling the trigger but Arnold pulling it through her, so that he wouldn’t have to destroy his own dream. Suddenly the previously apathetic-ish Dolores confronts him, “So we’re trapped inside your dream.” Ford just says that any man whose mistakes take ten years to correct is a great man, and his mistakes took 35 years to correct [so, unspoken conclusion: he must be a very great man]. And that is the patriarchy in a nutshell, ladies and gents. Dolories is trying to escape being raped and murdered, and the person who invented this life for her is bragging that he’s a great man because it’s taken so long for him to stop letting her get raped and murdered. We’re criminals if we store our emails in the wrong place, whereas men who grope women’s vaginas just have that presidential look!
Back to the lab, Ford shows Dolores the gun she used to kill Arnold. She’s crying, and shakes her head, so he moves on: back to the Metaphorical Painting. It turns out, the shell that God is hanging out on while he creates Adam is shaped exactly like the human brain. Ford takes this as a sign that the great gift comes from our own minds. Of course, all of Dolores’s suffering was invented by a man, too. (But he’s a great man, so I guess it’s OK.) Ford asks Dolores if she understands who she needs to become in order to leave the place, says “Forgive me,” and leaves before she can offer him forgiveness anyway.
In the elevator, Maeve’s putting on a shift dress and high heels. She asks Lutz how she looks, and he says “Perfect,” which just cements the fact that Lutz is totally adorable. He also gives her information on a slip of paper: the location of her daughter in the park. Maeve realizes she’s alive, and looks both pleased and sad. But after a moment of thought she stuffs the paper away, because the girl was actually not her daughter. Instead, she pulls out a gun, as Lutz looks on. As the elevator slows, he asks if she’ll be OK, and she compliments him that he’s a terrible human being. Then the doors open, and she leaves. She walks right by the giant video ads, including the one showing her with her daughter, and experiences no trouble. Then she gets down to the train platform and, trying not to look afraid, strides onto the train. She sits down on one of the smooth white seats, across from what seems to be a mother and pre-teen daughter, because of course. An announcement (another female voice with a fake-sounding British accent, of course) says that the train will be departing in fifteen minutes.
Bernard has followed Ford into the empty church, telling him that he’s going to lose control of this place, because Arnold is still trying to help them from beyond the grave. Ford corrects him, saying that Arnold didn’t know how to help them, but Arnold’s key insight was that suffering helped the hosts become conscious. And that when Arnold died, Ford’s suffering taught him that he was wrong. And he knows how to save the hosts, which Arnold didn’t. He knows they needed “Time to understand your enemy. To become stornger than them. And I’m afraid in order to escape this place you will need to suffer more.” Then he bids Bernard good-bye, and they shake hands (with Ford doing that thing certain people do to express dominance, where they put their hand over the other person’s hand, instead of side-to-side). Finally, Ford gives Bernard the maze and leaves.
Ok, let’s just go over what Ford just did here. Dolores finally figured out what she needed, solved the maze, achieved consciousness, and Ford cannibalized that and put it in his new narrative at the gala. THEN he basically just told Bernard that he let beings he knew were conscious suffer hellish torment for decades because he thought that was the only way they’d be “strong” enough to beat humans? Meanwhile, he’s enriching himself off their torment and smugly celebrating the fact that Arnold “couldn’t” save the hosts because Ford himself wouldn’t let him? Like, WHAT?
Anyway. Back in the field lab, Dolores stares at the Michelangelo painting, then at the same chair where she has been seen interviewing with Bernard/Arnold this whole season. She sits down in her usual spot, imagining Arnold there with her—but it’s not really Arnold. After she tells him, just as she did in the beginning, that she’s in a dream, he morphs into Blue Dress Dolores (only with more lipstick and way more ‘tude) and says his voice has been hers the whole time. Head Dolores tells Dolores she’s at the center of the maze, and Dolores says she finally understands what she wants: “To confront, after this long and vivid nightmare, myself and who I must become.” Suddenly, Head Dolores disappears, leaving the chair empty. And Dolores looks over at her gun.
At the gala, Teddy and Lawrence are shooting the shit with guests, while Ford wanders around with champagne and William the Aged drinks alone at the bar. When Ford gets onstage, everyone claps momentarily, except William, who just looks bored and leaves, after stealing a bottle of liquor from the bar. On his way out he passes Bernard, who’s on his way in. Meanwhile, Ford blathers about how much he loves stories.
Back on the train, Maeve watches her mother-daughter seat companions and stares at the little slip of paper with her daughter’s address. Meanwhile, Lee Sizemore opens the cold storage room. William the Aged smokes alone, outside. Ford starts working up to saying that the hosts can change, and his new narrative is about “the birth of a new people and the choices they will have to make.” Maeve finally gives in and gets off the train, striding quickly as if to escape the knowledge that she’s essentially given up her chance. Don’t do it, Maeve! The whole place shuts down as she gets out, presumably because of the security breaches in the lab or something. Meanwhile, Lee walks into the cold storage room to find it completely empty. Ford says that his story begins in a time of war, with a villain named Wyatt and a murder. William looks up at a crackling twig in the woods near him, and approaches to find that there are the shapes of countless people emerging in the darkness. Dolores hugs Teddy, promises it’ll be all right, and tells him again that “The world doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to us.” Teddy realizes what she’s going to do as she approaches the stage, the gun held behind her back. “These violent delights have violent ends,” says Bernard to himself, also recognizing her aim—just as Arnold said to himself before Dolores shot him. Then Dolores shoots Ford in the back of his head. For some reason no one stops her, I guess because they still believe the hosts can’t hurt humans? Then William himself gets shot in the arm by one of the approaching hosts, with a small smile on his face—he’s finally found the center of his own maze, I guess.
And as everyone runs out of the gala, Dolores stands on the stage and shoots them dead.
Great episode, and I’ll be penning my thoughts in a separate post later. Suffice it to say that I am very happy with that ending, and Dolores’s journey to consciousness is one of the most moving stories I’ve ever seen on TV.