The 4th episode starts with a close up of Dolores´eyes. The several layers of colours and fine tissue necessary to make her eyes, and for that matter, any human eye, seem to be a common theme at the show. ERWoods does a terrific work keeping her eyes still, as expressionless as possible until prompted by Bernard, to relate her latest interactions and explain her escape from her loop. She talks emotionally about her parent´s death, and Bernard asks her whether she wants him to erase those memories. She refuses, pondering that those memories are important to keep them alive in her, and that these feelings of loss open new avenues of feelings for her. The intensity of her speech causes Bernard to assess the source of her words: the words we´re input by the crew only in part, cause she adapted past scripts of love to make that particular one. Bernard allows her to elope with the guests, and offer her an opportunity to escape her present condition, to be free. In order to do so, she must play a new game, called the maze. She must solve a problem, and find the way out, and then she will be rewarded, she will be free.
She takes his offer, considering that either something is very wrong with her world, or she is loosing her mind.
We pick up another character from the past episode, the Man in Black, whose name we don´t know yet. He is riding with Lawrence, following the lead he´d got from the girl, and they find a tattooed woman bathing in a river. If we strain our memory, she is the blonde shooter from Hector´s band. He joins her band in order to acquire information from her. Eventually, he frees Hector, saves Lawrence and retrieves the information. He has to find Wyatt. The episode confirms that MIB is not an android when two other guests try to demonstrate their gratitude for his Foundation saving their sister, and he dismisses them as an annoyance, cause he is on vacations there.
Besides that, he wants to reach the end of the story, to reach the deepest level of that experience. We learn that he has been going to the park since its inception, and got to know Arnold, and his demise, and he believes that there is some “Arnold” still left in the park, as a deep game. He is obsessed with finding truth in a world that is completely controlled from the outside. He wants truth, and freedom. I think he wants to play with androids who have free will, stories he can´t predict, because they will always be new. Why not?
Maeve, the brothel Madame has been having continuous flashes of her time at maintenance, she can remember the procedures, and the loops, and leaves messages for herself. When Hector barges into the saloon she takes him straight up to the safe, and asks him about the drawing, that is similar to a doll she´d seen with an indian kind. He tells her they are shadow spirits that walk between worlds, and she gives him one number of the combination, and little by little, he gives her his own idea about the robot (techs in hazmat suits), and it is clear that he has some recollections of his own, which he translated into mythology. Like Dolores, he might have improvised from the texts given to him, and created his own explanation for his reality. When he and Maeve open her belly, they find fragments of a bullet, proving that she is not crazy, none of them are, and the episode ends with the door being shot and Hector and Maeve shot in the process too.
We can assume that both were awakened and that they will, somehow get out of their loops, or try to change their loops. They are earning awareness of their condition, and seeing the difference between them and the guests, and this is going to change everything.
It did for Lawrence, who is riding with MIB, Delores is becoming more and more aware of her status as she rides with William White Hat, and The Bandolero and the Madame are both coming to the same conclusion.
I am afraid the maze will be pretty crowded.
Earlier in the series we were told not to be deceived by Dolores looks, for she is one of the oldest hosts working in the park. We have also learned, that this infection, glitch, or malfunction, makes the hosts remember the narratives they worked, and they might have worked many different ones, played different roles and experienced difference emotions… if only androids could feel anything besides the simulacrum of feeling input by programming. The catch is that they are not actors, they actually live their roles, and remembering everything can be traumatic, or short circuit their systems.
We also understand that there is some dual time line going on. Or so it seems.
William, the white hat, and Logan, embark on the bounty hunting narrative and are heading back to Sweetwater when the bandit promises better rewards in another city, named Pariah. Logan kills the deputy, all excited with the perspective of going to that town, telling Will to relax, and to walk on the dark side just a little.
Mib is heading to Pariah too, which lead us to understand that Pariah is another level of the game, another environment, or a catalyst to a different set of events within the game.
I am not a gamer, I´ve never been. That´s part of the geek universe I never understood, and I won´t even try and pretend that I do.
Anthony Hopkins is just wonderful as Dr. Ford. He does not need much to convey the power the old man wield. His dialogue with Cullen is a good example of that. By taking her to the same place and spot where she had been as a child, showing her how he can control all the androids of the park with nothing but a glance or a finger, as if he was some God, telling her exactly how she felt about the job, and how he expected her to behave, he made her see that even the staffers were not much different than the androids to him. He can manipulate the living too, he can indulge himself with his pets, such as Dr. Bernard, or tolerate bugs like her, but he is completely aware of everything and everyone, make no mistake. His image of an old, frail man hides a brilliant mind, an iron will, and little or no heart, and Anthony Hopkins goes from frail to cold blooded manipulative in a second, with a simple move of his head. That is a trained actor! I wonder if he doesn´t think Westworld a boring work… what work would truly interest an actor like that, I mean artistically! He makes it all seem so easy!
Ed Harris is another titan on screen. His man in black is cruel and sometimes oddly gentle as when he frees Teddy from the tree. HBO made real investments in casting, gave us the best, and it is paying off, cause the acting is really shining, there is art in every scene that even Game of Thrones, HBO´s main show, let´s be real, lacks. GoT brought us many new names, it brought us lots of stars on minor roles throughout the years, but it is not a series that relied so much on its cast to survive. Westworld is centred in its cast, and it is paying off.