Westworld: Trace Decay Recap

Synopsis of 01×08: Bernard is forced to return to his position within Westworld, while covering up what occurred between him, Theresa, and Ford. Maeve attempts to rewrite her programming, allowing her to have control over fellow Hosts. Dolores and Will continue to the church, but Dolores begins to lose grip on what is reality and what is her dream. Teddy begins to remember, and the Man in Black reveals his own descent into cruelty and the maze.

Rating:
This episode seemed to contain important snippets of what is to come this season. While no definitive answers were provided, this episode certainly fleshed out the interconnected nature of these characters and their arcs. It also further blurred the lines between humans, hosts, and reality.

For Bernard, he is forced to deal with the emotional ramifications of what Ford forced him to do in killing Theresa (and from a flashback, we realize he is also the one who attacked Elsie), but also with his true reality. He is not human. All of his memories and emotions are created. He does not exist apart from Ford and this park.

Maeve exerts her control over the replacement Clem [Source HBO]

Maeve exerts her control over the replacement Clem [HBO]

Maeve furthers her push for freedom, giving herself suggestive control of her fellow hosts. One of the butchers attempts to end her, but Felix refuses, out of infatuation or belief in her cause is unclear. She does in fact survive the procedure and returns to the park to lay her plans.

When the bandits arrive in town, she flits about controlling the reactions of everyone around her, until the programmers realize something is off in the event. Unfortunately for Maeve, they realize that they have lost control of her, and the last scene of her is of the suits arriving in her room as she sits in anticipation.

Dolores and Will continue through the desert, heading towards an unknown destination with Dolores guided only by her feelings, memories, and the voice of Arnold. Their storyline does lay a few seeds of suggestion towards the Will/MIB theory.

When the two arrive at the scene of a Confederados slaughter, Dolores desires to save one of the young soldiers; she leaves him with Will and turns to fetch water for the injured man. When she turns back, Will says he has passed, but whether this was due to his wounds or something more sinister is unclear. Even Dolores seems to hesitate for a moment.

From here, the two continue until they finally arrive at their destination, the derelict church spire that Ford was seen visiting many episodes back. Here Dolores falls into a spiral of uncertainty as memories of her original story and the present blur. She even exclaims, “I can’t tell what’s real and a dream anymore.” Will decides that being this far out in the park must be harming her function, and the two leave.

This, however, is another instance of Will/MIB evidence, as it explains why the storyline of Dolores, Will, MIB, and Teddy seem to be happening at the same time. She was attacked by the MIB in a previous episode, only to run into Will shortly after, but perhaps, we are simply seeing the memory of Will. When in reality, the MIB is what is currently happening. It certainly is some food for thought.

MIB and Teddy continue in their search for Wyatt and the maze [Source HBO]

MIB and Teddy continue in their search for Wyatt and the maze [Source HBO]

Finally, Teddy and the MIB continue in their search for Wyatt and the answer to the maze. However, for the first time, Teddy begins to remember. He remembers the MIB attacking Dolores and turns on him. After informing the MIB that he remembers, the MIB launches into a horrifying tale of how he became what he is today.

The memory that Maeve has been having, of the small cabin and the little girl, is in fact a memory of the MIB and his search for his true self. He chooses Maeve arbitrarily, but is amazed by her tenacity. That she would seem so alive in trying to fight for her own life and the life of her then daughter. He said that at that moment she was truly alive.

One final piece of evidence for the Will/MIB theory is that Teddy and the MIB encounter a woman who has been attacked by Wyatt’s men; the same woman who first welcomed Will to the park. She and the MIB exchange pleasantries with him remarking that he hadn’t seen her in a long time and assumed she had been retired. After Teddy refused to kill the MIB, the women instead stabs Teddy with an arrow and encourages Wyatt’s men to reveal themselves, all while the MIB sits restrained.

With only two episodes left, it will be interesting to see how far the hosts will go towards self awareness and whether there truly are multiple timelines, and finally, what is Ford’s end game?