Westworld: The Riddle of the Sphinx, Best Episode Ever?

5 stars
For the first three episodes of Westworld season two I would have said they were great but were not really living up to the level of intrigue I was having for the first season.
But then The Riddle of the Sphinx had to come along and potentially be Westworld’s best episode so far.
I loved this episode.
It was a great watch from start to finish that had many memorable moments.
For starters, it was revealed that Elsie Hughes, played by Shannon Woodward, is actually alive, having been chained up rather than killed by Bernard, on Ford’s orders.
Now, even though Elsie being alive was spoiled for me, (thanks a lot Simon Quarterman) I was still glad to see her come because I enjoyed her character last season.
Although, I do wonder why Ford ordered Bernard to keep her alive because he did not seem to have a problem disposing of people who got in his way in the first season, like he did with Theresa.
So, maybe Ford kept Elsie alive for some special reason.
We will just have to wait and see.

Elsie returns
Elsie’s return was spoiled for me but it is good to see her back.

The real star of this episode though was William who went through a large amount of change both in the past and present timelines this episode.
We first see William talking with Delos, who is confined to a room and being experimented on somehow.
It is later revealed in the episode that Delos died of a disease and they transferred his consciousness into a host.
This slow realization that Delos had been turned into a host was great to see play out, along with William’s changing mindset over the years.
At the beginning of the experiment, William is shown to be hopeful at creating immortality for Delos but as the years go by and he turns into the William we all sorta hate and sorta love he becomes disillusioned with the idea.
This led to a great scene between the older William and Delos, where William revealed his wife Juliet’s death to her father.
This scene had terrific performances from both Ed Helms, as William, and Peter Mullan, as Delos, who breaks down after learning of his daughter’s death, only to be found by Bernard and Elsie in the future timeline, which was a great twist by the way.
Speaking of this future timeline, William’s story here was also a standout as it is revealed he actually does have conscience, who knew?
We get to see this when, remembering Juliet’s death, he decides to save Lawrence and his family from the Confederado Major Craddock.
This was a great sequence and really gave us insight into William’s mindset.
Back in season one, when William murdered Lawrence’s family, he did not have a problem with it because they were not real and could not actually die in his eyes.
Now, however, they can die permanently and this, combined with memories of the past, made him decide to do the right thing, basically telling Craddock that he was death himself.

William
William’s character development this episode was absolutely fantastic.

However, as Ford points out through Lawrence’s daughter, this does not redeem William entirely because of just how many atrocities he may have committed on hosts previously.
But hey, maybe William could potentially redeem himself more this season, especially after encountering his daughter.
That’s right, you heard me because in this episode the theory of Grace being Emily, William’s daughter, turned out to be correct in the final moment of the episode.
This has some interesting implications for the future because Emily has been said to blame William for her mother’s death.
William’s arc this episode was just fantastic as we got to see him at his worst, with Delos, and at his best, when he saves Lawrence’s family.
Speaking of Lawrence, who is played by Clifton Collins Jr, he also seems to be showing signs of consciousness because he remembers that William once told him about Emily.
I also wonder if Delos achieved at least some form of consciousness by the time he was discovered by Bernard and Elsie, since it has been established that hosts gain consciousness through suffering.

crazy Delos
Delos was really shown to have lost it by the end of the episode.

In this facility though, Bernard also discovers there was a new consciousness that he was supposed to put into a host body.
There has been much speculation as to who this could be, like Ford.
The most likely though is probably Arnold and it is him we are actually seeing in the future timeline instead of Bernard.
Overall, this episode was fantastic from start to finish.
It had great twists with the Delos scenes and the reveal of Emily, brought Elsie back and had a fantastic character arc for William.
This may be the best episode Westworld has ever had.

 

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