Westworld: Les Ecorches – Action, Suspense and One Stupid Soldier.

4 and a half stars
Warning: Major Spoilers for the Episode.

In my review of the previous Westworld episode Phase Space I predicted that the seventh episode of season two, Les Ecorches, would be “absolutely insane” and I was right.
Les Ecorches was an insane episode with many exciting moments as Dolores led her army into the Mesa to retrieve her father Peter Abernathy.
What followed was a bloody battle that had many intense scenes, like the moment where Dolores confronted Charlotte and Stubbs.
This scene was probably the best in the entire episode with Charlotte attempting to go toe to toe with Wyatt-Dolores and fail miserably.
Speaking of Dolores, can someone give Evan Rachel Wood an Emmy?
She has given a fantastic performance all season long, showing both vulnerability and moments of disturbing savagery.
This is most apparent in her scene with Charlotte where she goes from comforting her father to preparing to torture Charlotte with a miniature buzz saw.

Dolores Wyatt
Evan Rachel Wood gives an excellent performance in the scene with Dolores’ confrontation with Charlotte. 

However, it was not just Dolores’ storyline that was really good this episode.
First there was Bernard who was having a rough time in both the past and present timeline.
In the present his existence as a host is discovered by Charlotte and the others who force him to tell them where Peter Abernathy’s brain is and in the past he had to deal with Anthony Hopkins in his brain.
Ford took over Bernard’s mind to make sure his plan for host domination continued accordingly, leading to some brutal moments from Bernard being controlled by him.
If this was not enough, another important revelation came for Bernard when it was revealed the scene we got last episode of Dolores checking him for “fidelity” was actually to get him to act exactly like Arnold, which means Dolores created him just as much as Ford did.
So my prediction that this scene was actually in the future and Dolores was trying to make Bernard Arnold was wrong.

Bernard and Dolores
Dolores testing Bernard for “fidelity” was to make him closer to Arnold.

The final great storyline this episode was Maeve’s whose confrontation with William was nothing short of enthralling.
I actually thought William was going to die this episode when Maeve made Lawrence remember how he killed his wife in the first season.
However, then the team Sizemore called in arrived and gunned down both Maeve and Lawrence.
Sizemore will most likely save Maeve next episode but it looks like Lawrence is done for, sadly, considering all the hosts’ backups were destroyed in the Cradle.
This also means that Angela, Peter and Clementine are dead for good as well.
Although there are some shots of Clementine from the trailer that have not been seen yet so I wonder if this was just footage for the trailer or if she somehow survived.
Speaking of Angela though, her death was the one scene that really brought down the episode for me.
She seduces a soldier and takes a grenade from him, blowing them both up, along with the Cradle.
In my opinion, this was the stupidest scene in all of Westworld.
This soldier knew how dangerous Angela and the other hosts were because he had seen them kill his fellow soldiers and yet he let her get close enough to grab his grenade.
He walked up to Angela, talked with her and let her touch his gun and kiss him, right before she grabbed it.
What did this guy think was going to happen?
While it was a nice callback when Angela said, “welcome to Westworld,” before she blew them both up, the soldier’s stupidity ruined the scene for me.

The soldier falling for Angela’s act was terribly written, a rare case for Westworld.

It is a shame that this scene happened because without it this would have been perfect.
It had many fantastic performances, the highlight being Evan Rachel Wood’s, intense action and plenty of deaths.

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