Warning: Major spoilers for the series.
10. Les Ecorches – Season two, episode seven.
Les Ecorches is probably the most action packed episode in all of Westworld.
It features Dolores’ attack on the Mesa to get her fathers’s core drive.
This led to many intense moments, including the best in the entire episode when Charlotte tried to talk Dolores down only to learn that may not have been the best idea.
This was such a great scene with Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson both giving great performances.
Speaking of which, it is also great to compare Thompson’s performance from the past timeline to the present one in this episode.
Her performance as Charlotte in the past and Dolores acting as Charlotte in the present really hinted at the season two finale’s epic twist.
There was also the great confrontation between Maeve and William, and Ford and Bernard.
It was great to have Anthony Hopkins back in this episode and his interactions with Jeffrey Wright as Bernard were fantastic.
The one reason this episode is not higher on the list is because of the scene where that soldier stupidly allowed Angela to get close enough to grab his grenade.
That scene draws me out of the moment every time so held the episode back.
Other than this though, Les Ecorches is a great episode that definitely deserves the number ten spot.
9. Akane No Mai – Season two, episode five.
Akane No Mai was the episode that reinstated Maeve as my favourite character of the show.
She just had so many fantastic moments in this episode from her learning how to control hosts with her mind to her trying to help Akane free Sakara and connecting with her due to her mothering side.
The other factor that makes this episode a real highlight is the exploration of Shogun World, which hopefully we will get to see more of in season three because we do not know what happened to characters like Akane and Musashi.
It was great to see Sizemore’s plagiarized versions of the characters from Westworld played out in Shogun World and how that changed due to Japanese culture.
The final scene where Akane murders the shogun and then Maeve takes full control of her new ability is both gruesome and a fantastic cliffhanger to led into the next episode.
There are also scenes in Westworld with Dolores changing Teddy’s code to make him more violent, which thankfully made him a more interesting character for me.
Overall, Akane No Mai was a fantastic episode with great moments from Maeve and an interesting in depth look at Shogun World.
8. Dissonance Theory – Season one, episode four.
Dissonance Theory was the first amazing episode of Westworld, being the fourth episode of the first season.
This is in part due to its standout scenes, chief of which was the memorable conversation between Theresa and Ford where he warns her to stay out of his way.
What was most unnerving about this scene was how Theresa suddenly realised that Ford sat them at the exact table she and her parents sat at when she first visited the park.
Hopkins, once again delivers an amazing performance as Ford and really highlights his god complex.
Another standout scene was William and Hector’s prison break, which had some great moments including the repeated shot of Lawrence’s face as William and Hector gun down the men around him.
Maeve is another character who gets a lot of the spotlight in this episode as she is one of the first hosts to fully realise that her world is not real.
This showed just how bright of a character she was, despite technically later being revealed to being programmed to do this by Ford.
Dissonance Theory was the first excellent episode of Westworld with numerous standout scenes that made me love its characters.
7. Contrapasso – Season one, episode five.
“I imagined a story where I did not have to be the damsel,” Dolores said right after gunning down the Confederate soldiers.
With that single line Dolores became my favourite, before Maeve took her place.
This is one of my favourite scenes in Westworld and really highlights how good the rest of this episode is in comparison.
Contrapasso showed us just how ruthless William was because he murdered Lawrence, his supposed friend, to revive Teddy just so he could complete his quest.
He even considered killing the child version of Ford but decided not to because he would not have enough blood in him, talk about psychopathic.
However, this episode was not just dark but somewhat funny as well, which can be seen when Elsie blackmailed the necrophiliac.
It was both creepy yet funny to see this guy get caught in the act.
Coming back to Dolores, there was the intense scene between her and Ford, in which both Hopkins and Wood gave fantastic performances.
Contrapasso was the episode that made Dolores my favourite character and made me understand characters like William very well so it comes in at number seven.
6. The Passenger – Season two, episode ten.
The 90 minute season finale of Westworld season two, The Passenger was a great way to end the season, with its own mind blowing twist.
It is revealed this episode that the Charlotte we had been seeing in the present timeline had actually been Dolores in a host Charlotte body the entire time.
The delivery of this twist was brilliant and props go to Tessa Thompson who pulled off a Dolores impersonation perfectly.
This episode also had a lot of emotional moments as well.
There was the deaths of Maeve and her crew, although it looks like they will be back in season three, and the sacrifice of Lee Sizemore.
Sizemore’s sacrifice was especially well done and perfectly concluded his character arc.
The finale was not all sad though because some characters, like Akecheta, did get a much deserved happy ending, if this is the last time we see them.
The episode even ended with Bernard walking through a door, doors being a central goal for many characters to go through this season.
There were also various things hinting towards the third season like Stubbs hinting that he may be a host and the post-credit scene where William appears to have transferred his mind to a host body.
I have heard quite a few people did not like how this episode went but, personally, I think it was the perfect way to end the season.
The Passenger may not have been as good as the season one finale but it was still a fantastic episode with a great twist and emotional moments.
5. The Bicameral Mind – Season one, episode ten.
The season one finale of Westworld is the better of the two season finales.
One of the things that makes it such a great finale was that if the show ended there I would have been satisfied.
This finale ended all the questions it set up and the only thing the audience was left wondering was what would happen to the characters next.
The episode’s structure was also amazing because it began with Dolores waking up for the first time and ending with her achieving consciousness and killing Ford.
Another thing that makes this structure so brilliant is that if you pay attention to the music at the beginning and end of the episode you will notice it is the exact same music Arnold said was his son Charlie’s favourite.
This music is also played when Arnold is killed so this music really does come to symbolize stages of life.
Birth in the opening scene with Dolores’ creation, death with Dolores killing Arnold and Ford and freedom when Dolores breaks free from her code by murdering Ford.
This episode also had some great reveals like that the Man in Black was William the entire time and the events seen with William and Delores were taking place 30 years ago.
The Bicameral Mind also had the attempted escape by Maeve from Westworld, where she also gains consciousness by defying Ford’s commands and going back into the park to save her daughter.
Overall this season finale was the better of the two with not only a few great twists but powerful character moments as both Dolores and Maeve achieved consciousness.
If we had not got a season two after this episode I would not have been bothered then but now I am so glad that we did.
4. Trompe L’Oeil – Season one, episode seven.
Trompe L’Oeil, is the seventh episode of season one and has the second best twist of the entire show.
This twist being the reveal that Bernard was a host all along.
Watching the episode slowly build up to the actual reveal is a delight with the most apparent hint coming when Bernard asked Theresa, “what door?”
What followed the actual reveal was a gripping conversation between Ford and Theresa, with Ford calling back to Charlotte’s recommendation for “a blood sacrifice”.
The music also goes along amazingly with this moment being both sad and enthralling.
Theresa’s death at the hands of Bernard was sad to see and what he did would weigh heavily on him in the coming episodes.
The episode also had a few good action sequences as well to keep things exciting before this explosive reveal with Lawrence, Dolores and William fighting the Confederates and Ghost Nation.
More hints are also dropped here also for future reveals like William being the Man in Black, as can be seen when Lawrence told him he had a “knack for killing.”
Trompe L’Oeil had numerous hints towards future explosive twists in the series, including its own twist that left me stunned the first time I saw it play out.
3. The Well Tempered Clavier – Season one, episode nine.
If the twist that Bernard was the second best twist of Westworld, then the twist in The Well Tempered Clavier that Bernard was a host made in the image of Arnold is by far the best of the entire series.
This twist, in true Westworld fashion, was revealed amazingly well with the entire episode building to Bernard’s revelation as Maeve makes him remember that he is a host.
The build up to the twist also has some incredibly emotional moments like when Bernard had to let go of Charlie’s memory to learn the truth.
However, although this did mark a positive change for Bernard this episode also marked a bad change for William, as he came closer to becoming the Man in Black.
This episode was the perfect transition episode for him, making the twist in The Bicameral Mind make sense.
Things like William’s photo of his fiancee Juliet and his knife all served to hint the viewer towards this future revelation.
As well as this, The Well-Tempered Clavier had a lot of intense moments, like the older William nearly being hanged by a horse.
The Well-Tempered Clavier is my favourite episode of the first season of Westworld and my third favourite overall because of how it delivers the best twist in the show, along with its insightful hints and intense scenes.
2. Riddle of the Sphinx – Season two, episode four.
The second best episode of season two and of all of Westworld in my opinion, Riddle of the Sphinx is a fantastic episode that focuses on the struggles of William and Bernard.
This episode gave us plenty of insight into both characters and the secrets they were hiding.
William’s character development was the best this episode as it featured him semi-redeeming himself by saving Lawrence and his family from the Confederates Teddy spared in the previous episode.
Through this we got to see for the first time how the death of William’s wife had affected him and this led to an amazing scene where William told Major Craddock he was death himself.
Then there was the ending twist where William reunited with his daughter Emily, which if you watched the rest of the season you know did not end well.
There was also Bernard who reunited with Elsie, which did also not end well by the end of the season.
Together the two investigated the laboratory where James Delos had been kept.
This was the episode that revealed that Delos was striving to create immortality for humanity and even brought this into question by seeing the slow progression of James Delos and how William initially starts the experiment hopeful but by the the last time he visits he has become disillusioned.
The twist where Elsie and Bernard actually run into the now insane Delos was a really good one and added more intensity to the episode.
With great character development for its characters and exciting scenes, Riddle of the Sphinx is my second favourite Westworld episode.
1. Kiksuya – Season two, episode eight.
Coming into Kiksuya I expected it to be an average episode at best because it was an origin story of a character we knew next to nothing about.
So I was amazed to discover that Kiksuya was not just an incredible episode but the best episode of Westworld so far.
This episode took the forgettable side character of Akecheta and turned him into one of my favourite characters.
The fact that they took a character I barely noticed and put him in my top ten best characters in a single episode is nothing short of amazing.
The episode, as I stated, shows the origins of Akecheta and how he became the first conscious host.
What followed was a heartfelt story full of love, determination and tragedy.
The scene where Akecheta finds Kohana only to realise she is effectively brain dead and he will most likely never see her again is heartbreaking.
Zahn McClarnon did a fantastic job as Akecheta and the emotion he showed during this scene made me cry, the only time so far in Westworld.
McClarnon was not the only fantastic actor in this episode though, as Anthony Hopkins appears as Ford again and the two share a scene where both got to show off their great acting skills.
The cinematography for this episode is stunning with sprawling landscapes on display and the music fits the episode perfectly.
The use of the song Heart Shaped Box when Akecheta is searching the Mesa for Kohana is the best use of music in the entire series.
This is just an all around incredible episode.
It made me Akecheta one of my favourite characters in just one episode, the acting was great and so was the cinematography and music.
It is Westworld‘s best episode and I hope we can get another like it in season three.