Westworld: Vanishing Point – William is Officially the Worst Father of the Year.

Warning: Contains major spoilers for the episode.

4 and a half stars
And the worst father of the year award goes to William, from Westworld.
In all seriousness, the latest episode of Westworld, Vanishing Point, delivered plenty of shocking moments and deaths.
Chief among those was the death of Emily at the hands of her own father.
I realised this was going to happen a full ten seconds before it did and spent those seconds literally screaming at the television for William not to kill his daughter.
Sure enough though, he did because he thought she was secretly a host being controlled  by Ford.
However, sadly for William and Emily, she was not a host created by Ford and William really just killed his own daughter.

William kills his daughter
William realizes that Emily was not a host so he killed his real daughter.

I think it is fairly safe to say now that William is irredeemable at this point.
He looked to be on a redemption arc in the fourth episode Riddle of the Sphinx but, what with the whole murdering his own daughter thing, I do not see that really working out.
This shocking scene does lead to a very interesting one though, as William digs into his arm with a knife to see if he is a host to absolve at least some of the blame for Emily’s death.
While the episode does leave you hanging about whether or not William is a host, I think it is safe to say he is not.
One because the Delos security officers tested him right before he killed them and their tech said William was human, secondly because making him a host would remove most of the impact of him killing Emily.
Speaking of which, Emily and the Delos security team’s deaths were not the only ones William caused this episode as in a flashback it goes into the death of his wife Juliette, played in a brilliant cameo by Sela Ward.

Sela Ward
Sela Ward was great in her small role as William’s wife Juliette

Watching her death play out and how it inadvertently led to the death of Emily as well was tragic to see.
The death of Juliette and Emily are not the only tragic deaths this episode though because Teddy dies too, or at least I think he does.
This is one of the few problems I have with Westworld because when a host dies you never know if it is going to be for good or if they will be brought back to life later.
Yes the hosts destroyed their backups by blowing up The Cradle, but Charlotte just brought Clementine back this episode and we still do not know if Lawrence is dead for good.
That being said, Teddy’s death was still very emotional.
At first I thought he was going to attack Dolores for changing him, before he said he would never hurt her and shoots himself.
Dolores reaction at the end is painful to watch, although this may led to something interesting in the finale because it looks like she and William will be teaming up to get to The Valley Beyond, due to both their tragic losses.

Dolores cries
Dolores tragic reaction to losing Teddy, possibly for good.

While having tragedy, this episode also had hope and dread for the finale.
Ford gave Maeve some new ability to help her escape her confinement saying he thought of her like his own child, which was very emotional.
Then there is Bernard who banished Ford from his mind, but for how long I wonder?
Finally, there is Clementine who, in a terrifying foreshadowing of things to come, was brought back to life by Charlotte and given Maeve’s admin powers.
Charlotte plans to use her to get all the hosts to kill each other, thus eliminating the threat.
We can see this plan coming to fruition in the season finale promo but Maeve is also there so hopefully she will be able to stop Clementine.
Another interesting thing in the promo is its connection to Logan, who looks to be playing a central role in the season finale because we can see Dolores and Bernard investigating his memories through the Forge.
Overall Vanishing Point was a tragic episodes with the deaths of Emily and Teddy, which will probably bring Dolores and William back together again.
It looks to be an intense season finale next week.

 

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.