Episode 7 of Westworld “Trompe L’Oeil” is explosive as several story arcs come to a climax and we almost get an answer to some of the bigger questions. Can a host kill a human? Will there be Indians? How big is the park? It leaves us with just as many new questions. A perfect TV episode in my opinion. Previous episode recap here.
This episode starts with Bernard waking up and reading to his son who is in a hospital bed. He then wakes up again, seemingly from a dream. We see him talk to Hector about his experiences with a guest who talks about outside things (a car). He replies “It doesn’t look like anything to me” when shown pictures of the outside world. This is the response hosts give when they are shown something they are programmed not to see.
As an opening, it feels very similar to every other episode. We’ve come to expect it. In this sense, you might not have noticed the very clever subtleties and hints given. For instance, hosts can’t dream, but they can have nightmares. All of the scenes we’ve seen of people waking up so far have been of hosts.
William finally kisses the girl
It’s been a sort of will-he-won’t-he situation with William and Delores. Honestly, he’s such a good guy that I never expected him to do the dirty with her. Especially as it’s been mentioned so many times that he’s got someone waiting for him back home.
On the train ride that he and Delores shares with Lawrence, he opens up more about himself. We learn a bit about him as a child, and also a bit about him as an adult. Westworld makes William feel more real and alive than ever, and he’s now in love for the first time too. They spend the night together, and there’s a touching moment in the morning when he kisses her again, even though she was prepared to accept he might want to pretend it didn’t happen.
The train is then ambushed by confederates and there’s an exciting chase scene on horses with guns. Explosions, guns and horseback battle, what more could you want? Delores is popping off bad guys, falls of her horse and is saved by her hero William. Then when things are looking bad for our team, BAM. Indians come rushing out with arrows, looking terrifying and murderous. This is what everyone wants from a Western, cowboys vs indians!
They manage to escape with Lawrence, but leave him later when they find the landscape from a drawing Delores made. Could this be the entrance to the Maze?
Theresa and the new executive director of the board Charlotte Hale hatch a plan to make get rid of Ford. They decide to show him that one of the hosts has gone rogue and is capable of killing a guest. The invite Ford and Bernard to one of the testing rooms.
There two hosts are inside the adjacent room. It’s explained that one host is rigged to appear human to the other, revealing that hosts can be programmed to recognise other hosts as humans. This is a big reveal. Even as I watched the scene, I really believed it was a human and not a host. Clementine who is chosen for the demonstration attacks and kills the host, before turning towards the security guard (who is human?) and he shoots her.
Clementine is then sent to be lobotomised. Show creators have explained that this means they drill holes into her programming, which whilst destroys her personality settings, does not destroy her other functions.
Maeve who has been awake and walking around with Felix witness this. She later on decides she wants to escape.
Bernard the killer robot
Yes. It happened. A host has killed a human. On top of that, it’s also hinted that this wasn’t the first time. Was it a host that killed Arnold? Bernard, cleverly revealed to be a host, killed Theresa after leading her to Ford’s house from the previous episode.
The build up to the reveal was fantastic. Theresa asks Bernard why the house doesn’t show up on maps or surveillance. Bernard explains that it’s the hosts that do the surveillance, and they are programmed to simply not register things they’re not allowed to. When entering the house Theresa asks about a door, which when the camera pans back to Bernard’s point of view, he can’t see.
The door leads to a basement, where equipment for building hosts are kept. There are papers with diagrams of various hosts and as Theresa goes to look at them she is shocked to find one of Bernard. Handing him the paper, she questions him to which he replies “It doesn’t look like anything to me.” the key line for hosts.
Enter Ford who reveals all to Theresa. He comes across as evil, but not in a typical way. Is he the villain? We still like him though. Is Bernard Arnold? Bernard’s acting is truly amazing, turning into a cold blooded robot killer. In that moment, there was no doubt he was a host.
It’s also shown that Bernard is not self aware, as he struggles to understand that he’s a robot when confronted with it. He believes his memories of his son and his wife are real. He’s a host that believes himself human, and is under the control of Ford. It makes us question, how many other supposed humans are in fact hosts?