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Westworld: Episode 7 Review

In which Theresa makes a terrible discovery

This episode begins with Bernard having a flashback of his son. It’s a very sad scene that turns out to be a dream sequence. After that, we follow Theresa to Hale’s apartment. In the previous episode, we learned that it was Theresa who was attempting to smuggle data out of the park. In this episode, we figure out why. Hale and the rest of the board plan on firing Ford, and they are concerned that Ford will wipe all the data stored in the park just for spite. He’s refused to allow anyone to back up the data, so Hale has decided to take matters into her own hands, and she enlists Theresa’s help.

However, Theresa’s plan to smuggle the data fell apart when the robot carrying the data, the one Elsie had been tracking, killed itself after Elsie caught up with it. So, now Theresa and Hale must make a second attempt to retrieve the data. They hatch a new plan, but the details are not very clear. Basically, before they attempt to retrieve the data for the second time, they cause one of the robots, who turns out to be a friend of Maeve’s, to override her directive not to kill any humans. Then they set up a demonstration for Ford and Bernard, accusing them of missing the obvious glitch and claiming someone needs to be fired for this travesty. I’m not exactly sure what Theresa and Hale’s goal was here. The implication seemed to be that they wanted to fire Bernard, but it’s unclear why. Furthermore, there is also a competing implication suggesting they wanted Bernard to turn on Ford to further justify Ford’s removal from the company. But whatever their intentions were, Bernard does not turn on Ford, and he is fired. However, Ford easily sees through the rouse.

Falling in Love…With a Robot

Moving on to Dolores and William, they briefly chat on the train and decide they’ve fallen in love even though Dolores is a robot. Also while on the train, Dolores draws a picture on a blanket, and this event is seemingly innocuous until the Confederados attack the train, and Delores, William, and Lawrence are forced to flee. Once they get away from the bad guys, Dolores sees the same canyon she’d just finished drawing, and this convinces her that these visions she’s been having are real. This prompts her and William to part ways with Lawrence in the hopes of finding her hometown. This is another weak part of the narrative. We’ve seen Dolores hearing voices and seeing random visions, and she keeps saying that she’s looking for something; however, there’s no real moment where she concludes that she has a hometown. This also doesn’t make sense because—from her and the audience’s perspective—her home is still the ranch where her father and mother were killed. If there had been a moment where she realized she was originally from another place, we should’ve seen that. It seems like such a revelation would have a negative, or at least shocking, impact on her. Yet now, she is certain that if she can find her hometown, Arnold will tell her what to do next. For those who don’t remember, Arnold programmed certain orders inside many of the robot’s heads because he was attempting to make them conscious. Frankly, this entire subplot seems to be an attempt to sideline Dolores and William until the plot needs them again.

As for Maeve, she wakes up smart, and that’s the bulk of her story until the robot Theresa and Hale hack turns out to be one of her friends. This prompts Maeve to get herself killed so she can see Felix and have him help her find her friend. They find the robot just in time to see it decommissioned. Maeve is furious, and she decides to leave the park. This was another confusing moment for me during the episode because I thought escaping the park was the whole reason Maeve decided to boost her intellect to begin with.

Toward the end of the episode, we return to Bernard’s perspective. He talks to Theresa, telling her that he knows she’s the one trying to smuggle the data, and he also says that he knows she and Hale were the ones that overrode the robot’s directive not to kill humans. Theresa — being the delightful character that she is — shows little to no remorse. Bernard tolerates her haughty disposition and says he’d like to show her something. He takes her to a secret lab on the outskirts of the park where someone had been making robots without anyone’s knowledge. Before long, Ford shows up, and Theresa knows she is in serious trouble.

A Couple of Plot Holes

But even so, she continues to double down, telling Ford that he’s finished with the company. Ford simply shrugs the taunts off and tells Bernard to kill her. Turns out, Bernard is a robot and Ford’s personal assistant. Bernard murders Theresa without hesitation, and the episode ends.

This episode is yet another where all the pieces start to fall into place; however, small plot holes begin to reveal themselves. The first main plot hole is that Dolores arbitrarily decides she knows where she’s going all of a sudden when throughout the entire series she’s just been along for the ride. We’ll see why later, but the chain of logic that drives her on this journey is not very well explained. To be fair, the writers couldn’t explain the details because that would give too much away, but the intentional ambiguity drags the story down, leaving the audience wondering what is at stake. What happens if Dolores doesn’t find what she’s looking for? Won’t William just eventually go home? Won’t she just start her loop all over again? Does the truth even matter? It’s hard to care about this subplot because — regardless of whether or not the protagonists succeed or fail — nothing changes.

The second major plot hole is Hale and Theresa’s plan. What was the point behind firing Bernard? Nothing. It just makes Theresa seem unlikeable and establishes Hale as an antagonist, but narratively speaking, it serves no purpose beyond giving Maeve motivation to leave the park, which she already had anyway. However, episode eight does pick up, and we’ll cover it in the next review.     

Gary Varner

Gary Varner is the Assistant to the Managing and Associate Directors at the Center for Science & Culture in Seattle, Washington. He is a Science Fiction and Fantasy enthusiast with a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts, and he spends his time working with his fellows at Discovery Institute and raising his daughter who he suspects will one day be president of the United States. For more reviews as well as serial novels, go to www.garypaulvarner.com to read more.

Westworld: Episode 7 Review