Remember when Westworld was fun? Or at least a little less intense? This Sunday’s episode, “Vanishing Point,” is the show’s most brutal yet, featuring two suicides, the (apparent) murder of a daughter by a father, and a scene of unbridled carnage in a room full of hosts. The season is hurtling toward its grand finale and it’s protecting no one along the way. Of course, all of that bloodshed comes with a flood of plot twists and developments, so we’ll be pondering quite a few questions until next Sunday’s season finale.
How will Teddy’s death affect Dolores?
In one of the most tragic scenes in Westworld to date, we see what increased brutality has done to Teddy when he realizes what he’s become. He can no longer face the monster in the mirror, and he kills himself rather than continue on the path that Dolores set for him. Since the season-two premiere, we’ve known that Teddy would die at some point, but the question now is what witnessing it — and likely blaming herself for it — will do to Dolores. Will this push her over the edge?
Is Emily really dead?
William shoots his daughter, believing her to be a host and nothing more than another part of Ford’s game. He presumed that Emily was a host when she spoke about his “profile,” figuring that Ford programmed that secret into her mind, but then the realization that she had his “card” devastated him with the evident truth: Emily actually was human after all. Or was she? That’s not the only mystery: Was she mortally wounded, or can she still be saved? It looks like William shot her square in the chest, but everyone gets shot at least once on this show. Although it’s not usually by their own father.
Is William a host?!
It’s been a suspicion all season, and “Vanishing Point” pushes that particular theory further that it’s ever gone. William looks at his arm both in flashback and in the present arc in Westworld, wondering if he himself is human or host — a question echoed by his late wife, Juliet — and the episode ends with him carving into his own flesh, finally willing to see what’s beneath. Let’s hope we find out the truth next week.
What is Ford’s “one final game” and what does he have planned for William?
In one of the episode’s most interesting beats, Ford gives William his profile card and says those three loaded words: “one finale game.” Did he know that Juliet would find the card? If we believe that William is a host, could Ford be scripting what’s happening in these scenes? (It seems like they’re taking place in the real world, but who knows with this show?) Above all else, how did Ford know that handing William his card it would lead to this final game?
Nothing on Westworld is by accident, and this specific reference is an interesting choice. Why would William put his profile card in a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five, rather than on a shelf, in a drawer, or wherever else? Get this: Kurt Vonnegut’s book features a protagonist named Billy, which we hear William’s wife call him earlier in the episode. It’s a novel heavy on flashbacks and features an unreliable narrator, calling to mind how Westworld toys with its audience by mixing up its narrative with flashbacks and multiple timelines. Plus, consider how this line from the novel might apply to Westworld: “He never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next.” Aren’t we watching our own Billy “act” in a part of his life in these flashbacks? Putting the card in that book could be a clever Easter egg, or it could be a clue that not all is what it seems.
How does Dolores plan to use the Valley Beyond?
We finally learned that the Valley Beyond is like the Cradle, but it’s much bigger, it stores guests’ data instead of hosts’, and it’s called the Forge. It’s where all of the data and research about visitors to the park is stored, and it is the endpoint for Dolores’s journey this season. In “Vanishing Point,” she tells the Ghost Nation warriors that she’s going to use the Forge against the people who tried to control her. But how, exactly? Blackmail, ransom, or something else?
How will Charlotte use Maeve’s code?
We see in the facility how Maeve’s code, when tailored to fit into Clementine, can be used to control other hosts in proximity to her. They’re able to basically turn the hosts into creatures from 28 Days Later, massacring each other in a scene of horrible carnage. Charlotte watched it all unfold and certainly plans to deploy the code to seize control to the park. Will anybody stop her? And if so, who?
Can Maeve save herself?
“If this works, we won’t need her anymore,” Charlotte says, leading to a lot of concern for Maeve’s future, especially after what initially sounds like Ford’s eulogy for his favorite host. But then Ford twists his message around, noting that there’s still more of Maeve’s story to tell — and it looks like the super-host is getting more powerful than ever as the scene ends. What and how will these new powers save her?
Has Bernard really deleted Ford?
Tired of listening to him monologue and realizing how much violence he’s wrought, Bernard taps into his own programming to patch “the glitch” that is Ford. Does this mean he’s gone from Bernard’s mind for good? Or could he just be hiding, tricking Bernard into believing that he has more control over the situation than he really does?