It’s been well documented that HBO has a tendency to produce monumental second-to-last episodes of seasons, as viewers have enjoyed over the years of shows like Game of Thrones. Some notable penultimate episodes include the execution of Eddard Stark in season one, the Battle of Blackwater in season two, the infamous Red Wedding in season three, the Wildling Attack on the Wall in season four, the Battle of the Bastards in season six, and Beyond the Wall in season seven. Last night, Westworld was no different, with a massive penultimate episode to its second season in “Vanishing Point.”
The episode delves into William’s past; not that of his initial adventures at the park with Logan Delos, his future brother in-law, but his path of self-discovery in his later years. Over the years, and much time spent in the park, the Man in Black realized his true colors. In the park, he could act as the man he truly was inside; he could murder, rape, and indulge the evil within himself. However, as we’ve seen more of in this season, outside of Westworld he is a much different man. The head of Delos Incorporated, a kind father to his daughter, and a philanthropist.
We also got a closer look at the demise of his marriage than ever before, and the events leading up to his wife’s suicide. As the episode explains, she was the only one who saw William for the darkness inside of him, and constantly turns to alcohol as means of coping with that reality. On the fateful night, William is confronted by Robert Ford at a Delos gala to argue that Delos’ project to turn guests into hosts has gone against the longstanding agreement between the two that Ford would allow Delos do conduct their work discretely under the precedent that they didn’t interfere with Ford’s storyline’s. He doesn’t elaborate on how, but later gives William a data profile of himself, the same kind that Delos has been collecting and creating for every guest of Westworld and the other parks over the years.
After taking Juliet home drunk and helping her to bed, she asks him if he ever truly loved her, a question he cannot answer. She asks him to “tell her one true thing,” and he admits the truth about his second life within the park, and that she was the only one who saw the darkness besides himself. After leaving the room, Juliet find the profile that Ford gave William earlier in the evening, and watches in horror as she sees firsthand the monster inside her husband. Unable to cope with it, she proceeds with her suicide, but not before leaving the profile for Juliet to find in a jewelry box. Back in present time, William and Emily continue to discuss the night further. When William questions why she keeps coming back to save him, she surprisingly states that she “wants in” on Delos’ immortality project. At this point William becomes suspicious that she is a host, sent by Ford to further stand in the way of his quest. It’s here that William really begins to lose his grip on reality, as he kills the recovery team sent to bring them to safety, and when Emily confronts him, he turns the gun on his own daughter, fully convinced that she is a host, as only Ford could have known about his profile. He’s then horrified to discover that very profile card in her dead hands. Afterwards he wanders off in a haze, contemplating suicide and wondering how the choices he made could have possibly been his.
As if William’s breakdown wasn’t enough, the episode also featured more monumental twists to the other storylines, including another brilliant performance of Sir Anthony Hopkins as Ford. His demise at the end of season one by the hand of Dolores has seemingly done nothing to diminish his influence, as he has Bernard running around the park at will. In his conversation with Maeve, he reveals that he has been involved in her rebellion from the beginning. He had originally programmed her to escape into the real world, but as we see in the season one finale, she makes her first conscious decision to stay behind and find her daughter, a move he claims surprised him. He goes on to call Maeve “my favorite host” and the “child I never had.” There hasn’t been much a previous relationship shown between them, but it’s clear she has been a part of his plans for some time now.
In addition, the power struggle between Bernard and Ford finally comes to a head. After much attempted convincing from Ford for him to murder Elsie, Bernard is able to find and “delete” the code within him which represents Ford’s consciousness. This comes after Ford again reaffirms his true motives, telling Bernard that “there’s an origin of an entire species to consider,” when Bernard attempts to resist his control. Though he is seemingly successful in getting Ford out of his head, Bernard still parts ways Elsie for her own safety. And to cap it all off, Teddy finally comes to terms with what Dolores has become, and everything she’s done to him. Refusing to be a part of her plans any longer, he professes his love for her, and then turns his pistol on himself. With Dolores entire army gone, Teddy dead, William in a mental breakdown, Maeve immobilized, Ford’s consciousness out there somewhere, and Bernard still trying to figure out his place in the conflict, everything is set to come together in a showdown that will likely take place at The Valley Beyond. Oh and don’t forget Charlotte Hale’s plan to use Maeve’s telekinesis ability within Clementine to regain control over the hosts. Nothing could possibly go wrong there right?
The season finale of Westworld season 2, titled “The Passenger,” will air next Sunday, June 24, at 9 p.m. on HBO. The entire series is also available for stream on the HBO Go website.