‘Westworld’ Recap, Season 2 Episode 9: The Many Lives of the Man in Black


Because the second season of Westworld approaches its finish, the world is closing in on the Man in Black. A philanthropic household man in actual life and a mannequin of depravity inside Westworld, he had constructed a wall to separate his two selves. However in Episode 9, the divide between these lives comes crashing down.

The premise of this episode is acquainted sufficient. Within the Westworld universe, a recurring theme is that you would be able to’t at all times inform a human from a number. However in Sunday’s penultimate episode, two of the season’s interwoven narratives—the Man in Black’s quest and Dolores and Teddy’s interpersonal drama—deal with the tragic implications of that truth in a manner the present has by no means finished earlier than.

Earlier this season, Westworld went to nice lengths to determine that giving a number a duplicate of a human thoughts was not possible. The failed makes an attempt to rebuild Jim Delos (Peter Mullan) and Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) reincarnation as a mind sprite proved Delos’ immortality mission had failed. However what in case you begin to doubt that truth? What in case you’re the Man in Black (Ed Harris) and the one that may very well be a number is your daughter? What if it is you?

This week’s episode begins with the Man in Black at a gala honoring his philanthropic work. Because the accolades pour in, his thoughts turns to a thriller that has haunted him for years. He wonders when it was {that a} “tiny fleck of darkness” crept into his soul. He describes it as a fraction of a dream or a psychological convolution, a factor that confirmed up in his thoughts in the future and ended up consuming his character. He appears to be like stricken as he massages his proper forearm. If he lower deep sufficient into his arm, he appears to be considering, would he ultimately strike metallic?

He steps away from the gala to seize a drink at a bar alone. However seated on the bar is Ford, ready for him. Ford hints that the mission of capturing visitor info has progressed sooner than the Man in Black would possibly notice. “When was the last time you took a good look at your creation and what it is learning about its subjects?” Ford asks. He slides a knowledge drive resembling a metallic taking part in card over to him. “For a self-portrait, you may find it’s not very flattering,” he says because the Man in Black pockets the data.

The Man in Black wonders when it was {that a} “tiny fleck of darkness” crept into his soul. He describes it as a fraction of a dream or a psychological convolution, a factor that confirmed up in his thoughts in the future and ended up consuming his character.

In the meantime, the Man in Black’s spouse, Juliet, has gotten drunk, and he escorts her dwelling. She accuses him of dwelling a lie and calls for to know what he does contained in the park. He says little and tucks her into mattress. After she seemingly falls asleep, he gazes once more at his forearm and confesses to her that she was proper—she was the one one that may see his true, black-hearted self, and that as she suspected, he by no means liked her.

However Romeo and Juliet this isn’t, and on this tragedy Juliet is actually awake and listening as her husband declares his lack of affection. She secretly observes him stroll over to a row of books and conceal the information card Ford gave him inside a duplicate of Slaughterhouse 5. As soon as he’s safely out the door, Juliet’s eyes pop open and she or he hurries over to the e book. Shaking out the cardboard, she connects it to a reader and watches as the information unspools earlier than her: your entire historical past of her husband’s adventures in Westworld. She removes the cardboard and locations it inside a music field—a present she’d given their daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers), years earlier, and which Emily had rejected.

Then she kills herself.

It’s a dreadful scene, however in the end it provides little that’s new. What we appear to have realized is that she took her personal life after discovering her husband’s true nature. That’s removed from stunning, so we’re left unsettled, questioning if that’s all there may be to her story.

Earlier episodes intimated that after Juliet died, the Man in Black fled to Westworld; Emily then adopted him, in search of solutions about her mom’s suicide. On this episode, Emily has dragged her badly injured father to a rally level, the place she awaits a rescue group. She quizzes him concerning the immortality mission, particularly how they managed to gather details about the friends’ inner states. He tells her that that they had embedded mind scanners into the cowboy hats that each one friends put on. (Um, OK.) She pesters him about her mom’s loss of life, saying that she seems like she is lacking a chunk of the puzzle.

However her father’s thoughts takes a paranoid flip. When a rescue group lastly exhibits up, the Man in Black mutters, “You underestimate me, Ford,” and weapons them down. Emily, in shock, yells out, “Those were real people!” Then within the collection’ most gutting second but, the Man in Black turns into satisfied that she is simply one other considered one of Ford’s methods, and he fires off a twig of bullets that kills her.

He strides over to her and pulls out his knife, able to plunge it into her arm to verify his suspicions. However then he sees it—the information card Ford had given him, clutched in her hand.

The presence of the information card means that Emily had realized all the things there was to find out about her father earlier than coming into the park, simply as her mom had. But Emily claimed she didn’t perceive her mom’s suicide, when the one truth she seems to be lacking is that her mom realized the reality concerning the Man in Black on the night time of her loss of life. Traipsing by the park after her father, she went to a number of hassle in pursuit of that piece of knowledge. Maybe we nonetheless don’t know all the things about what Juliet realized. It may additionally simply be poor storytelling, however we hope for the very best!

Seeing the cardboard in Emily’s hand, the Man in Black is surprised. He staggers right into a area and prepares to off himself. However his doubts strike once more. What if he himself is a droid? Then, he causes, his actions aren’t actually his. He can’t die with out discovering out. He falls to his knees, pulls up his sleeve, and unsheathes his knife. Angling the blade, he carves into his flesh.

On this hyper-scientific future, the place tiny mind scanners are sewn into hats, the one solution to see inside one’s arm is to slice by slow-healing flesh.

We don’t get to see what he discovers. On this hyper-scientific future, the place tiny mind scanners are sewn into hats, the one solution to see inside one’s arm is to slice by slow-healing flesh. However his paranoia is in full power. The convenience with which he murdered his daughter exhibits the depth of his conviction that all the things he experiences is one other trick masterminded by Ford. An intriguing risk is that he’s proper. Possibly he is a number who is just every week or two outdated. Maybe he has but to begin glitching, or his overactive paranoia is an indication that he is glitching now.

In a parallel narrative, Teddy (James Marsden) is grappling together with his personal incapability to see how he’s any totally different from a human, that barbarous species that has showered atrocities upon him and the opposite hosts. He and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wooden) are alone in Westworld’s wilderness. They’ve simply come off an encounter with the Ghost Nation wherein Dolores’ crew, armed with weapons, annihilated the majority of the arrow-shooting Native People.

He confronts her, telling her she has made him right into a monster. She argues that she modified him so he may survive. “What’s the point of surviving if we become just as bad as them?” he asks her. If survival means sinking to the standing of a human, he needs out. He apologizes to her for not having the ability to shield her any longer, and shoots himself.

Teddy dreaded changing into human. The Man in Black, in the meantime, grew to become consumed by the query of whether or not he’s actually a number. If he discovers robotic components, he could be horrified to seek out that his existence has been a lie, or he would possibly discover absolution from his sins. He didn’t kill his daughter, his robo-programming did! For a person who can spout Plutarch at events, he has an astoundingly poor command of fundamental philosophy of thoughts, as if it is unequivocal that any human has free will.

Or maybe he’ll solely discover human goo inside. The season finale might supply redemption for some characters of Westworld—however for the Man in Black, the longer term appears to be like bleak.


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