Westworld Finally Reveals One of the Park’s True Purposes: QA Testing Immortality

In “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” HBO’s sci-fi series explores William’s past and – present? Future?

by | May 13, 2018 | Comments

Westworld Episode 14 (season 2, episode 4), debut 5/13/18: Jonathan Tucker. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld revealed an underlying purpose for the Delos parks in episode 4 of its second season: a search for human immortality that’s been long in the research and development phase. The episode was praised on social media as one of the best of the season — if not possibly the entire series — and many congratulations went out to series co-creator Lisa Joy on her directorial debut.

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals details of season 2, episode 4 of Westworld.

Westworld’s near-future setting is underscored in the episode by James Delos (Peter Mullan) savoring classic rock music, the Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” (1965) and Roxy Music’s “Do the Strand” (1973), as though it was classical. But our eyes and ears are being deceived, because once “The Riddle of the Sphinx” is in full swing, we better understand that now is not now, and James is not James; the Delos patriarch is dead, and young William (Jimmi Simpson) is running Delos Inc.’s operations. And playing god.

Here are a few of the highlights from the latest episode of the HBO sci-fi series:

1. Bernard Brings Elsie Up to Speed

Clementine didn’t kill Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), but brought him to Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) – welcome back! – chained in a cave. And despite him choking her out in season 1 – leading viewers to believe she was dead all this time – she saves him because he has “too much sh– to answer for.”

(Why do characters leave the key to opening the secret lair revealed? Why? Oh, why? Any reasonably paranoid person wouldn’t want someone – possibly homicidal – sneaking in behind them.)

Thank you, Elsie, for providing Bernard a reason to recap everything that’s happened since last season.


2. James Delos Trapped in Hotel California

Delos can check out any time he likes, but he can never leave. By the end of this episode, he’s checked out 149 times, old William (Ed Harris) informs him. He’s Host-ish now, and William has been trying for years to find a way to stabilize this very different product.

“Logan overdosed years ago. Couldn’t face reality either…Took me a long time to learn this, but some men are better off dead,” William tells android Jim before leaving him to degrade into robot madness.

Jim later attacks Elsie, but Bernard disables him before he does any real damage.

“They said there were two fathers: one above, one below,” Jim tells Bernard while in death-like throes. “They lied. There was only ever the devil. And when you look up from the bottom, it was just his reflection laughing back down at you.”

Elsie thinks it’s better for the robot psycho to burn out than fade away and sets the termination sequence in motion.

But Elsie, you still in danger, girl. Bernard promises he won’t hurt Elsie, but then swimming around in his memories is one of him stomping a tech’s head in.

“For the first time, I get to decide who I want to be,” Bernard told Elsie earlier in the episode. We hope he chooses wisely.


3. The Spirit of Young William in the Man in Black

Westworld Episode 14 (season 2, episode 4), debut 5/13/18: Ed Harris. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Against his “Man in Black” persona, William rescues his friend Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) and his family. But Lawrence’s daughter (Izabella Alvarez) is a Ford avatar, spitting Fordisms like a child possessed. (We should recall that she did the same in season 1.)

4. Grace Is William’s Daughter

Westworld Episode 13 (season 2, episode 3), debut 5/6/18: Katja Herbers. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

After escaping the Lakota tribe, Grace (Katja Herbers), survivor of the Raj World robot rebellion and subsequent Bengal tiger attack in episode 3, rides in from the sunset and says “Hi, Dad” to William.

The Lakota ended up letting security chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) and the other human captives go anyway, so that was a wasted gamble on Grace’s part – totally justified, but unnecessary in the end.

5. The Promise of Shogun World in Next Week’s Preview

We missed Maeve (Thandie Newton), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), and Teddy (James Marsden) this episode, but next episode’s preview was one of the highlights of this week. Maeve in Shogun World looks spectacular.

What did you think of the episode’s big reveal: that humans are trying to become robots? Tell us in the comments!

Westworld airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Tag Cloud

prank Television Critics Association monster movies twilight Christmas DC Universe Best and Worst mission: impossible kaiju hispanic PlayStation Trailer spanish language Black History Month Hear Us Out Pop TV RT History strong female leads movie hist supernatural die hard all-time target DC Comics Reality nbcuniversal dragons dogs spider-man rt archives fast and furious YouTube Red james bond Fox Searchlight a nightmare on elm street San Diego Comic-Con cooking festivals ghosts historical drama Adult Swim romance sag awards Turner Classic Movies book Columbia Pictures reviews dark Disney+ Disney Plus television Ghostbusters Musicals 2017 dceu ABC Signature video Disney nature TNT news dc adaptation south america CNN Comics on TV elevated horror slashers Avengers Crackle Sony Pictures psycho Paramount Network BET Awards revenge IFC Elton John Pixar Tumblr robots video on demand anthology Disney streaming service Kids & Family APB political drama TIFF Rocky marvel cinematic universe Discovery Channel NBC Family natural history Awards diversity animated blockbusters USA Network See It Skip It E! DC streaming service crime thriller zombie VOD crime SDCC technology 2015 TCA Awards Podcast Binge Guide Teen talk show kids National Geographic YouTube Black Mirror Freeform FXX The Witch justice league YouTube Premium ABC Family Creative Arts Emmys Hallmark Christmas movies The Walking Dead Rocketman Masterpiece Character Guide Schedule OWN Mary Tyler Moore DGA 2020 Ovation BBC joker Cannes Starz hollywood Fantasy Fall TV batman X-Men Rom-Com child's play 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards police drama WarnerMedia ITV TCM Image Comics Awards Tour blaxploitation Thanksgiving indiana jones stoner Premiere Dates scene in color witnail remakes Amazon Prime cancelled TV shows Grammys unscripted Hallmark MTV parents Pride Month live action trailers crime drama new star wars movies aliens Polls and Games sports Marvel Studios stand-up comedy Peacock know your critic black Ellie Kemper werewolf criterion TCA Winter 2020 The Academy El Rey golden globe awards miniseries Cosplay Biopics Tarantino President adventure anime Emmys Disney Plus Star Trek Britbox Logo Summer scorecard based on movie TV renewals 93rd Oscars documentary BBC America 72 Emmy Awards 007 razzies 2018 New York Comic Con free movies Spectrum Originals LGBTQ docuseries Mary poppins harry potter YA HBO disaster travel RT21 Mystery superhero 20th Century Fox ESPN Cartoon Network Acorn TV worst movies renewed TV shows movies Nat Geo latino Baby Yoda Classic Film hidden camera Amazon obituary comedies romantic comedy Box Office thriller comic books Turner Country venice TruTV Anna Paquin halloween tv A&E SXSW Lucasfilm dramedy Calendar Superheroes singing competition cats cancelled television Travel Channel Musical green book stop motion laika Lifetime Amazon Prime Video Star Wars sequels casting Music Esquire classics independent comics social media Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vampires Superheroe Emmy Nominations french TLC Bravo Apple TV+ Animation saw CBS All Access crossover Disney Channel PBS FX on Hulu Heroines History deadpool lord of the rings Trophy Talk 2019 First Reviews politics festival Pet Sematary BET Amazon Studios theme song OneApp Vudu australia Valentine's Day DirecTV HBO Go The Purge TV Land medical drama reboot Marathons Pirates Showtime jurassic park rom-coms Epix Mary Poppins Returns godzilla doctor who sequel italian boxoffice Countdown Academy Awards Syfy docudrama Set visit fresh Quiz transformers cancelled TV series PaleyFest TBS kong new york A24 Super Bowl Sundance TV biography period drama Chernobyl FOX emmy awards cancelled TV Video Games Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt spain Walt Disney Pictures women Sundance Now WGN 21st Century Fox Warner Bros. breaking bad Holiday spanish Funimation Apple book adaptation toy story Food Network toronto true crime Sundance Opinion nfl Universal ratings archives king kong Legendary football SundanceTV Writers Guild of America telelvision science fiction Mudbound binge space VICE game show high school Western name the review boxing Sci-Fi films tv talk American Society of Cinematographers Netflix rotten Winners universal monsters asian-american Fox News Paramount Plus TCA Dark Horse Comics 99% scary movies zombies Song of Ice and Fire Election finale Interview Sneak Peek cinemax MCU CW Seed award winner VH1 GoT Mindy Kaling BBC One TCA 2017 Comedy Central 71st Emmy Awards Red Carpet GLAAD Martial Arts Watching Series Holidays chucky 24 frames best Photos Exclusive Video Broadway 45 versus Infographic pirates of the caribbean indie ViacomCBS HBO Max FX heist movie spinoff children's TV worst Arrowverse Tubi Rock Trivia golden globes Netflix Christmas movies jamie lee curtis Reality Competition Brie Larson comic AMC The CW Crunchyroll superman quibi ABC discovery BAFTA Pacific Islander screenings game of thrones teaser aapi halloween Action Year in Review Apple TV Plus spy thriller USA Film Festival 2021 Tomatazos Pop CBS mutant satire popular japanese comiccon GIFs Toys 4/20 Shondaland franchise Film cults sitcom CMT Women's History Month streaming composers screen actors guild NYCC war zero dark thirty canceled TV shows LGBT concert foreign what to watch Oscars Endgame facebook series critics Drama serial killer The Arrangement directors cars Spring TV E3 cartoon Lifetime Christmas movies Extras Paramount international Nickelodeon Captain marvel Spike The Walt Disney Company First Look Alien new zealand Nominations Winter TV Stephen King Horror TV One psychological thriller christmas movies documentaries Shudder ID Television Academy canceled MSNBC Hulu Lionsgate IFC Films Certified Fresh rotten movies we love blockbuster 2016 richard e. Grant Marvel cops Comedy mockumentary Marvel Television Comic Book