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

Fox News transformers Mudbound vampires Cannes Creative Arts Emmys Lifetime stand-up comedy cars Women's History Month book Arrowverse ABC Apple Writers Guild of America San Diego Comic-Con Britbox NBC SundanceTV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Oscars historical drama 2017 DC Universe History nature sports technology Reality Competition Photos dc finale 20th Century Fox what to watch FOX Freeform Trivia Emmys Rocketman Certified Fresh hist dceu SXSW TCA 2017 Starz Reality theme song Quiz TLC sitcom YouTube Red CMT 007 2018 LGBT spain CBS ghosts Star Trek cults Shudder movies Disney streaming service The Arrangement television Sony Pictures political drama OWN crime thriller PBS mutant DC Comics X-Men Logo Amazon Prime game of thrones E3 Character Guide CW Seed Super Bowl Horror Paramount Network Sundance Now Binge Guide DGA Sneak Peek unscripted Syfy Masterpiece Winter TV HBO Film police drama streaming Stephen King Columbia Pictures Election video Mary poppins Showtime supernatural tv talk boxoffice Film Festival dragons Nat Geo Food Network Calendar disaster talk show Mindy Kaling Mary Poppins Returns CBS All Access National Geographic biography Rom-Com ABC Family Ghostbusters teaser NYCC anthology south america Family Toys space 24 frames cinemax Podcast discovery GoT Amazon Prime Video game show Shondaland RT21 latino thriller MCU Paramount Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt harry potter robots dramedy binge Martial Arts richard e. Grant USA Trailer The Witch adventure Pet Sematary festivals Pirates AMC See It Skip It children's TV Marathons Television Academy American Society of Cinematographers PaleyFest DC streaming service Fantasy strong female leads New York Comic Con Marvel comic adaptation Universal Trophy Talk TCM YouTube Premium Premiere Dates spinoff The CW Crackle TIFF 71st Emmy Awards El Rey medical drama Christmas psychological thriller Elton John Anna Paquin casting MSNBC Year in Review Bravo aliens IFC Summer Action quibi Winners Fall TV zero dark thirty Watching Series BBC America Teen social media Lucasfilm politics ratings Star Wars Valentine's Day series First Reviews crossover Musical Nickelodeon foreign zombies HBO Max Countdown ESPN SDCC cops Vudu Walt Disney Pictures Black Mirror Disney Video Games Sci-Fi TruTV psycho hispanic Epix Cartoon Network true crime travel Comics on TV TNT TBS Hulu Country Schedule composers zombie Holidays miniseries Tarantino Music RT History TV Land green book Spring TV Polls and Games award winner Song of Ice and Fire 45 doctor who Pop mockumentary ITV Nominations 2015 VICE crime Best and Worst Kids & Family Warner Bros. kids Comic Book diversity Awards Esquire Mary Tyler Moore TV blaxploitation Brie Larson Interview war Acorn TV Musicals Extras Infographic cooking Set visit Superheroe Dark Horse Comics singing competition facebook WGN GIFs YA MTV animated Thanksgiving period drama Emmy Nominations Cosplay spanish language witnail Box Office Ovation Ellie Kemper Chernobyl natural history WarnerMedia Pixar crime drama Lionsgate Red Carpet Rocky Amazon TCA Captain marvel spider-man Spike cats President revenge Tomatazos docudrama Biopics First Look GLAAD Heroines Superheroes IFC Films justice league Mystery BBC sequel science fiction Comedy APB CNN anime 2019 E! A&E jamie lee curtis toy story 2016 BET elevated horror Peacock Spectrum Originals FXX Sundance Grammys Netflix comiccon Drama FX spy thriller Adult Swim Western Rock VH1 serial killer DirecTV Opinion based on movie 21st Century Fox Awards Tour Pride Month golden globes romance USA Network Tumblr Animation Comedy Central LGBTQ Disney Channel