6 questions I need answered after watching Westworld episode 2

Another Westworld episode, another long list of questions to answer. Now I’ve wrapped my head around the ethics of sexbots and AI murder victims (opens in new tab), I want answers to more immediate questions, like, why the hell is Bernard having secret meetings with Dolores? Sadly, I’ve no philosopher helping me this time, but I’m still going to try and answer the six burning questions I was left with after watching Westworld episode 2, Chestnut. Oh, and, spoilers of course.

1. Why is Dolores hiding a gun?

Dolores took a bit of a back seat this episode, but she was still present for most of the big question mark moments in Chestnut. Like, why is she secretly burying a gun in her backyard at night? As the quintessential girl next door her ‘character’ doesn’t carry a weapon, but it wouldn’t be that weird to see her with a gun, which leads me to believe her secrecy has more to do with the gun itself. It’s a special gun! A MAGIC GUN! And what makes a gun different or special in Westworld? Well, being able to kill humans would do it. How or why this gun has come into play remains to be seen but it’s obviously dangerous if Dolores is hiding it. Watch out guests. 

2. Did Dolores infect Maeve?

Early on in the episode we hear programmer Elsie talking to Bernard about checking Dolores for the ‘contagious’ infection which is causing Hosts to glitch. She says it’s just a turn of phrase but she might be right on the money. Not long after she’s shot down we see Dolores back in Sweetwater having flashbacks of the shootout which occurred there in episode 1. As she’s staring off into the distance with a bemused look on her face, fellow Hosts Maeve approaches her and she turns to the prostitute and says: “These violent delights have violent ends."

If you’ve been paying attention then you know this is what Dolores’ ‘father’ said to her after his glitch/breakdown and right up until this moment, Dolores has been adamant that nothing’s wrong with her world. Episode 2 sees her start to question more and no sooner has she passed this ‘message’ onto Maeve, than Maeve starts glitching too. Thandie Newton’s Host has a hell of a time this episode experience terrible flashback of her own and waking up on an operating table. Could it be that the ‘violent delights’ message is somehow passing the glitch from Host to Host?

3. What is Maeve having flashbacks of?

So, we might know why Maeve has suddenly started having flashbacks, but the next question is, what do they mean? If you’ve seen the episode (and you should have if you’re reading this) you know that she’s experiencing ‘nightmares’ of her living with a little girl, presumably her daughter, in a cabin on the outskirts of town when they’re attacked by Native American warriors (aka, other Hosts). The flashbacks repeat, getting more gruesome, until she’s nearly scalped and eventually forced to defend her home, but it isn’t the warriors who break into her home. It’s The Man in Black. 

The most obvious answer is that she’s remembering one of her past lives at the park just like Abernathy. Elsie even says that they give the Hosts the concept of nightmares in case someone forgets to wipe their memories after each day as a way to explain what they’re remembering. The glitch would explain why Maeve continues to remember that something is wrong with her world day to day and instead of having a meltdown like Abernathy, she’s actually going to do something about it. One to watch, for sure. 

4. Why is Bernard having secrets meetings with Dolores?

I think this is the most interesting thing about episode 2, despite the fact it takes up very little screen time, and that’s because it has nothing to do with the unusual events which kickstarted the season. Bernard’s been secretly meeting with Dolores for a while when we find out about it. Like, since before the season even started. And he doesn’t talk to her about the glitch (which he believes is no longer an issue), but more about her personally. He thinks she’s interesting, different from the other Hosts. 

Does this have something to do with the fact that she’s the oldest Host in the park? It would certainly tie into the theory (opens in new tab) that she’s the only surviving Host from the park failure 30 years and is somehow different. Maybe Bernard’s meeting with her to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t go off loop - but then, why keep it secret? I think it’s more likely he knows he should decommission her but instead he wants to discover why she’s different from all the others. Also, why wasn’t this ‘difference’ picked up by the evaluation Dolores went through in episode 1? Is she able to hide it when she chooses to?

5. Who is the little boy Ford is talking to?

The creator of Westworld, Ford, was just as creepy in the second episode as the first, and while he was wandering around the desert making snakes freeze and looking around expectantly, he met a young boy. We’re obviously supposed to think that the child is a guest, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think the little boy might be a Host recreation of Ford’s own brother… or maybe, even himself. And there’s some small hints to support this. 

The way the young boy talks about his family seems to mirror Ford’s own memories. He also talks a lot about his brother - they sound inseparable - and yet, he’s nowhere to be found, OR IS HE?! Plus, when Ford talks about the town with the white church that isn’t there, the child can’t see it until Ford insists he looks closer. Then, all of a sudden, he does see it. It’s as if Ford has just convinced him of the fact, controlled him, the same way he controlled the snake. Maybe it’s just the look in Anthony Hopkins’ eye as he listens to the little boy talk, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the child is a Host and his loop is to turn up whenever Ford does and hang out with him.

6. What is the new storyline Ford is working on?

And so this brings us to the storyline Ford is working on. After shooting down Sizemore’s pitch, Ford announced he’ll be the one creating the new storyline for the Hosts. But what is it? Well, we know it will have that white church in it which made an appearance by the end of the episode, and it will obviously have to be something very big and impressive to keep the board happy. If my suspicions are correct and Ford is in fact the one behind the glitches in the Hosts, I think it’s a safe bet that the storyline he’s creating will be one which will encourage the Hosts to break free. The board probably won’t be too happy about that, but honestly, who even knows what they want?

Want to know more about the mysteries of Westworld? Here's the best Westworld Easter eggs (opens in new tab) so far.

Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.