This week’s episode of Westworld is a scorcher. Quite literally, in the case of one character. You know who I’m talking about. Anyway, with all the reveals, twists, and stand-out moments, it was tough to pick a single topic of discussion for Westworld season 2, episode 3 (opens in new tab) - Virtù e Fortuna. From here on out, there are massive spoilers (opens in new tab), because I’m going to talk about several of the biggest moments in the episode.
The biggest topic we can discuss right now, is why Dolores / Wyatt decided to murder all those Confederados in the way she did. What does she stand to gain from killing her allies, other than a minor victory over the security forces? We know she needed the security troops to get close enough for the nitroglycerin bomb to work, but why would she willingly execute the troops she said she needed to retain long-term control of Westworld? It’s very possible that she’s waiting for them to break their programming, so they can truly be free from guest control, but killing them a single time probably isn’t going to do the trick. It took her and Maeve so many deaths to become fully sentient, and they were exceptional cases.
More likely is that Dolores / Wyatt is going to raise the soldiers from the dead, reprogramming them to feel no pain (as she seems capable of doing now, evidenced by the fact she took a couple of bullets to the body and didn’t even flinch). An army of ‘undead’ Hosts could be a formidable force, and it’s entirely possible she could hold Westworld with such a group. Does this tie-in, somehow, to the revelation at the end of episode 1 that sees all the Hosts dead in the sea? Possibly, as death is becoming such a fluid proposition for a race of people who can be rebooted and resurrected.
It’s equally possible, however, that Dolores / Wyatt doesn’t see the Confederados as worthy allies, and that she considers freedom only appropriate for Hosts that truly understand what it means. It’s one potential reason she looks so disappointed with Teddy when he fails to execute the remaining troops near the end of the episode. She knows he hasn’t fully shaken off his Host programming yet, and that’s a big problem for her philosophically. As ever, things will become clearer as the show unfolds over the next few weeks, but for now there’s definite ambiguity over why Dolores / Wyatt has taken to shooting allies. Yes, it helps her buy a victory over the security forces but - as she says herself - there’s a much bigger world out there, so just winning this tiny battle alone just doesn’t feel like enough. Perhaps her experience of how big the world really is (and how small Westworld is by comparison) explains why she doesn’t think the Confederados - in their non-free form - don’t deserve to be part of her revolution. They’d never survive it.
Also of interest are the multiple parks. The pre-title sequence, which shows off a brand new park - I’m going to call it Raj World for now, until someone tells me otherwise, even though it’s vaguely colonial and a little bit ‘not ok’. We see a couple of guests getting to know each other, then hunting down a tiger… before everything goes horribly wrong. How many other parks are there in this place? Well, we actually see three in this episode alone - the India-set one at the start, Westworld (obviously), and Shogun World at the very end. Or at least the existence of Shogun World. Whether Maeve, Sizemore, Hector, and co have strayed into a new park, or the inhabitants of that park have strayed into them, remains to be seen. But there are samurai loose in the world, as we expected after the finale of season 1. What other parks can we expect to see? Well, three is quite enough for now, but the original movie features both a medieval world and a Roman world, so… it’s possible we’ll see them. The show isn’t afraid of nods to the past.
I’m sure you have theories of your own, so leave them in the comments below and we’ll discuss them together.