Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Westworld” season two, episode seven, “Les Écorchés.”
HBO’s “Westworld” starting sprinting towards the finish line of its second season with an action-packed showdown in the park’s mesa. The convergence of characters (and events in the ever-growing timeline we’re updating each week) meant new revelations and dramatic set-ups for the final showdown in the Valley Beyond.
Keep reading for a look at eight significant moments you might have overlooked on Sunday’s “Westworld.”
The episode opens during the latest time frame so far, with Bernard holding a photo of Arnold and Charlie.
This indicates that even in the latest series of events involving Bernard, he’s still connected to this coded cornerstone memory of Charlie.
Charlie was Arnold’s son who died sometime after Westworld was first developed and the hosts (including Dolores) were coded and built. Charlie’s death was what part of what led to Arnold’s obsession with Dolores and his perception of her as one of his children.
We learned on the first season that suffering is part of what helps steer the hosts closer towards consciousness. But more on that later.
Down in Ford’s secret cabin, the “skeleton” of his host-dog Jock is on the table.
Jock’s host-skeleton is in Ford’s basement because the Young Ford host killed him partway through the first season. When the real Ford interrogated his younger self about why he killed Jock, the answer was unnerving.
“He caught the rabbit and killed it,” Young Ford said. “And then someone told me to put it out of its misery.”
“Who told you?” Ford asked.
“Arnold. He told me it was a killer, but it wasn’t its fault,” Young Ford admitted. “It was made that way. And I could help it. “
“If it was dead, it couldn’t hurt anything anymore.”
This raises the interesting thread of Arnold’s coding in relation to Ford’s planned host rebellion.
There are several unanswered questions lingering from the first season when it comes to Ford and Arnold. We still don’t have a concrete understanding of who programmed Maeve to first wake up and plan her escape, nor do we know for certain that Ford alone was changing the hosts.
But based on Dolores’ journey on the first season, it seems as if Arnold’s voice was part of the bicameral mind approach to consciousness. When Young Ford said he was told to kill Jock by Arnold, that was likely just his mind speaking to him. But we had no way of knowing this back on the sixth episode when Jock was first killed.
The skeletal remains of Jock are a good reminder of how much more we now know about Ford’s inital plot to free the hosts — just as Arnold wished to do all those years ago.