SPOILERS for Westworld Season 4, Episode 2 ‘Well Enough Alone’.
Season four of Westworld is really shaping up to be something spectacular (I know right, shocker!). Where the first episode sent the story in an exciting new direction, with very few shades of Westworld’s past, this episode takes us all the way back to season one in terms of its themes, music, characters and ideas. It’s crazy to use the word ‘nostalgic’ in a series that’s creeping up to six years old, but this episode gave me the chills on multiple occasions with its clever callbacks to where it all began. Host William even mentions in one scene that he’s taking Delos ‘back to its roots’, and that’s all the more evident by the end of this episode.
At 25% of the way through the season, we’re still yet to see Bernard as this episode focuses almost entirely on one tightly connected series of events hinged around Maeve, Caleb, Host William and Hale. Despite occupying a small portion of the runtime, Christina makes some interesting discoveries that feed into the mysteries surrounding her existence. With that, let’s get right into that deadly cold open.
Looking fine, Clementine!
This week’s cold open reintroduces us to Angela Sarafyan’s Clementine who has seemingly taken a page out of Maeve’s book and gone into hiding. We have no idea what she’s been up to in the last seven years since walking off screen with Musashi/Dolores’ head and Hanaryo, but she seems very at peace. That is until Host William (Ed Harris) tracks her down in search of information on Maeve’s location. When she denies any knowledge of Maeve’s whereabouts, Host William kills her and reprograms her off screen.
Find and Replace – Westworld edition
Dynamic duo Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) arrive at a huge mansion, presumedly the home of the senator that Host William was after. As Maeve confronts both Ken (Jack Coleman) and Anastasia (Saffron Burrows) it’s quickly revealed that they’re too late as they’ve already been replaced by hosts. A damn sweet fight ensues and it seems that these newly created hosts have been upgraded in order to make it harder for Maeve to control them. It takes some mid-power effort and a near-death experience for Caleb but they finally overpower the host couple. Before I continue, I want to add that the action sequences so far have been great – making me keen to see what violence the rest of the season brings.
While questioning the senator, he reveals that there are 249 other hosts that have infiltrated and replaced the lives of people around the globe. Although, that could also just be the number that have been manufactured and yet to take over, but I believe it’s the former. Maeve jumps into his mind to get a look at how they were replaced – seeing that it was Host William who killed the senator. It seems he’s trying to get the senator to change his guidelines that currently prevent Host William from enacting his grand plan that seemingly has something to do with reviving Westworld. In a brilliantly haunting sequence, the host versions of the senator and Anastasia arrive to take their place in their lives, while we get our first look at Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) this season. Hale mentions she needs help “researching a new experiment” and sends Anastasia to the barn for unknown reasons.
Upon entering the stables, our dynamic duo find the human Anastasia who has gone mad and massacred all of her horses. With flies buzzing around, it seems Anastasia is one of many test subjects in Hale’s experiment of using host flies to control and influence humans. After showing a brief sign of her own personality, that static buzzing sound occurs and she completely switches personas to send a message to Maeve and Caleb instructing them to head to the opera as an “old friend is anxious for a reunion” – most certainly Hale and/or Host William. Much like how the businessman killed his workmates in episode one, Anastasia reluctantly tries to kill Caleb when she’s shot by Maeve. This was a moment very reminiscent of James Delos’ clones going insane back in season two.
The owls are not what they seem
Let’s detour for a moment and cover everything that Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) experiences within this episode. Waking up once again in the exact same manner, she chats with her roommate Maya (Ariana DeBose) about Peter’s obituary – mentioning his charity of choice was Hope Center for Mental Health. Christina also comes to the realisation that she may have written a story that matches his.
While walking to work this time, she takes notice of the homeless guy rambling about The Tower, where in episode one she just walked right past him. He starts talking about “a song with no sound” coming from The Tower that can only be heard by him and the birds. When she gets to work and notices dead birds on the ground, she decides to skip work and make her way to the mental health hospital. On the way, it’s revealed that she did in fact come up with a narrative about Peter Myers that matches the real life of the Peter that committed suicide. Her boss from Olympiad Entertainment calls her and is clearly tracking her location – adding more fuel to the fire that this is some shady company.
When she arrives at the hospital, she finds it completely abandoned – but that’s not even the strangest part. She notices that there’s an entire wing dedicated to Peter Myers – something that wouldn’t be possible considering he just died. If Peter died years ago and donated his belongings to the hospital, how was he alive just days prior. There’s very bizarre things going on here – perhaps the patients are kept in some sort of sedated state until they’re needed for video game stories. I have no idea, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.
Get hosts on the PGA tour ASAP
Out playing golf in his signature all-black attire, with a newly reprogrammed Clementine as his security, Host William is met by the USA’s Vice President played by José Zúñiga. Whatever William is planning, the VP is yet another individual who’s firmly against his proposal. He mentions he’s rebuilding his business and taking Delos back to its roots by building something on American shores. It really sounds like he’s building a new park, only this time it’s not on a secluded island, which is pissing off the government. It would make sense considering he’s spent the last seven years buying land and replacing powerful figures with hosts. As just about everyone expected, he kills the VP and replaces them with a more flexible host version.
Following on with Clementine, she apprehends a government official who has been getting closer to figuring out all of the corruption within Delos. Hale then intimidates him and reveals some tidbits about her grand plan. She doesn’t plan on killing or replacing all humans – she just needs to get the key figures out of that way to enact her grand scheme to have her hosts flourish. As she leaves, one of her flies climbs into the back of the man’s eye, adding him to the list of people she can control or influence.
Well, well, well… look who’s still alive
If you’ve been wondering why I’ve suddenly started referring to the William that’s been running around all season as ‘Host William’ it’s because we now find out that the human William is alive and kicking after having his throat slit in season three’s post-credits scene. It seems as though Hale has been keeping him alive in a cryo chamber for the sole purpose of making him watch watch as she wins and he loses – a quite sadistic play by Hale. Will the real William escape one day? Or will he spend the entire season in this mysterious chamber? Either way, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of human William.
Life finds a way…
Catching back up with Maeve and Caleb, they infiltrate a Delos opera event that they were “invited” to, entering a completely empty theatre with a single gramophone on the stage. In what is definitely some sort of trap, they move the gramophone and begin to lower beneath the stage into a series of corridors. Entering a door at the end of the brightly-lit hallway, they find themselves in a fancy bar – something that will seem a little familiar to those who recall season one. After a bit of a back-and-forth between the two that alludes to the fact that they might have had a bit of a fling in the past, the bar begins to move. That’s where Maeve and I both catch on to something – they’re on a train heading into a park! Is it a new version of Westworld or an entirely new park? We’ll soon find out. That moment where the classic Westworld music kicks in got the hairs on the back of my neck standing up – truly exciting and thrilling stuff.
As the train approaches its destination, our duo is approached by a host by the name of Sophia, as played by Lili Simmons. Those with a keen eye will remember Lili as the actress who played the host-replacement of Clementine a few seasons ago. It’s awesome to see that callback and all the references that follow. Maeve and Caleb go through a near-identical onboarding process to William back in season one – entering the welcome room, choosing their weapons and attire and answering some ‘personal’ questions. I loved the callback with the questions Sophia is asking Caleb being almost exactly what Talulah Riley’s Angela asked William way back when.
In one final sequence, cutting between Maeve and Caleb’s train coming to a halt and Host William’s presentation in front of a bunch of investors and board members, a new park is revealed. It seems that over the last seven years, Hale and William have been building what we’ll call The Golden Age – a brand new park indicative of 1920’s USA – presumedly Chicago. Potentially containing all the dangers that come with an era run by mob bosses, it’s unclear what Hale’s ulterior motive is with this new park on American soil. It’s very clearly built on the same layout as Sweetwater, just with a fresh new skin. I’m loving the tease at a return to park life in Westworld, and it just proves that no matter how far the world gets away from a disastrous concept… life finds a way.
With that, Westworld has taken us to a brand new park – an idea we haven’t explored since the introduction of The Raj and Shogunworld way back in season two. This poses all sorts of exciting narrative developments and gives us more things to ponder with how it links to Hale’s plan. We know she’s been replacing powerful humans with hosts and using flies to control others, so what could introducing a new park on American soil do? We’ll have to wait and see. I loved seeing the return of Clementine in this episode! Angela Sarafyan looks to be able to execute more brutal scenes this time around, making me keen to see more of her. It also begs the question whether Maeve will be able to re-reprogram her back to her true self at some point.
Christina’s narrative is still entirely disconnected from everything else going on – and I suspect it will stay that way until at least the mid-way point of the season. I’m still very intrigued in her story and very confused by the mystery at play. Lastly, I really just want to see what Bernard is up to. I doubt they’d go three episodes without catching us back up with such a beloved character, so I’m placing bets that we get an episode jam-packed with Bernard content next week!