This episode stirs the pot further so that fans won’t know what is really going on. There are a lot of different stories that are touched on in this episode…it starts with an old standard…Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) sitting in the lab with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright)…
A quick recap and SPOILERS!!!!
We’ve seen it all before. Dolores seems sweet and demure while Bernard/Arnold speaks to her of his fears. He says he fears her, who she may become. This time he says that he has a choice to make. The choice is either the unknown or an ending. When he finishes his speech with the question of whether he has a right to make the choice, Dolores suddenly changes and we see the new twist. She freezes his motor functions and takes over the conversation…saying that Bernard has said the wrong words. She has him sit down. She tells him this was a test…a test they have done many times. A test for fidelity.
Then we find ourselves with a rebooted Teddy (James Marsden) walking down the deserted streets of Sweetwater. Bodies still litter the landscape and while he already feels different, he stops when he appears to walk up to a battered canned good, just like in his story with Dolores.
However, it is not the can that got his attention, it is a single bullet that has never been fired. He pockets it and heads into the saloon where Dolores plays a somber tune while the malfunctioning card sharp and hooker continue their allotted rounds, as seen in the previous couple of episodes). He comments on how she wanted to be gone first thing and yet they are still in the town. She tries to pull him into a conversation about the past, but he makes a sarcastic comment about how she fixed him. He was no longer the weak Teddy who rode the train to meet her in their narrative. His coldness begins to match hers.
They go to the train which is in final preparations for their journey to find Dolores’ father, Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum). While the train is being loaded Dolores interrogates a captured employee of the park about where her father was taken. When he says he doesn’t really know anything, that Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) didn’t share her plans with him, without hesitation Teddy shoots him in the middle of the forehead.
Dolores actually seems shocked but pleased at this new Teddy’s no-nonsense approach. Angela, one of her sidekicks, seems pleased as well. They board the train with one human hostage, Phil (Patrick Cage) and head out.
Head of Park Security, Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) is in the control center with Hale. They have Peter Abernathy tied up and gagged as they move through the complex. She takes him to an office where she has a hidden communication pad to call Delos for help. Ashley is furious that as head of security he wasn’t even aware of what he was protecting.
They take Peter down to the technician labs and have him nailed down so that he can’t escape.
The story shifts to Shogun World, where Maeve (Thandie Newton) stands amidst the carnage from the ending of the previous episode. She watches as her Shogun counterpart, Akane (Rinko Kikuchi) removes the heart from Sakura who was killed by the Shogun in the previous episode. They return to the town where they met and confront Musashi’s old subordinate. Maeve almost uses her newfound powers to have the warrior kill himself, but Musashi challenges him for the freedom of Akane. Maeve decides not to use her powers to save Musashi and tells Akane that everyone should “be able to choose their own fate, even if it is death.” In the expected honorable fashion, Musashi wins and they leave to find Sakura’s home.
The story picks up with William (Ed Harris) who is still with Lawrence and his daughter, Grace (Katja Herbers). William is convinced that she is a host created to mimic his daughter and addresses her as if she were Ford (Anthony Hopkins). As they talk she notes that his men, who found a turned over wagon, are going into a trap. She pulls her guns and kills the men trying to ambush their group.
The story shifts to Bernard and Elsie (Shannon Woodward) walking down a set of railroad tracks. She ruminates on how if the quarantine notices are still working there is a chance for getting help. They enter HQ and soon realize that something or someone else is thwarting the attempts by QA to fix things or shut down the hosts. They realize they can’t tell who it is and make the decision to go to the Cradle. The Cradle supposedly holds all the backups and is the place where someone is trying to stop the shut down of the hosts or the park.
Maeve and her group reach the home of Sakura. Akane burns Sakura’s heart on an altar so that her soul may find peace. Akane and Musashi decide to stay behind but the arrow shooting Hanaryo continues with the group to try and find Maeve’s daughter.
William still believes that Grace is a host until she confronts him with his own words about her mother’s death. She asks him to leave the park so they can try to rebuild their relationship. He agrees and they share a drink.
Predictably, Grace wakes the next morning to find all but one of the gang gone. All the horses are gone as well.
Bernard and Elsie go to the cradle where he has a flashback to bringing someone or something there in the past. Elsie still can’t figure out who is blocking all the attempts to fix things. This results in Bernard telling her to use the station nearby to put him in the system. She does and after his control chip is removed and placed in the receptacle, Bernard awakes on the train as it arrives in Sweetwater. A bustling Sweetwater that looks just as in the first episode of the series.
Hale’s call for help brought in a team of techs who Ashley meets on the roof of the HQ. They head into the complex to try and fix things.
Maeve comes out of the tunnels between Shogun World and the area of her first narrative. She has come home. She convinces the others to let her proceed alone so she can see her daughter alone.
There is a quick flash to a scene where William and Lawrence’s men are attacked by the Ghost Nation and the two barely escape.
Then, the viewer is back with Maeve as she finds her old cabin and her daughter sitting on the porch playing with dolls. Maeve had figured on her daughter not recognizing her, but she hadn’t realized that the narrative was still going with a new “mother” for the daughter.
The same Ghost Nation warriors attacked that she had nightmares about during her recent narrative. She grabs her daughter and runs, leaving the new mother undefended. Luckily, her team of killers joins the fray and kills the Indians while they escape.
Back on the train, Teddy follows Dolores from the front car and stops for a moment to give their captive, Phil, a gun and the single bullet he found earlier. He says, “That is the end of my mercy” and exits the car so that it can be uncoupled from the back of the train. This is obviously a warning that the train is heading to disaster and the human can kill himself before that happens. The train is headed for the same tunnel that Bernard and Elsie used to enter HQ.
The team inside the control room manage to get the map working again just as the train nears the tunnel. Once it is inside the tunnel there is an explosion due to Dolores’ team packing the train with explosives. HQ is breached.
At the same time, Bernard sees Dolores from her narrative and sees Teddy exit the saloon to follow his pattern. A dog that was Ford’s totem animal crosses the street and enters the saloon. Bernard follows it and sees Ford playing the piano. Ford says, “Welcome, my old friend.”
This episode was packed with detail and new background material. The most stunning should have been Ford at the piano, but really it was the fact that Dolores was running Bernard. This opens a lot of possibilities. Did Arnold set her up to continue his work after she killed him? Did Ford have her running Bernard so that his hands would be clean? How long has she been running Bernard? It could mean that she has been more sentient than the other hosts for a long time.
Teddy’s new personality seems overly harsh, he is almost a new Wyatt. Even Dolores seems a bit confused by his actions.
Maeve is finally reunited with her daughter but she doesn’t remember her original mother. Will her new powers fix this or will that connection keep her from using them? After all, she could have made Akane and the others go along. Her own words about choosing your own fate, even if that fate is death may come back to haunt her again.
Share your theories on the episode with us.