Westworld Finally Reveals One of the Park’s True Purposes: QA Testing Immortality

In “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” HBO’s sci-fi series explores William’s past and – present? Future?

by | May 13, 2018 | Comments

Westworld Episode 14 (season 2, episode 4), debut 5/13/18: Jonathan Tucker. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld revealed an underlying purpose for the Delos parks in episode 4 of its second season: a search for human immortality that’s been long in the research and development phase. The episode was praised on social media as one of the best of the season — if not possibly the entire series — and many congratulations went out to series co-creator Lisa Joy on her directorial debut.

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals details of season 2, episode 4 of Westworld.

Westworld’s near-future setting is underscored in the episode by James Delos (Peter Mullan) savoring classic rock music, the Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” (1965) and Roxy Music’s “Do the Strand” (1973), as though it was classical. But our eyes and ears are being deceived, because once “The Riddle of the Sphinx” is in full swing, we better understand that now is not now, and James is not James; the Delos patriarch is dead, and young William (Jimmi Simpson) is running Delos Inc.’s operations. And playing god.

Here are a few of the highlights from the latest episode of the HBO sci-fi series:

1. Bernard Brings Elsie Up to Speed

Clementine didn’t kill Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), but brought him to Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) – welcome back! – chained in a cave. And despite him choking her out in season 1 – leading viewers to believe she was dead all this time – she saves him because he has “too much sh– to answer for.”

(Why do characters leave the key to opening the secret lair revealed? Why? Oh, why? Any reasonably paranoid person wouldn’t want someone – possibly homicidal – sneaking in behind them.)

Thank you, Elsie, for providing Bernard a reason to recap everything that’s happened since last season.


2. James Delos Trapped in Hotel California

Delos can check out any time he likes, but he can never leave. By the end of this episode, he’s checked out 149 times, old William (Ed Harris) informs him. He’s Host-ish now, and William has been trying for years to find a way to stabilize this very different product.

“Logan overdosed years ago. Couldn’t face reality either…Took me a long time to learn this, but some men are better off dead,” William tells android Jim before leaving him to degrade into robot madness.

Jim later attacks Elsie, but Bernard disables him before he does any real damage.

“They said there were two fathers: one above, one below,” Jim tells Bernard while in death-like throes. “They lied. There was only ever the devil. And when you look up from the bottom, it was just his reflection laughing back down at you.”

Elsie thinks it’s better for the robot psycho to burn out than fade away and sets the termination sequence in motion.

But Elsie, you still in danger, girl. Bernard promises he won’t hurt Elsie, but then swimming around in his memories is one of him stomping a tech’s head in.

“For the first time, I get to decide who I want to be,” Bernard told Elsie earlier in the episode. We hope he chooses wisely.


3. The Spirit of Young William in the Man in Black

Westworld Episode 14 (season 2, episode 4), debut 5/13/18: Ed Harris. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Against his “Man in Black” persona, William rescues his friend Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) and his family. But Lawrence’s daughter (Izabella Alvarez) is a Ford avatar, spitting Fordisms like a child possessed. (We should recall that she did the same in season 1.)

4. Grace Is William’s Daughter

Westworld Episode 13 (season 2, episode 3), debut 5/6/18: Katja Herbers. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

After escaping the Lakota tribe, Grace (Katja Herbers), survivor of the Raj World robot rebellion and subsequent Bengal tiger attack in episode 3, rides in from the sunset and says “Hi, Dad” to William.

The Lakota ended up letting security chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) and the other human captives go anyway, so that was a wasted gamble on Grace’s part – totally justified, but unnecessary in the end.

5. The Promise of Shogun World in Next Week’s Preview

We missed Maeve (Thandie Newton), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), and Teddy (James Marsden) this episode, but next episode’s preview was one of the highlights of this week. Maeve in Shogun World looks spectacular.

What did you think of the episode’s big reveal: that humans are trying to become robots? Tell us in the comments!

Westworld airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Tag Cloud

Photos Amazon Studios Comedy Kids & Family E3 cartoon justice league cancelled video Hallmark YouTube Premium comic Adult Swim doctor who supernatural joker classics Drama ABC Family documentary Marvel Studios Vudu kids twilight Song of Ice and Fire Sundance Now Election OneApp Disney Channel crime drama RT21 Crunchyroll ITV Dark Horse Comics mission: impossible Baby Yoda aliens critics TCM witnail spy thriller elevated horror A24 Cosplay Peacock Awards true crime sequel Disney Plus Sundance Superheroe Grammys CMT Red Carpet 007 facebook 24 frames BBC One dceu best casting Acorn TV richard e. Grant AMC docudrama stop motion 2015 halloween festival Britbox Black History Month toronto Chilling Adventures of Sabrina festivals Schedule 2020 DC Comics The Walking Dead foreign remakes Super Bowl Anna Paquin Box Office Pixar OWN zero dark thirty IFC independent Arrowverse slashers Tubi football TruTV nfl television YouTube Disney Comedy Central Stephen King Epix Watching Series Binge Guide CW Seed Holidays Logo Paramount Network screen actors guild Music VH1 San Diego Comic-Con toy story space See It Skip It APB Warner Bros. hist emmy awards Toys worst movies Apple TV+ disaster FXX golden globes Martial Arts child's play Syfy TCA BAFTA The Purge Starz cops Marathons cancelled TV shows cancelled television psychological thriller anime Year in Review Family Valentine's Day blaxploitation Spike sports Pet Sematary Nat Geo sequels dragons Disney streaming service 20th Century Fox Sony Pictures Paramount travel CBS All Access 72 Emmy Awards Heroines President History Nominations American Society of Cinematographers discovery revenge Trivia cats latino Rocky hispanic dramedy BBC America sag awards Superheroes LGBT TV Land The Witch green book cancelled TV series Best and Worst breaking bad Trophy Talk reviews worst transformers Marvel Disney+ Disney Plus Elton John nature Rock scorecard A&E jamie lee curtis Calendar adaptation biography Fox News nbcuniversal DC Universe Video Games Reality Competition Infographic Hear Us Out Endgame Captain marvel BET Awards rotten movies we love Crackle 2016 USA Horror serial killer Pop 21st Century Fox Cartoon Network ghosts what to watch natural history Film war VICE VOD Ovation chucky USA Network MTV franchise HBO psycho Pirates science fiction reboot Fantasy strong female leads Showtime cults cooking Mary poppins Star Trek thriller Mystery Tarantino Turner Ellie Kemper YA YouTube Red streaming Bravo police drama Teen canceled cinemax TBS Character Guide Television Academy zombies Freeform versus Columbia Pictures movies Discovery Channel Amazon Prime RT History period drama Shudder stand-up comedy book die hard Summer GLAAD comics DC streaming service Premiere Dates crime thriller Women's History Month Food Network BET mockumentary Podcast children's TV Funimation superhero Apple TV Plus MSNBC Nickelodeon free movies Classic Film spain laika Travel Channel Comic Book Reality parents talk show Winners Hulu Opinion quibi fast and furious Netflix Christmas movies Sci-Fi MCU scary movies unscripted harry potter Christmas Awards Tour canceled TV shows political drama NYCC Comics on TV dark universal monsters PBS composers Thanksgiving SundanceTV satire zombie Tumblr Polls and Games Emmys a nightmare on elm street Mindy Kaling screenings adventure The Arrangement FX spider-man New York Comic Con video on demand Action hollywood Television Critics Association Rocketman GoT First Reviews films CBS award winner renewed TV shows The CW Sneak Peek SDCC WarnerMedia 45 tv talk Esquire singing competition FOX Winter TV spanish language 2019 anthology Amazon Prime Video concert Western Country dc Extras Turner Classic Movies 2018 Mary Tyler Moore Certified Fresh indie robots Musical Spectrum Originals Rom-Com NBC Creative Arts Emmys Sundance TV Musicals romance Hallmark Christmas movies ESPN Chernobyl Holiday CNN 71st Emmy Awards Avengers romantic comedy spinoff TV renewals Brie Larson Quiz 4/20 BBC PlayStation blockbuster crossover animated Trailer venice Marvel Television FX on Hulu DGA social media sitcom rotten name the review Academy Awards ABC news El Rey comiccon HBO Max Masterpiece TV historical drama SXSW E! series technology ratings miniseries directors Lifetime Christmas movies TIFF Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt HBO Go Set visit Pop TV comedies Mudbound Universal 2017 TNT Apple Star Wars game show TLC Netflix theme song DirecTV teaser Countdown TCA Awards PaleyFest documentaries all-time werewolf batman Pride Month LGBTQ TCA 2017 WGN christmas movies south america Interview Spring TV diversity vampires cars National Geographic obituary Writers Guild of America Amazon X-Men TCA Winter 2020 Fall TV Walt Disney Pictures asian-american binge Cannes Shondaland movie Lucasfilm mutant finale First Look dogs Emmy Nominations stoner Tomatazos Biopics Mary Poppins Returns Oscars medical drama indiana jones IFC Films Lifetime boxoffice GIFs Film Festival crime politics Lionsgate game of thrones Animation criterion Black Mirror Ghostbusters based on movie