HBO’s ‘Westworld,’ Season 1, Episode 8, “Trace Decay” Recap

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 8, Dr Ford

[Image via John p. Johnson/HBO]

Welcome to my recap of HBO’s latest offering, Westworld. Here’s what I thought of Episode 8 (entitled “Trace Decay”) of Season 1.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) starts Episode 7 of Westworld freaking out about killing Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Luckily, Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) can alleviate his pain. But, not before Bernard gets some answers. Ford obliges and basically credits himself with giving the Tin Man a heart. This makes Bernard very old because Ford used his development to create the new hosts that had more emotional response.

Poor Bernard is then instructed to clean up the mess of Theresa and make sure there isn’t any trails linking her death back to them before Dr. Ford agrees to wipe his memory. Bernard does this easily and Theresa’s body is placed at Python Pass, a dangerous location where anyone could slip and fall to their death. She is also linked to the laser based satellite uplink device which places her square in the middle of a big pile of industrial espionage shit. Of course, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), does not believe this story at all and immediately suspects Dr. Ford. Regardless, Bernard is reinstated. Which is lucky because apparently hosts are implanted with bombs, so if Bernard were to leave Westworld to join the unemployment queue, he would blow up before he got there.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 8, Bernard

[Image via John p. Johnson/HBO]

Before Dr. Ford can wipe Bernard’s memory, he is asked about what the difference is between a human consciousness and a hosts. Which, for the record, is basically nothing according to Dr. Ford. However, maybe he is just too scared to really think about it because this is what drove Arnold mad.

Bernard then wants to know if Ford has ever instructed him to hurt anyone else besides Theresa. Ford says no, but Bernard’s memory says yes. And that is when we find out Bernard strangled the shit out of poor Elsie (Shannon Woodward). I am gutted at this news although hopeful because her feet were still twitching when the scene cut. Ford then wipes Bernard’s memory and all is good in his world again. Until Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) offers his condolences about Theresa and Bernard pulls the “we were just friends” card. Stubbs is left smelling the bullshit.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 8, Charlotte Hale

[Image via John p. Johnson/HBO]

Now, for other events in Episode 8 of Westworld but still behind the scenes. Charlotte is enlisting the services of Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman). While Lee just wants the goss on what happened to Theresa, Charlotte is taking him downstairs to the retired hosts room and picking a random host (that isn’t random at all but actually Dolores’ dad). The plan is to upload 35 years of data and then get the host out of the park with it, therefore sidestepping Dr. Ford altogether. it is Lee’s job to script the host right out of Westworld. Funny, Maeve seems to have the same plan…

Speaking of, Maeve (Thandie Newton) is getting Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) to tweak her coding. Sylvester finally cottons on to the fact they could just shut Maeve down and reprogram her. FFS, what took you so long?! But Maeve and Felix have already anticipated this and she slits his throat. Once more I am left asking the question: does anyone else notice the glass walls surrounding them? Before Sylvester can die, he is patched up with some sort of blowtorch device and I am left wondering if he is a host as well.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 8, Maeve

[Image via John p. Johnson/HBO]

If Maeve wants to leave Westworld, she will need to get her bomb removed and this plan is set in motion. She also suddenly remembers Arnold.

Maeve is then given admin rights in her coding and she can now fuck with all the other hosts around her, including New Clem (Lili Simmons) who is not nearly as alluring as Old Clem (Angela Sarafyan).  Finally someone notices what Maeve is doing and sends in the men in coats to retrieve her. But, to be honest, I think that was her plan all along.

As for Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and William (Jimmi Simpson), they are fast becoming the most boring storyline in Westworld. They have arrived at a town that Dolores remembers. She sees Maeve being taught to dance along with a group of other hosts. She also sees dead bodies everywhere, then a vision of herself with a gun to her own head. William pulls her out of her revelry and tells her this place is no good for her. Dolores says Arnold wants her to be here. But then it is nighttime and Logan (Ben Barnes) turns up with a posse and wants to fuck the pair of them up. Uh-oh.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 8, William and Dolores

[Image via John P. Johnson/HBO]

Finally, we get to the Man in Black (Ed Harris ) and Teddy’s (James Marsden) story. We find out a bit about the Man in Black’s life outside of Westworld. Apparently, his wife committed suicide rather than hang around with him any longer. His daughters don’t like him either. Being a real Narcissist, though, he goes on about how awesome he is in regard to the rest of his life.

Teddy has flashes of seeing Dolores being dragged of by the Man in Black, so he really doesn’t give a single shit about how the MiB can alter host stories in Westworld. Which is what he did with Maeve. Although, is the MiB just thinking he can alter stories, or can he actually alter coding? If it is the later, that’s as interesting as fuck. Teddy doesn’t think so and resorts to punching the Man in Black.

This is when we find out Maeve has had a real meltdown before. She stopped responding to verbal responses when her daughter died. Why she has never been retired, is beyond me. it makes me think someone high up is playing puppeteer to all the Westworld staff.

Now, along with the Man in Black and Teddy, there is another host. She is the one seen with William when he first entered Westworld. She is now on the floor and apparently knowing more than she should about the Maze Game. If anything, this scene adds to the theory that the Man in Black is really William 30 years on. However, for me personally, I am wondering if there is really more to Westworld than even the theorists on Reddit can come up with. I just feel like we are scratching the surface with this episode.

What did you think of the big reveal in Episode 8 of Westworld? Let us know by commenting below!

Episode 9 (entitled “The Well-Tempered Clavier”) of Westworld will air on HBO on Sunday, November 27 at 9:00 PM. You can view the preview for Episode 9 below.

[Featured image via John P. Johnson/HBO]

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