Episode 4 entitled “The Riddle of the Sphinx” opens with William and James Delos having a conversation and something doesn’t appear to be quite right. It isn’t explicitly stated as to what is off but it’s clear from the strange room, the idea of an observation period and James’ shaky hands that something is definitely off. The second time we see these two in this room having a conversation it doesn’t make much more sense. We found out that they have had this exact same conversation before and that it is some sort of test to see if James is ready for something, I’m assuming leaving that room. We also find out that James’ wife has died but that about all that I could gather from this conversation. Then they set the room on fire and by this point I’m completely confused.
The Man in Black is on his own odd journey in Ford’s game. He’s still with Lawrence and they pass an interesting scene where hosts were using other hosts (hopefully) as railroad tracks. They end up in a place that we have seen these two characters before Las Mudas. Last time we saw these two characters here the Man in Black was killing Lawrence’s wife and daughter to get information out of Lawrence. This time they get there and the town is being held hostage by Major Craddock, which quickly becomes the fate of the Man in Black and Lawrence. The Man in Black makes a deal that gets him free but watching Craddock torture the people of the town seems to rub him the wrong way. I found this incredibly interesting because now we are seeing a true arc for the Man in Black. This compassion is a new and interesting twist for his character because the last time he was here he was doing the torturing. This time he takes it upon himself to save the town.
We catch up with Bernard as he is still being drug by Clementime. She leaves him outside of some cave, where he walks in and finds Elsie! Last we saw Elsie she was choked out by Bernard. Honestly I forgot about her this season. She was one of my favorite characters from season 1 but that was a long time ago and she hasn’t been mentioned and that made her easy to forget. She immediately showed her worth as an audience surrogate. She doesn’t know anything that has been going on. This is great because it allows us all to organically get a review section. She also was thrown into, probably, the most important storyline for this season. Bernard has a lot of answers to our questions from this season and now Elsie is in that mix. It doesn’t take too long for this to be proven true because Bernard finds another secret lab (through an odd and convienent flashback). The lab that they come upon has been destroyed and some lab techs have been killed, we later find out that their deaths came at the hands of Bernard. We find this out through several flashbacks and a few scenes full of exposition. Most importantly we find out that the lab they are currently in is the same lab where William and James Delos were having all of their conversations.
This revelation comes after a third conversation between William and Delos, this time it’s the Man in Black and Delos talking which means there has been a long passage of time but Delos hasn’t changed. They go through their bit but Delos is worse off this time than the last. It’s here were it is made clear that this Delos is a host which also reveals that they are making hosts that have human consciousness in them. That is what they were making in the lab that Bernard and Elsie discovered. They also discovered an alive Delos that tries to kill Elsie and is eventually terminated. All of this becomes the most interesting part of the episode, even though it was frustrating and painstaking to get here. The ramifications of this reveal is enormous. They were essentially trying to store people’s consciousness into hosts. It is more than ironic that Bernard is the one to make this discovery because that has to be what happened with him (or at least a version of him). This also explains why Delos incorporated wants to get Peter Abernathy out because he has to have this information stored in his head. This also leads to so many questions about Westworld and what is actually taking place there.
Questions After Episode 4 “The Riddle of the Sphinx”
- How far along is Delos in their ability to put human consciousness into a host? Bernard seems to be an example of their success but is that what is really happening with him (or has happened)? If they have perfected this how many more are there?
- Grace is the Man in Black’s daughter, what does that mean for him? Does she hate him? Are they going to work together? Most importantly what does she know?
- We got some more glimpses of Ghost Nation in this episode, I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about them because I didn’t know how important they would be. They seem to have something going on that is interesting. What exactly are they doing with all of the humans? And what role will they play on the larger story if any?
- The Man in Black had a different episode than most of his others. He seems to be having an arc that leads towards protagonist, is that what’s happening? How does his daughter affect that? Does this game lead him on the path to right his wrongs?
Image Credit: HBO