“Phase Space” starts the way so many other episodes have started, with Dolores and Bernard (maybe Arnold) in a room talking. At first it seems like the other conversations that they’ve had. It’s a slow moving conversation that is much deeper than it initially appears to be. Things take a turn in the conversation when Dolores points out that “He didn’t say that”. From there the conversation completely flips on its head. Dolores has the power in this conversation and freezes Bernard’s motor functions, which is something we didn’t know she could do. This could have a huge impact on where her story goes. She then reveals that she is testing Bernard for fidelity. This calls back to Episode 4, “The Riddle of the Sphinx”, when William was testing James Delos in a similar fashion. This scene has huge implications on what is to come but also is an incredible scene just to watch. It was amazing to see Dolores take charge in that scenario and to see Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood give such strong performances.
Thankfully we don’t have to wait long to see what happened to Maeve’s group after last episode, the answer is (predictably) not much. A few members of the group have been captured and instead of Maeve setting them free, Musashi fights for it. A good sword fight ensues, Musashi wins and they all leave. This sword fight is the highlight of Maeve’s story in this episode. It was a well shot and choreographed sequence. It was thrilling and fun and one of the many reasons this world would be great to watch. The rest of her journey wasn’t all that interesting. They find their way out of Shogun world but not everyone goes. Unfortunately (but predictably) Akane and Musashi don’t go with Maeve. I didn’t like this turn because I love the both of them and I thought that they added a lot to the story as a whole, especially Maeve’s group. However, if I’ve learned anything from Westworld it’s that this will not be the last time we see them.
At the end of this episode, Maeve finds her daughter. I was pretty surprised that this happened in this episode. It’s only 6 episodes into the season and I thought that the whole season would be building towards this moment. At first this sequence wasn’t working for me. All of the emotional build up was falling flat but everything changed when Ghost Nation shows up. It caught me of guard at first because in the previous scene we see Ghost Nation attacking William. This means that those were different members of Ghost Nation or those two sequences are on different timelines, I’m leaning toward the former. Either way this leads to some very interesting stuff because the Ghost Nation storyline has been incredibly intriguing this season. Now to have them combine with Maeve (possibly) is exciting, especially if they are on the same path as one of the Ghost Nation members suggest. This is a story I’m excited to follow because it seems as if Ghost Nation is the key to the larger story.
This episode allows us to see what the relationship between William (Man in Black) and Grace (I’m still calling her grace because that’s how she is listed on IMDb) is like. As one would have guessed, it’s a mess. At first he doesn’t even think that she is real, he thinks she is a host. I found that part so interesting. I completely overlooked this possibility when they first find each other and now I wish that they would have drug it out a bit longer. William thinks Ford is trying to mess with his head, which makes sense because her arrival clearly messes with his head. Their conversation by the fire gives us a deeper insight into their relationship, which for a long time has been nonexistent. It also humanizes William in a way that I think is necessary. Grace brings out a side in him that hasn’t been seen in the show so far and it’s very refreshing. Ed Harris also gives a world-class performance in this scene. Their conversation should solidify that Grace is not a host and is in fact his daughter but it had the reverse affect on me. The more she talked, the more I thought she was a host. This is a ridiculous prediction because her introduction should have indicated that she isn’t a host. Why would they show us all of that if she is? I can’t stop thinking about the idea of Ford messing with William’s head and the game that William is supposed to be playing. Her suddenly showing up and wanting to take him out of the park seems like a way for Ford to get him away from the game. I don’t believe in this enough to make a full on prediction but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a host.
Questions from Episode 6, “Phase Space”
- If Dolores can control hosts, as it appears she can at the beginning of the episode, why doesn’t she do so in the more current timelines? Does she know she can do that? Is it something that Maeve will help her unlock?
- Dolores was testing Bernard in their conversation. Why? Was Ford observing? What kind of power does Dolores have throughout the park? Does this mean that Dolores (as a host) is based off someone else?
- Where is Bernard? What is he seeing and what effect does it have on what is actually going on?
- What is the path for Ghost Nation and Maeve? Will they actually team up? What will Maeve do now that she has her daughter?
- Will Grace catch William? When/if she does, what will she do?
- What does Ford being back mean? What will he tell Bernard? Most importantly, how is he back? He doesn’t appear to be in the real world but he is somewhere and that has to have an impact on everything else.
Image Credit: HBO