“Trace Decay”

After new details about many of our favorite characters from HBO’s Westworld came to light in last weeks episode we continue to dive deeper into this story. All of the characters, with the exception of one important one, were all balanced nicely into this episode. We continue to unravel the maze and explore everyone’s backstories a little bit further in this weeks episode so lets get to it. There will be some minor spoilers ahead.

“Trace Decay” begins with Ford and Bernard planning to execute a new direction for the park. Maeve is continuing to manipulate our friends at headquarters. William and Dolores are continuing to search for the end game with the maze. Teddy and the Man In Black are having their own revelations about the maze as well.

Count this episode as another terrific one in the continually excellent debut season of this show. The way this show skillfully pulls back layers and reveals more and more is nothing short of masterful. This week we learn much more about Dr. Ford’s punishing grip on all things in Westworld. The tragedy is evident for Bernard now and we desperately want him to escape something he cannot escape.

Maeve’s evolution is the centerpiece of the show. What is really happening? Why can she control things like no other host? We find out a bit more about her past and maybe some insight in what is to come for her.

Never have I seen a TV series where the story evolves to answer the burning questions, but proceeds to create more. It’s frustrating, but it’s brilliant. There is much about this episode that is stagnant. Although we do see all of the characters inhabiting this world, not much is ultimately revealed. To a point, the episode does feel a bit scattered. I do believe much of it has to do with the continual set up for what is guaranteed to be a massive revelation in the final two episodes.

What is Westworld holding back? We certainly don’t know at this point. But The Man In Black certainly isn’t. Ed Harris continues to play this character so well. We learn who and what The MIB is outside of the park. It is a rare moment of honesty and personal reflection in this show.

How is this all going to end? We will find out in the final two weeks. But for now we will all continue to speculate as to how many timelines there are or if Maeve is going to make it out of the park alive. In the final two episodes to come I’ll hope for a little more clarity. Until then, this show has proven that even when its narrative is a little jumbled, it still brings powerful drama, and terrific story telling to the table.