Westworld Season 2, episode 7 recap: Les Écorchés

Westworld Season 2, Episode 7. Photo acquired via HBO Media Relations.
Westworld Season 2, Episode 7. Photo acquired via HBO Media Relations. /

Now that’s how you do it! This week’s Westworld was an explosive return to form. Here’s everything that went down in the action-packed hour…

The episode opens on Stubbs and Bernard in the present timeline. Stubbs tells Bernard he believes Strand and Hale are there to protect their collateral, rather than the park. He thinks Delos is going to kill the both of them for knowing too much.

Strand handcuffs Bernard and Stubbs as he suspects one of them is responsible for the death of Theresa. The Delos team focuses their accusation on Stubbs. Bernard is about to confess, when they find a hidden door. The door leads to another room which has a bunch of host-Bernards. (You just really have to feel sorry for the poor guy at this point.)

Hale questions Bernard. She wants to know what happened to Peter’s control unit. Flashback time!

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The Delos team prepare for Dolores and the other hosts to come in The Mesa. They find the previous response team dead. Hale orders that Peter’s control unit be copied. Stubb realizes the hosts want to get to The Cradle to get their backups.

In The Cradle, Bernard learns the true objective of Delos from Ford-to create copies of human minds. Bernard asks what will happen when the hosts find the “Valley Beyond”. Ford answers it is better to not know the ending.

Back in the park, William flees Ghost Nation and encounters Maeve and her daughter. William thinks it is another set up by Ford. Maeve tells him not everything is for him and shoots him. (Truly iconic.)

However, William somehow still survives and fights off more attackers. Just as Maeve is about to shoot him again, Lawrence comes and holds a gun at her. She tries to control him, but fails. Maeve tells him to look at William and remember all that he did to him and his family.

Lawrence remembers and is about to shoot William, when QA shoots him. Ghost Nation takes Maeve’s daughter and Maeve is shot by QA. However, before she is killed, Lee tells QA to keep her alive, she is not like the others.

In The Cradle, Ford takes Bernard to Arnold’s old house. He tells Bernard he also used Dolores’ memories of Arnold to create him. Ford tells Bernard there is a “door” where hosts can pass through to be their “true” selves. He then says Bernard is too weak to have his own free will and takes hold of his body.

Stubbs asks Hale why it is worth risking their lives over Peter. He holds a gun over Peter’s head. Dolores and crew come in to where Peter and Hale are located. Dolores demands to know how to extract the “key” in Peter’s brain.

Ford directs Bernard to get rid of Elsie somehow. He does so by giving her a fake story about the “Valley Beyond”.

Dolores tells Hale she knows what Delos’ secret is and will go to the “Valley” to destroy it. QA shoots and kills Clementine. Angela is in The Cradle and a QA guy approaches. She seduces the man and uses a grenade on him, sacrificing herself and blowing up The Cradle.

Dolores is about to saw the top of Hale’s head off  when Peter suddenly remembers her. Hale and Stubbs escape. Teddy and Coughlin struggle and Teddy brutally kills him. Peter and Dolores reminisce before she extracts the “key”.

In the map room, Ford tells Bernard about his plan to “strike the match” -presumably causing the conflict between the hosts and humans. Bernard hopelessly watches as humans and hosts attack each other and Beethoven plays in the background (what an awesome sequence). Ford tells Bernard it is Bernard’s story now.

QA and Lee bring Maeve in, however, QA leaves before they are able to help her. As Dolores approaches, Lee hides.

Dolores comes across Maeve and offers to kill her to put her out of her misery. She says the humans will take all the good out of her. Maeve responds that she made a promise. Dolores states they all have their own path to choose. Dolores and her crew leave and go back into the park.

Two QA guys come across Ford-possessed Bernard. Ford orders Bernard to pick up a gun and shoot them. Bernard is hesitant at first, but eventually complies.

Westworld Season 2, Episode 7. Photo acquired via HBO Media Relations. /

Next: 4 parallels between Westworld and Legion

Back to the present, Bernard tells Hale Peter’s location.

“Les Écorchés” was an absolutely fantastic episode and one of the best this season has had to offer so far. It was the perfect combination of action and exploration of Westworld‘s key themes. It brought the plot forward and never dragged. Here’s hoping the last few episodes of season two are as well done as this episode.

Westworld airs on HBO Sunday nights.