CAUTION: This recap and analysis of Westworld’s season two, episode seven, “Les Ecorches,” contains spoilers.
Clarity — sort of. We’re beginning to see the light (or, in the case of this episode, the fire).
“Les Ecorches” answers many of the questions posed over the course of the first and second season while leaving a number of the show’s most important characters on the brink of death. Then in final five minutes of the show, the show created more mystery — or at least intrigue — to keep us guessing and watching in the coming episodes.
If we believe Ford, we know that the hosts are now acting independently and thinking autonomously. He is controlling no one but Bernard. The Weapon appears to be a database of souls — an archive of the humans who have come into the park. While that information can’t grant eternal life to the humans, it can probably piece together a strong understanding of the human psyche (more on that) through the aggregation of data. Ford admits he and Delos have yet to figure out immortality — as was indicated by the failure to revive Delos. But there is the sense that Delos was a failed candidate and that the immortality project may be further along than Delos’ case suggests. At the very least, humans can live in computers, like Ford is doing.
What’s more, the hosts’ immortality is granted through their backups, which are stored in the computer system in the same room as the cradle. With that massive explosion, those backups are gone — the hosts have just one life left. That probably goes for Ford, too.
Onto the winners and the losers.
Ford: Ford is Voldemort — Bernard is Professor Quirrell. Westworld takes a page out of Harry Potter. Ford continues to live, but with a number of restraints, most recently that he must operate through Bernard’s body. Ford will likely die if Bernard dies. So what is he using Bernard for?
Hale: She had a run-in with Dolores, and lived. It’s remarkable Hale isn’t dead after all the gnarly stuff she’s gone through this season. The data she needs is also still alive, even if it’s now in the wrong hands. Perhaps after seeing Dolores, she’ll stop underestimating the hosts.