If you didn't stick around through the end credits of the first episode of Westworld's third season, then you may have missed the reveal of Maeve wearing a 1940s burgundy dress overlooking an Italian town occupied by Nazi soldiers during World War II. Turns out the second episode picks up right there, and it's in stark contrast to the real world of 2058 that dominated the season premiere.
The second episode gave us two storylines, one following Maeve and the other following Bernard. I can't think of a better way to spend an hour stuck at home than watching Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright. I absolutely love Maeve's character and the way Newton portrays her with both power and thoughtfulness.
Written by Matt Pitts and the show's co-creator Lisa Joy, the episode was directed by one of the show's producers Richard J. Lewis. But before we jump into everything that happened, take a look at our interview with Jeffrey Wright, who explains what happiness might look like for Bernard. Read our recap for the season 3 premiere episode or if you need a refresher on the first two seasons, read our Westworld season 1 and 2 recap.
Maeve and Hector reunite in Warworld
Maeve awakens in an Italian villa during World War II and within moments is reunited with Hector. They kiss and plot their escape, except they're fleeing two very different things. They're in another one of Delos' parks called Warworld and he's trying to rescue Maeve from the Nazis.
Now the show Westworld is famous for playing with timelines and mixing up when things are exactly taking place. But if we are in 2058 only months after the Westworld massacre it seems odd that any Delos park would be up and running full steam. And if that doubt didn't cross your mind, perhaps when Hector and Maeve get caught and she can't control the other hosts you realized that something was off.
Of course their capture does give us one of the coolest uses of a mundane object as a weapon since The Godfather Part III when Licio Lucchesi is stabbed in the neck with a pair of his own glasses. Maeve does a literal "You can take this pill and shove it" move to gouge out a German soldier's eye with a pill that Hector gave her earlier.
They escape via a fancy red convertible, but there's one problem: Hector thinks Maeve is "Isabella." Meaning he doesn't remember her the way Maeve remembers Hector or whoever is now in Hector's body.
This parallels Caleb's mom not remembering him in the first episode. And for me, this scene provided some of the most genuine emotion I felt for the show in a while. It was wonderful having Maeve and Hector back together. And it was absolutely heartbreaking realizing they actually weren't.
I like Maeve's response once she fully realizes the situation, "It's alright darling because none of it mattered. Because none of it's real."
And that's when she grabs Hector's gun and shoots herself in the head. Was she trying to "erase" who she was now that she didn't have powers versus shooting herself somewhere else to return to the lab? It's as if Maeve doesn't want to continue with her own free will if that means being imprisoned as a host at a Delos park.
Lutz, Sylvester and Lee Sizemore are back
Maeve wakes up in the lab, where we see Lutz and Sylvester, but they don't recognize Maeve, which seems odd. Lutz is cleaning out the "brain" pieces from the bullet hole in Maeve's head.
Later Maeve grabs a drill and says, "So let's just call the whole thing off shall we?" She doesn't want to be in another game created by humans. She shoves the drill up her nose to drill out her brain but is stopped by none other than Lee Sizemore. He explains that he barely escaped the massacre alive and has a plan to reunite her with her daughter which involves putting her in Warworld that is near the Forge where her daughter and others are.
I like what Sizemore says about the lack of depth to the storylines in Warworld. "The most nuanced [story] arch is of the goddamned Panther tank."
We see the two ride horses to the Forge and that's when the facade literally starts to break. Maeve realizes that Lee is a host, and that everyone including Lutz and Sylvester are hosts hence why they didn't recognize her. She figures out that she is in a simulation that's trying to be Delos and wants to get out.
What is the square root of negative one?
Within minutes Maeve is able to break the simulation by asking its simplistic code to solve the square root of negative one. This occupies the brains of the lab hosts who try to solve the problem causing the simulation to glitch. Then Maeve wreaks havoc in Warworld which basically causes the entire simulation to freeze.
Maeve even has a Quicksilver from X-Men-like moment moving a bullet frozen in the air inches away from Lee's head. She uses a Westworld tech tablet to communicate with a drone robot in a server room, where her "brain" is plugged in.
By the way, the drone robot's head reminded me of the GoPro VR rig that was developed in partnership with Google back in 2015. The drone robot gets Maeve's brain bulb out but is shot down in its attempt to escape.
Maeve meets Serac
Maeve awakes in a white dress in bed. She meets Serac, played by Vincent Cassel, in the real world. He wants to recruit Maeve to kill Dolores. I always feel that if Dolores is the brain of the show, then Maeve is Westworld's heart. Maeve doesn't like this idea and goes to stab Serac who is able to freeze her mid-action with a remote control.
So we now have Serac, Bernard and possibly Maeve going after Dolores who, in Bernard's words, is out to destroy the human race.
Stubbs is a host 'no shit'
Bernard returns to a charred Westword and makes his way to Ford's house to find Stubbs in the room of Bernards. Stubbs is motionless and holding a gun. It looks like he's tried to kill himself. Stubbs comes back to "life" and admits that he is a host and that Ford gave him the job of protecting all the other hosts.
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Stubbs says to Bernard, "It was my job to protect every host in the park. It's the last job the boss gave me. Cover your [Bernard's] tracks and give you a fighting chance."
Ford didn't write Stubbs with a tragic backstory. He had a job to do and when his job was over he shot himself. Bernard helps heal Stubbs and they team up for the rest of the episode looking for Maeve, who Bernard thinks is the only one capable of stopping Dolores. Bernard thinks that Dolores brought him back as a check to herself.
Game Of Thrones, Jurassic Park, Medievalworld Easter egg combo
While buddy cop team Bernard and Stubbs search through the labs, we overhear two techs talking. They're played by none other than D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the creators of the show Game of Thrones. They play Dan the tech and Dave the tech respectively and have the following conversation.
Dan: "The buyer is a startup in Costa Rica."
Dave: "How are the fuck are you going to get that to Costa Rica?"
Dan: "In pieces, man."
Dan starts a saw as we cut to a wide shot revealing a dragon host. The dragon moves its head. I'm not sure if it's supposed to actually be one of three GOT dragons but it looks like Drogon.
This isn't the first GOT Easter egg: In season 2, the gyroscope from the opening credits of Game of Thrones (also seen in the Citadel library) appears beside some bookshelves in the Forge.
Back in 2016, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin suggested a Medievalworld or Westerosworld to Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy over dinner. The room Bernard and Stubbs ends up in has Medieval costumes and photos of castles and architectural details on the wall.
But there is another albeit subtle nod to Jurassic Park which was written by Michael Crichton who wrote the original Westworld. In Jurassic Park the company InGen is located 120 miles off of Costa Rica. So is Dan selling Drogon to InGen? Obviously the timelines don't match up, but it's fun to ponder the Crichton Universe.
While Bernard is scanning himself for answers, Stubbs sees a court jester playing the Westworld theme song on a lute for a king and queen. Stubbs mentions park 4 in passing which seems like it's Medievalworld a reference to Futureworld the sequel to the original Westworld film which included Medievalworld.
At the end of the episode, we see Bernard give Stubbs a new directive: Protect Bernard Lowe at all costs. I really like having these two as a team and I'm excited to see what's next as they head out of Westworld and back into the real world.
There are no Marvel post-credits scenes
There's nothing to see here after the credits. But the closing credit music sounds like Blade Runner. You know, the movie about someone who may or may not be a replicant hunting down other replicants. Kind of like how Maeve has been asked to hunt down Dolores. Also, we still haven't seen the Man In Black, Teddy or Ford this season.
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