Westworld’s seventh episode, henceforth known as “The One That Was Also Kinda Good, But Who Cares, We Live In Trump’s America Now And Literally Nothing Matters,” begins from the perspective of Bernard. He’s dreaming about sitting at the bedside of his dying son, reading Alice in Wonderland. He wakes up in bed with a start, troubled by the realization that he has been given Hollywood’s easiest, most manipulative backstory: A Dying Kid.
Anyhoo, time to question naked robots. Today, Bernard is interviewing the hot guy from Love Actually, inquiring about a “blacklisted interaction” he once had with a guest, who wanted to chop off a piece of his robot bod and take it home to mount on his car. An understandable impulse, to be sure, and one that didn’t trouble the hot guy from Love Actually, who still believes the world is “as doomed as ever.” Same. Nor is the hot guy from Love Actually troubled by photos of a phallic train and a gaudy city. The only people who are troubled by anything are Bernard, who can’t find Elsie, and me, who can’t find a way to stop weeping into large bowls of pasta.
Dolores, Forlorn-Looking Rich White Guy, and Lawrence are on the train, playing cards and staring out windows. The sexual tension is thicker than Mickey Rourke’s neck. Lawrence is apologizing for trying to kill them both before. “It’s not personal,” he says, quoting from the Woke Trump Voter Handbook. “If I had to do it all again, I’d fuck you both over just as hard.” Lawrence rambles a bit about a fake war, then tells both Dolores and FLWRG that they aren’t as innocent as either believes themselves to be. For example, FLWRG is hurtling toward a fake war on a fake train, and Dolores does unspeakable things to her bangs. This very important fake war talk is interrupted by fake acts of fake war, including, but not limited to, putting stakes through fake men’s heads.
Bernard is still looking for Elsie. America is still looking for its humanity. Neither will be successful in the near future. Bernard spots Theresa having a Career Woman Meeting, and they meet in the hallway for a chat. Theresa, who looks oddly CGI’ed in this scene, asks Bernard what the fuck is up with his department and his life and his cute little glasses, and Bernard is characteristically placid about it all.
Theresa wanders into a hallway, where she hears people fucking loudly. She knocks on the door, as one does, and there, like a fever dream, is Tessa Thompson, fucking the hot guy from Love Actually. She puts him on pause so that she and Theresa can have a Career Woman Meeting (to be clear, Tessa Thompson is not the same type of fictional Career Woman as Theresa, as she walks around nude/in bikinis and eats chips; Tessa Thompson is more of a Career Millennial. Work hard, play hard, amirite ladies?!?!). Tessa Thompson tells Theresa to stop fucking everything up vis-à-vis Ford, then asks her to bum a cigarette, a question asked with such seriousness and met with such shock that I am led to believe these are not your normal cigarettes (we already know they’re Career Woman cigarettes, but maybe there’s even MORE going on …). The Career Millennial reminds the Career Woman that she doesn’t give a shit about any of the humans or hosts involved in the park, that all she cares about is the intellectual property. “It’s our little research project that DELOS cares about,” she says, which is heavy-handed even for you, Westworld, goddamn. Tessa explains to Theresa that they need to get the raw data out of the park before asking Ford to step down (which is what Theresa’s already doing, but for whom?), and that in order to do so, they’ll need a Blood Sacrifice. Tessa Thompson pulls out her diva cup and pours it onto Theresa’s high heels.
Maeve, now a psychotic genius in the vein of John Forbes Nash Jr., heads to the Mariposa with her general air of nihilistic rage. She shuts down the self-playing piano, then sits at the bar, examining her hands like she can’t believe the very fact of her existence. Clementine shows up looking, per usual, like someone has kept her awake Clockwork Orange–style, except for fucking purposes, for her entire life. Maeve goes in on her like a concerned high school English teacher to a young white male who has not reached his “full potential” with his Catcher in the Rye essay. “Is this really the life you want?” she asks. Clementine is like, “Nah, I’m just saving money to put my family in the snow.” Then Clementine freezes, and the techs storm in to snatch up Maeve as the aforementioned Blood Sacrifice, but they’re idiots, so they grab Clementine instead. Maeve stands idly by and lets it all happen.
Back on the fake train, Dolores and FLRWG are flirting awkwardly. Dolores says her whole thing about how her entire life was a lie and how she’s never going back to #daddy’s farm, and FLRWG says his whole thing about how his life was a lie and how he’s using Dolores to find meaning in it. Oh, also, he loves books. Get it? FLWRG wants to lose himself in a fantasy, and Dolores wants to escape from her fantastical life, and never the twain shall meet. He admits to Dolores that his fiancée, Juliet (OK!), is waiting for him at home, and she gets upset and storms off. They fuck anyway, y’all!
Theresa and Tessa Thompson are using their Career Women Wiles to gaslight Anthony Hopkins and Bernard. Using Clementine, whom they’ve clearly manipulated on a code level and turned into a violent demon, they “demonstrate” that those reveries Bernard claims to have created — but really Anthony Hopkins created them, so keep up, please — have caused the robots to recall their past traumas and start seeking revenge on each other and on the guests. We as viewers know that this is actually true, or at least appears to be true (remember the Milk Man?), so it’s unclear why these Career Women need to “invent” it for the purposes of corporate mindfuckery. Honestly, these scenes are making me very tired, and all I want is to rest my head on the hot guy from Love Actually’s hirsute bosom and talk about Laura Linney’s skin. Anyway, Bernard gets fired and Tessa Thompson instructs Anthony Hopkins to lobotomize all of the hosts.
Dolores is doing a classic postcoital doodle on a canvas sheet. She tells FLRWG she’ll understand if he regrets doing it with her, but he doesn’t, because he is a Good, If Forlorn-Looking, Guy. Now it’s time for more philosophical monologues, so strap in. FLRWG talks about how his real life feels unreal now, and that he used to think this place was about pandering to baser instincts, but now he understands that it doesn’t cater to your lowest self — it reveals your deepest self, shows you who you really are, which is something he’s now said to Dolores 16 times already. We get it, my man! He tells Dolores he’s never felt the way he feels now toward any woman, which is tricky, because Dolores is not technically a woman. Good one, bro. Dolores is like, “I am not your Manic Pixie Dream Robot, I’m just a normal robot!” Then they both examine Dolores’s postcoital doodle, which is of an imaginary place where the mountains meet the sea and women and people of color and LGBTQ people are treated with dignity and respect.
They’re beginning to say more deeply clichéd things to each other — “What do you dream of?” — when the train screeches to a halt. It’s the Confederalos, a.k.a. the most boring fake villains this side of Oliver from The O.C. Everyone fake-shoots the fuck out of each other for fake reasons, but Dolores is fine because FLRWG saves her. Then the Racist Depictions of Native Americans show up and finish the job. And whaddya know — Dolores and FLRWG just happen to stumble upon her postcoital doodle IRL.
Back at the lab, Felix and Maeve are bantering on the surgical table, as they are wont to do. Maeve threatens Felix into submitting to her will, which she really shouldn’t have to do anymore considering they’ve had the same argument 400 times, and the two head to the Body Shop to find Clementine. Bad news: She’s getting lobotomized by Sylvester. Badder news: Thandie Newton has spent, like, 60 percent of her time on this show full-ass naked because the Nolan brothers said so. Good news: Hm, sorry, none currently.
Theresa and Bernard are having a Career Person Chat. Bernard is like, “That presentation was fake as hell and I know you’re selling us out, but I don’t care, because I’m cute.” Theresa is embarrassed for .14 seconds — Theresa doesn’t have TIME to be embarrassed, she already wasted so much of her youth feeling embarrassed for her raw ambition, and now she’ll never apologize for it again!! — and then the two start colluding again. Bernard explains that he believes there’s a link between the robots’ new memory and improvisation skills, that out of repetition comes variation, and that they’re on the verge of change. Bernard has clearly not heard the 2016 election results, which categorically demonstrate that repetition breeds more repetition and change is for babies.
Maeve, thankfully now in a blouse of some kind — albeit one that is still open at the boob level because we can’t have everything — is so angry that she is giving the silent treatment to herself. Sylvester is defending lobotomizing Clementine. “If I didn’t do it, they’d just get someone else to,” he says, quoting page 69 of the Woke Trump Voter Handbook. Maeve is like, “I am getting the fuck out of here, and you trash men are gonna help me, or I’ll murder ya.”
Theresa and Bernard are having a salty chat in the elevator on the way back to Anthony Hopkins’s weird shack in the woods full of his fake family members. Theresa is like, “I sold this park out for its own good,” and Bernard is like, “... Wut?” Bernard makes another heavy-handed remark about understanding the hosts of the park more than the humans. But no matter. Now they are at the fake shack in the fake woods. Theresa asks Bernard what a specific door leads to, and he’s like, “What door?” Yes, as this recap and 90 percent of the internet has been surmising all along, Bernard is Robot As Fuck.
Beneath Anthony Hopkins’s weird shack, the two discover a remote diagnostic facility that Anthony Hopkins and Arnold used when the park was in beta. In other words, Anthony Hopkins has been makin’ secret robots. Including Bernard. When confronted with his own blueprints, Bernard literally cannot compute. Theresa, however, is horrified, realizing she fucked a robot and she’s no better than her mother and her mother’s mother, both stay-at-home robot-fuckers.
Anthony Hopkins emerges from the shadows. Theresa is like, “Did you tell Bernard to fuck me, or …?” Bernard, meanwhile, is having a dissociative panic attack, realizing his entire life has been a lie. Anthony Hopkins shuts it down, then instructs Bernard to kill Theresa. NOT THERESA!!! SHE’S SPENT HER WHOLE LIFE CLIMBING THE CORPORATE LADDER, AND FOR WHAT? JUST TO BE SLAUGHTERED IN AN UGLY BASEMENT BY THE VERY ROBOT SHE WAS FUCKIN’?! THIS IS WHY HILLARY CLINTON NEVER HAD A CHANCE OF BECOMING PRESIDENT!!!! THE ANTHONY HOPKINSES OF THE WORLD ARE JUST PUPPETEERS AND WE’RE ALL JUST BERNARDS, UNABLE TO EXERCISE AUTONOMY IN A SYSTEM DESIGNED FROM ITS VERY INCEPTION TO KEEP US VULNERABLE AND POWERLESS, UNQUESTIONING SERVANTS TO THE VERY SYSTEM THAT WOULD SEE US DESTROYED IF WE STRAYED FROM OUR LOOPS!!!!!