Westworld – Trompe L’Oeil

Welcome to Westworld where everything is a lie.

Synopsis: After the disappearance of Elsie, Bernard struggles to determine where his allegiances should lie. Dolores and William’s relationship continues to grow amidst the threat of constant danger during their journey. The pair continue to transform into different people. Maeve attempts to live in a world she knows is mere illusion.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Review: This week’s episode of Westworld has sent shock waves through their fans with a big revelation. It is always a big day when fan theories are proven right (i.e. Game of Thrones and Jon Snow’s parentage). And while we will totally get to that in this review, let’s back it up a bit. Maeve, through her machinations, has become fully aware of the false world in which she resides. In a scene that we have witnessed numerous times, Maeve wakes up to still find herself in her loop. She walks through the world, yet the world is that of a half remembered dream. When she enters the Mariposa Saloon and is met with the falseness of it all, Maeve shuts down the player piano. This action demonstrates how this character has begun to reject this world. Maeve’s rejection continues when fellow host Clementine becomes a scapegoat for the corporate coup that leaves Bernard stripped of his position within the park.

Bernard’s betrayal is a powerful moment. The obviously staged scene where Clementine is brutally attacked and attacks another host that she is supposed to read as human is difficult to watch on many levels. Clementines assault is horrific because the onlookers show no humanity or compassion. The lack of emotion continues when Bernard is placed on the altar as a sacrificial lamb to save Dr. Ford’s reputation. In this moment, Bernard is betrayed by both his mentor and his lover; neither do anything to save him. Fast forward to Bernard confiding into Theresa about Ford’s unregistered hosts, and the two of them coming to a massive revelation. BERNARD IS A HOST!!

EVERYTHING IS A LIE!! The most entertaining about this episode is that the title “Trompe L’Oeil” tells you everything about this episode. In short, the title means: a trick of the eye or illusion. We as the viewer understand that Westworld is a series about seeming and truth. We understand that what we see isn’t always accurate, but there are some instances where we take things as fact. Personally, I did not believe Bernard could be a host, and I looked to the telephone conversation he had with his wife (played by Gina Torres who is one of my favorites!). I took this as fact, but this was a fallacy. Bernard’s son supposedly died, but Dr. Ford once said that they had cured practically all known diseases. It is hard to imagine what could have killed the child in this advanced society. Beyond all of that, Bernard took his wife’s phone call on the operations side of Westworld. A side we assumed would always represent the real world. Now, this is not the case, and the series truly benefits from it.

In a line that could only be delivered by Maeve, she strips away the power of her technicians while she demystified her world. “At first I thought you were gods, but then I realized you were men…and I know men.” Both her and our understanding of this world is a Trompe L’Oeil. It is all glamour, and when you strip it away, what you have left should be the truth. However, in a world as uncertain as this one, nothing can or should be taken at face value.

Westworld - Trompe L'Oeil
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music
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