Westworld season two episode two was filled with a flurry of flashbacks (try saying that with your teeth out), dripfeeding us the backstory of the Westworld park while also hinting at the MacGuffin of the series so far.
Watch our discussion of the episode in the video below, then delve into the biggest questions that Reunion left us with below.
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- Westworld season 2 episode 1 recap
Where in the world is Westworld?
Episode two opens with our first look at the world outside Westworld, in a high-tech city where Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) takes Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) for a walk, before the company tries to impress Logan (Ben Barnes) with a special demonstration.
But where does this place Westworld? Well, some keen-eyed viewers spotted that there were some Navy types from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army trying to get involved in the season two opener, so it seems likely the park is in Chinese waters. With that in mind, it seems this city is part of the Chinese mainland.
Is Delos really all about data?
We learned that Westworld’s parent company Delos is only interested in the park for data purposes, with the simulated game world perfect for discreetly collecting details of the customer’s preferences while they’re giving in to their inner desires.
Still, we have to wonder – is this really that helpful, given that a lot of your preferences in Westworld will relate to how many six-shooters you buy, or how many gallons of hat you prefer?
And is it this customer data that Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) is so desperate to smuggle out of the park inside poor old Abernathy?
What is William’s weapon?
All the hosts seem to be heading towards a specific place, calling it “the valley beyond” or “Glory” – but by the end of the episode, Dolores reveals it’s actually a weapon. Flashbacks reveal that William (Jimmi Simpson/Ed Harris) created it in the park.
William now describes it as his greatest mistake – but what could this weapon do? We go over some of the options in our video recap, but our shortlist includes some sort of biological agent, a big “off” button or electromagnetic pulse that could switch off the hosts, or just a massive laser Dolores could use to zap her enemies.
Exactly what purpose William would have had in building any of these items is questionable (though making a massive portable laser available to the hosts might qualify as anyone’s “greatest mistake”), but hopefully we’ll find out more in future episodes.
The fact that all the hosts are being drawn there is also an interesting plot point – maybe Ford hid some code in their brain in order to draw them there, making his final “game” for William that much more difficult?
Who was playing El Lazo?
Why, it was surprise guest star Giancarlo Esposito of course, best known for his role as drugs kingpin Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul.
His involvement in the series was kept a secret before the episode aired, and given that he ends the episode with a bullet in his positronic brain we’re guessing this was a one-off cameo. He was great, though.
Do the hosts know they’re hosts?
When Dolores and co run into the Confederados, they’re basically carrying on their historically-appropriate lives as usual. So after the massacre, are there some hosts still sticking to their loops, like that stable hand in episode one?
So far, we’re not sure – these Confederados at least seem able to take in new information about the real world, unlike the hosts in season one – but we imagine this is something the series will continue to explore.
Maybe the hosts all just need Dolores to help wake them up – though we’d rather have checked out before that happens…
Westworld continues on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV next Monday