[WATCH] ‘Westworld’ episode 8 recap: ‘Trace Decay’ showcases Ed Harris

“Trace Decay,” the eighth episode of “Westworld,” showcased Ed Harris‘ Man in Black as he journeyed to the theme park’s maze with robotic host Teddy (James Marsden). Each week I will be chatting via webcam with Gold Derby contributors about the newest episode and its awards prospects. This time around, I am joined by Riley Chow to analyze the best performance and all the plot points (watch above).

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In this taut installment, Teddy remembers that the Man in Black killed him during an earlier incarnation. This revelation leads to the Man in Black revealing his wife’s death was behind him visiting the park and embracing his dark side. It is also revealed that he shot the daughter of robotic host Maeve (Thandie Newton).

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For me, Harris “was one actor this week I was really impressed by. For weeks we’ve seen standout performances from Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins. We’ve enjoyed Ed Harris’ character but he hasn’t had much of a showcase until this episode. He had a big monologue explaining to James Marsden’s Teddy what brought him to the park. This puts him in good standing on the awards track now.”

Riley agrees that Harris delivered a strong performance, but is more skeptical of his standing for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards. “What I loved about the Man in Black storyline this week, is that it tied into Thandie Newton’s storyline. He’s directly affecting other parts of the show. I do wonder if it’s too late for Ed Harris at the Globes. Most of the season he hasn’t done too much, finally he gets his big scene, but it’s in episode eight. Will voters get that far?”

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