‘Westworld’ episode 4 recap: ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’ confirms the dark purpose of the park

Season 2 of HBO‘s sci-fi epic “Westworld” continues to shock viewers. In Episode 4, the insidious purpose of the park is confirmed, one character’s memories unlock dangerous truths, and a hidden identity is revealed. Dive into the secrets of “Riddle of the Sphinx” below.

The Interview – The Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” spins in a record player as the camera pans across a living room, too perfect to be an actual home. James Delos (Peter Mullan) is pedaling on an exercise bike and is notified of a visitor. William (Jimmi Simpson) enters with a bottle of whiskey, but Delos is hurriedly asking about how and when he can finally leave his confines. He is in the final stages of an observation period, and just has to pass an interview with William to leave. There is some curious dialogue where Mr. Delos appears skeptical about their conversation playing out in “the same way.” William passes him a sheet of paper and James is stunned by its contents.

True Purpose – William returns to Delos’ chamber later in the episode. This time Delos’ hands appear much steadier. The two make their way through the same set of dialogue as seen before. But this time, the camera reveals what is on the sheet of paper: A script. Every word they’ve just spoken was already locked in ink. “I take it I didn’t recover” Delos says, referring to his previously mentioned sickness. William notes that Delos has been dead seven years, and confirms the fan theory that the true goal of Westworld was to create a path to immortality. To download the consciousness of a human into a robotic body and live forever. But William refuses to let this version of Delos leave due to continued glitches (his speech and motor functions break down over time). This build of Delos is “terminated” as a ball of fire courses through the room.

Elsie Lives – Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) drops Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) off at a cave entrance, only to find the missing Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) chain up inside. Bernard releases her but begins to malfunction and falls, allowing a tablet to slip onto the ground. Elsie uses the device to discover that her former coworker is indeed a host. Eventually getting his bearings, Bernard sees a memory of his past self walking into the cave and uses this memory to discover a hidden facility. When they take the elevator to the underground lab, dozens of murdered technicians scatter the room. It bears a striking resemblance to Charlotte’s (Tessa Thompson) facility, and considering Elsie guns down a drone host it is likely the same location.

Ghost Nation – Grace (Katja Herbers), the woman from the India park is still alive though a prisoner of the Ghost Nation tribe. Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) is there too and tells the woman not to fear, as the Delos Organization will eventually get them out of the park. “I’m not looking to get outta here” she retorts. The hosts take the prisoners to “the first of us,” which is their leader Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon). Grace is able to escape and flee into the woods, but she may not have needed to do anything. Akecheta holds a knife to Stubbs throat before whispering “you live only as long as the last person who remembers you.” The Ghost Nation warriors stand down. Is it possible this group is actually programmed to protect the human guests? We never actually see them kill anyone other than robots.

SEE ‘Westworld’ season 2 reviews: ‘Entertaining,’ ‘baffling’ and ‘ambitious’ sci-fi western returns to HBO

Las Mudas – The Man in Black (Ed Harris) and Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) discover a new set of train tracks being built and surmises that Ford is guiding him toward Las Mudas based on their direction. When they reach the town, they are ambushed by Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker). The Major brutalizes and murders townsfolk, and finds a hefty case of nitro to add to his weaponry. While his men pulverize Lawrence, Craddock has Lawrence’s wife deliver her husband a shot glass of nitro. This causes William to suffer flashbacks to discovering his dead wife in the bath many years ago. He snaps, steals a gun, and murders the men before force feeding Craddock the shot of nitro. Lawrence takes his old rifle back and blows Craddock to smithereens.

Build 149 – A new James Delos host dances around his quarters. This time when William arrives, enough time has passed that he is played by Ed Harris. William reveals that James has reached a “cognitive plateau.” “At first we thought it was your mind rejecting your new body” he says, but it now appears as though his mind is rejecting reality. This is why there are so many issues with speech and motor functions. William is unconvinced the problem will ever be fixed, as this is the 149th time James has been brought back. Mr. Delos is in a rage, as William mutters “some men are better off dead.” He mentions that both Logan and Delos’ daughter Juliet are long dead before leaving the room and refusing to let James be terminated.

Termination – Back in the other timeline, Elsie blows the door off a locked room in the lab and enters Delos’ trashed quarters. James sits on his exercise bike amid the rubble, self inflicted scars cover his face. “I’m all the way down now” he whispers, “I can see all the way to the bottom.” He lunges at Elsie but Bernard intervenes and bests the old man in a fight. Elsie manages to seal the room and finally terminate the tortured soul.

SEE ‘Westworld’ season 2 premieres in ‘Game of Thrones’ usual spring time slot, so will robots beat dragons at the Emmys?

Bernard’s Memories – Bernard’s memories are shifting in his head, but he clearly flashes back to grabbing a reddish sphere from the lab. “Ford had me print a control unit for someone else” he tells Elsie. Who it was for remains a mystery, but he is convinced it was a human. He convinces his new companion that he is in control of his own choices now that Ford is dead, but his mind reveals otherwise. In an extended look at the flashback, Bernard commands the drone hosts to murder the technicians in the lab, as well as themselves. When one human survives the encounter, Bernard carries out a vicious kill himself. Elsie, you in danger girl.

Grace – The young girl who provided the Man in Black with cryptic “maze” clues from Season 1 is back. And she is still an agent of Ford. “You still don’t understand the real game we’re playing” she scoffs at William. “If you’re looking forward, you’re looking in the wrong direction.” The gunslinger chooses to ignore this particular riddle and continue to ride towards “Glory.” But he is stopped by a silhouette of a female rider. As she draws closer, we see it is Grace, having escaped the Ghost Nation tribe. She offers a simple “Hi Dad.” Since it was previously mentioned that William’s daughter’s name was Emily, a codename like Grace could explain her entering the park without his knowledge. But this surprise is certainly a game changer for Westworld’s resident black hat.

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