Sunday’s episode of Westworld — the sixth of the season — follows Caleb and the smart, distrustful and notorious rebel known as “C.”
We last saw these characters in episode 4,which caught Maeve and Caleb (now the host) up to the timeline that Bernard and Stubbs traveled this season. We also learned that C is the grown-up version of Caleb’s beloved daughter Frankie.
In the latest episode, C takes down the impostor who framed Chalores, and Caleb has some harsh words for the main host. Still, the good guys seem to have cleared very little ground in bringing down Chalores’ evil empire. (She still manages a town’s worth of people and has power over hosts like William.) With Caleb locked in a waking nightmare, it looks like it’ll be up to C, Maeve, Bernard (and maybe Kristina?) to do something to that effect.
Here’s what else you need to know about Episode 6. There are only two episodes left in the season… I look nervously at the hourglass.
With all the timeline changes, it took my brain a minute to adjust to this week’s opening scene. Ah, this is the real kid Frankie — not the fake one. It’s a flashback, OK.
The show opens with a teenager sitting on a bench near the playground. Young Frankie approaches and leads him to Uwada, Caleb’s wife. The teenager is revealed to be a young version of Ja, and his brother has gone missing. Uwade says nothing can be done for his brother — an outlier captured by the crew of the Chalores. She and Frankie are there so J doesn’t suffer the same fate. (Last week,on some people. She’s not surprised that there’s some “crop spoilage”, but it’s causing major problems for the hosts.) Some drone hosts show up and the group narrowly escapes, minus one of Uwade’s allies, who gets captured.
Chalores is looking for answers
Chalores is still searching for an answer to her host/exception problem — nearly 40 hosts have killed themselves after interacting with aliens, and the risk to her people continues. Chalores is a nickname for Charlotte Hale. In the past, Dolores made copies of herself—the “me” that exists in her pearl—and placed one in the host version of Hale.
Chalores asks Caleb (his version of the host) how the extraordinary make the hosts take their own lives. She mentions the scene in episode 4, when the human Caleb fights her parasite, telling her that he “has something” that she doesn’t. Chalores wants to know what allowed him to resist her and Caleb won’t back down.
A frustrated Chalores leaves, but not before telling Caleb that Frankie is alive. She also tells him that she is in a “temporary” host body that won’t last long.
When we last saw Bernard and C/Frankie, they had just pulled a dilapidated Maeve out of the desert. In episode 6, Bernard and C visit a 20’s theme park to revive it. (It’s abandoned, a far cry from the lively place Maeve and Caleb occupied two decades ago.) Bernard begins poking around the park looking for “supplies” to get Maeve going again, and C, who hasn’t yet figured out his identity as a host, grows suspicious.
Bernard says that Maeve’s time in the country messed up her control unit. He pulls another one out of a random host’s head. Bernard reveals to Cu that Chalores was supposed to understand people’s minds, so she collected data from people who visited the park. But instead of using cowboy hats like Delos, she used… scanners hidden behind mirrors? At least that’s how it seems to me. Bernard says the mirrors worked because they played on the lowest human impulse: vanity.
Bernard opens the mirror and tells C to look, and the machine scans her. He takes what looks like a chip from the machine and sticks it into the device he’s holding. C asks him what he’s up to, and he says that what he grabbed will help speed up Maeve’s data transfer. (Hmm, looks a little fishy.) For the actual transmission, a cable connects Maeve’s control unit and a random host’s control unit. Awaiting the return of C’s friends, Bernard hides Maeve’s control unit inside the piano.
Cheater in ‘real’
Earlier, during Chaloresa’s tense conversation with Caleb, she tells him that she sent Frankie “a visitor.” My mind immediately went toa few episodes back. But as the episode continues, it becomes clear that she’s up to something else.
When C’s allies return, they tell Cu that they suspect a spy is among them. Without warning, C suddenly shoots Bernard, identifying him as a “mole”. She says “the park is designed to collect data from guests” and Bernard tries to copy everything. Stubbs is confused. The only thing Bernard says in his defense is “it’s complicated.” What could he have up his sleeve?
Some time later, a reserved Bernard tells C that one of her friends is not who they say they are. “Your team went into the heart of Hale’s city, but one of them didn’t come back,” he says. Bernard’s prophetic abilities cannot reveal who the impostor is.
C locks his girlfriend, Odina, in a room, unable to tell if she is the hidden host. But J.C turns out to have realized the truth when “J” tells her that she is like a sister to him. At the beginning of episode 6, when C/Frankie appears as a child, she tries to contact Caleb via radio. J is also in the room and overhears Frankie telling her dad that she’s always wanted a brother. Teenage J, clearly still hurt by the news about his own brother, rejects the term.
C shoots the main version of Ja, but it’s not enough to take him down. Host J presses her to tell him where Maeve’s control unit is. She tells him that she hid him… behind him. He turns and we see Maeve — reanimated — stab him in the head.
Westworld amps up the horror
While Bernard and C are busy getting Maeve back/spotting camouflaged enemies in the desert, Caleb is starring in a horror movie. When Chalores leaves Caleb in his cell, things get dark. We see multiple versions of the host Caleb locked in cells around him. One Kaleb has horrific marks on his face, which appear to be the result of being in the decaying body of his host for too long.
Caleb looks at the hourglass in his cell and finds a tiny metal object. He presses it, and it exposes a needle that stabs him. Things are starting to get murky. The next thing Caleb knows, the drone host has decided to set the room on fire while he’s still inside. Caleb pulls the hatch on the ground until it opens. (A small arrow carved into it instructs him in which direction to pull it.) It lands in a pit of ash… which it seems to register as being from the bodies of other Calebs.
From there the nightmare continues. Caleb confronts the drone host, ending up stabbing him in the head rather badly. Following a trail of bloody handprints — presumably left by another host Calebs bravely escaped — crawls into an opening in the ceiling. Then things become really creepy. Caleb reaches the end of the vented maze to find that there has been a brutal drop to the floor below. Two Calebs lay dead on the ground below him. (Sheesh, Westworld, this is pretty sick stuff.) Still in the vent with him is Caleb, who is clinging to life, and he tells main host Caleb that he’s using his body to cushion the fall. Caleb does so and survives the jump. Then he flew to the roof.
It ends violently
Using some technique on the roof, Caleb leaves a message for Frankie. He tells her that “it has to be her” (seems like some serious foreshadowing to me). We see that C/Frankie heard part of the message and knows that her dad is alive (well, at least in some capacity). Chalores appears and tells Caleb that she created his recent harrowing experience, inserting the needle so that he would have “a little hope” and maybe show his cards. But she didn’t take much from Caleb’s message to Frankie.
Caleb fires a few verbal arrows at Chalores, telling her under breath that her hosts would rather die than live in her world. “They are not infected,” he says. “They’re just trying to get away from you.” This hits Chalores, who angrily snaps his neck.
C is for cookie…
When Caleb leaves his message for Frankie, he starts with her nickname, Cookie. Could this be the reason why the rebel is going over C?
- After seeing Uwade as a rebel during the flashback, we learn from C/Frankie that she has become very ill. This, along with her absence from the adult Frankie timeline, seems to suggest that she has passed away.
- The famous Westworld “pearl” is inside those light bulb-shaped objects in the episode.
- I’m not sure if the “outlaws” this season are meant to be the same people called “outliers” . (In Season 3, Serac sees unpredictable people as “exceptional,” a threat he must confront.) It seems to me that the word is now being used again to describe a different set of people. But this is Westworld… Are there such coincidences?
- It may be too simple a guess, but I suspect that the love for his daughter is what allowed Caleb to defy Chalores. Earlier in episode 4, as part of her explanation for why she slipped out of Caleb’s life for once, Maeve told him that she “wanted him to have something to fight for,” clearly referring to Frankie. It seemed like an important nugget.
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