The following contains spoilers for Westworld S4E2 “Well Enough Alone” (directed by Craig William Macneill and written by Matt Pitts & Christina Ham)
If you didn’t care for last week’s Season 4 premiere of Westworld, Episode 2 most likely did not change your mind regarding how you feel about the show at this point. It’s an episode that slows things down but still manages to move the narrative along and put characters where they need to be. That said, “Well Enough Alone” ends on a relatively interesting note, and Dolores’ story continues to fascinate me.
The opening seems to take place in the real world, but then we see good old Clementine walking through a street market. This must be another Delos attraction, we think. This might even be a flashback. After all, Clementine is long gone now, right? She goes home and is greeted by none other than William, who’s all dressed up in his Man in Black persona. Clementine is frightened, and why wouldn’t she be? William is a monster.
Except it’s actually the host version of William, who is still horrible, too, I suppose. He’s there to find out if Clementine knows where Maeve is. Though she tries her best, she’s no match, dying at the mercy of William’s knife. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. William wants to know where her “old master” is, and here I am assuming he’s referring to Maeve.
I don’t like second-guessing what a TV show tells me. I learned that lesson sometime during the third season of Lost. I found it was best to simply believe everything a show said; otherwise, I might be waiting for a twist that might never come. So, for now, I believe this scene takes place during Season 4’s present. Either way, poor Clem.
Before the opening credits begin, though, we’re given a second scene, this one involving Caleb and Maeve, who teamed up at the end of “The Auguries” to put an end to Charlotte and all of her evil actions. Caleb left his wife and daughter behind because he felt it was necessary and moral to help Maeve with this. The two of them drive to a mansion in the middle of nowhere belonging to a senator and his wife. They quickly discover that the two are host versions working for Charlotte, but Maeve and Caleb (well, mostly Maeve) make short work of them.
Maeve, either rusty or not much of a match for Charlotte’s hosts, is able to go through the memories of the senator to see what happened. It turns out that Charlotte wants a lot of land, and they will do what they must to get it. This ties in with the opening scene in Episode 1, but at this point in “Well Enough Alone,” we’re still unsure as to what Charlotte is exactly planning.
Post-opening credits finds us following a government agent who wants to know what Delos is up, with “buying up” huge pieces of land and whatnot. We see Clementine again, but she’s clearly not herself anymore. Gone is the sweet and kind character from Season 1, as well as the start of this episode. She’s been replaced by a cold and menacing host who kills without any remorse whatsoever. This is not the Clementine we’ve grown to love. Charlotte has reprogramed her to essentially be a terminator.
This is interesting because, at the beginning of Episode 2, Clementine seemed happy to be out in the world, a liberated host. Now, she’s under control again, but rather than humans controlling her, it’s Charlotte, a host herself, who’s the puppet master. This implies that Charlotte has become the very thing she is trying to destroy, human. After all, humans created hosts to do their bidding. Charlotte is now having hosts do her bidding. It’s messed up, but again, it’s interesting. I hope Westworld develops this idea as the season continues.
Meanwhile, Caleb and Maeve begin the next phase of their journey, which is to not simply stop Charlotte but to figure out just what the heck she’s up to. This part of Episode 2 continues the first episode’s fast-paced trajectory. Every time the narrative comes back to these two, there’s an action-movie vibe going on, so it works when we see them all dressed up (a gown for Maeve and a tuxedo for Caleb) for a gathering they’re going to be crashing.
As it turns out, they have snuck into what looks to be opening night for a new Delos park, this one modeled after early 20th-century gangster films. It’s really a shame that the trailers for this new season of Westworld ruined this moment because it could’ve been an interesting reveal, rather than me waiting for Maeve and Caleb to just get to that moment. Considering it’s also how S4E2 ends, it’s a little anticlimactic. But I shouldn’t fault the episode for the misstep of its marketing.
Of course, I haven’t gotten to the other half of “Well Enough Alone,” which is Dolores’ story. She seems to have a strikingly similar routine to that of her routine as the rancher’s daughter back in Westworld. The creators of the show must be wanting viewers to notice the similarities, but what is the purpose? I’m unsure at the moment.
Dolores’ narrative picks up from where Episode 1 ended. She wakes up, prepares for the day ahead, and lives her life. The only thing that seems to be throwing a wrench in it is her stalker, who killed himself in the season premiere. He’s played by Aaron Standford, a favorite actor of mine from shows like Nikita and 12 Monkeys, and I have to say that even though it was a small (but crucial) role, it was nice to see him.
Thanks to Dolores’ roommate and bestie, Maya, she finds out that her stalker, Peter, maybe wasn’t so crazy when he accused Dolores of messing with his life. As Maya reads from his obituary, Dolores starts to see eerie similarities between his life and a story she wrote. Could Dolores be the author of Peter’s life? Like Dolores, I’m open to the possibility.
On the way to work, Dolores passes a madman on the street, drawing and raving about a “tower.” “What tower?” she asks him, but he doesn’t seem to hear her. It’s because of this that she seems to want to shake away her thoughts, walking away with a face that seems to say, “I’m crazy. I didn’t have a hand in writing Peter’s existence.” When she gets to work, though, she notices dead birds outside her building. Didn’t that madman say something about birds? What was it? Whatever is happening, it inspires Dolores to skip work and go investigating.
Her first stop is Peter’s charity of choice, Hope Center for Mental Health. On the way, she listens to her notes regarding the story she wrote, and to me, it lines up with Peter’s life, including his suicide. As she lies to her boss as to why she missed work, I got Truman Show vibes. Last week I wondered if Dolores was in The Sublime, the afterlife for Hosts. Though I still consider that a real possibility, perhaps she’s trapped someplace, thinking she’s in the real world but it’s actually a fake one. She’s real but everything else isn’t.
Her boss seems to keep close tabs on her, which is creepy and totally in line with how technology is generally used in Westworld. Speaking of creepy, when she arrives at Hope Center, the place looks abandoned, but there are people walking around in hard hats, perhaps working on future renovations? We don’t find out.
What we do discover, along with Dolores, is the Peter Meyers Memorial Wing, “dedicated in loving memory to Peter.” Now, he just killed himself, maybe two days earlier. How is this plaque already here? She calls Maya and essentially tells her how weird this situation is, and that she feels like she’s going insane. Maya, ever the best friend, reassures her that she’s not but to also just come home.
Dolores agrees, but before she leaves, she finds a patient’s room with drawings of a tower, the same tower the madman in the street spoke of earlier in “Well Enough Alone.” I must be honest. I continue to be intrigued.
Here’s hoping Episode 3 finds its fast-paced footing once again, and finally finding out what Bernard’s been up to would be nice. For now, I like Charlotte, William, and their whole villainous narrative, and I love what’s happening with Dolores. I’m still in, as long as the show’s creators keep things moving and keep making me care about our heroes.