Westworld recap: Season 1, Episode 7, “Trompe L’Oeil,” Aired Nov. 13, 2016
Here’s what happened:
While most people take Spanish as an elective language in high school, I took French. Now I hear Spanish all over, while I’m stuck watching Pepé Le Pew cartoons to get my French fix.
Well the joke’s on you now, Spanish takers! Thanks to my limited ability to speak French, I knew something big was coming in Westworld 1×07 from the episode title! “Trompe L’Oiel” translates to “Optical Illusion,” obviously.
(Actually, I thought it translated to “deceived eye,” but that didn’t make sense. Regardless, I had the jump!)
We got our biggest reveal to date in this week’s Westworld. Bernard is shown to not only be one of the hosts, but he’s thoroughly controlled by a mad man with too much power.
That phrase is not used lightly to describe Ford, either. This week’s episode opens with Bernard “remembering” as he reads Alice in Wonderland to his “son.” Of course he calls the Mad Hatter the Mad Man, and the next line to come from the book reads: “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.”
If that ain’t a foreshadow, I don’t know what is. In fact, many of Bernard’s scenes in Westword 1×07 (and past episodes) are foreshadowing to this week’s big reveal. We’ve discussed the past in a few previous recaps. We hear that fateful sentence this week — “They don’t look like anything to me” — from a host Bernard is interviewing before he utters those words himself. Bernard refuses to turn on Ford after Clem’s staged showcase, while Ford is eerily quiet as if concentrating on something else. In one of their final conversations, Bernard says to Theresa, “The longer I work here, the more I think I understand the hosts. It’s the human beings who confuse me.”
Praiseworthy or Predictable?
Westworld 1×07 showcases great use of the literary device. We even get the phrase “blood sacrifice” twice in this episode to portray how completely in control Ford is of everything going on in Westworld. But it also begs a question:
Is Westworld becoming too predictable?
We had Bernard being a host here at Pure Fandom, as previously mentioned. It’s unclear if the two-timeline storyline is still supposed to be a secret. If so, it’s one of the worst kept ones going. At this point, if we weren’t being shown stories 30 years apart, it might be the biggest surprise Nov. 2016 has seen.
Personally, I like a good show that requires the viewer to pay attention. I also like a good “Oh Sh!t” moment that I would have never seen coming in a million years. I wonder if the latter is coming, or if we’ve revealed Westworld before it has a chance to reveal itself. Of course, if that moment was on the way, I would never see it coming, by definition. That allows for reckless speculation with foreshadowing, which is one of the things that makes Westworld so great.
For example, I still think Ford might be a schizophrenic who somehow, some way is both himself and Arnold. And him saying “I built all of this,” with an emphasis on the “I,” doesn’t do anything to disprove me. He is the Mad Man, after all.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO
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(Image credit: New York Observer)