At this point, slamming Westworld for being a slow-burner seems a tad self-defeating. If you’re still watching this then there’s clearly something about it that’s enticing you to remain on the journey – and by the episode’s end, ‘Contrapasso’ will likely continue to do so.
Even so, there’s plenty that’s still being kept under wraps: what exactly Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is doing, what the game is with the device that Elsie (Shannon Woodward) discovered, or even when exactly all the various narratives are taking place.
The presence of Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr) in the company of the Man in Black (Ed Harris) at one point, and then with Dolores, William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) at another would suggest that this is not all happening at the same time – and indeed, so would other occurrences.
The Man in Black is capable of strolling around in God Mode, killing at will – although even he can’t harm Robert (Anthony Hopkins) – while William and Logan are perfectly capable of being slapped around by the hosts.
As much as Logan bragged about not being able to come to any harm in Westworld, the look of fear in his eyes both when he’s being strangled by an ‘outlaw’, and later when he’s abandoned by William and Dolores, is all too real. Like many gamers before him, he failed at the highest difficulty level.
Beyond all this though, a few answers are given. Dolores appears to be working with someone else, and there clearly seems to be some sort of conspiracy afoot, possibly involving Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), who really doesn’t seem all that surprised or concerned when Elsie presents her discovery.
By now, everyone’s motivations seem pretty clear, it’s just their end goals that really aren’t. We’re halfway through the season now, and are still none the wiser about where things are heading, yet somehow we still want to keep watching. Hopefully the reason why will become more clear next week.