Westworld Season 1 Episode 8 ‘Trace Decay’ review

Can Westworld top THAT ending? Find out in our spoiler review…

Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe

For me personally, it has always been a source of wonder as to how some fiction achieves the feat of conveying a lot in just a few words.

Mad Men did it, The Young Pope is currently giving it a go, and now Westworld seems to be managing this feat.

Not a single frame is wasted; there is meaning in every glance, some hidden behind behind every gesture.

Some people saw the conclusion to last week’s episode coming. Good for you – we certainly different. But if, having watched this episode, you still truly believe that everything is going as you have foreseen it then we take our white cap off to you.

Slowly but surely, things are becoming clear. Ford has been manipulating Bernard for a long time (the unfortunate Elsie is revealed as another one of his victims), and his megalomania seems to know no bounds.

However, he may face a formidable foe in Charlotte. Clever enough to not fake complete acceptance of Ford’s explanation for Theresa’s demise, she could be a match for him.

However, will she regret a) allowing Ford to re-hire Bernard, and b) recruiting the dubious skills of Lee? Only time will tell.

Indeed, time has been the telling of the Man in Black, who we confess to having read all wrong.

We assumed that once the hosts started fighting back he’d regress into coward mode. Not so. Learning more about his back story, we find a man who has no use for the real world, looking for something meaningful over in Westworld.

Yet just as his actions in the real world appear to have alienated him, so to may they prove the downfall of Westworld, as it is revealed that it was he who kick-started Maeve’s awakening, and with it the potential end of the park as we know it.

Yes, Maeve. She has intelligence, she has power over the hosts, and most vitally, she can kill if she wants. And she clearly wants to.

While we weren’t able to tell for sure whether the unfortunate Sylvester survived her assault, she made her point.

It brings us back to the beginning of Westworld, with one of the key themes being teased as the evolution of sin. It’s an easy one to overlook, but in light of Maeve’s actions it’s making more and more sense. Wherever people go, their misdeeds always catch up with them, and it’s something that a lot of Maeve’s abusers will no doubt soon find out the hard way.

By now, almost all of the show’s enigmas seem to have been demystified somewhat, aside from one: Dolores. We just can’t work her out. Help, anyone?

Until next week. Two episodes to go, and Westworld has made the transformation into hang-on-every-word status that we hoped it would.