Westworld Post Mortem of “Phase Space”

Maeve and Daugher Westworld

“Hello, old friend.”

Those three words, uttered by none other than Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) at the end of Westworld‘s last episode, “Phase Space”, are still giving me goosebumps. It was rumored that we would see the return of Dr. Ford in some form, but no one knew for sure if Hopkins would be returning to reprise his role. While, of course, Ford isn’t technically back, given that we see him through the lens of Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) mind while he’s in The Cradle, his return to the screen is no less satisfying and exciting.

Along with this cliffhanger, the last episode introduces us to the newly programmed Teddy (James Marsden), shows the beginning of a short-lived alliance between the MIB (Ed Harris) and his daughter Emily (Katja Herbers), and finally reunites Maeve (Thandie Newton) with her daughter (Jasmyn Rae) in bittersweet fashion.

As per usual, interviews and articles have surfaced that comment on the last episode, so let’s dive on in and check them out!

We first start with an article from Polygon, who took a look back at Anthony Hopkins’ Twitter history to uncover a video the actor posted about a month ago of him playing a song on his piano. At first, it wasn’t much to think about in relation to the show, but it turns out the song he’s playing in the video is the same song he plays in the episode as Bernard approaches him. Yup, Sir Anthony Hopkins trolled us.

Check out the (now familiar-sounding) song from the actor below:

It remains to be seen if this song will have any more significance as the rest of the season progresses. For now, it’s good to have the park’s brilliant co-creator back on our screen!

William and Emily Westworld

Next, we check in with the writer of the last episode, Carly Wray, who recently spoke with HBO.com about the episode’s most important plot points and twists.

One of the bigger twists in the episode comes during the MIB and Emily’s reunion and relationship-mending conversation by the campfire. After a visibly-emotional MIB agrees to join his daughter on a mission to leave the park and re-enter the real world, Emily wakes up to find that her father and his group of followers have deserted her and left her to fend for herself. Wray explains that this interaction and eventual betrayal tops the list of scenes she’s written this season:

“My favorite thing that I wrote for the whole season is the conversation between the Man in Black and his daughter. When we were first rehearsing it, Ed said his approach to the scene was that in the moment when the Man in Black tells Emily he’s going to go with her, he believes it. He wants to be the guy that’s going to go with her.”

I wanted to believe him just as much, especially given the amount of emotion he shows as he and Emily work through their conversation, but I guess I can’t be surprised at this turn of events given his track record.

Another heart-wrenching moment in the episode occurs when Maeve realizes that her role as mother to her daughter has been taken by another host. Wray notes that, given Maeve’s heightened awareness, she understands the necessity of replacing her with another mother to continue that park’s storyline, but that certainly doesn’t make her realization any less difficult to watch. “There’s something so simple and beautiful in the look on her face when she sees her daughter within arm’s reach again,” says the writer. “Maeve has the highest sense of awareness of all of the hosts around her, so she can’t fault this new woman’s attachment to this little girl.”

Check out the rest of Wray’s interview here, during which she also discusses Teddy’s new persona.

Maeve Akane Sylvester and Sizemore Shogun World

During the last episode, we once again dive into Shogun World and join Maeve during the last bit of her journey through the newly introduced park. Although it seems like we may have seen the last of the Japanese-themed playground, at least for now, the lessons that Maeve has learned during her trek through the new land will no doubt stay with her as she continues to pursue her bigger mission.

Thandie Newton recently chatted with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss some of the valuable lessons taught to her character by hosts like Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Akane (Rinko Kikuchi), and how her perspective in regards to the liberation of her fellow androids has now shifted.

“At the beginning of the season, [Maeve] doesn’t give a shit about liberating other robots,” admits the actress. “[Shogun World] definitely helps shift that perspective […] She’s into self-realization and self-liberation, and if that happens to chime with others? Great.” Through her interactions with her Shogun World counterparts, Maeve comes to realize that host liberation is something worth fighting for, but at the same time, it cannot be forced by someone like herself, and instead must be a decision made by the hosts themselves.

Newton also says that the atrocities Maeve witnesses against her fellow hosts in Shogun World have ultimately transformed into a source of motivation for her own journey to self-realization and liberation:

“We’re seeing how these characters are also breaking free from their loops. Movements grow because when one person speaks the truth, it then inspires others to come forward. In some ways, I feel like this is another wave to the feeling of revolution that lies within Maeve, seeing others who have been similarly abused and lied to, and are similarly desperate to break out of the trauma they’re experiencing.”

With her motivations in place, mind control powers at her disposal, and now her daughter by her side, where do you think Maeve is destined to go next? Check out THR‘s full interview with Newton here, and let us know what you think!

Stubbs Hale and Abernathy Westworld

We now make our way from one of the most powerful hosts in the park to arguably one of the most important, at least in terms of the amount of IP he contains. Peter Abernathy has not had an easy road thus far this season, being captured and re-captured as his semblance of a personality prohibits him from fighting for his freedom. The actor behind Abernathy, newly-appointed series regular Louis Herthum, recently chatted with GoldDerby about his experiences being a part of this season.

As many of the actors have noted, shooting a show of this magnitude requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, but Herthum says the love of the show and its content is what keeps him around. “Everyone is having a blast on this show,” says the actor. “Working very very hard. Long and difficult hours but everyone is there because they love it. That’s really the most fun.”

However, given Herthum’s stunt performer background, he does admit he’d like to be involved in more physical scenes, and perhaps even a shootout:

“If it were up to me, there are a great deal of stunts I’d be doing on Westworld. But Peter would need to be in a different frame of mind. That shootout in the pilot episode which was duplicated [last] week beautifully; I would love to be a part of an action scene like that. I love physical acting and physical activity. I’m open to anything that comes my way.”

Check out the rest of Herthum’s interview with GoldDerby here.

Dr Ford_S2 E6

Next, we’ve found another update to the Delos Destinations site. Clicking on this link takes you to a familiar page where the ‘Delos Security Panel’ provides a reassuring message that everything is under control despite the park’s viral outbreak. At the end of the message, if you click on ‘Restore from Previous Backup A’, you’re now taken to a message from Dr. Robert Ford, who enlightens you about who you’ve been speaking with on the site this entire time:

Delos Destinations_Dr Ford

Clicking through the various buttons below each message provide details, from the perspective of Ford, of everything currently transpiring in and around the parks. Included in his messages is confirmation of where he, or rather, his digital consciousness, currently exists:

Delos Destinations_Dr Ford_2

As well as how he managed to get to The Cradle:

Delos Destinations_Dr Ford_3

And finally, over on the Discover Westworld guest-facing site, it looks like the hosts have taken over and rewrote the messaging to highlight their newfound power and “Life Without Loops.” At the bottom of the page there is also now a map that looks to track Dolores and Maeve’s progress throughout the course of the season:

Discover Westworld_Map

Check out both sites and let us know what you think!

For the video portion of this week’s post mortem, we begin with a behind-the-scenes video featuring cast and crew commentaries on The Cradle and the hosts’ brains (or “pearls” as they refer to them):

Next, on a more humorous note, Katja Herbers stopped by Elle to read and respond to some fan theories (and was helped along the way by Shannon Woodward [Elsie]):

And finally, in case you missed it, here’s a preview for this Sunday’s episode, “Les Écorchés”:

2 responses to “Westworld Post Mortem of “Phase Space””

  1. Great interview roundup! Just to point out, I think the Discover Westworld guest-facing site has been like that for a while. I can’t remember when I first saw the change, but I’m pretty sure it happened at the end of last season… or at least sometime during the off season. I remember checking it out and being impressed by all of the new descriptions of the park, that were clearly written by a host (honestly it sounds a lot like Dolores wrote them).

    It’s definitely been tracking Dolores and Maeve all season. I really like the map, as it helps but into perspective where they are relative to the locations we know (Sweetwater, the Mesa Hub, etc.). I do wonder why it is only tracking Dolores and Maeve… I mean I can see why because they are our main protagonists, but I wonder if it goes deeper than that. Maybe this map is controlled by Ford as well, because he really has some important plans for those two?

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