Westworld recap: Establishing fidelity
Westworld (TV series)
In the sixth episode of Westworld season 4, "Fidelity" — written by Jordan Goldberg & Alli Rock; directed by Andrew Seklir — Caleb and Frankie search for each other as Bernard and Hale search for solutions.
We flashback to the past, sometime after Uwade (Nozipho Mclean) and Young Frankie (Celeste Clark) ran off into the night in episode 3, during the early days of Halores' (Tessa Thompson) reign. Young Frankie approaches a Young Jay (Alec Wang), who sits on a park bench observing kids on the swing set. "This is where your brother used to play. You used to push him on the swings. Your parents don't remember him, but you do," Young Frankie says in a very Children of the Corn way. She brings him to her mother, an early leader of the rebels, who tells Young Jay the people his brother tried to warn him about already got to him. Jay's behavior has become problematic, and they are after him now too. They make a harrowing escape out of the city, barely escaping capture by a pair of terrifying faceless Drone Hosts. Seriously, those Drones are nightmare fuel.
They arrive at a safe house, where Young Frankie still sends out messages to her father over a transistor radio. She tells Caleb (Aaron Paul) about Jay, smiling as she says she always wanted a brother, but Young Jay abruptly cuts her off. "I'm not your brother. There's no point in leaving these messages. Your dad is gone just like my real brother is." Ouch. Damn, dude. She's just a kid, who by the way, saved your life.
Cut to the current timeline (or what I assume is the current one, but who really knows with this show). Adult Frankie (Aurora Perrineau) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) approach the rebel base camp, a place Bernard knows well— the ruins of Temperance.
They both want to rebuild Maeve (Thandiwe Newton). Frankie believes the answers to the questions that have kept her up at night are inside Maeve's head. But before they can wake her, they'll need supplies. Bernard makes his way around with ease, quickly locating a hidden elevator to the lower-level hub. He tells a suspicious Frankie he used to "work" at Westworld, and this park had the same architect.
They make their way through the rundown hub as Bernard overshares his resume. He used to program the hosts, but assures her he didn't help Halores spread her parasite. That was after his time. Frankie doesn't appear pleased to learn any of this. "You gave the puppets strings long enough to strangle the world," she replies.
Fixing Maeve's body won't be an issue, but her mind is a different matter. Being underground so long will have corrupted her control unit, so they'll need a new one. He stumbles upon the body of Temperance Hector (Nico Galán) and gruesomely removes the control unit — or pearl — from his skull. They rig some kind of bathtub system in the derelict Butterfly Club to rebuild Maeve's body — a fitting place for her rebirth. Bernard says that "60% of the time she wakes up amenable to their plan. The other 40%...let's just say she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed." Frankie wants to know how "Nostradamus" comes up with these predictions. An "old habit" he says that comes from years of "running probabilistic algorithms." He reveals a hidden system Halores used to scan copies of guests at the park, which he is going to reformat to speed up Maeve's data transfer. But since they don't have much time before her friends return, and they can't let them interfere, they must hide Maeve's pearl in the old player piano while the transfer completes. As they wait for the other rebels to return, Frankie can't help but notice the familiarity and care with which Bernard repairs Maeve's body.
Meanwhile, somewhere deep inside Olympiad Entertainment, Caleb's peaceful dreams of Frankie are interrupted by Halores. "Your daughter, your daughter, your daughter, like a broken record. You're not the only one whose lost something Caleb," she spits at him. She tells him the outliers all started with him. Her kind is supposed to be perfect, but they've been staining themselves with death, choosing mortality, making irrational decisions. He once told her he could fight off the effects of the parasite because he had something she didn't have, and she wants to know what it is. She makes him an offer: this body he's in is failing, his death will be painful, and she can bring him back and restart the cycle — or he can tell her what she wants to know and end this torture. When he refuses, she lashes out, threatening to make Frankie tell her. He smiles, realizing this means Frankie is alive and she hasn't been able to catch her. She tells him not to celebrate yet: she's sent a visitor her way. "Enjoy this knowledge while you can. I offered you a path out Caleb. You made your choice, you all did," she says. Halores is really coming undone. I wouldn't be surprised if she snaps and decides to kill everyone, human and host alike.
The rest of Caleb's plotline this episode revolves around an escape attempt that is actually a game set-up by Halores. He makes his way through a horrifying trail of dead or dying versions of himself who all failed to get out. The one thing he seems to have that the others didn't is the knowledge that Frankie is alive. With the help of a half-dead Caleb, he becomes the first to make it to the end, where he uses a radio tower to send a message to his daughter. "This world she made is a lie. It's not real. But what you have is real. I'm sorry that I failed…You're my warrior. I love you." Halores is disappointed that after all this time waiting to hear what he had to say to Frankie, he blew his shot on an apology. As his body fails, he tells her "we didn't infect your hosts," they would rather die than "live in your world." They're not infected, they're just trying to get away from her. Enraged, she kills him, then surveys her kingdom as she claws at her own skin, drawing blood.
Halores destroys the other Calebs and shuts down the game, then prints a 279th version of him and prepares for another interview.
When Adult Jay (Daniel Wu) and the team arrive, Frankie turns on Bernard. She shoots him in the chest and reveals that she knows he's a host. I mean, if she hadn't realized it after all the red flags he just waved at her I would have to question how she's survived this long. Frankie grabs the tablet he's using to reformat Maeve and shows the group that he also scanned and saved a copy of her, and planned on doing it to all of them. Stubbs asks if this is true and Bernard says it's complicated. Not the best defense, B! But he's the one who's played out these storylines a million and one times, so I guess we all have to trust him.
They tie up Bernard and Stubbs but she won't kill them until she has restored Maeve and can find out what happened to her father. Bernard warns her that one of her team will betray her, that one of them did not come back from the mission the same. It was a different person in each scenario Bernard ran, so he can't be sure who it really is, but one thing is sure — she will have to kill one of them before they kill her. She locks up her girlfriend, Odina (Morningstar Angeline), but it turns out to be Jay, who was killed and replaced back in the city. (Which, come on, was kind of obvious considering the cold open was focused on him.) He accidentally shows his hand when he finds Frankie in the club and refers to her as his "sister" — seems the real Jay never came around on the whole found family thing. As they fight, Caleb's message plays over the radio in her SUV. Host Jay shoots it before she can hear the whole transmission, but it's enough for her to know her father is alive. "Jay" is about to kill her but is instead killed by Maeve, whose pearl Frankie restored before he found her in the Butterfly Club.
Frankie and Maeve have a heart to heart. Maeve thought she was sacrificing herself to give Caleb a chance, she didn't think it would lead to all this. "Everything you guys did, that's why we're here," Frankie says. "Well then, let's finish what we started," Maeve replies.
With only two episodes left in the season, their finish line draws near.
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Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's ambitious sci-fi thriller is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name.