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Home / Entertainment / Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 Puzzles of the Sphinx Review [Spoilers]

Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 Puzzles of the Sphinx Review [Spoilers]

Season 2 episode 4 offers a great twist, while almost half of the series ignore regulars.

[Editor'sNote:Thisreviewcontains Spoiler for "Westworld" season 2, episode 4, "The Mystery of the Sphinx."]

Programming Update

As always, a reminder that during the first Five episodes of "Westworld" for critics for one During this time, this reviewer has not seen this week's episode. Therefore, any speculation contained here will not be affected by the knowledge of what is coming.

Diagnostic report

No romance. No Dolores or Teddy or Maeve. Instead, "The Riddle of the Sphinx" pulls back the curtain on the secrets of the series as we visit James Delos (Peter Mullan) in his gilded cage and understand that after his death, the company is now run by William (Jimmi Simpson) tried to give him a new life by transplanting his mind into a new body.

Unfortunately, it does not seem to have been a successful experiment, as even decades later, there were 1

49 different iterations of Delos falling apart within weeks. (As William explains, it's not so much that the mind rejects the body and more that the mind rejects reality itself.) The audience learns more about it than Bernard discovers Elsie (who's still alive! Hurray!) And the both find another secret facility in the park, which houses the numerous models of Delos that have been destroyed for decades. (The chaos that occurred there may have been partly done by Bernard, but a deep understanding of why it is still hard to grasp.)

What the Delos scenes offer is a new insight into what the long-term plans for the park and its technology might be, even as the elder William (Ed Harris) continues to play Ford's last game and pulls Lawrence back to his hometown in the park where Major Craddock (played by the always electric Jonathan Tucker) tortures the locals. William eventually takes control of the situation and commissions a few new allies to continue his mission. But the last few moments throw a new twist in the mix: The revelation of who exactly escaped a tiger attack last week, the young woman we saw, comes into play. "Hello, Dad."

  Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 Ed Harris

In the year … Wait, what year is this?

Through the official introduction of Williams' adult daughter (Katja Herbers) we unequivocally establish the passage of decades during the show action (Herbers is 37 years old) even before we get the revelations made with the Delos Scenes of this episode come, look at. While Herber's character was originally referred to as Grace, it is clear from the final moments of this episode that this was a deliberate misdirection by the producers (since episode 3 revealed that Williams' daughter's name was Emily). However, there's no reason that Williams's full name could be Emily Grace – it's probably not the biggest cheat implemented by showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

Emily / Grace has already proved herself to be a fascinating figure thanks to her very special way of looking at what Westworld and its other parks are, as well as their depth of knowledge and unique set of ethics. Now that we know she is a Delos heir, we can not wait to see how she grew up in this world.

Player Piano

The Mariposa player piano has not been seen or heard; instead, Delos' personal turntable delivered the most interesting needle drops of the episode. As if this show did not seem to cost a fortune, good lord, paid HBO for the actual Rolling Stones? Sure, "Play With Fire" is probably not as expensive as "Satisfaction," but it still makes a statement when a show gets the rights to such a band.

Meanwhile, "Do the Strand" by Roxy Music is less in this regard, but the lyrics – as well as the lore of the song – are interesting because they address the Sphinx and a number of other elements that are essential to the story. Bryan Ferry was once quoted as saying that the beach was "the dance of life". Watching James Delos shake his groove-thing has a cruel irony given the truth of his circumstances.


While we've had virtually no romance this week, it was nice to see Bernard and Elsie reunited, though Elsie has (fairly) little faith in the man she's just met Has. (For the record, this scene was one that we might have expected ages ago, but it was somehow even more delicious to get it so late in the series and that way. "Shannon Woodward played it brilliantly.)

 Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 Jonathan Tucker

These fierce pleasures

It's been a long time since we saw Season One, but since Episode 7, "Trompe L & # 39; Oeil," has one of the wisest viewer's questions afflicted. As we wrote back then:

When the body filled with nitroglycerin on the horse explodes, Why does the horse explode too? If you watch the explosion again, you will see that the horse explodes a moment after the body, by his own will – was the horse also filled with Nitro? Are Westworld horses prone to burns? That will keep us busy for many years.

Given the great importance that Nitro attached to this episode, it makes sense to reopen the subject, especially as it is still not clear how Nitro works. Still, the cruel, but still a bit kick-ass nature of the blast effects offered its usual thrill. The horse remains a mystery, but "Westworld" is never lacking for this.

Also shouting to the scene where human bodies are used as planks for a railroad – one of the series' most macabre images to date, especially when the thorn is driven into the head of this living person. Chaos still reigns in the parks, and sometimes it's hard to spot.

Best Quote

"You only live as long as the last person who remembers you."
– Akecheta (Tooth McLarnon)

This line Stubbs was told (not even dead! Hurray for him!), Is a very human, very emotional belief … one of the ongoing argument with the possibility of immortality almost something seems to oppose what is especially engaged in this episode very much. The role of the Ghost Nation in the struggles played in Westworld has not yet been decided, but it does not seem that they are serving the same masters as everyone else. (But who knows exactly how Ford's plan develops.)

The questions you should not ask

  • OK, that was an interesting episode, but 71 minutes? "Really?" Really?
  • We knew that Juliet, William's wife, eventually died of suicide, but the flashbacks here never confirm when it happened, and the timing seems to be an important detail. Did Emily lose her mother at a young age or as an adult? The answer there will end up saying a lot about her, definitely.
  • While the first few minutes of the episode were on display, did anyone else have big flashbacks to Desmond in the hatch at the beginning of "Lost" Season 2? It was definitely hard to escape the comparison.
  • Is it also intentional that the memory core units look like adorable cupcakes? Probably not. But it's a picture that's hard to erase.
  • What exactly is going on with Clementine? She drags Bernard into the cave where Elsie is; It seems that despite her lobotomy, perhaps programmed by Ford, she has some sort of agenda. The evidence of an answer might be marginalized there, or perhaps it will take on a more important role in future episodes.

Final Reveries

  Westworld 204

Cameraman Chris Haarhof and Lisa Joy on the set of "Westworld".

John P. Johnson / HBO

"Westworld" has always found ways to play with our brain when it comes to questions of time and space. But the way in which Bernhard's attempts to remember events is presented in "The Mystery of the Sphinx" is an understanding on the next level, especially the moment Bernard realizes that I'm not really here A sequence that was both confusing and ultimately too obvious in light of the following tragedy.

The length of "The Riddle of the Sphinx" is definitely an issue here, especially considering that barely half of the serial regulars of the series appear. But it also makes some valuable, deep tracks in the backstory that we did not even know we wanted. The repeated visits with Delos not only demonstrated the incredibly strong casting choice that Jimmi Simpson and Ed Harris unified as the young and old versions of William, but added a whole new dimension of opportunity to the narrative.

If the memory, the mystery referred to in the title of the episode, is a classic from Greek mythology, "Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed, two-footed and three-footed?" The answer is "man" and refers to a person learning to crawl, then standing upright, then ending their lives with a walking stick. There's a distorted view of the episode, considering how we watch William during the episode while Delos stays in the hovering animation. Given the chaos in the game where things go next is a scary concept … but the ride is too fun to leave.

Class: A-

"Westworld" broadcasts new episodes on Sundays at 9pm. ET on HBO

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