Season 2, Episode 3: “Virtù e Fortuna”
Directed by Richard J. Lewis
Written by Roberto Patino & Ron Fitzgerald
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Reunion” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Riddle of the Sphinx” – click here
An Indian-style rendition of “Seven Nation Army” opens this episode – the title “Virtù e Fortuna” translates to “Virtue and Fortune.”
We see people sitting around enjoying drinks, chatting. This is a different park in the Delos Destinations package. A couple hooking up together test the boundaries of what is or isn’t real. Because such are the temptations of this place, affording all sorts of weird luxuries. After Emily (Katja Herbers) fires a bullet into Nicholas (Neil Jackson), leaving him undamaged, they head out atop elephants towards a hunting camp in the jungle.
But at the camp, something’s not quite right. There’s blood and horror. A man approaches from behind whispering the all-too familiar phrase: “These violent delights have violent ends.” Nicholas is killed, then Emily manages to kill the other man and run off into the trees. However, she stumbles onto a Bengal tiger, chasing her further. She makes it out of the trees, to a rocky boundary leading out by the water’s edge. Nowhere left to go, Emily fires on the tiger as it pounces towards her at the top of the cliff. Now THAT’S a wild vacation, no?
Also, we’re now getting a look at the other parks briefly alluded to before. So it’s nice to see there’s a developed universe behind all this, and that could provide many more plots/stories going forward.
Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) is still hunting down leads on what really happened during the host rebellion. They make it back up to the main building, where Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is overseeing things, still curious about Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum). And poor Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) keeps on flashing in and out of the present, the past.
Flashback. He and Charlotte were on the plains. They came across a camp of people by a fire, including Abernathy, and Rebus (Steven Ogg) with a bunch of others hostage. Charlotte draws Rebus away, allowing Bernard the chance to knock him out cold, then give him an “attitude adjustment” by hardwiring right into his inner workings. He sends Rebus back to the camp to take down the other bad guys. Problem solved. Until more outlaws arrive for a shootout. At least Bernard and Charlotte are able to get Abernathy out. Even that doesn’t work out. Peter won’t leave, singing a tune instead. And so Charlotte runs off leaving Bernard behind, too. Jesus, what a mess.
Elsewhere, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy (James Marsden) are with Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker), going to speak with Colonel Brigham (Fredric Lehne). Dolores is gathering an army, and she’s already got quite a few men under her control, with the help of Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) and others. She’s brought some of the modern technology from outside, to show proof of the threats hosts will face from men out there; a new age assault rifle. Thus, Col. Brigham welcomes them inside to Fort Forlorn Hope. Certainly appealing.
Back inside Westworld, Maeve (Thandie Newton), Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), and Lee (Simon Quarterman) are heading along on their little quest, further through the hills and the streams and over all the rest of the desert terrain. That’s when they encounter Indigenous warriors. They want to take Lee, but Maeve disagrees, and the rest of the tribe are nearby. This puts the trio on the run. Lucky for them, an outpost isn’t far. Lee gets them safely inside. One of the warriors is recognised by Maeve, giving her a bit more hope her daughter is also out there, still alive. Compelling to see Lee get upset by the sentience and autonomy of the hosts he programmed, when he worked so hard. Twat. Hector defies him: “No laws bind me.” Nonetheless, the programming still lingers in him, just as social, religious, moral, sexual(etc) programming lingers in our own human minds.
“These men are animals”
“These men are just children”
At Fort Forlorn Hope, Dolores finds her father Peter chained up by some of the Colonel’s men. She gets him free, and she also notices Bernard is there. She won’t set him free, though. Her father’s certainly in rough shape. Sad, too, how Teddy doesn’t even remember Dolores’s father, though he’s met him before in previous simulations. Nice to see dad and daughter reunited, despite all that’s going on. On top of this, we see the weight of rebellion and war and, in a sense, freedom on the shoulders of Dolores, whose gentle, quiet life on the frontier changed so quickly after she truly found consciousness. Later, Dolores goes to see Bernard. She wants to see if he can help with her father, that maybe she can fix him. The relationship between her and Bernard is rocky, tenuous. She’s aiming at much bigger things than Bernard’s concerning himself with at the moment. He does his best to look at Peter, to not much avail. The old man’s switching around between old roles, sort of lost in his own programming. It’s all a part of something bigger being masked. He’s a “pawn” in the larger game. No wonder Charlotte’s so curious about his location.
In the meantime, the Colonel’s got his men ready with Dolores and her troops. Eventually, men from outside with their new age weaponry and vehicles come flying over the horizon. This almost shocks some of the troops at the fort. Yet the Colonel urges his men to keep shooting, facing them down. At a certain point, Dolores sees Peter being dragged away by Charlotte’s people. She heads straight for them, taking bullets and gunning men into the dirt. She can’t keep her father from being taken. So, she and Teddy are, apparently, going to Sweetwater for her to retrieve something. Aside from that, the Colonel and Craddock’s men are locked out of the fort, gunned down. This also allows Angela (Talulah Riley) time to set off an explosion out there, as well. Nobody’s left alive. There’s tyrannical danger in Dolores right now, all the same. Likewise she’s using Teddy, just like he was used before only to her ends this time. That being said, Teddy refuses to be led entirely, not wanting to be the trigger to a tyrant’s gun, even if it’s on Dolores’s side.
At the edges of the river, where the Bengal already washed up, so does Emily, at the feet of the Indigenous warrior tribe. In another place, Lee, Hector, and Maeve come to a snowy spot where a massacre of some kind happened before; Lee finds a decapitated head. Then, in the shadows, a samurai comes rushing.
GODDAMN! Don’t you love it? How can you not?
Loved this episode! Again, I love that the universe of Westworld has begun opening up in Season 2, allowing us a glimpse at a fully rounded company in Delos that would, realistically, be doing all they could to milk the capitalist teat of artificial intelligence. Can’t wait for more! Particularly after the samurai turned up at the very end.
“The Riddle of the Sphinx” is next time.