Saddle up! But beware potential spoilers in this review, which will discuss elements of the episode.

A running theme through this week’s episode is one of regret. Dolores appears to be letting just the tiniest hint of regret creep in that she’s turned Teddy into a soulless warrior who kills without compunction. Stubbs seems to regret helping deliver Peter Abernathy into the hands of Charlotte Hale and the even more brutal team that has arrived to take charge of the place. And Maeve shows major signs of regret for following up on her search for the daughter from a previous narrative, especially when she learns that she’s been replaced with another host in the story (should’ve seen that coming, M) and then things go badly wrong when the Ghost Nation attacks. Oh, and we have the Man In Black showing just a twinge when confronted by his daughter. Though clearly he doesn’t feel so much guilt that he won’t still ditch her a few hours later. Deadbeat dad of the year, folks. Even if he does think he’s keeping her safe in his own twisted way.

After last week’s narratively focused episode Phase Space was more along the lines of several entries from the year, skipping merrily between storylines to slightly less impressive effect. Certainly, there were highlights, such as Dolores and co. properly kicking off their plan to invade the Mesa base, and Shogun World provided a couple of parting moments of gore and beauty as Hiroyuki Sanada’s Musashi took on Masayoshi Haneda’s Tanaka and won handily. Ouch. He then lopped the guy’s head off as Tanaka was planning ritual suicide. A kindness, perhaps? Then Maeve and the gang accompanied Akane back to Sakura’s home village, where they burnt her heart in a funereal moment. It was both beautiful and not a little creepy. All in all, Shogun World was a fine diversion, even if it seemed to be more cool than functional in terms of the storyline (aside from showing how much of a badass Maeve has become with her wifi-fu). Perhaps we’ll be back here at some point, but this does seem to represent the end for now.

Westworld Season 2 Episode 6

Maeve’s journey had its hectic conclusion as Lee led her to her old narrative stomping grounds, and of course we knew there was heartbreak ahead. Plus, while Sizemore was thanked for his brief helpful contribution to her mission, he was soon back to his old tricks, using the communications unit he stole from a corpse last week to call for help. Wonder if anyone cares enough about him to come and rescue him? The Maeve narrative sometimes felt like it wasn’t going to tie into the main narrative (though we still enjoyed it thanks to Thandie Newton’s performance), but with the Ghost Nation commander talking up their “shared path” it certainly sounds like things will change, even if Maeve is a little too traumatised to realise it yet.

As for The Man In Black, Ed Harris got to show another side of the grizzled gunslinger this week, as tears glittered in his eyes during the heart-to-heart with Katja Herbers’ Grace. We’ve seen hints of his softer side in the past, but this had his darker nature coiled around it, especially when she awoke the next morning to discover he, Lawrence and most of the others had gone. And probably for the best, given how they were attacked by Ghost Nation warriors shortly thereafter. Still, the scene between William and Grace was a fantastic one.

Westworld Season 2 Episode 6

Bernard/Arnold, meanwhile, continued his metaphysical journey – literally in the case of Bernard the Host, who after further conversations with Elsie (who is used a little too much as exposition delivery this week), braves excruciating pain to interface directly with the Cradle (or CR4-DL as the door reads), the stored backups of all the hosts and narratives. There, he finds himself in Sweetwater and who should be at the saloon piano? Why, it’s our old pal Robert Ford! Sadly for Team Westworld, a lot of people got ahead in guessing that Ford had somehow found a way to upload himself into the system, to become a ghost in the machine, and here he is. It looked initially as though the show might have faked up some shots of Anthony Hopkins with previous footage and some voiceover, but it looks like we’ll certainly be seeing more of Virtual Ford.

Kudos also for the creepy scene that kicks off the episode, a subtle inversion of the usual Arnold-Bernard/Dolores chats, where we discover she’s in control of him. As usual, Evan Rachel Wood did a sterling job switching between Classic Dolores and Steel Spine Dolores.

If Phase Space didn’t quite match up to last week’s story, it offered plenty of character compensations. The show still does sometimes feel like it’s juggling too many narratives (ironic, given its setting) and not all of them are feeling as well written as some of the others. But with four episodes left in the season, things are certainly ramping up, and while there often remains too much obfuscation as the scripts try to keep the puzzle pieces hidden, Westworld remains one of the more entertaining shows on our screens.

Big Questions

1. Dolores in the initial scene talks of Bernard’s “Fidelity”. William also mentioned the word in his conversations with James Delos a couple of episodes ago. Harking on a theme, or just more foreshadowing?

2. Also, does this mean that we’re seeing Bernard – or a Bernard, at least – reprogrammed by Dolores to help Ford with his plan?

3. Ford in Season One was clearly unhappy with Delos. So perhaps this is all part of his plan – to create havoc and stop the company using his grand idea and AI for the commercial needs. After all, he’s only making it more difficult to do anything with the hosts.

4. Why did Dolores leave Teddy aware that she “fixed” him? That just seems cruel. Also: Oh my god! Teddy killed a guy! You bastard!

5. Who are the new arrivals, who swear like sailors (there’s a lot of it going around). Presumably they are Delos’ super-duper troopers, though you’ve got to wonder why they weren’t deployed at the park to begin with.

Read previous episode reviews below…

Season 1

Westworld Season 1 Episode 1: The Original

Westworld Season 1 Episode 2: Chestnut

Westworld Season 1 Episode 3: The Stray

Westworld Season 1 Episode 4: Dissonance Theory

Westworld Season 1 Episode 5: Contrapasso

Westworld Season 1 Episode 6: The Adversary

Westworld Season 1 Episode 7: Tromp L’Oeil

Westworld Season 1 Episode 8: Trace Decay

Westworld Season 1 Episode 9: The Well-Tempered Clavier

Westworld Season 1 Episode 10: The Bicameral Mind

Season 2

Westworld Season 2 Episode 1: Journey Into Night

Westworld Season 2 Episode 2: Reunion

Westworld Season 2 Episode 3: Virtù e Fortuna

Westworld Season 2 Episode 4: Riddle Of The Sphinx

Westworld Season 2 Episode 5: Akane No Mai

Westworld airs on HBO in the US on Sunday nights and Mondays on Sky Atlantic in the UK

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