‘Westworld’ Recreates the Past in ‘Well Enough Alone’ (RECAP)

thandiwe newton as maeve millay, aaron paul as caleb nichols, westworld season 3
Spoiler Alert


Well Enough Alone

Season 4 • Episode 2

rating: 4.0 stars

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Westworld Season 4 episode 2, “Well Enough Alone.”]

For those who wanted Westworld to return to the parks, “Well Enough Alone” will bring welcome change.

While no one’s going back to Westworld, per se, another Delos destination comes into the picture that’s sure to complicate things for a few main characters. And in Christina’s (Evan Rachel Wood) world, things are only getting stranger. Here’s how it all plays out.

angela sarafyan as clementine, westworld season 3


World #1: Caleb, Maeve, William and Clementine

As the episode opens, William (Ed Harris) goes to see Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) at her cutesy little home. He points a gun at her and demands she tell him where Maeve is. “Even if I knew, I’d see you in Hell before I told you,” Clem says. William cuts her throat. “Happy to oblige,” he says.

Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Maeve (Thandiwe Newton), meanwhile, go to see that senator Maeve mentioned at the end of last week’s episode — the one William had taken an interest in. Turns out, the guy and his wife are both hosts. Not only that, but the inevitable fight gets rather hairy when Maeve’s “superpower” of controlling other hosts and freezing their motor functions doesn’t work. “It appears William has upgraded his henchmen,” she says.

She’s able to tap into the senator-host’s memories to uncover what happened to the human he’s modeled after. William came to see him to talk about a proposal that the senator deemed high-risk. He ultimately refused to do what William asked… and that’s when his wife walked in, said she was “having the strangest dream,” and then was stabbed in the shoulder by a host version of herself. The human senator was then shot and killed, and Hale-Dolores (Tessa Thompson) walked in. “I need help researching a new experiment,” she said to the man’s still-living wife, “and you are the perfect candidate.”

They took her to the barn, and that’s where Maeve and Caleb find her filleting her horses and humming an eerie tune. “You’re invited,” she tells them. “It’s opening night.” When she lunges at Caleb, Maeve shoots her… and black goo dribbles from her head.

thandiwe newton as maeve millay, aaron paul as caleb nichols, westworld season 3

The duo winds up at an opera house, where they go through a trap door in the floor bearing the message “welcome.” They’re ready for a fight at the end of the long hallway, but instead of guns pointed at them, they’re greeted with piano music and chatting party guests. They order each other’s drinks, and Caleb asks if they’re going to talk about “what happened at the lighthouse.” Here, it’s implied that the vision Maeve had of him dying last episode was a flashback, as she says she saved his life. (This is Westworld, so it’s important to remember this could also just be elaborate trickery.) Caleb also talks about what came after, to which Maeve responds that they lived their lives. Trouble is, Caleb’s not living his. He’s still stuck in the past.

And then the room starts to move.

Caleb and Maeve are on a train… and yes, they’re headed into a park. From here, the Season 1 nostalgia hits hard. A familiar host leads them to a room where they choose “white hat or black hat,” but in 1920s terms — guns, jackets, etc. “Never been much of a ‘hat guy,’” Caleb says, refusing to pick. Gray hat it is, then.

aaron paul as caleb nichols, westworld season 3


An unspecified amount of time after the episode opening, William has Clementine working for him as his assistant. As William plays golf, the vice president, Chuck (Jose Zuniga), leaves the Secret Service with her to go talk to him. Chuck says his friends in intelligence have some “wild theories” about what he’s involved in. “This mess out West draws too much attention,” he says; William counters that the money’s spent, and all he has to do is flip a switch. The conversation escalates, and Chuck threatens to release his dirty secrets to the press. “If you go ahead with this,” the vice president says, “we’re going to burn you down.” William doesn’t seem concerned… while they’ve been talking, Clem has killed the two Secret Service agents. Then William takes the VP to use in Hale-Dolores’ experiment.

Elsewhere, the assistant to the head of national security seethes as he takes a phone call where he’s informed that the VP was A-OK with what William’s doing. When he gets into his car, Hale-Dolores is there, and she lays out part of her plan for the doomed man. “It wouldn’t be practical for us to replace all of you one at a time,” she says. “What kind of existence would that be for us? I wanted my people to be able to grow, flourish. To find their own identity. I have plans for your kind.” She leaves, and one of the flies from the first episode lands on the man’s eye — a nice visual callback to the hosts, who’ve now reversed their roles.

In what could be the past, or the present, or the future, Hale-Dolores talks to the human William, who’s suspended in a circular contraption. He asks why she kept him alive; she answers with his own words, saying that “winning doesn’t mean anything unless someone loses,” and he’s there to lose. She also lays out part of her plan for him, saying that she had to make sure humankind didn’t harm her children when she “brought them into the world.” And with that, she introduces him to the man who made it all possible: himself.

At the end of the episode, William (host-William) gives a speech introducing Delos’ new park: 1920’s world. (Golden-Age World? Roaring-Twenties World?) He turns on the lights, the music blares and the hosts begin to move. Maeve and Caleb step off the train, into whatever fresh hell awaits.

evan rachel wood as christina, westworld season 3


World #2: Christina

After Peter’s (Aaron Stanford) suicide, Christina’s determined to dig deeper into what really happened with him and how he was connected to Olympiad (if at all). She reads in his obituary that he donated to, and volunteered at, the Hope Center for Mental Health. She goes there to find the place long abandoned and dilapidated, but with a memorial wing for Peter that certainly couldn’t have been built in the hours since he died. In addition, she finds a bunch of drawings of a tower.

That tower appears to be integral to Christina’s world. In the previous episode and in this one, a homeless man on the street babbles about “hearing the tower’s song,” and in this one, he adds that “only [he] and the birds” can hear it. On the street, a bunch of birds lay dead outside the Olympiad building. Coincidence? I think not!

Other Observations

  • The Season 1 callbacks were incredible this episode. From the same lights flicking on that flickered out after Ford’s speech to the “welcome” host’s dialogue and even the music, the sequences with Caleb and Maeve felt like being reintroduced to an old friend.
  • I’m still not convinced Caleb, and/or his family, are human. This show loves to play tricks with time, and Maeve could’ve been running a simulation on their future… or Caleb could’ve died at the mysterious “Lighthouse” and she brought him back as a host, to live the life he always wanted. He’s said his family is “his world” and “his everything” just enough to make me think they could be a cornerstone, rather than real. Time will tell.
  • If you thought the host who welcomed Caleb and Maeve looked familiar, it’s because she was Clementine’s “replacement” at Maeve’s brothel after she started to break down in Season 1. That was the reason for Maeve’s comment about her getting a promotion!
  • I’m hoping at some point that we get some flashbacks into Caleb and Maeve’s relationship. They’re obviously friends and know each other pretty well, but how long did they spend together? Maeve saying they “did what [they] always said [they] would” implies they spent quite a while fighting, and part of me wishes we could see that. They have an interesting dynamic — I just wish I’d have gotten to see it develop.
  • Who do we think might show up in 1920s World? Sure would be cool to see Armistice again. Would also be neat if Hector reappeared, but I’m guessing he’s gone for good.

Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO