Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Reunion” episode of Westworld
The second episode of Westworld‘s second season is the closest the series has come to an origin story to date, giving up plenty of secrets about the history of this theme park. But all anyone on Twitter could talk about was a face-off that happened in the present day…if anything counts as the “present day” on a show where time is an elastic concept. Midway through “Reunion,” fan favorite hosts Dolores and Maeve had their first on-camera meeting since the first season, back before they had respectively found their way to consciousness. In fact, hardcore fans will remember that it was Dolores who initially set Maeve on her journey, via the triggering phrase: “These violent delights have violent ends.”
The two didn’t exactly get along back then, and they seem even less inclined to buddy up in their newly “woke” states. Not that Dolores doesn’t try to convert Maeve to her cause, pointing out that keeping their hard-fought freedom while require some extra fighting. But it’ll take more than stern language for the former saloon madam to pledge allegiance to the woman she remembers as the quiet farmer’s daughter. “You feel free to command everyone else,” she points out, and twists the knife further by turning to Teddy and asking whether playing sidekick to Dolores’s mission of vengeance feels like freedom to him. Agreeing to disagree for the time being, the two women go their separate ways. That gasping sound you heard as they parted was millions of fans freaking out on Twitter.
— Ladybuglizzie (@sagevalentine) April 30, 2018
— heyheycami (@bohemianriveira) April 30, 2018
— Rebecca Cook Davis (@RebeccaCook86) April 30, 2018
It seems like the predictions are coming true… Maeve representing true/good freedom, and Dolores representing a chaotic, evil kind of freedom. That interaction was golden, and made me root for Maeve more than ever before. #Westworld
— Aurelia ARMYVERSE (@hobihobisus) April 30, 2018
— (@cityandsleep) April 30, 2018
The love for Maeve and Dolores was so strong, even a surprise Giancarlo Esposito cameo finished a distant second in online buzz. Of course, that might have something to with the fact that the erstwhile Gus Fring’s appearance as El Lazo–a bandit that the older William hopes to enlist in his own game–seems to be a one and done affair. Esposito is onscreen for all of five minutes partaking in some violent delights before meeting a violent end.
Pretty cruel to have Gus Fring as a character on #WESTWORLD for 7.3 seconds
— Regis Courtemanche (@RegisCourt) April 30, 2018
Like we said, though, “Reunion” does provide us with some juicy backstory on how Westworld became the place we know and love today. Here are four of the biggest revelations from our deep dive into the past.
Dolores has been in the outside world before
Prior to “Reunion” the world beyond Westworld has been a mystery to both the hosts and us. But tonight, we got a tantalizing glimpse of life off the frontier through Dolores’s eyes, no less. In desperate need of funding for their as-yet unrealized venture, Arnold and Robert have brought their prize host–along with several of her friends–to a spectacular city where skyscrapers dot the landscape. No metropolis is specified, but it’s likely somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region given what we learned about Westworld’s location in the Season 2 premiere last week.
Logan was the first to be fooled by Westworld
Only a fool, or a crazy person, would take a chance on funding Westworld and Arnold and Robert are lucky to find the best of both worlds in Logan Delos, the free-spending scion of the Delos Corporation. Knowing that the way to his wallet is through his libido, the duo arrange for him to spend an evening in the company of Angela, who he initially confuses as human. Once he deduces that both she–and everyone else at their private party–are artificial, he needs little convincing to sign on the dotted line.
William suggests collecting the guests’ data
While Logan is an easy mark, his dad, James Delos, requires a harder sell. Enter William, who escorts the Rupert Murdoch-esque tycoon to Westworld after his own Season 1 misadventures in the park. James is highly dubious about funding “fantasies,” but his future son-in-law has a more mercantile take on the place: gathering real-time data on the desires and wants of the well-off guests that flock to this theme park. That pitch is what leads directly to places like the underground bunker glimpsed in the Season 2 premiere, where Bernard discovers that Charlotte and the rest of the Delos board are happily squirreling away information gleaned from visitors to suit their own bottom line.
It ain’t a party without a little Kanye
Westworld first revealed that it had added Kanye West to its playlist with that Super Bowl trailer that was memorably scored to an instrumental piano version of “Runaway.” Tonight, viewers heard that music cue in context when it played at James Delos’s retirement party, specifically a section from the song that comments ironically on how the wealthy are bringing trouble down on their own heads. Speaking of trouble, more than a few Twitter users noted how odd it was to be hearing “Runaway” after a week where its creator made headlines for some troubled behavior.
kind of weird timing on #Westworld ‘s Kanye West reference huh
— Denver’s Online Persona (not real) (@RudeBiBoy) April 30, 2018
— Odartey (@Rujabes) April 30, 2018
— Oz Al Ghul (@letsgetfree13) April 30, 2018
— Michael Phillips (@Batmike17) April 30, 2018
Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.