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Recap / Westworld S 01 E 04 Dissonance Theory

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Logan decides to finish the bounty hunt and mocks William for bringing Dolores along. They capture the fugitive, but Logan decides to have a better adventure by taking him to his boss. Meanwhile, the Man in Black, accompanied by Lawrence, is hunting snakes and finds Armistice with her snake tattoo. He breaks Escaton out of prison for her, and she tells him that the tattoo represents all of her victims, who were Wyatt's men. The Man in Black and Lawrence leave for Wyatt, rescuing a tortured Teddy. Cullen takes over the investigation into the stray, not trusting Elsie and Bernard. She meets Ford about his new narrative, but he demands she not interfere, revealing his knowledge about her past and affair with Lowe. Maeve is having visions, and during Escaton and Armistice's attack on the town she finds a bullet in her unscarred belly with his assistance, proving that her visions are real. They kiss passionately as the sheriff's men open fire through the door.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Amnesia Loop: Maeve keeps having what she thinks are dreams featuring a Westworld staff member in a Hazmat Suit. When she suspects her memories are being tampered with after Dolores triggers her self-awareness, she quickly sketches the figure of the staff member and hides it under a loose floorboard, only to discover that she's already done this several times.
  • Anachronism Stew: Logan helps himself to a double-action Colt Model 1917. The armoured wagon carrying our Trojan Prisoners has a Browning water-cooled machine gun, also from the same year.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Armistice explains that she inked her snake tattoo using the blood of the men who murdered her mother, who she hunted down and killed. Dead blood wouldn't work as tattoo ink in real life, it's biodegradable and would be quickly broken down by her body if it didn't poison her first. This is actually an in-universe example of the trope, as Armistice is an android and the blood tattoo tale is a backstory written and programmed into her by the park staff, meaning THEY don't fully comprehend the process of blood degradation. Or they did and it was done for Rule of Cool.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Maeve and Escaton make out on top of the safe, after she's held a gun to his head and he's helped slice open her belly.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ford shows the steel beneath the Absent-Minded Professor act, subtly blackmailing Cullen (with her relationship with Bernard), demonstrating his power over Westworld (stopping all the robots in place and knowing the exact chair she sat in when she visited the restaurant as a little girl) and ruthlessness (bulldozing the restaurant to make way for his new project).
    Ford: In here we were gods. And you, merely our guests.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Clementine has fond memories of a well-endowed cowpoke who poked her quite skillfully.
  • Camera Abuse: Blood splatters on the camera when Logan shoots the bounty hunter.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The body techs have to patch up Maeve in a hurry, so leave a bullet fragment in her. Despite the lack of a scar, she cuts out the bullet, proving she didn't imagine what she saw.
    • Cullen finds Ford supervising a giant earthmoving machine. After their conversation takes a threatening turn, it's shown advancing on the restaurant.
  • *Click* Hello:
    • The Man in Black is eyeing the bathing outlaw when he hears a gun cock. He turns to find her gang has snuck up on them.
    • Lampshaded when Escaton finds Maeve's derringer at his head. "Interesting way to start a conversation."
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted when Wiliam and Logan are involved in a shootout in a saloon and they hide behind a wooden cupboard. The bartender next to them dies by a headshot when one of their opponents' bullets passes through.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Escaton doesn't want to cut into a defenseless woman. She taunts him with "Some outlaw!"
  • Explosive Cigar: Done seriously. The Man in Black has two cigars that are packed with low-grade explosives, enough to blow the lock off a jail cell and the face off of the poor host smoking the other.
  • Facial Horror: The stray host from last episode is shown still active, with what's left of its head a mutilated ruin.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Clean Up Crew missed a blood spot on Maeve's underclothes.
  • False Reassurance: Lampshaded
    Lawrence: I'm just trying to convince you not to get yourself and me as a bystander killed.
    The Man in Black: I'm not gonna get myself killed. (chuckles)
    Lawrence: Don't think I didn't notice that distinction.
  • Firing Squad for The Man They Couldn't Hang.
  • Get into Jail Free: The Man in Black lets himself and Lawrence be captured so they can spring Escaton.
  • God Guise: An inadvertent version; this episode reveals that Native Americans within the park revere the staff, believing them to be the creator gods. Apparently, insufficient memory wipes have led them to remember Cleanup Crews in hazmat suits as "shades" who ferry the dead to the afterlife.
  • Heal It with Fire: Maeve uses a cigarette to sterilize the edge of Escaton's knife, takes some big swigs from a bottle, then shoves the blade into her belly.
  • How Would You Like to Die?: Armistice, already coughing Blood from the Mouth, is given a choice of dying on her back or up on her feet. She chooses to die shooting.
  • Jail Bake: Lampshaded when the robbers are captured; it's decided to have them sprung from jail later by having one of the prostitutes sneak them a key in their food.
  • Meaningful Echo: Dolores tells Bernard that her grief is all she has left, echoing what he said about his own loss.
  • Mercy Kill: The Man in Black finds Teddy tied to tree to die by Wyatt, begging for death. He cuts him down instead.
    Teddy: Please, put me out of my misery.
    The Man in Black: I'm sorry, Teddy. It looks like misery's all you got.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The vulture, perched on the tree Teddy is tied to, is not a native of the American Southwest. Of course, since this is Westworld, its species was probably chosen strictly for Rule of Cool.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: During one of the iterations of the Sweetwater tavern robbery by Hector's gang, his associate Armistice dies of multiple gunshot wounds when the Constabularies corner her. She still takes out one of them right before out of spite while uttering Go to hell!
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: On seeing Armistice bathing topless, Lawrence rejects the idea that he's attracted to this cold-blooded killer.
    "I like a little fire in my women. The only thing she's ever mounted are dead heads on sticks."
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: The Man in Black sees the tattooed snake lady bathing and is impressed, though more so because he's never encountered her before (presumably she's one of Ford's recent modifications).
  • Pistol-Whipping: Logan does this having run out of bullets.
  • Plot Coupon: Lampshaded. Armistace's gang plan to steal an army cannon so they can blast out Escaton from the jail. The Man in Black doesn't have the time for this 'color by numbers bullshit' and offers to go there directly and spring him.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Hector assumes this pose after entering Maeve's room at the end.
  • Rule of Cool: The Man in Black thinks Escaton is built on this.
  • Running Gag:
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: Logan helps himself to a bottle in the middle of a gunfight.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Averted; when a host tries to force Dolores to return to her usual loop at the Abernathy farm, Dolores refuses to budge and replies with a Kubrick Stare. William then breaks the deadlock by saying she's with him. The host backs down before the guest's wishes.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A guest tries to thank the Man in Black, who apparently runs a beneficial Foundation in the outside world. The Man in Black cuts him off with a blatant death threat.
  • Wait Here: When William and Logan go to fetch Slim, William tells Dolores to stay behind which she grudgingly accepts.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out: Averted earlier with the body techs, and then justified for plot-related reasons.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: In-Universe; the saloon robbery is cut short by The Cavalry because some families are heading back into town.
  • Wishful Projection: Bernard looks disappointed when Dolores, after apparently saying something meaningful, reveals she just adapted it from another program. Later he cautions Elsie against reading too much into a Host's behaviour.
  • With This Herring: The Man in Black promises Armistice he'll bring her what she wants if she gives him the use of Lawrence and a single match.
  • You Must Be Cold: William says this line when handing his jacket to Dolores in the morning.
  • You're Not My Type: Second-hand version when Lawrence and the Man in Black notice Armistice bathing herself by the side of a river, and the Man in Black mockingly chides his recently-married prisoner for checking out another woman. Lawrence recoils at the idea, claiming that someone like Armistice is too psychotic for him.
  • Zip Me Up: Bernard helps Theresa zip up her dress.


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