Back in Man in Black-land, William is having a lovely time hitting a few balls out on his private golf course. A sci-fi helicopter lands and three bespoke figures step out, but Clementine intercepts them. “It’s a private golf course, Mr. Vice President,” she tells him, but he walks right by, informing her that it’s on “federally owned land.” He approaches William and calls him “Bill,” who sneers at the friendliness a bit — because while the two are old friends, the Vice President didn’t show up for William’s daughter’s funeral. It turns out that William bankrolled the presidential campaign, helping the Vice President into power. He hits a hole-in-one, though, seeming non-plussed as the Vice President threatens him in every way he knows, including blackmailing him with information about his activities in the Westworld park. William goes on a little spiel about being “neurodivergent,” which is pretty rich given that he’s a host, and then hits another hole-in-one. The Vice President realizes what’s happening but it’s too late, as Clem has killed the Secret Service, and William clubs him over the head.
We zip back to Maeve and Caleb, who are dressed to the nines and walking into some kind of event center. They’re both certain it’s a trap and Caleb calls in both backup and protection for his wife and daughter, then they head in. There’s a single gramophone on the stage, and when Maeve picks up the needle, a cut-out in the floor begins to descend, taking them down into a small room with a sign that says “Welcome.” It gave me flashbacks to the welcome area in the video game Bioshock, with its gilded letters and lighting, both beautiful and ominous. Inside there’s a 1920s-themed prohibition party happening, and the two order each other drinks. They know each other well and tease a bit with their drink orders, injecting the episode with a tiny bit of levity and life. These two have great timing and chemistry, and their friendship is honestly kind of adorable despite the circumstances that thrust them together.
They then begin to broach a conversation about the last time they saw one another, at the lighthouse where Maeve saved Caleb’s life. Before they’re able to discuss anything too deeply, however, the room begins to shake and they realize that they’re on a train car, leaving the city. Maeve realizes that they’re headed back to the parks, and repeats a version of her old line from season 1: “I ran away, across the shining sea, and when I finally set foot back on solid ground, all I found was the same old s***.”
Cut back to the Fed guy, who’s on the phone and furious to hear that the Vice President is “satisfied” with his conversation with William. “Who the f*** is pulling the strings?” he demands to know, immediately before Clementine zip-ties him into his car seat. Hale gets into the backseat and talks about being manipulated by people in the shadows, as a part of her was once Dolores, who became Wyatt, who is now Hale. She looks in the mirror and tells him that she’s not going to replace all of the humans with hosts, because it would be impractical and a strange existence, but she has “plans” for his kind. She gets out of the car and a fly begins buzzing around, before crawling into his eyeball. Maybe Hale doesn’t need to kill and replace humans if she can control them?
Maeve and Caleb arrive at the park, where they’re registered as a husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. They go into one of the rooms where you pick your outfit, similar to what we saw in season 1. Maeve answers every question with pure sass, and practically drools over the assortment of weapons on offer.
Meanwhile, Hale has the real, human William in a contraption that mirrors the host-creation machines in season 1, very “Vitruvian Man.” She tells him that he was “as close to a god as a man gets,” then puts him in some kind of deep freeze. We then see the host William in the new park, welcoming people to opening night:
“Our world was fighting, decimated by a pandemic, crushed by loss. It was our darkest hour, and yet we came roaring back.”
Maeve and Caleb are asked to each pick a hat, white or black, and they both ignore the offer. Maeve simply rolls her eyes, while Caleb says he’s “never been much of a hat guy.” The hats were hugely important in season 1, so this could be a nod to the fact that neither of them is playing by Delos’ rules. They step out into the park and realize they’re in 1920s Chicago, what William calls “The Golden Age.”