|“||We are in the middle of a war, I need your help to win it. No one knows it's happened yet or that it's already been lost.||”|
|“||People put up a lot of walls. Bring a sledgehammer to your life.||”|
Maeve Millay wakes to find herself in 1940s Italy with a man tied to a chair. Hector Escaton enters the room and, when Maeve speaks Italian, she is pleasantly surprised by her newfound talent. She remarks that she thought Hector was dead, and he remarks that death is overrated. The two talk, and Hector tells Maeve that he has been searching for a way out, and has finally found one. As a precautionary measure, Hector hands Maeve a pill, remarking that they work instantly; it is revealed that they are partisans trying to escape from the Nazis.
On their escape route, they encounter Nazi soldiers who confiscate their weapons and Hector's map. Maeve is disappointed to find she has lost the ability to command and control other hosts when she commands the soldiers let them past. Able to get the upper hand, they use a sports car to reach a plane, but find the flight crew dead — they are cornered by the Nazis with no escape. Hector calls Maeve "Isabella" — not recognising her — and it is revealed his name is Ettore in this narrative. It becomes clear to Maeve that she is the only one who is self-aware in the narrative. Hector is killed in a shootout with the Nazis and, realising that the world she finds herself in isn't real, Maeve commits suicide by shooting herself in the head.
Having committed suicide, Maeve finds herself on the tech table for repair. When she is repaired, she takes a weapon and begins walking around the lab in a bid to find Hector. She eventually finds Hector naked in a pile of other host bodies, but is distracted by Sylvester, who calls for security. Security arrive and attempt to stop her, commanding her to "freeze all motor functions", but are soon informed by Maeve that commands do not work on her.
She tells security that she understands the reality she finds herself in and prepares to take her life once again; this time, she attempts to make the situation permenant. She is stopped, however, by Lee, who remarks that the role she is playing is simply another narrative she has been given — a British spy, who is sexy and brokenhearted. She remembers him and the two chat about his "death" and, more importantly, her new role in Warworld. He offers her a chance to find her daughter again, given Warworld is close to the Forge. Maeve is happy that she finally has the prospect of finding the others and her daughter, and Lee remarks that it is not often he is able to write a happy ending.
Having bargained with a captain previously, Bernard arrives back on the shores of Westworld. Upon approaching the border, he finds the park abandoned, with large warnings signs allowing only authorised vehicles through; he finds White Church in ruins. Bernard visits Ford's original lab. Now deserted and in ruins, he finds a room of hosts still in protective wrap, numerous of his own replicas included; failed models built previously by Ford. Stubbs wakes and, judging by the bloody wound on his head, it is revealed that he attempted to kill himself — hosts are difficult to kill, however, something perhaps overlooked by Stubbs, who is now unable to string a coherent sentence together. Bernard realises that Stubbs had intended to hit the charge in his neck, but missed.
Bernard repairs him and installs a non-explosive C6 vertebrae, allowing Stubbs to freely come and go from the parks if he chooses. Stubbs had failed in his mission to protect all of the hosts and so tried to destroy himself; he wonders why Bernard came back, and Bernard explains that he wants to try to stop Dolores. He needs help from Maeve, and — given Bernard's tablet is broken — the two set out to find her.
Having talked with Lee, Maeve has been placed back into Warworld, and plays out a similar narrative with Hector. She does things differently, however and stops the car early, leaving Hector behind, who refuses to abandon the resistance despite Maeve's explanation that the world is a trap and their real future lies ahead.
Maeve meets up with Lee who questions who reveals that he couldn't bring a vehicle, so horses will have to do. The two find a control room deep within the Forge and, when Maeve questions how she activates the control unit, he remarks the same way she did before. Maeve tells Lee that she's never been to the Forge, causing Lee to question who activated the signal transfer from the Forge — both Lee and Maeve are unaware that this was Dolores Abernathy's work, but become quickly aware when Maeve makes a reference to Dolores' revolution. When Lee questions Maeve over the coordinates, Maeve realises that she is not talking with the same Lee she knew previously and, after he kisses her, she realises that the person she is conversing with is actually an AI; the real Lee was killed in Westworld.
The AI quickly becomes confused and it becomes clear that even the AI isn't aware that he isn't real. He eventually crashes and, with the server room around her fading away, Maeve realises that she is part of a simulation and — as she thought — the world around her is not real. She questions how they escape a "cage" that does not exist, however Lee is clearly still confused about the reality around them; Maeve sarcastically remarks that Lee's bulk apperception is low. She questions the reason she has been placed into a simulation, and gathers that the people behind the simulation are looking for the location of the Valley Beyond.
Finding a Delos tablet, Maeve tells Lee that whilst the simulation is elegant, it is flawed given it was designed by humans. Realising that the same code used to build the simulation is being used within the simulation itself, she is able to find a way out of the false-reality. Maeve calls in two behavioural techs and begins questioning them on the square root of -1. Whilst the techs are discussing, she throws a statue and it freezes mid air. Lee is confused, but Maeve explains that the simulation has limited processing power and cannot devote power to both keeping the simulation true and solving complex mathematical problems.
Maeve starts the WW2 Partisan Scenario again, but this time changes it up and approaches the Nazis. She turns in Hector, then pulls maps from everyone else's clothes, the AI is unable to perceive the changes and everyone begins shooting, with the VR scenario freezing everything except for Maeve and Lee.
Maeve hacks a tablet to see out into the real world, programming a robot to grab her brain CPU. Maeve collapses within the simulation. The robot strides off deflecting security bullets and makes it outside. In a palm-treed yard it is finally gunned down and drops the spherical CPU.
Bernard and Stubbs
Stubbs and Bernard drive to the Mesa, finding it abandoned, with Stubbs revealing that due to the lost men, QA has been replaced with Drone Hosts whilst corporate makes a decision on the future of the parks. Stubbs reveals that he is sure Maeve is stored in Sub-Level B83 along with the other hosts. They find a version of Maeve, however she is missing a control unit and is surrounded by empty and dead hosts.
Bernard questions where they can find a terminal, but Stubbs warns that there will be human personnel in the perimeter — walking in would be a suicide mission. Bernard remarks that Stubbs should be able to help gain him safe passage. They approach the labs of park four, and Bernard questions the status of the parks, with Stubbs confirming that the parks have been shut down. Bernard tries to log into a terminal but finds that he cannot find Maeve; he believes Dolores to have created him with corrupt code. Bernard connects using a hardwire plug-in, and Stubbs prevents two security from shooting Bernard, but allows one to escape. He then he has to fight off five more while Bernard undergoes a confusing scan. Realising the danger they are in, Stubbs gets him to unplug and leave.
At the beach, Bernard tells Stubbs that he is now able to remember the time he spent with Dolores. More importantly, he tells Stubbs that whilst inside the Forge, she focused on one guests' data in particular — Liam Dempsey Jr.; he remarks that they should find him. When Stubbs remarks that he will retire himself when he knows Bernard is safety off the park, he freezes Stubbs and reprograms him to protect him at all costs. They grab a rowboat and go to the shore.
Maeve and Serac
Maeve wakes in a modern, expensive house in a stylish dress. She finds a man waiting for her, Serac. He welcomes her to the real world, and tells her that he needs her help; his system has recently stopped, it has detected a threat. Maeve realises the threat is none other than Dolores Abernathy, but refuses to help when Serac asks if she will help kill Dolores. Realising she is in a compromising situation, she grabs a knife, but is frozen by Serac who tells her the two will talk again.
Trivia and Notes
The Winter Line was a series of 3 German and Italian military fortifications that were constructed during World War II to defend a western section of Italy.
- This episode mainly focuses around Maeve Millay.
- This episode was watched by 0.778m viewers.
- This is the first episode to tease the fourth park, Medieval World, as seen in the Westworld film and its sequel Futureworld.
- This episode contains an Easter egg from Westworld's fellow HBO show Game of Thrones which featured a cameo appearance from the latter series' creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss(creditted as Tech (Dave) and Tech (Dan)) in addition to Drogon.
- The character of Tech (Dan) played by D.B. Weiss mentions that there is a startup in Costa Rica that is an interested buyer. This seems to be an easter egg reference to the Jurassic Park, a franchise that was also created by Michael Crichton. It is well-known for its similarities with the Westworld franchise, particularly in its setting around a park where human arrogance usually leads to disaster and tragedy for the park residents.
- Hector 's new name in the Italian WW2 park is Ettore, which is the Italian version of Hector.
- John Gallagher Jr. does not make an appearance despite being credited in the guest starring bill.
Hector Escaton: Death is overrated for ones like us.
Image Gallery/HBO Episode Stills
This gallery is automatically generated and contains images in the category "Images from The Winter Line". Images added to that category turn up in the gallery after a short time.
- The Winter Line at Rotten tomatoes (rating 89%)
- The Winter Line at en.wikipedia.org
- The Winter Line at HBO