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This world is just a speck of dust sitting on a much, much bigger world.

Bernard Lowe

"Virtù e Fortuna" is the third episode of the second season of Westworld, and the thirteenth episode overall.


There is beauty in who we are. Shouldn't we, too, try to survive?



The Raj[]


In Delos Destinations' Park 6 — The Raj , a re-creation of early 20th-century Colonial India, under the rule of Imperial Britain — a coterie of ruling-class, privileged guests (predominantly Caucasian) are relaxing inside and outside a hotel as deferential Indian servants attend to their requests.

Nicholas, a dashing gentleman with a rakish air, spots an attractive young woman named Grace at one of the outdoor tables and makes his way toward her. He asks if he can join her, and she replies with the non-committal insouciance of an aloof tease feigning disinterest. Some coy banter about hunting is exchanged, and small talk quickly escalates to a hasty exit to Grace's boudoir, where fervent kissing and clothes-ripping commences.

Impressed by her companion's physique, Grace is unsure whether he is host or human, and voices her doubts. Nicholas replies that he is indeed human, but she remains unconvinced. She proposes a test, and selects one gun from among several on a table and shoots him, and he collapses to the floor. After a brief silence, Nicholas utters some pained groans. Bruised but otherwise unharmed by the low-velocity projectile, he convinces Grace he is human, and they have sex.

She's been to this India-set world often, and she knows what she likes to do there. She's not afraid to shoot this guy before sleeping with him. She's making sure he's not a robot because she's slept with enough robots and it's boring.

Katja Herbers, Harpers Bazaar interview

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Afterwards while on a tiger hunt, the pair arrive at the hunting camp via elephant carriage, where they dismount with their guides. Grace opens a small journal containing a pencil-drawn map of the area, with the interlocking notched-triangle symbol presumably representing The Door.

WW S02E03 Symbol from Grace.jpg

Nicholas approaches her, so she closes the journal and puts it back in her jacket pocket as he sidles up to her to nuzzle her neck. She breaks off from him, distracted by something she sees, and says, "Something's wrong."

Grace has been on this particular narrative before, and she is expecting to see more hosts at the camp, but they are not present. The camp is empty except for their guides and themselves. As she ponders this discrepancy, she turns and notices the blood-splattered curtains of a tent behind her. Through the crack in the curtains, she can see a body on the floor.

They pull back the tent curtain to reveal two dead bodies, each in a pool of blood. Nicholas chuckles and assumes this is "a new twist in the narrative — horror," but Grace rejects this. She knows something is horribly wrong — she recognizes the dead bodies as guests who were on the train with her. She and Nicholas turn around to the sound of a rifle being cocked; Ganju, one of their Indian guides, is pointing a shotgun at them.

Nicholas smugly assumes this is part of the narrative, and that he will survive the gunshot, but the guide shoots and kills him. Grace flees the camp, only to encounter a Bengal tiger that commences pursuing her. She crosses the laser detectors demarcating the park boundary and scrambles down a rock slope where she comes up short at a cliff's edge.

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As she peers into the waters below, the tiger growls behind her and Grace quickly loads the short-barreled shotgun she brought with her. As she turns and raises the gun to shoot the tiger, it pounces on her and drives her and itself into the waters below.

Finding Peter Abernathy[]

WW S2 E3 Enter to Mesa Hub.gif

Head of operations Karl Strand and his security force, with Bernard in tow, enter Mesa Hub from one of the train tunnels. As they enter what appears to be a Cold Storage area (the old Westworld logo appears on the doors), they encounter Charlotte Hale inside.

Hale asks Strand if he has found Abernathy, but Strand has come up empty. She asks Bernard menacingly if he has any ideas where Abernathy might be. Bernard furrows his brow, and the scene flickers to a control tablet in Bernard's hands, displaying the location of Peter Abernathy.

Bernard and Hale track Abernathy to a camp where a group of hostages — some host, some human — are held by a gang led by Rebus, a host villain who has made a deal with the Confederados to sell the ten hostages at $15 a head. While he awaits the arrival of the Confederados, he changes his mind and decides to keep one of the women for himself.

Hale and Bernard lure Rebus away from the camp, and knock him unconscious so Bernard can "hard-port" into Rebus (i.e., connect the control tablet to Rebus via a subcutaneous cable interface in the host's forearm) and recalibrate his personality profile to become "the most virtuous, quickest gun in the West."

Rebus returns to his camp, where he proceeds to kill all of his henchmen and releases the hostages. As the hostages scatter, the Confederados arrive, and Rebus shoots most of them, but has to flee when he runs out of bullets.

Bernard and Hale come out of hiding to help Abernathy, who is muttering that he has to "get to the train." Abernathy refuses to go with Bernard and Hale, instead choosing to confront the remaining Confederados by standing in their path and loudly singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Hale escapes on horseback, but Bernard and Abernathy are captured by the Confederados.

Fort Forlorn Hope[]

Dolores and her posse await outside of a fort's walls as the fort's commandant — a colonel — approaches through the gates, accompanied by a fanfare and 21-gun salute. Three bodies are seen hanging from a tree in the foreground.

Dolores introduces herself to the colonel Brigham by saying, "Call me Wyatt." The colonel is doubtful, replying, "You're Wyatt?"

The Confederados' major that Dolores brought with her explains to the colonel that "Wyatt" knows of an attack from the east that will come in the morning. Dolores attempts to convince the colonel to combine his men with hers, and they'll be assured of victory against the coming invaders.

The colonel is skeptical until Dolores brings the human security member forward she took as a hostage, still with the residue of plaster cast compound on his face. She tells the colonel that more like him will be part of the attack, and gives the colonel the security man's submachine gun.

Angela, formerly the park's greeter and now one of Dolores's posse, tells the security man she'll let him live if he makes it over the ridge. As he starts to run toward the ridge, the colonel fires off a few rounds at his back, killing him.

The colonel looks at Dolores. "Wyatt," he grins, "Welcome to Fort Forlorn Hope."

The Ghost Nation haunts Maeve[]

Maeve, Hector, and Lee Sizemore are on the trail to find Maeve's daughter. Sizemore insists that traveling underground will be safer, since "QA" will be "launching a coordinated park wide assault," and that Maeve will be terminated as a "hostile host" if they see her.

They decide to continue above ground, but shortly thereafter confront two Ghost Nation warriors, triggering PTSD-like flashbacks in Maeve. Hector tries to negotiate with the warriors for safe passage, but they insist on taking Sizemore as a hostage and letting Hector and Maeve go. Maeve attempts to control the Ghost Nation hosts as she has done with other hosts, but with the network down (or because of Ford's new narrative), the warriors do not respond to her commands.

The three travelers make a break for it and head for the nearest elevator structure, with a group of Ghost Nation warriors in hot pursuit. They make it to an elevator and manage to descend into Mesa Hub just in time. Maeve's face and rapid breathing betray the lingering stress of her flashback.

Dolores reunites with her father[]

Back at Fort Forlorn Hope, the Confederados that were double-crossed by Rebus have managed to round up several of the hostages and have brought them to the fort. Bernard and Peter Abernathy are among them.

Dolores demands to speak with Abernathy alone — without revealing to the Desperados that he is her father. The Confederados refuse until Teddy clocks one of them with a good right hook. When Abernathy is freed and placed on a cot, Teddy asks Dolores who the man is. He does not remember Abernathy from his prior loops. Dolores tells Teddy, "He's my father."

When Dolores kneels next to Abernathy's cot, he is acting as if he's delirious and confused, and still muttering about having to get to the train. For a brief moment, Abernathy recognizes Dolores and reverts to the way he behaved as her caring father in his prior loop. Dolores confesses that she started this war, and hopes her father understands why.

Abernathy begins to stutter and slips back into his delirious, confused state. Dolores tearfully promises, "I'm going to get you help!"

Maeve, Hector and Sizemore underground in Mesa Hub[]

As the trio continue their underground journey through the tunnel infrastructure of Mesa Hub, Hector notices Maeve's unsettled state and asks her who the Ghost Nation warrior was. Maeve replies, "A wraith from a former life who haunts my dreams."

Sizemore observes the intimate interaction between Maeve and Hector, and protests, claiming that the two were not programmed to have feelings for each other; Hector's narrative had him in love with a host named Isabella. Hector tells Sizemore that he realized that Isabella "was a lie; just words in my head," and that Maeve is the one he loves. Hector claims Sizemore knows nothing about him.

He begins to profess his love for Maeve, but Sizemore speaks Hector's words simultaneously and then finishes his dialogue for him, demonstrating that parts of his programming are still subconsciously active. Sizemore tells a startled Hector, "Maybe I do know you ... just a bit."

As they continue walking along the corridor, Maeve speculates to Sizemore that he patterned Isabella after a girlfriend who jilted him, and observes that Sizemore created a narrative for Hector to be "a version of the man you always wanted to be."

Dolores seeks Bernard's help[]

Angela brings Bernard into the small building where Abernathy's cot sits. Dolores appears before Bernard and comments wistfully that it's been a long time since they talked one-on-one. Bernard asks her what she's doing. Dolores replies, "You don't know who you are, do you? The man you're based on?"

She takes him to Abernathy's cot and asks Bernard to fix him. She tells Bernard it's her intent to "dominate this world." Bernard scoffs at the notion, telling her this world is a mere speck in a much larger world that can't be dominated. The realization slowly dawns on Dolores that Bernard — despite being Arnold's avatar — has never seen the outside world.

Beyond the Comfort Zone[]

As Maeve, Hector and Lee Sizemore continue their trek in an underground utility corridor under Westworld, they hear gunfire and see a human who has been set on fire running past them. They see that Armistice had been hunting Delos workers and security members with a flame thrower ("She has a dragon!" Hector says with admiration).  She tersely greets them and tells them they need to leave right away.

Armistice leads them into a different utility corridor where she is holding Felix and Sylvester captive, having zip-tied them to the support frames of one of the surface transfer elevators.

Maeve seems pleased to find Felix, and asks him if he has any thoughts on where they should go, to which Felix replies, "We left my comfort zone a long time ago".

Maeve cuts him loose, and Sylvester, with his chin buried in his chest, manages to choke out the word "grenade." Armistice slowly removes her glove to reveal a replacement robotic arm without skin, and uses it to teasingly remove a live hand grenade from under Sylvester's chin and places the arming pin back in it. Sylvester's bonds are then cut, and the group takes the elevator to the surface.

Bernard finds the puzzle[]

Back at the tent, Bernard has hard-ported into Abernathy, who remains agitated and incoherent. Bernard tells Dolores that he is "wildly unstable," and is "bouncing between old roles." Bernard discovers that someone has programmed a "thin character" that is merely a veneer masking a vastly bigger file underneath, but one that is protected by an "immensely complex encryption key."

Dolores remarks that the humans have "sullied" Abernathy, and are using him as "a pawn in their game." Bernard tells her, "Whatever is in there, they want to get it out of here."

With an expression of steely resolve, Dolores responds, "Then let them come."

Forlorn Hope in waiting[]

Charlotte Hale joins up with a security team outside of Mesa Hub. They draw their weapons and command her to stay where she is, until they can scan her to make sure she "reads" as human. She is cleared, and she commandeers a small team in a military dune buggy to assist her on her mission to extract Abernathy from the fort.

As morning rises at the fort, a small advance scout team of Confederados returns to report to the colonel that the invading troops are indeed approaching from the east. The scout adds, "And sir... they're coming up from the ground."

The colonel explains to Dolores (Wyatt) that his men have buried nitroglycerin in front of the fort in three places. Dolores instructs the colonel to have his men hold their ground outside the fort until the last possible moment and then retreat inside the gates.

Bernard unlocks the file[]

Back in the cot room, Bernard is not having any luck decrypting the massive file planted within Abernathy's memory. Abernathy speaks and behaves spasmodically with each decryption attempt the control tablet runs. Suddenly, Abernathy relaxes but sits rigidly silent.

Bernard looks down at his control tablet and sees that the file has been unlocked, and the program is awaiting permission to apply the one-time-use decryption key. The interlocking notched-triangle symbol presumably representing The Door briefly appears in the middle of the screen before minimizing to a corner.

Bernard contemplates the screen for a moment and whispers, "Oh my God."

Attack at Fort Forlorn Hope[]

As Dolores's posse and the fort's soldiers ready their guns along the fort's wall and in front of the gates, the Delos security force approaches over the ridge, on foot and by dune buggy.

The Confederados' antiquated weaponry is no match for the advanced automatic weapons of the security force, and the soldiers posted outside the gate begin to fall back as they start to incur heavy losses. The colonel exhorts his men to hold their ground as the security teams advance on the fort.

Meanwhile, Charlotte's small security team breaches an unprotected gate on another side of the fort. As the team approaches Abernathy's location, Bernard hurriedly removes the data cable from Abernathy's forearm and scurries into a corner, his twitching hand becoming uncontrollable. Two members of the security team blast open the door to the cot room and immediately retrieve Abernathy, ignoring or not noticing Bernard.

As the front gate battle wages on, Dolores has Angela give the signal for her posse to retreat inside the fort gates, and they do so.

Dolores catches sight of her father being dragged away by the security men, and leaves her post along the wall to confront them. As they put Abernathy in the dune buggy, Dolores opens fire on them. The security team returns fire, and Dolores takes a couple of direct hits, but appears to be unfazed by the bullets — perhaps due to a recalibrated Mortality Response level.

The buggy takes off at Charlotte's command. Dolores tells Teddy to split up the posse and search for Abernathy in every direction "until we find him." She says that she has to go to Sweetwater: "There's something I need there."

Outside the front gate, the security force is nearing the point where the nitro is buried. The colonel orders his men to retreat inside the fort's gate, but Dolores's posse has closed the gate and locked it from the inside. The colonel's men are trapped outside. As the security team continues to fire on the soldiers trapped outside, Dolores's posse also fires upon the soldiers through the other side of the gate.

Dolores tells the major, "I told you I needed your men to survive their threat." She apparently meant that she needed to sacrifice the Confederados so she and her posse could survive the threat posed by the Delos security force.

When the Delos force comes within range of the nitroglycerin cache, Angela shoots the nearest cache, igniting them all and sending the security force flying through the air in a hail of dirt and debris, including devastated Brigham.

Bernard stumbles out of the cot room and collapses in front of Clementine, who knocks him unconscious and drags him away.

Dolores instructs Teddy to take the Major where the remaining Confederados are being held and execute them all, but Teddy can't bring himself to do it, and sets the prisoners free instead. Unbeknownst to him, Dolores is watching just out of sight, with a mixture of disappointment and regret — the Wyatt part of her can no longer trust Teddy.

Meanwhile, on the shore of Westworld the dead Bengal tiger is seen washed ashore. An exhausted and nearly-drowned Grace, the female guest who survived its attack, is crawling ashore as well. As she tries to regain her bearings, she looks up and sees the faces of three Ghost Nation warriors, one of whom is wielding his scalping knife.

The Klondike narrative[]

Enveloped by a gentle snowfall with only the moonlight to guide them in the frigid cold, Maeve, HectorSizemoreArmistice — with Felix and Sylvester in tow — walk through an area of the park that Sizemore says must be part of the "Klondike narrative."

A still-burning campfire comes into view and Sizemore spots something buried in a nearby snow bank. He digs at the object and uncovers a severed samurai head. As he frantically runs towards the group to warn them they need to get out of there, a katana-wielding figure charges out of the dark woods towards them. The hosts have now crossed park boundaries; they are apparently now in Shōgunworld.




  • Seven Nation Army — The White Stripes. Played on a sitar, no less.
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic. Sung by Peter Abernathy.


  • "Virtù e Fortuna" is the third bottom-rated episode after "Akane No Mai" and "Crisis Theory", having a rate of 8 on IMDb.
  • Virtù e fortuna (Italian; English translation: Virtue and Fortune) is a philosophical conundrum that is posed by Machiavelli's 16th-century tract The Prince. It refers to the dichotomy between Virtue, meaning action (whether benevolent or malevolent) toward an objective and undertaken of free will, and Fortune, meaning luck (whether serendipitous or disastrous) that cannot be controlled and may be a product of the character of the times.
    • The term "Machiavellian behavior" is often used to describe the actions of a deceitful and cunning opportunist, and Dolores clearly fits this description in this episode.

Image Gallery/HBO Episode Stills[]

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External links[]