What to Know About “Vanishing Point”
By Olivia Armstrong
The penultimate episode of Westworld’s Season 2 shed light on the Man in Black’s tragic past while Teddy’s resentment for his new programming reached a breaking point.
Westworld Season 2 Episode 9, “Vanishing Point,” unveiled the aftermath of a family tragedy, explained how Delos Incorporated retrieved guest data and ended with a literal bang — a somber goodbye to one of the park’s beloved players. Here’s a breakdown to prep you for the Season 2 finale, “The Passenger.” For a more detailed explainer, see the full episode guide.
Westworld’s hats collected data.
It’s among the first decisions guests are faced with upon entering the park: white hat or black hat? As it turns out, it doesn’t matter if you want to play hero or villain, your data is there for the taking. In a revealing conversation between the Man in Black (Ed Harris) and his daughter Emily (Katja Herbers), a rapidly unraveling Man in Black explains a crucial component to Delos’ “secret project.” The hats acted as “scanners”, collecting the guests’ every move and interaction: minds being replicated in real time in the interest of achieving immortality.
The Man in Black’s “profile” was his family’s undoing.
In a flashback, Ford gives the Man in Black his Westworld “profile” card, which we later find out is essentially a visual history of every act — good and evil (but mostly evil) — he’s committed in the park. The profile is accessed by Juliet, who, before she takes her own life, leaves the profile for Emily to find.
Emily tells her father that she “wants in” on Delos’ shady quest for eternal life, which makes the Man in Black paranoid about her intentions. After he opens fire on a QA rescue team, he shoots Emily, thinking she’s a pawn in Ford’s game. Her lifeless body reveals that she was simply trying to show her father his profile.
Ford’s paternal moment with Maeve is critical to the Mesh Network.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) fights for her life while splayed out on the body shop exam table. She’s being prodded and pried open for her code, which controls hosts through the Mesh Network. When Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) nears, Maeve is able to access Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) consciousness through Bernard’s mind to retrieve a message from Ford.
In this message, Ford says he tried to help her escape the park (back in the Season 1 finale) but understands why she came back for her daughter. He also tells her she was always his “favorite” host before restoring her Mesh Network capabilities — allowing her to continue her control her fellow hosts.
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BEHIND THE SCENES
Thandie Newton and the show’s creators discuss the construction of Maeve’s hyper-realistic wound and Dr. Ford’s hope for his favorite host.