Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Westworld Recap: Parental Discretion Advised

Contains spoilers for "Westworld" Season 4, Episode 6, "Fidelity"

"Westworld" Season 4, Episode 6, "Fidelity," brings more of both the revelations and new questions that dotted Episode 5, "Zhuangzi." The previous chapter focused largely on Teddy (James Marsden) clueing Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) into her true power in the world, and host William (Ed Harris) confronting his human self to seek answers about his own existence. Those four characters are absent from Episode 6. Instead, the focus shifts to now-definitely-a-host Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Charlotte Hale's (Tessa Thompson) attempts to bring him to full fidelity, along with his daughter Frankie's (Aurora Perrineau) search for the truth about what happened to him.

Frankie has teamed up with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) to recover the body of Maeve Millay (Thandiwe Newton) from the dusty ruins of the Chicago prohibition-era park. As they work to bring her back online, Bernard warns her that one of the members of her resistance group is actually a host and a great danger to her. It turns out to be group leader J (Daniel Wu), but Maeve wakes just in time to save Frankie by plunging a knife into J's forehead.

Caleb No. 278 finally is able to reach out to Frankie

Host Caleb No. 278 spends almost the entire episode locked in his glass-walled gestation chamber either being torture-interrogated by Hale or growling and grimacing his way through conversations with older versions of himself in various states of distress. He is clearly glitching badly, and Hale even tells him he probably has only a few more hours before he'll be burned and regenerated. But he follows the bread crumbs given to him by his previous selves and escapes through a floor grate and the building's ductwork to the roof, where he rigs up a way to broadcast to Frankie over the radio frequency she has been monitoring in vain for years.

It's a rare moment of hope for Caleb, who has been behind the 8-ball for seemingly his entire time on "Westworld." But Hale shatters that when she tells him the multiple versions of himself leading him to a false escape were just her attempts to find out what he yearned to communicate to Frankie so badly. "Your daughter, your daughter, your daughter. You're like a broken record. You're not the only one that's lost someone."

The parent-child relationship remains the heart of Westworld Season 4

Perhaps the most realistic thing about "Westworld" is the amount of psychic real estate dedicated to parent-child relationships. For the four characters who have seen their children die (Bernard, Maeve, William, and Charlotte), those losses have remained the key to understanding their ongoing character development and motivations. Even Caleb, knowing his daughter has grown up without him, is inspired solely by the revelation that Frankie is still alive. 

Uwade and Frankie were Caleb's primary cornerstones in life. Caleb's single-minded goal of reuniting with his daughter, both as a human and a host, makes him vulnerable and disgusts Hale. It does provide him with motivation, however. A frustrated Hale tries to pin that down, telling him, "Once you told me you could fight off the effects of my parasite because you had something that I don't have." It's a key quote from the episode.

What Caleb has is hope — hope that Uwade and Frankie are still alive, and hope for what is left of humanity.

Frankie is at the center of many of Westworld's yet-unsolved mysteries

Scene and setting changes come less rapid-fire than in the previous two episodes, and the revelations also come more subtly and gently. One outstanding issue coming into "Fidelity" was whether Caleb was made a host when Charlotte fly-jacked him or if Maeve first hostified him after he died during their assault on the Rehoboam lighthouse. Frankie tells Maeve that the last time she saw Caleb alive was also the first time she saved Frankie's life — when she was attacked on the street in Season 4, Episode 1, "The Auguries."

While every bit of information delivered by "Westworld" writers must be taken with a heaping pile of salt, this would mean that Frankie never saw her father recovering in the hospital, making it likely that this happened on a server somewhere and not in Frankie and Uwade's (Nozipho McLean) meatspace. This meshes with the episode's many flashbacks to that recovery period, which show Uwade, but not a trace of Frankie.

Thus far, hosts haven't been designed to age as Frankie has, so either Hale has made leaps in technology or Frankie is still a real human being. But doubts are creeping in about whether she or her mother are real or Maeve's creations.

When does Westworld Season 4, Episode 7 air?

Westworld Season 4, Episode 7, "Metanoia," airs on HBO and becomes available to stream on HBO Max on Sunday, August 8 at 9 p.m. Eastern. Early in Episode 6, Bernard tells Frankie that Charlotte has built a simulation like the park's original designers did. Creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan did a fantastic job ambushing audiences with the revelation that C was Frankie in Episode 4, "Generation Loss," and almost definitely have more surprises slated for the season's final two episodes. 

Bernard's second big revelation to Frankie — that Hale has designed mirrors to scan humans a la the hats used in the original park — seems purposeful when we realize how often Christina is shown looking in a mirror. Charlotte went a long way to learn Caleb's motivations; it would be reasonable to believe she created Christina's world to learn more about Dolores.

Thus far, Charlotte and Christina's New Yorks have been presented as being one and the same, but the only common character has been Hale, who certainly has the ability to jump between the real and virtual world. Christina's would be the more likely candidate to be the virtual version, but beware of any obvious road down which "Westworld" appears to be headed.