A lot has come to pass in the last two episodes of "Westworld," and when we entered the second half of the November month, Maeve was coming to life, Dr. Ford was running and wrecking shit, Elsie was missing, Arnold was an enigma, Dolores was living out her existential dream (nightmare), and Bernard had just smashed his lovers head into a wall, revealing he was, indeed, a freaking robot. At this point, the power rankings of Westworld looked something like this:
Episode 7 rankings:
1. Dr. Ford
2. The Man In Black
13. White Lab Tech
14. Asian Lab Tech
Yet, with huge reveals in the ninth episode, we've seen some serious shifts on that list. Let's start from the bottom:
Off the list:
Choked out by Bernard aka Arnold, aka damn bro!
Also killed by Bernard, head-smash into stone wall, end of episode 8, fucked up stuff.
#15 White Lab Tech (13)
The once domineering but never clever dumbboy of the lab tech duo takes a dive two notches down on the list, as his stubborn refusal to OBEY causes him nothing but grief and a slit throat in Episode 8. Ew, man. Get it together. You're lucky you even made the cut.
#14 Asian Lab Tech (14)
Asian Lab Tech keeps his lowly spot at 14. He performed some miracle throat-glue surgery on his #15 counterpart after Maeve gave him a good slice, but the fact that he hasn't been fired or worse is beyond the viewership at this point.
Stubbs, we had such high hopes for you (just kidding your name is Ashley Stubbs), but not only have you failed to shoot a host while threatened in the park for the second time (get this guy a job with the NYPD) but he gets sucker-tackled by a face-painted weirdo before the cut-scene. Hope is dwindling for you man, especially since we know you're never going to make it with Elsie.
#12 Logan (10)
Logan takes a hit on this weeks rankings. Not only has he drunkenly given in to William's repentance story ("I don't know what I was thinking, man!") but he passes out while William murders the whole campsite with a knife at night (lol.. wut?) and then just falls down on his ass when William confronts him at the end of episode 9.
#11 Clementine (15)
Clementine makes her rise sheerly out of performance. In two episodes she has managed to be a huge player outside of the park. She was used as a scapegoatt for Ford's indiscretions in episode 8, where she also smashed a guys head repeatedly into a glass wall, and then in a weird hostage-takes-hostage scenario in the final sequence of the ninth episode. This rank may be inflated because she held a big-ass gun to Ford's head for about twenty minutes, but this tabula rasa character is as dispensable as they come. Yet, with Maeve looking to move on to bigger and better things, maybe she'll get reinstated at the HOSTel.
#10 Wyatt (--)
Wyatt enters the list at number 10, as clearly he is a character that is not going away. Not only do we see him gunning down (again) unnamed civilians and militia in Sweetwater in Teddy's cornerstone memory, but his reach is finally tangible, as his tribal gang is coming further into the fold and (for some fucking reason) his henchman Angela, the blonde host who welcomed William into the park and was once married to Elon Musk (unrelated, sort of), is now a player in the park.
#9 Teddy (7)
Teddy continues to drop despite his small, yet tragically mistimed, remembering which causes him to snuff Man in Black in the mouth with his six-shooter. In most circumstances, Teddy's awakening gets a rise, but this one just leads to him getting stabbed in the stomach.
#8 Charlotte (3)
We always knew that Charlotte's top 5 ranking was a bit inflated, but ostensibly we had to go with it -- she was in control of Theresa, seemed a top-notch executive, boned and smoked cigarettes when she pleased, including sleeping with Maeve's hot host homey Hector (predicting Maeve smokes Charlotte in the final episode as an ironic twist), and she was setting a plan in action to oust Dr. Ford. But with Theresa out of the picture and the Man in Black telling her to simply "stay the fuck away" in episode nine, Charlotte seems to be grasping at straws as she makes her way into the season finale.
#7 Bernard (5)
Is he dead? Can he die? We can rebuild him, we can make him stronger. As the Bernard character, this one has certainly seen an end of sorts as his cornerstone story was revealed to him in the final sequences of the ninth episode. But much is left to be revealed in the tenth episode, and a mysterious off-camera *bang before title-credits isn't enough for us to swear this mainstay character off just yet.
#6 William (8)
Murderous, lying, and philandering are just a few words to describe one of Westworld's top young risers. William has made his way from white-hat, safe-storyline simpleton to a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to help Delores find her way. Speaking of which...
#5 Delores (9)
On the run now and re-tracing old steps, Delores is inching closer to discovering what haunts her. Her rememories with a young Arnold and other ghosts in the machine have this stalwart protagonista set up for a spectacular finale.
#4 The Man in Black (2)
Despite a couple shots to the face and a near death experience, it seems like they just can't keep this guy down. Not only was that potential hanging-by-horse a thrilling (if not a bit contrived) sequence, but it seems Ed Harris' character has finally sniffed out what he has been looking for all along. You're getting warmer, warmer...
#3 Arnold (--)
Arnold enters the list at the 3 spot, because... what the shit! And there's just no way they are going to reveal Arnold as Bernard and then eliminate them both in the same episode. Given the functionings of Westworld and memory, I don't think Arnold has ever been a character who has existed within the confines of a host (or human) body. His work is not done.
#2 Maeve (6)
Not only was she able to control an entire mob of gunslingers in the eighth episode, and manipulate the lab-lackeys at the same time, but this righteous chick is feeling the burn of justice, and her love-sequence amidst the flames (ps: hosts aren't capable of using fire) was just one of her many transgressions outside of robitica. From manipulating Bernarnold, to the glimpse of her atop of an escalator in the episode finale preview, I don't think we're a far way off from seeing the Ex Machina prediction come true. Only one thing stands in her way...
#1 Dr. Ford (1)
From narcissistic genius, to cruel slaver, to manipulative hacker, this mad scientist with a penchant for literature is the perfect antagonist to the free-thinking, anti-establishment Maeve, who wants nothing more than to escape the (white-male) constructions of her past-life. Yet Ford has not had a misstep yet, and there is something strangely admirable about his unwavering attention to detail. It will take a lot to de-throne this godly creator. But then again, that's what second seasons are for.
So what do you think? Did someone get snubbed? Is Arnold too high? Anyone too low? And where will all of this shake out next week? Who will be on top?