'Westworld' Episode 8 Photos: "Trace Decay"

Earlier this week, we shared with you the trailer for next week's episode of Westworld. Now HBO has released an official set of photos for the eighth episode of the sci-fi series, entitled "Trace Decay." Hit the jump, and we'll take a look at the Westworld episode 8 photos, tell you what we know about the episode, and try to figure out what we can from the images.

westworld episode 8 Armistice

First up, we see Armistice pointing her gun towards something or someone off screen. We've seen this host bandit works with Hector Escaton to raid Sweetwater and The Man in Black came to her searching for the Maze. The snake tattoo visible on her face continues around her body, the ink for the tattoo was the blood of people who raided her village when she was a child. She's notoriously been saving the last unfilled section of the tattoo for the blood of Wyatt, who viciously killed her mother. We last saw her shot to death in the middle of Sweetwater in Dissonance Theory. It seems like we will return to this robbery loop for the third time in the next episode.

westworld episode 8 Hector Escaton

And it looks like Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) is back in the park as well, after spending last week as the personal sex robot of a DELOS board member.

westworld episode 8 photo Maeve Millay

Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) is looking to escape Westworld, and may be using the Sweetwater robbery as her distraction.

westworld episode 8 bernard

Doctor Ford ordered Bernard to kill his former human lover Theresa in the finale of last week's episode. Here Bernard sits in what appears to be Ford's secret laboratory, and he doesn't look too happy. In the trailer for this episode, we see Bernard ask Ford why he made him kill her.

westworld episode 8 Charlotte Hale

DELOS Executive Director Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) seems to be standing in front of a map of the park (wow, it's actually circular in shape) and also some concept art (is this some of Ford's new narrative or stuff we've already seen inside the world?).

westworld epsiode 8 ford

Is Doctor Ford (Anthony Hopkins) talking to Charlotte or Bernard? As always, love the reflection motif of this series.

westworld episode 8 teddy and the man in black

And we'll finally get back to The Man in Black's (Ed Harris) escort quest with Teddy.

westworld episode 8 william dolores

William (Jimmi Simpson) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) continue on their adventure into uncharted territory. Some eagle-eyed fans have noticed more evidence that points towards the Man in Black two time period theory being right:

As for the title of the episode, "Trace Decay" is probably a reference to the phycological theory that memory leaves some type of trace, a physical or chemical change, within the brain that begins to decay over time.

When we learn something new, a neurochemical "memory trace" is created. However, over time this trace slowly disintegrates. Actively rehearsing information is believed to be a major factor counteracting this temporal decline. It is widely believed that neurons die off gradually as we age, yet some older memories can be stronger than most recent memories. Thus, decay theory mostly affects the short-term memory system, meaning that older memories (in long-term memory) are often more resistant to shocks or physical attacks on the brain. It is also thought that the passage of time alone cannot cause forgetting, and that decay theory must also take into account some processes that occur as more time passes.

You can definitely see how this may be relevant to Westworld.

The episode is directed by Stephen Williams, who has been working in television for 23 years, having worked on Dark Angel, The Returned, The Walking Dead, Bloodline, How To Get Away With Murder, and Ray Donovan. He has a long history with Bad Robot and Jonah Nolan, having directed 26 episodes of Lost and 4 episodes of Person of Interest, as well as producing and directing the short-lived series Undercovers. The episode was written by co-showrunner Lisa Joy alongside Charles Yu, a story editor on the series who also is credited with other Westworld episodes "Chestnut" and "The Stray."

Here's the official synopsis for "Trace Decay":

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) struggles with a mandate; Maeve (Thandie Newton) looks to change her script; Teddy (James Marsden) is jarred by dark memories.

Westworld airs on Sunday night on HBO.