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Warning: The following contains spoilers for "Reunion," Season 2, Episode 2 of Westworld. Watch the episode first lest you get spoiled!
This week's episode of Westworld featured a few game-changing surprises like the incredible early scene of Logan (Ben Barnes) getting a private demonstration of Westworld's technology, William (Jimmi Simpson) getting to work on something big inside the park and more proof that Westworld isn't so much an adult theme park and more of a means of collecting our most private thoughts and desires. Spooky!
But the greatest surprise came toward the end of the episode when The Man in Black (Ed Harris) attempted to recruit the revolutionaries who follow El Lazo, a criminal mastermind who plays a crucial role in one of the park's narratives. Because this is Westworld and the robot hosts are constantly being shuffled in and out of various roles, we had never met this version of El Lazo. Previously, in William/Young Man in Black's timeline in Season 1, El Lazo was played by the host we now know as Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.), but there was Lawrence riding alongside The Man in Black to meet the new El Lazo. And this new El Lazo was awesome.
So who played the new El Lazo?
GUS MOTHERFRIGGIN' FRING! Also known as actor Giancarlo Esposito, who played the famous Breaking Bad villain in Seasons 2 through 4 and still plays him in Better Call Saul. Esposito's role as the new El Lazo was a secret HBO asked the press to keep, and we had to watch for ourselves to find out who the mystery actor was. And I'm glad we did, because it was pleasant surprise that really delivered.
As for the scene itself, The Man in Black promised El Lazo that he would tell him the truth about the entire park and the purpose of their existence if he would join him. This seemed to trigger a self-destruct response in El Lazo's code that had been put there by Ford. El Lazo's parting words (again, actually Ford's words) told The Man in Black that he had to take on this quest by himself, and then he shot himself in the face. (Which may have brought up memories of the another time Esposito had part of his face blown off.)
The next question is whether or not Esposito will be back in another episode. Sadly, he probably won't be. The park is now in such disarray that there's no order or control by Delos, so the Livestock team can't recommission "dead" hosts. Unless a Delos employee is forced to bring Esposito's El Lazo back into action, similar to what Dolores is doing with her captive, this El Lazo corpse will stay right where it died. Of course, there's always the chance he'll be back in one of Westworld's labyrinthine flashbacks.
Westworld airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO.