I’ll get straight to the point; the past two episodes of Westworld were fantastic and the best this show has given us so far. Don’t get me wrong, the first four episodes were great at setting up the characters and the world. It was a fantastic foundation which has now been built upon thanks to past two episodes which have given us some really interesting developments.
What were these developments?
The most important of these developments happened in ‘Contrapasso‘ and this was the fact that we got close to confirmation that William and Logan’s storyline is taking place in the past. This is a theory that has been going around amongst fans of the show for some time and it was a theory seemingly proved to be correct throughout various stages within ‘Contrapasso’. It would take too long to fully explain in this review but reasoning behind this theory being proved in ‘Contrapasso’ can be found here.
This is a really exciting development, especially as it could eventually lead to the proving of another theory which is the thought that William becomes Ed Harris’ Man in Black. Certainly, William is showing signs of slowly becoming corrupted by the park and moving away from his strong morals. His relationship with Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood is also fascinating, especially as Dolores is rapidly evolving and becoming more self-aware with each episode that passes.
Again, Hopkins is the Star of Westworld
Still, the best part of this show is the character of Robert Ford played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins. I have praised Hopkins in my previous reviews of Westworld and he continues to enhance the show in these episodes where we see a vulnerable side to his character in both episodes. In fact, some of the scenes where we saw this vulnerability were really sad and made me feel a deeper connection towards Ford even though he is a morally ambiguous character.
Still, while we saw this different side to Ford, he still showed his power within the park, especially in his interaction with Ed Harris’ Man in Black in ‘Contrapasso’ which was fantastic. In this scene, we learnt more about the history of the park, the state of the outside world and the motivation of these characters which do seem to differ which goes against my previous opinion that they wanted the same thing.
Additionally, we see that Arnold is having a greater impact within Westworld and I have my doubts about just how ‘dead’ he is due to what occurred in these episodes, especially ‘The Adversary‘ which itself had my favourite opening scene of the show so far thanks to the use of music. Certainly, the piano renditions of contemporary music have been a wonderful element of this show and it was great again in the beginning of ‘The Adversary’ with the use of ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ by Radiohead. It’s a song which perfectly fitted the tone of the episode and, if you think about it, the show as a whole.
Maeve and Teddy
Another great thing within these episodes was the character of Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, who is becoming an increasingly important character in Westworld. Her arc in these two episodes heavily suggested that she will have a significant bearing on the exciting events to come. Additionally, Teddy, played by James Marsden, is also being developed as a character that has a greater purpose and his use of a certain weapon in ‘The Adversary’ was great to watch and reminded me of playing Red Dead Redemption (which is always a good thing!).
All of what was discussed above continued the good work of the previous episodes and made these two episodes fantastic and, in my opinion, the best this show has given us so far. Still, even though these episodes were the strongest in the show so far, I feel as though Westworld will continue to improve as we edge closer to the end of this season. We have four more episodes to go and I am expecting greater things to come.