We have come to the end of the first season of Westworld, a show which HBO hopes will help fill the void that Game of Thrones will leave once it ends. Obviously, that is a tough task for any show to accomplish. But, the strength of this first season means that it is off to the best possible start. I have really enjoyed watching Westworld and my expectations were high going into ‘The Bicameral Mind‘.
My Thoughts on ‘The Bicameral Mind’
On the whole, I found the season finale to be really satisfying in a number of ways. For one, we got the overdue confirmation that William was Ed Harris’ Man in Black in the past. While this has been obvious for a while, it was good to finally see this particular theory proved to be correct. We also learnt that Dolores was actually Wyatt, the supposed ultimate villain within Westworld. This was something that I and some other fans had suspected for some time. Nonetheless, it would have been a surprising reveal for a good amount of people.
It was nice to get closure with these particular story arcs even if we did not get closure with other characters. Indeed, we don’t know what happened to characters such as Elsie and Stubbs which means we will have to wait until the second season, which is scheduled to come out in 2018, to find out what has happened to them. I understand that the show had to focus on wrapping up more important story-lines but it would have been nice to have some inkling about what happened to them. Still, it is a small gripe.
One of the other elements of this episode that I found really exciting was the tease of their being multiple parks. Indeed, seeing the Samurai warriors was a great way to show us that other worlds besides Westworld exist. Moreover, it is also an indication that this show has huge potential to tell greater narratives and expand its scope.
I also thought that Evan Rachel Wood gave her best performance as Dolores in this episode. She was already giving really good performances in previous episodes but she really showed how much range she has an actress in ‘The Bicameral Mind’. We also saw Thandie Newton continue to excel in her portrayal of Maeve. Her arc in this story provided us with some really good action sequences and it proved that she is not as free-willed as we were led to believe.
Still, Anthony Hopkins shines above all the others in this show. Undoubtedly, he has been my favourite part of this season of Westworld. He gives the show real gravitas through his portrayal of Robert Ford whose real intentions were finally laid bare in this episode.
Personally, I have been going back and forth trying to figure out whether he wanted the same things that Arnold and the Man in Black wanted. At times it seemed like he did and at other times he did not. Yet, we finally realised that he did want the same things as Arnold and, to some extent, what the Man in Black wanted too.
As a result, Ford has now started something which cannot be undone. This just added to a season finale which did a really great job of setting up what will probably be a more unhinged second season which I cannot wait for.