Westworld: Season 2 Episode 4 (Television Review) – The Best Episode So Far

In my opinion, Season 2 of Westworld has been great so far but it is evident to me that Anthony Hopkins as Robert Ford is severely missed. He was, by far, the best thing about Season 1 and the death of Robert Ford has created a void that Season 2 has yet to fully fill. However, compelling characters still exist, especially when it comes to Bernard and the Man in Black/William. It therefore comes as no surprise that this episode, titled ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’, which heavily focuses on these two characters is the best episode of Season 2 so far.

My Thoughts On ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’

When it comes to Bernard, this episode picks up right after the events of ‘Virtù e Fortuna’ and the battle between the Confederados Hosts and the Humans. Bernard, with a little “guidance” by Clementine, ends up in a cave where he is reunited with Elsie who is chained up. We last saw Elsie in Season 1 with her fate left uncertain after being mysteriously attacked and it was Bernard who did this when he was under Ford’s control.

Suffice to say, Elsie was not ecstatic to see her captor again but Bernard had no recollection of this incident. They form a uneasy truce and eventually find a bunker full of dead scientists as well as a Host version of James Delos. The way this mystery unravelled throughout ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ was very compelling and it was cool to see how it linked to the Man in Black/William’s story in the past. Indeed, it was William who was responsible for the creation of Host James Delos.

Shannon Woodward as Elsie and Jeffrey Wright as Bernard in Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 The Riddle of the Sphinx

In the past, we see that William and Delos are attempting to recreate James Delos’ consciousness in a host. In essence, a path to immortality is trying to be established. No matter how many times this is attempted, it always fails and this venture is eventually shut down by William when he is played by Ed Harris rather than Jimmi Simpson. This shows how long this experiment has been going on for and, while a failure, it seems like achieving immortality through the Hosts is an important priority for Delos.

The Mystery Of Bernard

However, as we saw with Bernard and Elsie’s story in ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’, the Host James Delos was kept alive for years after the program was shut down and became deranged. He is found and eventually killed by Bernard and Elsie. After this, Bernard is able to recollect scattered memories from his past and remembers that, before Ford’s death, he was sent by Ford to retrieve the control unit of a second host-human hybrid. However, he cannot remember who that was for.

If I was to guess, I would assume that this second control unit would be for Ford or Arnold but we shall have to wait and see what transpires with this element of the story. We also find out through his scattered memories that the dead scientists in the bunker were killed by Bernard. Clearly, there is so much about Bernard that we do not know about and it will be interesting to see how much more we learn about his past and what it means for his future.

Jimmi Simpson as William in Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 The Riddle of the Sphinx

The Ruthlessness Of The Man in Black/William

The same can be said for the Man in Black/William who was absolutely ruthless in ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’, both in the past and the present. Certainly, he was remorseless in the past with his decision to end the program with Host James Delos and, in the present, he showed no mercy when he killed the remaining Confederados who were spared by Teddy. Indeed, he and Lawrence are captured by the Condederados at Lawrence’s home and are held hostage with its residents which include Lawrence’s family.

Further on in the episode, the Man in Black/William gives a superb monologue about death which sets up his brutal killing spree of the Confederados. He saves the town’s residents and Lawrence’s family but Ford, through Lawrence’s daughter, tells him that one good deed does not redeem him. It seems that we have more to learn about the Man in Black/William too, particularly as he is now reunited with his daughter.

Indeed, the Man in Black/William meets Grace, the woman who killed the tiger in ‘Virtù e Fortuna’, who is actually Emily, his daughter. We know that the relationship between the two is not exactly warm and amicable and I am sure that it will be developed throughout Season 2 of Westworld. Something which I really liked was how the Man in Black/William was developed in this episode as he became more than just the imposing force that he is. He was more fleshed out as a person when it came to his family.

Ed Harris as William/Man in Black Westworld Season 2 Episode 4 The Riddle of the Sphinx

My Final Thoughts On ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’

All of the things which happened in ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ were of such an amazing quality that, as well as being the best episode of Season 2 so far, it may also be one of the best episodes of Westworld in general. The dense and convoluted lore and mythology of this show has been deepened and the mystery of Season 2’s plot, while teased, is still intact and I am still committed to going on this journey.

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Westworld: Season 2 Episode 3 (Television Review) – The Mythology Continues To Be Expanded

One of things which has really impressed me with Season 2 of Westworld has been the way in which it has expanded the mythology of this world. This has been done through the development of what we know about the characters as well as the history of the park and Delos. In this third episode, titled ‘Virtù e Fortuna’, the continuing expansion of the mythology is now being done through the reveals of more parks besides Westworld. This was something that was teased in the Season 1 finale and we have now seen it for real in ‘Virtù e Fortuna’.

My Thoughts On ‘Virtù e Fortuna’

This episode began in a British Raj park. We see a woman called Grace flee from a rogue host and she then ends up being chased by a tiger which is eventually killed by her. It is the same dead tiger we saw in ‘Journey Into Night’. Even this early on in Season 2, mysterious things are being explained. Although, more questions have now been raised about the importance of Grace and her role in the wider story being told in Season 2 after this episode and the wider story continues to intrigue me.

Firstly, it turns out that I was right about how the flash Bernard scenes in ‘Journey Into Night’ showed us glimpses of the past and the future. Indeed, one of those flash scenes involved Bernard and Dolores and she stated that “there is beauty in what we are”. We got to see that scene play out in ‘Virtù e Fortuna’. Yes, Bernard and Dolores are reunited in this episode after Bernard gets separated from Charlotte (In the future timeline, those two reunite at Park HQ, aka the Mesa).

Grace in the British Raj Park in Westworld Season 2 Episode 3 Virtu e Fortuna

Bernard and Charlotte had Peter Abernathy, Dolores’ father, but he along with Bernard were taken by the Confederados to Dolores. I always found the scenes between Dolores and Bernard to be amongst my favourite character interactions in Season 1 and it was great to see them together again. We also got to experience an emotional scene between Dolores and her father which humanised Dolores and this moment was in stark contrast to the scenes where we continue to see Dolores’ ruthless nature.

Abernathy Has Vital Information Within Him

Certainly, there seems to be nothing which will deter Dolores from her path. She uses the Confederados as pawns in the battle that occurred in the 3rd act of this episode between the Hosts and the Humans (which was awesome by the way) and she then proceeds to wipe them all out. Well, all except those few spared by Teddy who is more and more out of his depth as Dolores’ conquest continues. Dolores sees this act of mercy by Teddy and I feel as though it will lead to Dolores making a difficult choice with Teddy later on in Season 2 of Westworld.

Dolores is also going to now have to find a way to rescue her father who was taken by the humans but not before Bernard found something within Abernathy’s code. It looks as though it is extremely important as Bernard was utterly shocked with what he found. The information within Abernathy seems to be vital when it comes to the larger story being told and this mystery about him just adds to the compelling nature of this season of Westworld.

Samurai World in Westworld Season 2 Episode 3 Virtu e Fortuna

Samurai World

We also get to focus on Maeve in ‘Virtù e Fortuna’ and, for me, her overall storyline is good but the weakest storyline so far in Season 2. However, in her quest to find her daughter, Maeve is reunited with Felix and Sylvester, the two lab workers from Season 1. I always enjoyed the dynamic those three had together so I look forward to seeing more of that this season. I hope it improves Maeve’s storyline and the way ‘Virtù e Fortuna’ ends certainly points to a step up in its quality.

Indeed, Maeve’s group is attacked by a samurai in an intriguing, cliff-hanger ending which sets up Samurai World and I cannot wait to this in future episodes of Season 2. If those future episodes can keep the same consistency we have got so far or even improve on what we have seen up to this point, then Season 2 of Westworld will be a worthy continuation of Season 1.

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Westworld: Season 2 Episode 2 (Television Review) – More Timelines, More Mystery

You can never judge the overall quality of a season of television until it has finished. This is certainly true for a show like Westworld. In its first season, each episode deepened the mystery of the story and the season had multiple timelines within it. This meant that it would be unfair to judge the season until the stories in those timelines had come to some sort of resolution and connected in some way. Season 2 is absolutely continuing what Season 1 established in this regard.

Arnold and Dolores

In ‘Journey Into Night’, we saw that stories were being told in two different timelines. Now, after the second episode, titled ‘Reunion’, more timelines have now been re-introduced. Indeed, the distant past was a big focus in Season 1 of Westworld and it provided some interesting backstory to characters such as the Man in Black, or William as he was known back then. This also continues in Season 2. However, before going back to continue William’s story from where that ended in Season 1, we went even further back in time to when Arnold was still alive and before the park had been built.

Indeed, Arnold was setting up a showcase for Logan to convince him to invest in Westworld with the help of Robert Ford and it was awesome to hear a younger version of Ford. I do not know if Anthony Hopkins came back to do the voice for the younger Ford but it sounded exactly like him. So, either Hopkins did come back or they got a tremendous voice actor who can imitate a voice on the same pitch-perfect level as, for instance, Stephen Stanton did for Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars Rebels episode ‘Twin Suns’. I also liked how the relationship between Arnold and Dolores, who was meant to be a part of the showcase to Logan, was developed in this timeline.

Jeffrey Wright as Arnold and Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores in Westworld Season 2 Episode 2 Reunion

William

We get to see Logan again in the other timeline that takes place in the distant past. As I said earlier, we follow William after the events of Season 1. Logan is out of the picture and William now has access to Logan’s father and he shows him how the parks can be used to spy on guests and collect data on them. As William says, the parks are where people show who they really are and this whole conversation between William and Logan’s father was very timely when you consider the revelations that have come out about Facebook recently.

William takes control of Delos and Dolores, at a party celebrating this, finds a despondent Logan who believes that humanity in now doomed. He may turn out to be right and all of what we saw in the distant past in ‘Reunion’ continued to provide some fascinating backstory which I am sure will connect to what is going on in the present timelines.

The Present

The other storylines that were continued from ‘Journey Into Night’ were the ones which focus on Dolores and the Man in Black. When it comes to Dolores, she is continuing to expose Teddy to more of the truth about what they truly are. She also runs into Maeve and they have an intriguing discussion about their newfound “freedom” which is an important theme of Westworld. Dolores also tries to recruit more Hosts to her cause of finding the “valley beyond” which houses a weapon she intends to use against the humans.

Ed Harris as the Man in Black/William in Westworld Season 2 Episode 2 Reunion

This goal and her whole arc in ‘Reunion’ was intrinsically linked to the past timelines as well as the Man in Black who reunites with Lawrence. He also tries to recruit Hosts, loyal to the new El Lazo, to aid him with his game and reach the “pearly gates”. On a side note, it was awesome to see Giancarlo Esposito, Gus from Breaking Bad, portray the new El Lazo. It was a cool cameo. However, the Man in Black’s plans were foiled. Robert Ford was not allowing any of this to happen and he kills his recruits.

Even though Ford is dead, his spirit still lives on and it raises some questions over how dead he really is. Despite this setback, the Man in Black goes forward with his quest to destroy what he sees as his greatest mistake. This may be the park itself or perhaps the weapon Dolores is seeking and, in the distant past, we saw William take Dolores to this special project he was constructing which may well be the weapon. Both the Man in Black and Dolores seems to be heading towards the same destination with different ambitions in mind.

My Final Thoughts on ‘Reunion’

I really liked ‘Reunion’. It provided us with more interesting backstory, it deepened the mystery of the story being told and the episode was quite different from what I believed we would get based on where we left off in ‘Journey Into Night’. Certainly, more periods of time will be focused on than I originally thought and while all of these convoluted timelines could have been confusing, the way they linked together in ‘Reunion’ was well executed in my opinion.

Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores and James Marsden as Teddy in Westworld Season 2 Episode 2 Reunion

Because of Season 1, it is much easier to follow what is going on in these different timelines. I cannot wait to see how everything established so far in Season 2 of Westworld will all link together in the end, especially when it comes to finding out what the weapon actually is.

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Westworld: Season 2 Episode 1 (Television Review) – A Superb Start

The first season of Westworld was superb television to watch. The technical quality of it was undeniable and the themes that were explored in the mysterious narrative really made the entire season an enjoyable watch, even in its more slower moments. As you can imagine, the hype for Season 2 of Westworld was quite high and I was excited to come back to this show, especially as we have had to wait some time for it to return.

However, the wait is now over and ‘Journey Into Night’ was the episode which kicked off this second season of a television series that HBO is really pushing to become one of its leading lights. This is particularly the case when you consider that Game of Thrones is coming to the end and the void left by its end needs to be filled by one or more shows on the scale of Westworld.

My Thoughts On ‘Journey Into Night’

Sometimes, the first episode in a new season of television can be the weakest episode of that season. If this is the case with ‘Journey Into Night’, then we are in store for a phenomenal season of Westworld. I loved this episode. From its very first scene, it was compelling. Certainly, an episode of Westworld which begins with a past conversation between Bernard/Arnold and Dolores is a fantastic way to start this second season.

Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores in Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 Journey Into Night

I say Bernard/Arnold because I am not sure whether that conversation took place in the distant past when Arnold was still alive or, more likely, with Bernard in the more recent past. Either way, it was a fascinating scene which showcased how Westworld is a cut above the overwhelming majority of TV shows currently airing. The acting and dialogue between Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood in this scene alone was mesmerising and, for me, it foreshadowed what is to come in Season 2.

Indeed, Bernard/Arnold stated that he was frightened about what Dolores might become and what path she will take. Obviously, we have seen already what Dolores is capable of and this scene may have indicated that much worse is in store. Another subtle element of this scene that I appreciated was how the framing was different compared to the rest of ‘Journey Into Night’.

Two Timelines

After this scene, we saw flash scenes of both Bernard and Dolores. Now, I did not have the opportunity to watch the first season of Westworld again before Season 2 began. I was able to recognise that some of these flash scenes were from Season 1 but others were not as recognisable which make me believe that we got glimpses of the future. However, I understand that I may be completely wrong about this.

Jeffrey Wright as Bernard in Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 Journey Into Night

Still, what was completely apparent about ‘Journey Into Night’ is that, at least for now, we are following two timelines in Season 2 of Westworld. One of them takes place in the immediate aftermath of the death of Robert Ford at the end of Season 1 and the other is set around two weeks later where the humans are trying to regain control of the park. What we saw in the latter timeline was at the beginning and the end of ‘Journey Into Night’ so the real meat of this episode took place right after Ford’s death.

The Hosts Take Control After Ford’s Death

In this time period, the Hosts are in total control of the park and they have wiped out almost all the Delos board members with only a few surviving the massacre that began with Robert Ford’s death. As expected, the Man in Black/William is having a great time with this new reality. It was what he wanted all along as we saw in Season 1 of Westworld and, in ‘Journey Into Night’, he had a great discussion with the young Robert Ford Host where he learns that an entirely new game solely for him has just begun.

Bernard and Charlotte are together and they try to deal with the repercussions of Ford’s death. They eventually find safety and learn that they have to find Peter Abernathy, the Host who played Dolores’ father in Season 1, and give him to Delos to secure help and extraction from the park. Maeve has to go on a journey of her own to find her daughter and Dolores, with the bemused help of Teddy, is charting her own course and wishes to go beyond the park and take control of the human world.

Young Robert Ford Host and Ed Harris as the Man in Black/William in Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 Journey Into Night

Clearly, a lot of things are about to go down in Season 2 of Westworld given what has been set up in ‘Journey Into Night’ and I loved where our characters are at in this timeline. It has established some exciting narratives and I am fascinated to see what unravels in this timeline going forward.

Bernard + The Military Team

In the time period that takes place two weeks after Ford’s death, Bernard wakes up on a beach with water rising around him which establishes a good amount of mystery about how and why this happened, especially when one thinks about where he was in the other timeline with Charlotte. Additionally, it was a visual which linked back to the very first scene of the episode where he described a dream he had to Dolores that was exactly like the situation he found himself in at that moment.

He encounters a human military team from Delos who, as I said earlier, are attempting to take back control of the park from the Hosts. Bernard eventually leads them to a lake of dead Hosts who he claims to have killed. To see where Bernard starts in one timeline and then get to the place where he was in the other is going to be fascinating to experience.

Dead Hosts in Westworld Season 2 Episode 1 Journey Into Night

My Final Thoughts On ‘Journey Into Night’

In both timelines, the outstanding quality of this show is still clear to see from a technical perspective. From a storytelling viewpoint, Westworld continues to explore themes such as existence, consciousness and meaning in a deep and layered way. ‘Journey Into Night’ did a tremendous job at reintroducing us to these themes as well as providing a great platform for the characters, and the story they are in, to flourish as Season 2 progresses from episode to episode.

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Westworld: Season 1 Episode 10 (Television Review) – A Great Season Finale

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.

Samurai's in Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 Season Finale The Bicameral Mind

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.

The Performances

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.

Man in Black and Dolores in Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 Season Finale The Bicameral Mind

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.

Westworld: Season 1 Episodes 7-9 (Television Review) – Bernard…….

We have only one more episode of this season of Westworld left which really saddens me because this has been a wonderful show to watch. For me personally, this is a show which has got progressively better and it was already really good from the start. It is visually stunning, the acting is superb, the characters are layered and each episode has built upon the previous both in the progression of the story and fleshing out the lore of Westworld. It has been a pleasure to watch and the past three episodes have been fantastic television.

Dolores and William in Westworld Season 1 Episode 7 Trompe L'Oeil

My Thoughts on Episodes 7-9 of Westworld

One of the main reasons why this is the case is due to the reveals in these episodes, particularly in relation to Bernard. In ‘Trompe L’Oeil‘, we learnt that he is indeed a host and in ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier‘, we also discovered that he is a host version of Arnold. Both of these reveals have been theories amongst fans that went down the rabbit hole of speculation since the early episodes of Westworld. Still, it was fascinating to see the way these revelations played out and they were big moments.

The quality of acting in Westworld continues to be consistently brilliant. As I have said many times, Anthony Hopkins is brilliant and continued to be in these recent episodes but others have come to the forefront. For instance, I like how Tessa Thompson brings a cold, arrogant nature to her character.

Jeffrey Wright in Westworld Season 1 Episode 8 Trace Decay

Moreover, the presence of powerhouses like Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and particularly Thandie Newton, who plays Maeve, elevate the show. Certainly, Maeve has become an absolute boss in Westworld, so much so that she is rewriting stories in the park which shows just how powerful and how much of a threat she has become.

Multiple Timelines

In addition, we also have the added element of multiple timelines/time-frames which has near enough been confirmed in these recent episodes, particularly when we focus on Dolores’ story. Clearly, if we dig deep enough we can infer that Dolores seems to be relying on her past experiences with William (who is really embracing the park and has to be the Man in Black, I mean seriously it is so obvious!!) to guide her in the present. This has really added another layer to the show and makes Westworld quite unique compared to a lot of other shows.

Logan surrounded by dead bodies in Westworld Season 1 Episode 9 The Well-Tempered Clavier

All of this means that we are set up nicely for the season finale which I am sure will deliver and have a few surprises up its sleeve. I am sad to see this first season of Westworld come to an end as it has been a fascinating show to watch but the fact that it has been renewed for another season really excites me. It seems that HBO has a lot of faith in this show and I hope the season finale reinforces this feeling with the fans.

Westworld: Season 1 Episodes 5-6 (Television Review) – The Best So Far and It Will Get Better

I will get straight to the point; the past two episodes of Westworld were fantastic and the best this television 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.

Dolores in Westworld Season 1 Episode 5 Contrapasso

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 in Westworld Season 1 Episode 6 The Adversary

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.

Westworld: Season 1 Episode 4 (Television Review) – Lore, Motivations and Awareness

Westworld is a slow television show. Anyone who is watching this show knows this and while this may be frustrating for some, I find it to be necessary. This is due to the fact that the lore of Westworld is so deep, layered and embedded into the storytelling that it would be foolish to rush a show like this.

As I have said before, we are slowly building to an exciting climax (I hope anyway!) which means that the show, for now, must rely on aspects such as the quality of its visuals, the acting prowess of its main characters and character development and these were abundant in this episode.

Clementine Pennyfeather shot in Westworld Season 1 Episode 4 Dissonance Theory

Certainly, the cinematography is fantastic in this episode as it has been in every episode so far. You can tell that a lot of time was spent to make sure that each shot looks as good as it can be and it is a great tool which can be used to tell the story. Still, the visuals are a luxury in this aspect. There is really no necessity for this to occur considering that the acting is as good as it is, especially from Anthony Hopkins.

Hopkins is the Star of Westworld

Without a doubt, Hopkins is my favourite part of Westworld. He is extremely captivating and his monologue in this episode was delivered with such calculated class that it is impossible not to be enthralled by him. He elevates the standard of this show to such a degree that it is easy to forget that the cast around him is just as impressive.

Moreover, the overriding message I got from this episode was that the motivations of these characters are becoming more apparent and that, for me personally, the characters played by Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris want the same things.

Man in Black in Westworld Season 1 Episode 4 Dissonance Theory

The Hosts Are Developing

The other thing I took away from this episode is that the A.I in the park, i.e. the hosts, are dangerously becoming much more self-aware about their reality which builds upon the themes which were established in the previous episodes such as free will. I do not think it will be long until we see the hosts progress to a stage where they start to openly rebel and cause utter chaos, though something tells me that the humans in this show will further exacerbate the issue.

Overall, this episode built upon the foundations of the first three episodes while still being able to deliver the high level of quality in its visuals, acting, world-building and patient storytelling.

Westworld: Season 1 Episodes 1-3 (Television Review) – An Impressive Start Which Has Me Excited Yet Nervous

Westworld has been one of the most anticipated shows of the year which, in normal circumstances, would be a remarkable achievement. Certainly, you would never expect a TV show based of a sci-fi film which was released in 1973 to garner the amount of anticipation it had prior to its release on HBO. However, the cast, the people behind the shows inception along with the fantastic trailers which have been released have got fellow nerds like myself super excited to see what Westworld has to offer.

Dolores and Teddy in Westworld Episode 1 The Original

Indeed, when you have a show created by Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher, executive produced by J. J. Abrams and Jerry Weintraub which stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris, it deserves attention. Moreover, it also gives the show a very high level of expectation which has to be delivered upon, especially as HBO probably hopes that Westworld will have enough quality to lessen the blow which will eventually come once Game of Thrones ends.

My Thoughts on Episodes 1-3 of Westworld

I have to say, from the three episodes released so far, the signs are very promising. Westworld has captivated me from the very beginning. Visually, the show is stunning and the acting is absolutely superb, especially from Hopkins and Wright who are brilliant in their roles. The characters in this show are wonderfully introduced in the pilot and, in the following episodes, we delve deeper into their back-stories (even though some never existed in the first place!) and their motives. Yet we still don’t know the whole picture which is fantastic as it hooks us in and builds anticipation for future episodes.

The main reason why the cast give such commanding performances is because the way this show is written gives us an indication that these characters and world have depth. While the pacing will be slow for some, the themes present in Westworld are interwoven in such a way that, for me personally, I never find myself to be bored or not invested in the story and the characters. Indeed, Westworld is an immersive, layered show which draws inspiration from a variety of genres and it touches on very important themes.

William in Westworld Episode 2 Chestnut

These themes range from free will, control, technological progress, the nature of humanity and artificial intelligence. There is so much in play at this stage of the show and it leaves me excited for more. Nevertheless, the one thing which leads to be cautious is that another show, similar in nature to Westworld, left the same impression on me at the start but, in the end, it left me bitterly disappointed.

What was this show?

That show was Battlestar Galactica. This was a show that touched on many of the same themes as Westworld does and, like Westworld, it started brilliantly. Undoubtedly, the mini-series which kicked off Battlestar Galactica and the first episode of its first season was some of the best and most captivating television I had ever seen. However, it never recaptured that level of brilliance, at least on a consistent basis. For me personally, the direction Battlestar Galactica went in became scattered, confused and it ended on so many loose ends that I couldn’t help but feel it was a show which was wasted potential.

Robert Ford in Westworld Episode 3 The Stray

I hope Westworld does not go down the same path. There is so much potential which they can build upon as the series progresses. I hope it maintains the standard set by these first three episodes and becomes HBO’s next flagship show for years to come. For now, the show has started off on a very strong note and I highly recommend that you check it out.