Westworld Introduces the New Worlds Weve Been Waiting For

first_imgStay on target Top Movie and TV Trailers to Watch From SDCC 2019Eerie ‘Westworld’ Season 3 Trailer Introduces Newcomer Aaron… Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img When Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy mentioned that season two was the beginning of the story they really wanted to tell, nobody quite knew what that meant. And at this point, we’re still not entirely sure. Last night’s episode though, gave us the clearest picture so far. If all of season one, and the first two episodes of season two, was setup, this was where we started to get a little bit of payoff. Where the show could start exploring the emotional arcs of the host characters, and dive into what it means that they were placed there by a programmer.But first… about that Bengal tiger that washed up in Westworld in episode one. This week starts us out in the park where that came from. There’s an India World, because as we already know from some of the stories in Westworld, this company lets people act out colonialist fantasies as well. You can hunt Bengals at the park’s edge or go on exotic adventures for The Governor. The two humans we meet though, just want to hook up. With each other, not robots for a change. There’s a fun scene that explores the awkward moments of meeting real people in these parks. There’s no way to know if they’re actually another human being. Except, well, to shoot each other. You’d think that’d be a mood-killer, but apparently not. Whatever gets you going, I suppose.Katja Herbers, Neil Jackson (Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO)The couple heads out on their tiger-hunting adventure, but when they get there, something’s wrong. All the hosts are gone. They see some blood on a curtain, and a few human dead bodies, and we know what timeline we’re in. This is during the uprising. A host shows up repeating that line from Romeo and Juliet, “These violent delights have violent ends.” The dude still believes it’s all part of the narrative, but a bullet to the chest convinces him otherwise. Until he bleeds out, presumably. For as much of a non-impact as the Bengal tiger had when it first showed up, it’s certainly effective now. Now that we know the stakes are real, seeing it hunt down this woman is a genuinely scary scene. More so when she crosses the border between parks, and it follows her. So that’s how the tiger ended up in Westworld.After last week gave us none of the cleanup timeline, we’re finally catching up Bernard. For a bit, anyway. While the crew searches the backstage area of the park, they find Charlotte Hale. She’s surprised Bernard made it, and clearly suspicious. She knows something. We don’t know what, and she doesn’t let on, but the way she says Peter Abernathy keeps slipping away makes it clear she doesn’t fully trust Bernard anymore. That means it’s time for another flashback. After the events of episode one (Bernard and Charlotte’s story, uprising timeline), they went out to search for Peter. They found him, and it becomes clear why he never made it to the extraction point. He was captured and about to be sold to some Confederados. Bernard and Charlotte rescue him easily with a little reprogramming of his captors. They lose him just as quickly though, after making enemies of the Confederados. Also, there’s a fun shootout because, as much as this series likes to think it’s all thoughtful sci-fi, it’s still mostly spaghetti Western.Louis Herthum (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)The shootout ends quickly though, and the Confederados capture Bernard and Peter. This is how the show brings, for an episode at least, two of the stories in this timeline together. Dolores has ingratiated herself with the Confederados by offering a real, modern weapon. She proves that an army will be coming to take away the hosts’ freedom, and now she has an army of her own at her disposal. That means when Bernard and Peter arrive at the outpost, they come face to face with Dolores. (Also, Evan Rachel Wood is totally doing her best Daenerys Targaryen impression here, and I love it.)This episode is a really interesting one for her. It tries to address the problem of host death’s not mattering. In the first season, death just meant they were cleaned up, had their memories erased and started their loop over. This season, even though things have changed in the park, death still doesn’t feel all that permanent. What with the show being able to bring them back whenever. But Dolores at least gives up that ability to get in with the Confederados. She offers up her park staff captor as a target for the new gun. That, plus the fact that Delos people probably aren’t going to revive the hosts anytime soon, makes death pretty permanent.Evan Rachel Wood, Louis Herthum (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)Either way, the hosts clearly have emotions. When Dolores sees her father malfunctioning, almost like a human parent with dementia, she begins to cry. This is probably the most interesting thing the show has done with the hosts. The most the line between human and A.I. has blurred. These reactions, these feelings for her father are programmed. Dolores knows they were assigned to her. But in this moment, she feels them. It doesn’t matter if they’re “real” or not. When Teddy asks who Peter is, she still says he’s her father. And since Bernard is now her prisoner, she has someone who might be able to cure him.The big climax of the episode is the gigantic battle that follows. Dolores was right about an army coming. The Delos cleanup crew rises out of the ground, and charges the Confederate outpost. It’s the first real host vs. human battle we’ve seen from the show. One where the stakes and deaths are real. The way it’s shot is just jaw-dropping too. The way the camera pans over the violence almost makes the battle beautiful. It really gives you a sense of scale, and of just how big a deal this battle is. Another cool detail is that the Delos soldiers, the humans, are all faceless attackers. We really only see the faces of the hosts. If it wasn’t clear before, this is the show telling you who to root for. Even if Dolores gets extra-murdery this time around.James Marsden, Jonathan Tucker (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)And boy does she ever. Her Wyatt personality may have made her a revolutionary warrior, but that revolution isn’t for all hosts. As the battle rages on, and the hosts are clearly outgunned, Dolores reveals why she needed the Confederate army. It’s not to win the battle. It’s to act as bait so she can trap the Delos army. She tells the Confederados, they have no place in her new world. Once the battle is over, Charlotte has taken Peter Abernathy back. Dolores survives the encounter, albeit with a shot in the arm that she (almost literally) shrugs off. Then, she orders Teddy to kill the remaining Confederados. Dolores got cold when she became Wyatt. Teddy is still programmed to be the good guy here, though. He fires his gun to the side, and lets the Confederados go. Dolores sees the whole thing, and she is not pleased. I guess we know how he ends up in the lake of bodies, huh?This episode also addresses a major omission from last week: Maeve. And no, that one scene where Dolores said “hi” to her real quick doesn’t count. This week, we got some real development as she, Hector and Lee make their way deeper into the park. Once again though, the real interesting part of the story is when it focuses on the emotions of the hosts. The part where Lee is confused and angered by them acting all romantic with each other. He tells them they were programmed to be alone. That he specifically wrote them so they wouldn’t attach themselves to others. He proves his point by reciting some of Hector’s lines as he says them. Maeve admits that holding hands is as performative as those cheesy romantic lines he wrote, but we just saw how naturally it came to her. Whether programmed or not, these emotions are real to the characters. That makes them real to us, even though we know they’re artificial, both in the fiction of the show and in the real world where this is just a TV show we’re all watching.Thandie Newton, Rodrigo Santoro (Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO)Westworld’s first two episodes this season were mostly set-up. Long, slow world-building with all the philosophical conversations the show loves to indulge in. That let it give us a much tighter episode for its Thanthird week. One that could focus on the emotional journeys of the hosts. It began to ask the questions that really matter. The ones that allow us to connect with these characters and root for them. And there was plenty of excitement to be had here too. Beyond the awe-inspiring battle, the show ended with an image we’ve been waiting for since season one. After Maeve reunited with Felix, Sylvester, and Armistice (yay! I missed them), they come across a severed head in the Yukon section of the park. Then, a samurai charges them. Oh yeah, next week, we’re going to Shogun World.last_img

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