Summary: The Man in Black and Teddy run into a group of people attacked by Wyatt. They are captured but Teddy shows surprising aggression and kills everyone. Elsie talks to Bernard about her findings. She does further research and discovers that Theresa and Arnold have been responsible for the modifications to the stray. She discovers something else but is silenced by an unknown assailant. Bernard visits Ford for a short conversation. A new girl is hired to work at Westworld above Lee. Maeve is taken by Felix through the Westworld facility. He tells her everything and she makes sure that he makes some modifications to her.
The Good: Maeve's walk was a great moment. Her storyline was fairly engaging and it was nice to see what happens when a host becomes aware of their existence. Maeve is becoming likeable as a host which is good to see, since this show has been severely lacking in characters.
It was nice to get confirmation that the kid is actually younger Ford. I had expected it, but it is nice to get some answers for once, without the answers leading to more mystery.
I also liked the progression on the Arnold mystery. It was a major focus in this episode and had lots of good surprises and plot movement to keep us interested. I'm very interested by the Theresa reveal, as it may add in some more drama to give us a reason to care about her character. The Arnold reveal is excellent too, as it adds a lot more stakes to the story as Arnold may be a major player in the story.
The Bad: Sylvester and lee are bad characters. They are the antithesis of likeable and are so cartoonishly "bad" that it irks me every time they are on screen. Lee's little subplot with the new girl was pretty bad since he matters so little in the overall story and isn't even likeable. Either get him involved with more important things or stop showing him.
It's hard to care at all about Teddy in his storyline. He is making the Man in Black rather dull which is a shame. I was really intrigued to see what the Man in Black is doing in previous episodes, but his storyline has ground to a halt ever since Teddy arrived. His lines are scripted so it's hard to care for him at all, and his story arc of becoming more violent means nothing to me as well because I don't care about his character at all. Also, I think it's likely that this violence was scripted into his character anyways, so it means very little. At the moment, all he is doing is lessening my interest in the Man in Black and his storyline of finding the maze.
The Unknown: And once more we have a lot to put in The Unknown.
What is Ford's overall plan? What is he trying to accomplish and why?
What does Maeve want to do? Escape? Find answers? Kill humans? We need an answer soon to really connect with her character.
What was with Arnold's voice in young Ford's head? How did that work? Was that programmed? Or has Arnold tampered with young Ford as well somehow? Is that what happened to the stray? Did Arnold's voice tell it to do that? Arnold did want to destroy Westworld, so could this be a reason why he is leaking data? Is he going to try to close down Westworld? But most importantly, how is he alive? Did he fake death? Did Ford fake his death? Did he come back to life as a host and go rogue or something along those lines?
What was Teddy's past? Apparently he worked with Wyatt for a while. Why? What is the significance of that reveal? What is so important about Wyatt?
What has happened to Elsie? What else did she discover? Who attacked her? Was it Arnold?
Who has modified Maeve before Sylvester and Felix? Was it Arnold? Also, is her waking up intentional? Things like paranoia were increased in Maeve, so could that have been intentional to lead up to her wanting answers about the mysterious people in her "dreams"?
Best Moment: Maeve walking through Westworld and seeing the reality of her life was a great moment which helped us connect a little more with her.
Character of the Episode: Maeve.
Conclusion: This was a better episode, helped along with easy to follow mystery development, answers, and an improved storyline for Maeve. The fact that I had less to talk about in this episode is actually a good sign, because it made the episode much easier to digest than the previous 3 which have just thrown information and questions at me at a relentless pace. The show still has faults and the overreliance on the plot and lack of relatable characters does hurt it, but this episode was a little bit of an improvement.
Summary: The Man in Black kills Lawrence to keep Teddy alive. He meets with Ford in a restaurant. Maeve awakens when she isn't supposed to again and questions Felix. Dolores in interviewed by Ford regarding Arnold. Elsie discovers that the stray has a device inside it which is being used to collect data. William and Logan arrive in Pariah where they meet El Lazo who is Lawrence. They make a deal with the group, but William kills people he wasn't supposed to when they threatened Dolores. William and Dolores leave Logan behind but get trapped. Dolores kills the people in their way.
The Good: Another heap of information came from this episode, but amongst everything there were some good scenes.
Ford's story about the dog in the beginning of the episode was excellent. Ford is such a charismatic character and while we still don't know much about him, he is so enthralling to watch on the screen. The later scene with Ford and the Man in Black was also extremely good and it felt like a huge scene. Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris played off each other supremely well and I loved the tension in the scene. I was also glad to get some more insight on the Man in Black's goals, and I suppose it also added more to the mysteries in the show.
It was good to get more information on William and Logan so we can understand them better. It's an interesting dynamic that they have as they appear to just be friends out of necessity as they are co-workers and I believe soon to be brothers-in-law if I am understanding correctly.
Maeve's awakening again was a good moment that helps drive the plot forward. I like that we were teased with the idea of Maeve waking up again, allowing some tension in the scenes where Sylvester and Felix talked together with Maeve on the table.
The Bad: This show still remains far too confusing to truly be considered really good. I understand that mystery is being built, and while I do enjoy mysteries, it's hard to enjoy this one when there are just so many confusing details. Every scene just seems to feature secrets, hidden motives, surprise twists and mysterious characters who we don't understand much about. Without anything to really grasp onto, my enjoyment of this mystery is diminished. I also hate that so little is revealed in each episode. I have no doubt that we are heading towards some big answers down the road, but with way too much mystery and no answers, these episodes are feeling more and more unsatisfying.
The eternal mystery also really hurts my interest in the actual Westworld storylines. Logan and William's little quest in this episode was completely boring for me because it was staged and offered no hope of any answers. With much more pressing matters I want to understand in other parts of the story, it leaves me extremely impatient to end the scene and move onto more important things like Ford and Arnold's history, backstory on the park, and more explanation of what the maze is.
You could shrug off my problems with the show as me simply not being patient, but I really don't think that is the case. The problem is that we are being given a full hour of content, which should be plenty of time to build mystery and answer some questions, yet we receive a little bit of mystery building and no answers whatsoever because the story is trying to focus on the characters. Now I'm all for character focused episodes, but the problem is that I care about nobody in this show, so I can't be bothered to be interested by Felix coding, William and Logan being conflicted and Elsie uncovering more of the plot. All of the storylines seem to be falling completely flat except for the show's overarching narrative which is the only thing that leaves me interested at this point.
The Unknown: What are Dolores' flashes? Why does she have them? Why is she picking up on things that apparently she isn't supposed to be picking up on? And why did she actually kill? The killing felt like it was a big character moment, but it just raises a ton of questions.
Why is Felix trying to code? How did he get that bird host?
What is Arnold's role in everything? Did he create the maze? What is it? What secret did he put in it? Why did he talk with Dolores on the day he died? Why was he trying to destroy the park? Did Ford kill him because he was trying to destroy the park? Why didn't Dolores follow his order to destroy Westworld?
How did Lawrence get to Pariah so quickly? How fast are these hosts brought back? Surely it can't be that quickly. Was it just an error? An oversight? But with this show being this show, was it intentional? Are there multiple versions of the same hosts? Or more intriguingly, could the events in the show be taking place across different time periods? Lawrence being El Lazo is not what his storyline was when the Man in Black picked him up, so is it possible there could be a time gap from William, Logan and Dolores' storyline and everything else? There are a lot of inconsistencies in this though, but seeing as we are never given an exact time period, it may be possible.
What has Maeve heard from Felix and Sylvester that she wants to discuss? I presume she was awake a lot of the time we saw her and just faked sleep.
Who is smuggling data through the stray? Is it Ford? Lee perhaps? We haven't seen Lee in quite some time, so has he betrayed Westworld after being embarrassed by Ford?
Best Moment: Ford and the Man in Black talking was great.
Character of the Episode: Ford again. I'm sorry, but his performance far overshadows everything else on this show.
Conclusion: This show has one of the most fascinating overarching stories on TV and it's a joy to try to piece things together. The problem though is that this completely takes away from my interest in the smaller character stories being told, which results in me being bored for a lot of the episode when characters are dominating the screen. Add on the fact that we receive very little in terms of answers in each episode and we have an unfortunately unsatisfying episode.
Summary: Ross is fed kiwi by Monica who forgot he was allergic to it. Ross is rushed to the hospital for a needle while Chandler and Joey are tasked with taking care of Ben. The guys take Ben out in the city to help get girls but accidentally lose him on the bus. Phoebe is upset at Terry, the owner of Central perk who doesn't want her to play anymore and hires a professional guitarist instead.
The Good: In term of pure humour, this is as good as it gets. There are jokes aplenty and so many moments in this episode had me laughing a lot. Each of the 3 storylines had comedic value to it and all 3 did a great job of keeping me entertained throughout. Joey and Chandler's story with them losing Ben was the best of the bunch and had the biggest laughs throughout. Joey was adorably narrow-minded throughout and Chandler was great as the nervous and sarcastic guy constantly adding in some great lines for comedy. I thought the Ross and Monica storyline was good too. it was very basic but allowed them some good bonding which I appreciated since we don't usually get much from Ross and Monica. And of course there were great jokes in there. The Rachel and Phoebe plot had its issues (see: The Bad), but it was very funny overall and it was easy to understand the position of both characters in the situation.
The Bad: The Rachel and Phoebe plot didn't have much meat to it. It never made sense why phoebe would get so overcome by wanting money, and even she knows it's out of character. But then why does she do it? No explanation, making it feel a little too convenient. I also didn't like the way that each of the friends just stuck so firmly to their individual stories with minimal interactions between them. Rachel and Phoebe were practically on an island and the other 4 only interacted at the beginning and end of the episode. Lastly, the storylines felt rather inconsequential and didn't matter all that much.
Best Moment: The entire scene where Chandler and Joey flipped for the baby. It was fantastic comedy and climaxed with a great joke about clowns.
Character of the Episode: Joey for being stupid in the most realistic way.
Conclusion: This episode had some flaws, but honestly it was so damn funny they don't bother me as much despite the fact that The Bad was a pretty large section this time. In the end, what matters most about comedy shows is how much they made me laugh, and this was by far the funniest episode of the season for me, earning it a really high score anyways.
Summary: Rick and Shane are two cops and they respond to an emergency but Rick is shot and put in a coma. When he wakes up, the world has been affected by the zombie apocalypse. Rick ventures to his house but finds that his family left him. He meets Morgan and Duane who inform him of what happened and tell him to go to Atlanta where there is supposedly a refugee centre. Morgan and Duane stay behind but Rick gives them a walkie to keep in touch. Rick goes to Atlanta but finds a horde of walkers (zombies) which trap him in a tank. Rick gets a message from somebody else while in the tank.
The Good: This was one hell of a pilot. It was really long as it went over an hour but I was never bored and I was entirely engaged the entire time. This episode did such a wonderful job of leaving the viewer gripped and in suspense as we get introduced to the characters and the post-apocalyptic world. The first scene does such a fantastic job of this as we are introduced casually to Rick while he scavenges for gas as we instantly understand something is wrong. The lack of music gives the scene a real air of suspense and that first reveal of the little girl walker was really great. It was tense, creepy and the big gunshot really felt like a big moment. It was so well executed and instantly draws you in to see more.
And more did the episode show. Everything after that scene completely delivered. Thankfully, the episode chooses to establish Rick as a character before the apocalypse. We get a good scene with Rick talking to his best friend Shane about his life and his family. It was a good scene which nicely transitioned into the action sequence which led to Rick being put in a coma, causing him to miss the apocalypse. This scene did a good job of establishing the reality of the world and the nature of humans to remind us that they will be affected by the need to deal with loss and to kill walkers. This comes into play later on with several powerful scenes involving Rick and Morgan dealing with these very same things.
But on to the actual apocalypse scenes. Holy cow were they great. Those first 10-15 minutes with Rick in the hospital were fantastic. No dramatic music or much actual speech. Just silence, and that's all that is needed to convey the shocking change Rick is witnessing. The slow development of what has happened is shown fantastically as Rick goes through the discovery of time passing, nobody being around, no power and then of course dead bodies and then soon after the existence of actual zombies. Or walkers as they are called here. All of this was executed in such a fantastic silent scene which appropriately depicts the creepy atmosphere and the pure horror of what has happened.
Following this, we get scenes with Rick and Morgan which were also just as great. Morgan does a great job of showing the effect that the apocalypse has had on him while also managing to be a relatable character who we can get attached to. His story is very sad as we learn what happened to his wife and how it has affected his son. It was nice to get to know him alongside Rick as well which lets us continue to relate with Rick even while introducing us to these new characters.
Following Rick's time with Morgan, we get a great climax to the episode as Rick travels to Atlanta. Before he arrives we get a wonderful scene showing us a new take on the apocalypse as Rick ends up seeing a family who killed themselves after the apocalypse in brutal fashion. It was a suitably disturbing and chilling scene which continues to prove that there are surely many different stories to hear about the survivors in the apocalypse. Thankfully, the show doesn't revel in this darkness though as we are given a nice scene with a lighter tone as Rick tames a horse he finds at the family's house. After this the episode reaches a high point in Atlanta as Rick travels through a surprisingly barren city with some terrific shots and set design. The tension builds up slowly as some walkers wake up in the city to follow Rick. And of course this leads to a climax as Rick is surrounded in a very tense scene leading to Rick trapping himself in the tank, trapped in a horde of zombies as his horse is brutally eaten on the outside. This was a good action-packed climax which ends the episode on a high note but also with a good cliffhanger as Rick is contacted by somebody else in Atlanta, promising us some answers already about what happened in Atlanta. Very good writing.
The Bad: There were a couple weird moments in the big climax though. Rick simply entering the hatch felt a little too convenient, especially since he was readying for a suicide, making it just feel weird. Also it's a little hard to believe that Rick would get so perfectly surrounded by a horde of walkers like he did, especially since there have hardly been any other walkers seen beforehand.
The Unknown: Do walkers have something of a memory? The little girl in the beginning picks up the teddy bear. Morgan's wife goes straight to their house and tries to open the door. Do they have something of a memory because of this? Or at least some intelligence?
What caused the apocalypse? How did it breakout? Is it worldwide? Is it an infection of sorts?
Does Shane know Rick is alive? Did he just use it as an excuse to hook up with Lori? Was Lori cheating on Rick before the apocalypse? Will Rick find the group somehow?
What happened in Atlanta? Did the refugee centre get overrun? Did the military get destroyed? How about the CDC?
Who was on the radio in the tank? Will he help Rick escape?
Best Moment: Rick shooting the bicycle girl occurring while Morgan failed to kill his wife was very powerful and human stuff. It's great to see humanity remain as the primary focus during this otherworldly experience everyone is going through.
Character of the Episode: Morgan was awesome here. Rick is a very close second though since we saw everything through his eyes.
Conclusion: This was a stellar pilot. So gripping, so tense, so magnificently crafted. Expectations for this sow are immediately high because the quality was just that good. This whole episode flew by and I can't imagine not wanting to keep watching this show.
Summary: Chandler is called by a girl looking for Bob and he is able to manipulate the situation to have sex to Ross' dismay. Chandler gets his comeuppance when the girl calls again saying that she hooked up with a guy who wasn't good in bed. The friends get in an argument when Rachel, Phoebe and Joey are upset that everyone else doesn't consider that they make less money.
The Good: Chandler's storyline is the highlight here and it offers so many great laughs to counteract the more serious tone to this episode. The show did a brilliant job of making Chandler's role in the story fit his character and be relatable while also giving him the appropriate comeuppance later on when the girl completely destroys his ability in bed. It was all very funny and the addition of Ross to the story adds even more laughs as he tries to prevent Chandler from doing something bad. The final scene with Joey was also really funny. While the B-story was the best part of the episode, it doesn't mean that the A-plot under-delivered. Honestly, the A-plot was really well done with some great laughs as the friends try to talk through some problems they have. It all felt pretty real and led to a nice, if predictable, conclusion. I thought that the dissension between everyone was done better than in "The One where Underdog Gets Away" and really shows how much the writing has improved as the show has gone on. As long as an episode is given a decent story to focus on, it is bound to deliver because the show is quickly mastering the ability to structure good comedy from anything.
The Bad: The ending was predictable with everyone deciding to just be friends as it's a very common sitcom storyline. I also didn't like how some of the friends at times were a little bit too cruel to each other for my liking.
Best Moment: Chandler getting his comeuppance as the girl told "Bob" how lame that guy she slept with was. It was hilarious and led from one funny moment to another.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This was definitely the best episode of the season. It had a great storyline throughout and delivered some quality comedy. Weaker storylines have made season 2 a little disappointing so far, but this episode proves that as long as Friends can come up with something good, the comedy will absolutely deliver.
Summary: The Man in Black meets Armistice who has ties to Wyatt. He is taken to prison where he meets and frees Hector. He takes Lawrence and they find Teddy. Hector and Armistice attack the town and Hector talks with Maeve. Maeve discovers that her reality is fake and that nothing matters. William continues to stay with Dolores whilst doing a quest. He gets into conflict with Logan. Theresa speaks with Ford about his new narrative and Ford threatens her to stay out of his way.
The Good: Again there was too much mystery and confusion for there to be many scenes that I can consider to be in The Good.
The Man in Black storyline had some fun moments as he provides the "cool" factor of Westworld. The basic action and excitement is still decently enjoyable even if it is extremely simple.
I liked William's scene with Dolores. We always get cryptic and mysterious scenes with Bernard and Dolores, but those are ruined by the show's need to be so damn mysterious with Bernard's true intentions. So now to see William, a character who we actually understand (though not care for very much), have this kind of conversation with Dolores is much more satisfying. My brain wasn't constantly asking questions and I was able to genuinely enjoy the progression of William and Dolores' storylines.
The standout was of course Ford once more. His scene with Theresa was fantastic and just lovely to behold. Anthony Hopkins was sublime in his facial expressions to convey the tone of the meeting even if we don't know much about Dr. Ford's motives at this point in the story. The scene went excellently from a casual conversation to a very intimidating threat in a matter of seconds, which I can thank Anthony Hopkins for with his awesome acting.
The Bad: Once more I have to criticize the lack of emotional attachment to the story. There is so much mystery and convoluted storytelling to really develop an emotional attachment to the show or its characters. Now don't get me wrong, the plot is very enjoyable because it's convoluted and filled with mystery, but I don't watch TV shows for the plot. I watch for the story, which involves characters and genuine emotion. Unless the show changes its course to clear some of the mystery around these characters so we can understand them, it won't ever hit the height of enjoyment I had gotten from the series' pilot episode.
I thought the ending scene was pretty poorly executed in all honesty. The writing for this show has usually been pretty good, but I felt it was lacking here because I ended up noticing so many inconsistencies which just confused me the entire time as I hoped they would be answered in some way. This confusion completely took away from the progression of Maeve's story which adds on to my point of the convoluted plot hurting the story. I feel like this should have been a powerful moment but I was confused with the staging of it all. Why was Maeve saying this to hector and not somebody closer to her like Clementine? Why did Hector just talk to her about it? We got no answers. Why did Hector and Armistice just leave the Man in Black? We didn't see them separate so I was very confused to just see them strolling into the town. We also cut to Elsie and Stubbs throughout the scene to add even more confusion. Apparently guests were arriving in 20 minutes so they ended the heist. Okay? Why did they start the heist if they knew this? Was the heist set up by them? How did they set it up exactly, especially since Hector was supposed to be in jail for longer than he was? The only reason he was out was because of the Man in Black. And if they are able to watch and interact with everything, how come nobody noticed Hector and Maeve talking for some odd reason? That conversation absolutely couldn't have been programmed and how has nobody noticed Maeve's drawings before? There were just too many inconsistencies and questions for this scene to be any good at all.
The Unknown: How is Bernard talking to Dolores? Does he just secretly take her at night after she goes to sleep? How does nobody notice this? Or is it possible that these talks with Dolores are actually happening in flashbacks or something? I would put this in The Bad, but I feel like there will be answers given about this in the future.
Why is Bernard keeping the host's patterns of glitches secret? And what was the stray drawing if it wasn't Orion? Could it be part of the maze?
Why did Dolores see Lawrence's daughter who was apparently not there? Why was she drawing the maze? Why did that trigger a response in Dolores? What are these flashbacks? Why is she remembering the staff like Maeve is? How are they both remembering these things anyways if they were technically asleep at the time?
What is the Man in Black's foundation? Two guests went to thank him, but we don't know what that was about. Could it have something to do with why he is a VIP of sorts? Also he knows about the existence of Arnold and that he died in the park. Does that mean he is a former employee or a friend of Ford's?
What is Ford's new narrative? Clearly it has something to do with Wyatt who seems to be more important than I had initially expected him to be.
What is the significance of Maeve's new discovery? She won't be able to remember it anyways, so how is she going to get past that block?
Best Moment: Ford's intimidating speech is probably my favourite scene in the show thus far.
Character of the Episode: Ford.
Conclusion: This episode was more solid plot progression and the show proves to be quite good at intriguing storytelling once more, but the flaws still stick out badly.
Summary: Teddy is given a backstory by Ford involving somebody named Wyatt who shot up his village. Teddy goes on a mission to hunt down Wyatt but is attacked by mysterious cultists. Dolores fights back against Rebus and actually kills him before escaping and running into William. Bernard talks with Ford who reveals that he used to have a partner named Arnold who died. Stubbs and Elsie chase down a stray who acts out and mysteriously kills himself.
The Good: There were a few parts of this I can confidently say is good.
Teddy's hunt for Wyatt is basic fun and is easy enough to follow. It's enjoyable enough but still flawed (see: The Bad).
Ford once more steals the show with a fantastic speech about Arnold. It was filled with mystery and Anthony Hopkins' performance is just fantastic to watch. There was so much fascinating content in that scene and it raises the most intriguing questions of the show so far (see: The Unknown).
Dolores killing was another cool scene that paid off of some set up from previous episodes and this episode with Dolores being unable to kill things. It's a nice bit of progress to emphasize that the hosts are growing in their ability to disobey their programming.
It was nice to get some actual character development for Bernard to make us start to care for him. He has been the most easily likeable so far and it was good to get some backstory and character for him. We still don't know his motivations but he is easy to like which makes him the first character I have a chance for caring about in this show. After complaining about the lack of character development, this is a good response to my complaints that hints that this show may still grasp some memorable characters.
The Bad: It's hard to care about the hosts since they aren't real characters. Teddy and Dolores' relationship falls completely flat because of this and their scenes are incredibly bland because I know that what they say isn't what they really feel since it is all programmed. It really takes away from my engagement and prevents me from becoming emotionally invested. Teddy's individual storyline was basic fun but even still it completely disappointed because I couldn't bother caring about Teddy. And it also is completely uninvolved with the main plot because I'm completely sure that Wyatt is just programmed and there isn't anything interesting about him that I want to discover.
Not a whole lot happened here. In a show so fixated on plot over characters and story, it's flaws in emotional attachment become very apparent when there isn't a whole lot going on plot-wise. There were several stretches n this episode when I was starting to get a little bored and lose interest.
The Unknown: What does the Man in Black want with Dolores? Why was she remembering him? Has he traumatized her in some way? Why did he want Dolores to shoot him? Does he want the hosts to obtain consciousness?
Why was Walter talking to Arnold? Why is that programming still here? Is somebody keeping it there, like Ford perhaps? Why did Walter hold a grudge? Is Maeve not the only one to start experiencing memories? Is this something in all of the hosts? Did somebody put this in the hosts?
How did Arnold die? How was it covered up as an accident? What did he do? What was his relationship with Ford? Was Ford involved in it at all? Does the accident have something to do with the incident? Is there any significance to Bernard still talking to Dolores like Arnold was?
Why is Bernard talking to Dolores? What does he see in her? Is he following the same path as Arnold?
Is Wyatt's cult group made of guests since Teddy couldn't kill them? Or is it just a stronger host that can't be killed by other hosts?
What was with the stray? Why did it go astray? What is with the Orion carvings? Why did it wake up from sleep mode? And why did it kill itself? Kissy had hat thing under his scalp for the maze? Could the stray have been trying to access that in some way by bashing his head in?
Best Moment: Ford talking about Arnold was interesting and fascinating.
Character of the Episode: Bernard this time for developing and because I don't want to give this to Ford every episode.
Conclusion: This was an entirely unspectacular episode. Less development, less memorable moments and less mystery. There were some flaws as usual but still some solid storyline progression. This was certainly enjoyable to watch but it was a step down from the last 2 episodes and I can tell this episode will be forgettable once I'm further into the show.
Summary: Phoebe reunites with gay ice skater Duncan who she is married to. Duncan asks for a divorce as he wants to marry someone else and Phoebe is hurt but ultimately complies. The friends reveal big secrets about each other, with Chandler being revealed to have a third nipple and Joey having been in a porno movie. Ross asks Rachel for relationship advice and she tries to sabotage his relationship despite understanding how cruel it is.
The Good: This was a good episode. The best part was easily the secrets scene which was hilarious and so real. It was a brilliant use of all 6 major characters and provided one good laugh after the other. In fact the entire first part of this episode was brilliant and uniquely funny. There were great jokes consistently and the plot was created very logically and organically. It was half of an amazing episode, though unfortunately some of the later parts of the episode drag down the score (see: The Bad). Joey's porno was also a nice subplot and it made for a few good laughs. But it was Chandler's third nipple which provided the best jokes of the episode at a consistent rate.
The Bad: Phoebe's storyline is pretty bland. It felt like a poor attempt to make us feel something, and feels like a rip-off of Phoebe's storyline with David from "The One with the Monkey". Unfortunately this storyline isn't anywhere near as powerful or as funny so it really drags down the episode. Rachel sabotaging Ross wasn't very good either. Well it was funny, but it felt so extremely and unrealistically cruel for Rachel to go to such lengths to stop Ross and Julie's relationship. The problem is that Rachel is put in a positive light but it's hard to support her as she purposefully holds back Ross' relationship. Rachel was toeing the line in previous episodes but here she took a step too far. The quality drop in the episode actually really hurt the flow because it was so noticeable. This is the first episode of Friends where I really felt like time was being wasted on things that weren't that interesting in the second half.
Best Moment: The secrets revel scene was fantastic and one of the best scenes the show has provided so far. Great comedy.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: The first half of this episode made me believe we would get a fantastic episode, but unfortunately the second half of the episode wasn't very funny and actually dragged on at times, which is rare for a sitcom. In the end, the episode is simply good.
Summary: Two visitors, Logan and William arrive in Westworld and explore the world. Logan is rash and an asshole whereas William is kind and hesitant to hurt the hosts. The Man in Black finds a host named Lawrence and uses him to attempt to find the entrance to the maze. Maeve acts up and is taken backstage but she wakes up ad sees the realty of her world before being put back to sleep. Lee presents his narrative to Ford, but Ford doesn't like it and rejects it, choosing to create his own narrative which he has been working on.
The Good: This was a solid episode, even if it did dump another mass of mystery on our heads. There were several genuinely enjoyable scenes here that I felt weren't dominated by confusion and mystery, which there was a LOT of (see: The Unknown).
First of all, I love that we got to see the entire park in the eyes of a newcomer. We know nothing about Westworld and that made some of the first episode a little confusing since there was very little information offered. In this episode we learn a ton however by looking at everything through William's eyes as he arrives in the park with asshole friend Logan. We learn more about the hosts, the attraction of the park, what the guests are told and given before arriving and so much more. These scenes worked very well because they provided a lot of extremely satisfying answers mixed in with necessary exposition and world-building which will surely be very useful to help us understand what is happening in future episodes.
The Maeve storyline was also very good for the most part. The scene with Elsie and Maeve was very good as it helped us understand more about the hosts and how they work, specifically tackling things like the dreaming of hosts. It's nice to get more concrete answers for little things like this as it helps add to the sense of immersion we get in this show, which is probably its strongest aspect so far. The world feels genuinely thought out, fleshed out and filled with depth. The show even tells us in the spectacular ending dialogue from Ford (see: Best Moment) about how people always come back for the finer details. More on that later though, and for now let's get back to Maeve. I enjoyed the scene where Maeve escaped into the real world. the host incidents are rapidly increasing and it continues to add to the sense of tension and dread that the show is producing. There will obviously be a host outbreak at some point, but it's not a matter of if, but when. The show is using this to its full potential to build tension and suspense, though there are some flaws with this focus on tension (see: The Bad).
I really enjoyed the scenes with the Man in Black too, specifically the ones with Lawrence with his family. I thought the scenes were visually cool, but more importantly they helped build some sympathy for the hosts. With a lot of the cast being robots, it is very hard to get invested to their programmed personalities, so we absolutely needed some cruel actions like these to help us start sympathizing with the hosts. Logan's antics help with this as well. It makes it easier to relate with the hosts if we see them being misused by the humans, and I think the Man in Black scene did the best job of getting me to start to feel some sympathy. We are going to need more scenes like this to demonstrate why we may want to vouch for the hosts over the humans in charge and the guests. If executed properly, this could be a very good exploration of some morally gray territory.
Of course I loved Ford once more. Anthony Hopkins has been superb in the role and he was easily the highlight once more. I never liked Lee and I still think he is shallow and annoying, so it did some good to see Ford bring him some comeuppance for being a general dick with his final speech. But as I said before, more on that speech in Best Moment.
The Bad: The biggest problem with this show so far has been characters. It has done so many little things well which is very impressive, but it doesn't mean as much if it can't get the most basic aspect of storytelling right. Right now I'm intrigued by the plot, but I can't care less about the story. The characters themselves are dull to me and that takes away from a lot of the experience. We are introduced to William and Logan in this episode and I feel that we are meant to like them and grow attached to them but I just can't. Logan is an asshole so I don't care about him and William is just extremely generic. Without depth to their characters, I don't care about anything they do. The other characters are suffering as well. I don't care about a single person in charge of management, even the ones I'm supposed to like, including Bernard and Theresa. Their relationship was completely cold to me. Even Ford, who has been the best thing about the show so far, is too mysterious for me to actually care for him. He just interests me, nothing more. Now I'm not saying these characters are bad in design, but I haven't been given a reason to care for them which is a problem because it means I won't be able to get emotionally invested in the show and the individual character arcs. And of course, if I don't care, anything that happens won't be memorable or powerful. Unless this flaw is rectified, this show will likely not hit a score of 70 ever again, leaving it at good but not threatening great.
The plot is messy but I think it has been very well done, because I only have one minor flaw with it. I don't like that there is discord between park management. A multimillion (maybe even billion) dollar company needs to take care of everything, yet it seems like nobody cares about hierarchy or even bothers to listen to each other. This is notable with Maeve, as Bernard wants her taken off, but Elsie completely disobeys orders and puts her back in the park. We don't see any consequences coming to Elsie for this decision either which makes it feel more perplexing and awkward than anything.
The Unknown: Once more I'm left with so many questions.
What is the maze? Where is the entrance? Why does the Man in Black want to find it? How did he learn about it? Why did the girl say the maze isn't for him? Why do all the park people just let him do what he wants? Was my theory of the Man in Black saving the park from the previous incident correct? Has he earned a right to visit the park as much as possible because of this or something along the lines of that?
What were with Maeve's memories? Why did the Man in Black want her? What did he do with her? Why are her memories being triggered now? Will this happen to other hosts too? Why did Maeve wake up when she wasn't supposed to?
What is going on with Dolores? Why and how does she have a gun? What was with the one scene with Bernard? What did he want from her? He implies that they have had previous talks as well. What were they about?
What is the significance of Bernard and Theresa's relationship since it was treated as a really big deal?
What was Ford doing on the hill? What was that steeple in the ground? Could it be the entrance to the maze? How does it relate to Ford's narrative? Is the maze Ford's narrative?
Best Moment: Ford's speech at the end about what people truly want was so fascinating. It offers tons of possible insight as to what Ford's motives are, which are still murky. He clearly understands people and hosts very well though, which makes him very interesting as his knowledge could have a massive impact on or understanding of the story. I love that Ford completely shut down lee because of his ability to properly understand what humans want, whereas Lee is only doing what he wants. I also love that Ford's monologue completely explained to us in a very subtle way why we come back to this TV show. In a way the show is the park and we are the guests who keep coming back to learn more of the fascinating details about it, and that to me is a very good piece of writing that feels nearly fourth-wall-breaking but not quite.
Character of the Episode: Ford.
Conclusion: This was another strong episode. Though there is a major flaw with the lack of memorable characters, the show remains fascinating to watch and there were loads of great details given here to get us to start theorizing.
Summary: After a brief scene with the friends, Mr. Heckles dies, leaving all of his possessions to Monica and Rachel. Chandler notices eerie similarities between himself and Mr. Heckles, and becomes paranoid of dying alone because he is too picky with women. Monica and Rachel argue over keeping one of Mr. Heckles' lamps. Phoebe and Ross argue about evolution.
The Good: This is one of Chandler's best episodes as a character. There was some great storytelling in him realizing the similarities between himself and Heckles and becoming super paranoid about it. It also managed to create some good laughs throughout the episode, especially at the end when Chandler still finds himself unable to change his habits. I like the storytelling and the comedy was enjoyable enough to make this storyline very good. The funniest storyline was definitely Ross and Phoebe's as both of them got involved in a hilarious squabble over evolution. The final scene where Phoebe completely defeats Ross with him just walking out was hilarious and I loved Phoebe laughing afterwards saying "that was fun". This is the perfect way to pull off a humorous background storyline.
The Bad: Rachel and Monica's storyline was extremely bland and didn't really provide any laughs at all. The episode would have probably been better off without it.
Best Moment: Chandler being unable to stop thinking about the girl's big head was hilarious.
Character of the Episode: Chandler.
Conclusion: This episode had an excellent character storyline, but was lacking in the comedy department, aside from a great Ross/Phoebe storyline. In the end this episode is above the average for comedies, but isn't as awesome as Friends usually is.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.