Summary: Maeve frees herself and reunites with her crew. They get chased and Lee sacrifices himself. Dolores runs into Bernard at The Forge and they go in. Bernard discovers that there is a door which leads the hosts to a virtual world where they could live peacefully. Dolores wants to destroy it so Bernard kills her. Some hosts make it to the virtual world, including Akecheta and Maeve’s daughter, but Clementine attacks with the humans and slaughters most of the hosts, including Maeve, Hector and Armistice. Charlotte kills Elsie and Bernard realizes his mistake in not listening to Dolores. He rebuilds her in Charlotte’s image and kills her. In the future, Charlotte/Dolores kills Strand and all of the others and then Bernard. She escapes into the real world and rebuilds Bernard.
The Good: This show is beautiful to behold in every regard. Everything is fantastic to watch, and that includes the episode previews. Every episode preview is crafted so beautifully and it’s a joy to watch. While not related to the actual episode, I had to mention how much I love the previews as it shows how committed the crew is to making this show breathtaking in its style.
The actual episode as a whole had some really great storylines, but the execution left a lot to be desired (see: The Bad). However, I thought that several pieces of this episode were tremendous. For one, I loved Maeve’s return as it was done in a suitably triumphant fashion to make it feel like a huge deal. Maeve’s overall storyline was very good too and had the best moments. I enjoyed her brief reunion with her daughter, and the tragic end of her character fit the story and was genuinely motional. While the big climax scene did lack at times (see: The Bad), the emotional resonance was conveyed well so I was able to understand and sympathize with Maeve.
Lee’s development was fine too. I liked that he finally got to finish that speech which he had written, which is a great call-back to one of the earliest episodes of the show. It was a fitting conclusion for his character arc, even if it was pretty cheesy and predictable. Overall, I think it leaves a good impression and not a bad one.
The scenes of the hosts making it through the door were impactful and cathartic. After seeing them struggle for so long, seeing them find freedom and happiness was surprisingly uplifting. I didn’t expect myself to get so invested in seeing the hosts living peacefully, but the scenes were done really well and there was genuine power in seeing the hosts living happily. The highlights were of course Akecheta reuniting with his wife and Teddy finally finding his peace in the world. Furthermore, I think this also helped make the humans seem more disgusting as they all killed the hosts without any need as they were simply trying to leave and live peacefully. It got me completely rooting against the humans, which helped me visualize Dolores’ mindset more than Bernard’s which was very needed as I was certainly pro-Bernard before.
This episode had a lot of twists and turns, but the best one was certainly the Dolores/Charlotte one. That one came as a genuine shock, and led to one of the best shocks that the series has pulled off. Furthermore, it allowed Charlotte to get some appropriate comeuppance as she got murdered coldly by Dolores.
The best storyline for me was the reveals in The Forge. I was glad to see Delos again and his character arc, as well as Logan’s, was concluded appropriately while the show also revealed the true nature of people and included lots of thought-provoking philosophy which was interesting and exciting to contemplate. The scenes in The Forge felt like a proper adventure, which made it engaging and exciting.
The Bad: Unfortunately this episode was a bit of a mess and it fell into the worst trappings of the show. The season had been stronger than the first because of its more linear nature and clear storytelling which allowed me to understand what was happening, so that it all mattered and didn’t just build up to meaningless shocks. This episode decided to throw all of that away and become a convoluted and confusing mess which left me unsure how to feel by the end of the episode and also unsatisfied with the direction that a lot of storylines went in.
For one, the episode rushed through many important things. The beginning of the episode completely skipped over all of the emotions that Dolores and William would have been feeling after their ordeals in the previous episodes. After five minutes they were completely over it and continued to be the same characetrs we knew before with absolutely no change. That’s awful because these characters went through major loss and should have changed at least a little bit. But instead, their story was glossed over in favour of major plot developments and shocks.
So many other things were rushed too. Maeve’s storyline had good quality but everything happened so fast that it didn’t impact me as much as it should have. In a single episode we had Maeve come back from near-death, reunite with her squad, watch lee sacrifice himself, reunite with her daughter, sacrifice herself for her daughter and also watch Hector and Armistice die. There was just so much going on, and it meant that no scenes got time to breathe or really settle in. We didn’t have any down-time and that took me out of the episode because it meant we skipped over a lot of emotional stuff. There was nothing new between Maeve and Hector, we didn’t get to understand what Lee’s relationship was with everyone after he betrayed them and we also didn’t even get to understand what the group’s goal was and where they were headed. It was never explained why they were going to the Valley Beyond which is a major hole.
Speaking of holes, I felt like there were tons of plot holes here. For one, how did nobody from Delos know what happened to all of the hosts? They were right there when they all died and the valley got flooded! It seems that the writers wanted to make a mystery but didn’t know how to logically explain that nobody knew what happened. Also, how are we supposed to buy that Stubbs knew Charlotte was a host? If he knew that, surely he would have talked with her earlier about it in an attempt to ally himself with her. It just felt like a meaningless reveal to make it seem like Stubbs actually had a reason to exist in this season.
The big climactic scene was disappointing too. The entire time I was getting frustrated that Maeve wasn’t using her powers to help combat Clementine to get her taken out. Furthermore, I was confused by what Clementine dying meant and I don’t understand why it caused all the hosts to fight each other. It felt unclear and needlessly confusing. Furthermore, I am confused as to why Maeve didn’t just run through the door with Akecheta and her daughter. She would have had the time to make it, so why didn’t she go? Additionally, why are the humans even killing them? To them it should appear that the hosts are just running off a cliff and dying, so why would they make the effort to kill if they are killing themselves?
I wasn’t as interested in the Dolores vs Bernard conflict in The Forge as I should have been. That’s because I already knew what would happen. It was shown that the place would flood and it would be Bernard’s fault, and it was also revealed that Dolores would be shot. Because of these reveals, I felt no tension in what was happening because I knew exactly what would happen.
I am getting frustrated with William somehow having magical healing powers. How is this man not dead?
The Unknown: How was Dolores invincible against William but killable against Bernard? I don’t understand at all.
So what were the drone hosts anyways? What was their purpose? Why did Bernard kill them back in “Riddle of the Sphinx”?
So what exactly is Bernard’s timeline? I am too confused to try to piece it all together. Everythign is just jumbled in my mind.
Where are Stubbs’ actual loyalties? Is he a host too? I don’t think he is, but why is he siding with the hosts if he isn’t?
Where did Dolores move the hosts’ world? Will it come into play later?
How did Dolores make it into the real world so easily?
What the hell happened to William? It feels like we missed a scene. What happened to him inside of the elevator? What the hell was that ending scene? I’m not even going to begin to try to put that together. I’ve had enough confusion for an episode.
Best Moment: It’s tough to choose since almost every scene felt like it should have meant more. I’ll go with Akecheta reuniting with his wife for the emotional resonance.
Character of the Episode: Bernard.
Conclusion: This season had done well to avoid the trappings that season 1 had. But unfortunately it became a mess in the final episode and wasted so much potential. So many storylines ended with whimpers and very little about this episode felt satisfying. This felt like a few episodes of content squeezed into one with all of the focus being placed on the plot and very little on the characters. This finale was very disappointing.
The season as a whole was looking to be much better than the first, but the last 2 episodes did not deliver. In the end, the season improved on tis storytelling for the most apart, but it also felt aimless at times with not enough content to fill out ten episodes, including episodes 5, 8 and 9 which in all fairness weren’t necessary to the overall plot. I would be hard-pressed to say which season was better as both seasons had very different strengths and weaknesses which I thought was interesting. I’m curious to see what season 3 has in store, but I can’t say that this finale has made me expect anything more than some convoluted storylines and wasted potential.
Summary: In flashbacks, William’s wife Juliet lashes out at him about him being evil. Emily sees this and sides with William. William accidentally tells Juliet she was right about him and leaves his profile behind. Juliet sees the profile and confirms her suspicions before leaving the profile for Emily and killing herself. In the present, William believes that Emily is a host and kills her before realizing he was wrong. Bernard leaves Elsie after removing Ford from his system. He reveals that there is a place called The Forge which has profiles of every guest. Teddy is frustrated with his role in helping Dolores and he kills himself.
The Good: This season has followed a Lost-esque format and that has made it more enjoyable overall than the last season. This episode continued that trend by focusing on William and giving him a conflict to battle with, while also showing us the complete story of his life which had only been hinted at before. This also allowed William’s storyline in the present make more sense, with the appearance of his profile which all but confirms Emily’s true nature. It also gives the moment more significance, as we can better understand what William has lost by killing his own daughter, and we can understand that he truly did care for her, instead of being confused by his true feelings for her.
Bernard’s storyline had some good moments. I was really happy with the reveal of The Forge, as it adds some more significance and theorizing to what will actually be found at the Valley Beyond (see: The Unknown). Also, I enjoyed the development of Bernard deleting Ford. It was easy to understand Bernard’s confliction with Ford being inside of his head, so his desperation for freedom again was completely understood. Of course the acting from Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins was great as well.
The Teddy and Dolores scene at the end was very good. Teddy’s death was set up well throughout the season with how his relationship with Dolores fell apart, and the actual moment had a lot of impact. Evan Rachel Wood’s acting was tremendous too, adding even more emotion to an already powerful scene.
The Bad: William’s character isn’t explored enough to make this episode feel needed. I mentioned above that this episode made the bits and pieces of William’s past into a complete story. The problem is that there is literally nothing new that we learn about William, and that hurts the quality of this episode. In every Lost episode, we learned something new about the characters in flashbacks, that’s why the flashbacks were so good, but when we learn nothing of real substance, it feels mostly like a waste of time.
The death of Emily wasn’t as impactful as it should have been. Once more, the mystery surrounding the show completely detracted from the scene. When William killed her, I didn’t feel the emotion I should have because I wasn’t sure if Emily was real or a host. I understand that the effect does try to help us sympathize more with William by giving us paranoia similar to his, but it completely destroys the emotional effect of seeing an insane William gun down his own daughter in his own madness. It should have been more than just shocking to witness. It should have been disgusting and tragic, while also demonstrating how far removed William is from reality. The fact that I only thought about these emotions later instead of during the scene is a complete failure. Furthermore, death is losing meaning in this show. A lot of characters can just come back (like Clementine in this episode), so I’m not even sure that Emily is dead, which once again hurts the impact of the show. This also hurts Teddy’s death since I’m sure he will come back to life in order for him to end up in the sea from that first episode.
While Teddy had a good story this season, Dolores didn’t and that is very disappointing. She was one of the most interesting aspects of the first season, yet right now she is the most boring by quite some distance. Her character is repetitive, and I’m not entirely sure what she is trying to accomplish which distances me from her and everything her character goes through. With Teddy dead, I’m not sure if there is anything that makes me care about Dolores’ story at all now. I just wish that she had more to do than just kill. I would be more than open to having her relationship with Abernathy explored more, but unfortunately that storyline appears to have been dropped which is disappointing.
Once again Ford’s unclear motives detract from my engagement in the story. If I knew what Ford was doing, I would be more open to sympathizing with Bernard trying to remove Ford from his head. But instead, I don’t know who I should be rooting for and it confuses me as to who is in the right. I understand that Westworld likes doing this with the whole “puzzlebox” style, but I really don’t like it because it removes emotion from a lot of potentially great scenes, like this one and even the death of Emily.
This did not feel at all like a penultimate episode. After last episode didn’t accomplish much in order to tell a story, this episode needed some more plot development to pick up the pace and set the stage for the finale. It felt like an episode 6 or 7, not an episode 9, and that makes me worried for the finale, since it seems like a whole ton needs to be accomplished in that episode.
The Unknown: I was very intrigued by Dolores being told the Valley Beyond wasn’t meant for her, which parallels William on his quest to discover the maze. Was the Valley Beyond made for the guests? Why isn’t it for Dolores? Wasn’t Ford’s entire motive to bring consciousness for hosts?
Was Emily actually a host or is she dead? IS William a host? Or is it just his paranoia getting to him? Was this all Ford’s plan somehow?
What is Bernard going to do? What is the significance of the forge and what will they find there? Have Delos made clones of everyone somehow? Could that be what Emily is? A clone which was sent to find William? Emily had said to Ghost nation that she wants him to be punished. Could it be that she is a host that was meant to put William through the pain of thinking he killed his own daughter? Did Emily donated herself as an experiment to Delos to accomplish this?
Will Teddy come back?
What will happen with Clementine? Will Charlotte use her as a weapon?
Best Moment: William’s speech about his stain is pretty powerful and has good emotions to it. Even though it doesn’t offer any new information, it does show us how William feels about himself as a person, which is pretty cathartic and powerful to see.
Character of the Episode: William.
Conclusion: This episode told a complete story and as always the actual episode was beautiful to behold in cinematography and soundtrack. But this wasn’t anywhere near as good as it should have been because of a lack of emotion, and lack of meaningful developments. This was the weakest episode of the season despite everything that it did right.
Summary: Flashbacks show that Akecheta discovered the maze at the site where Dolores killed Arnold. He has been conscious since then. His loop was changed eventually but he remembered his past. He tries to escape with his wife but she is taken by the staff. Akecheta realizes the world he is in and lets himself die to find his wife. He realizes she is gone and decides to create an army of conscious hosts which are the Ghost Nation. In the present, Maeve is taken to Charlotte and she communicates to her daughter through Akecheta. William is captured by Akecheta but Emily arrives to take him.
The Good: This episode relied heavily on the classic "Lost" format where we learn about a character through a centric flashback episode and that format worked spectacularly well. Then again, when has this style ever failed hugely? After season 1, a show like Westworld which was short on characters I cared about needed to give a greater character focus in its sophomore season, and after eight episodes, I think the show has done a very good job. I care about Maeve and Akecheta as actual characters, and I buy into the relationships between Dolores/Teddy, William/Emily, Maeve/daughter and Dolores/Abernathy.
This episode was all about Akecheta and his journey was enjoyable to watch. John McClarnon delivered a great performance and made his character stand out throughout the hour. The storyline was very simple with Akecheta's main driving force being his relationship with his wife. He wanted to see the truth but also wanted his wife to experience it alongside him. He had good motives mixed with an emotional edge which made his mission very engaging and powerful. It was also fantastic to see McClarnon portray Akecheta's slow ascent to consciousness and highlight the subtle emotions he felt as he progressed through the story.
Akecheta's relationship with Kohana was extremely well done. They had a few genuinely sweet scenes early on which made Akecheta's discoveries later int he episode mean something. When he discovered that his wife was replaced, it felt suitably tragic. As was the moment when Akecheta found the empty shell which was Kohana in the storage room. Both scenes were well portrayed and were shot smartly to capitalize on the emotions so that we could understand the gravity of what we were witnessing and how much it is hurting Akecheta.
This episode nailed a lot of the smaller things as well. First of all, this episode tied back in to last season where it was mentioned that some of the natives believed in religions which were similar to the Westworld staff behind the scenes. We get to see that here as Akecheta's village consistently mentions these demons which haunt them in their memories, keeping the story consistent. Along with the tight writing, there was also superb acting, innovative and beautiful cinematography, as well as gorgeous soundtrack. Regarding the soundtrack, I think Westworld has my favourite soundtrack out of any show, as every single track is just mesmerizingly good. This episode featured that lovely Nirvana remix sequence which had a little bit of everything; beautiful soundtrack, stunning cinematography and stellar acting.
I really loved the cameos from Ford and Logan in the episode. They didn't feel forced and actually aided the plot while also explaining away some plot holes. We now know how Logan got out of Westworld after being sent away by William after a terrific scene where Logan was seen slowly going insane. Additionally, we got answers about why Akecheta wasn't being noticed by the staff as Ford has evidently been watching his progression into consciousness in the background. Even more interestingly, it seems to be implied that Akecheta's ascent through the maze is what allowed Ford to realize his mistakes in holding back the hosts. Perhaps without Akecheta, we never would have seen Ford create a narrative to let the hosts reach total consciousness.
The secondary Maeve story was pretty good too. I enjoyed seeing Sizemore come along to her and realize that she didn't deserve what he brought upon her. His guilt was pretty powerful and cathartic, and I wonder if Maeve would forgive him for what he did. The ending was also very good and provided a great reveal that Maeve was still doing whatever she could to protect her daughter by speaking to her through Akecheta.
The Bad: It's tough to buy that nobody noticed Akecheta leaving his loop continuously for 10 years. Even if Ford was covering it up, it feels a little bit too easy that nobody ever noticed him.
Honestly the Westworld staff really suck at their job and it does take away from the story. I can understand it as a narrative device to allow the story to be told (after all the show is about how we can't control our technology), but that doesn't mean I like it. It's simply ridiculous that Akecheta wasn't shut off properly when he got his update, and it's even worse that nobody noticed him walking through the facility all the way to the storage room.
I wish we had gotten this episode a little earlier. Ghost Nation was frustratingly vague for too long and it really didn't accomplish much by keeping their motives secret. Also, there are still some holes, such as why they spared Stubbs and let him go, and those inconsistencies need to be made more clear.
The Unknown: So was Akecheta the one putting the maze into the scalps of certain hosts? How did he manage to do that without anyone noticing? Or was it Ford who did it? Perhaps that's what Ford was doing when he was in the park.
Did Akecheta find the valley beyond? Was that the place with all of the weird structures in it? Why couldn't he find it again? What was there?
How did Akecheta make his wife remember so easily? Is that a benefit to being sentient?
How much has Maeve done through Akecheta's eyes? Has Maeve influenced anything else we don't know about?
What will Emily do with William? Does she actually intend to punish him or does she have good intentions?
Best Moment: The sequence with Akecheta walking through the facility and finding his wife was very touching and superbly executed. It was a genuinely gorgeous sequence with lots of emotional resonance.
Character of the Episode: Akecheta.
Conclusion: This was awesome. Aside from some small flaws, this episode was easily the most powerful and impactful Westworld has ever been. Akecheta's story gave this episode a focus which other episodes wish they had and it led to what was so far the show's greatest episode.
Summary: In the future, Stubbs is expecting Strand to kill him and Bernard. Strand and Charlotte discover that Bernard is a host with multiple copies of himself. Ford implants himself into Bernard’s conscience to ensure he follows instructions. Maeve encounters William and nearly kills him with Lawrence’s help. Sizemore shows up with Delos and they shoot and take Maeve. William escapes. Delos is overrun by Dolores’ group and only Charlotte and Stubbs escape. Angela blows up the cradle.
The Good: The first thing I want to mention is the soundtrack. It has been stellar all season but it really stood out in this episode for me. The music adds so much every time and I absolutely adore the remixes they have done with their central music themes. This has to be amongst the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a TV show.
The return of Ford was just as awesome as expected. We got some classy speeches from Anthony Hopkins who was superb as usual and it was fantastic to hear Ford explaining more, which is a great throwback to season 1. Ford’s increased role is great since Hopkins has a massive screen presence and I’m excited to see what his return adds into the series. Furthermore, I loved the information he gave us. We finally understand the extent of Delos’ goals and we also have a good idea of the importance that Abernathy had for Delos and why he was such a big deal. Ford giving exposition is so much more enjoyable than regular exposition and that made these reveals work really well.
Speaking of reveals, the Bernard twist at the beginning was awesome and opens up a lot of potential directions for the story to go (see: The Unknown). This season has done a better job of being enjoyable to watch while still being enjoyable to theorize.
I loved the thematic exploration in this episode. There was a thorough examination of why the hosts were created and what the goals were in creating them. I thought that the ideas of humans wishing to become hosts was a fascinating concept to examine, and it adds a lot to the exposition being given when there is a genuine philosophical question being explored. The show has been at its best this season when exploring these philosophical questions, so I’m glad to see it continue.
I enjoyed the more action-packed parts of the episode for the most part. I loved Dolores confronting Charlotte and they had some really good dialogue together. It was nicely cathartic to see Charlotte get the smirk wiped off her face. Tessa Thompson has been great at making Charlotte a hateable character and I hope that we continue to get scenes like that in the future to pay off of Charlotte’s disgusting nature. I thought that Dolores reuniting with her father was genuinely touching once more as they continue to make me buy into this fake relationship which I have hardly seen. The acting is really commendable here.
The Maeve and William storyline was outstanding. It was a huge moment and provided great pay-off for the storylines of Maeve and Lawrence as they finally exacted some revenge on the horrors that William committed, the scene was also genuinely tense and exciting as 5ere was genuine fear that William may die here, because it would fit his character to be killed by hosts and would tell a good story. I was consistently worried about his life, which is a testament to how much I have come to care for William after his character was explored in the last episode. I thought the conclusion was exciting too and didn’t feel anticlimactic due to the surprise of Lawrence and Maeve being shot. It was also earned because there was set up to Sizemore betraying Maeve, which helped this feel like an organic development and not a forced one.
I really liked Sizemore in this episode. It’s nice to see that he genuinely cares for Maeve but is still cowardly enough to not do much to help her. However it does seem possible that he redeems himself isn’t he next episode.
The fake waterboarding of Bernard was a nice touch which adds to the world a little more.
The Bad: The defence of Abernathy unfortunately lacked all tension. While the Maeve and William scene exceeded hugely in tension, this one failed. That’s because we already know the result. We know Dolores takes Abernathy’s key somewhere, and we know that Bernard, Stubbs and Charlotte all survive. That’s unfortunate because there is serious potential for there to be genuine tension here if we didn’t know what would happen in the future.
The train explosion from the last episode still confuses me. I don't understand how that explosion let Dolores and the group out of Westworld and it was never explained. Furthermore, isn't it a huge safety hazard to have a train track go to a place where the train coulf explode, leading to several casualties? No park would allow this to exist. Also, how did the hosts survive the explosion? They aren't invulnerable, and they certainly aren't invulnerable to explosions. We even saw Angela die in an explosion later in the episode, proving that hosts are susceptible to explosions. I really wish the show would tell us what needs to be done to kill a host, because it's inconsistent right now and that takes away from my engagement. I can't feel tension for the hosts' lives if I don't know that their lives are even in danger to begin with.
I'm going to go back to Angela now and her death. That scene was the one truly terrible scene in this episode. The set up was awful. Angela apparently went to the cradle with no plan to destroy it and essentially got lucky that some random guard followed her abd didn't kill her on the spot. Couldn't she have just picked a grenade off some dead guy in tge room she was in before? Her actual plan was just contrived and nonsensical. Furthermore, I am astounded by the level of stupidity required for that guard who didn't kill Angela and let her seducr him. Seriously? His life is in danger! Nobody would go for an outside chance to get laid over their own life. The writing was sloppy and the scene feels like it only exists to give Angela a dramatic death, and a really forced one at that.
There were a few cheesy moments here. The use of slow-mo early on was weak, as was the convenient last second escape for Charlotte who came too close to death. The show has usually done a good job to avoid clichés, so it's disappointing to see a few big ones in this episode, including the Angela death scene.
Once again Ford's motives are extremely murky and that frustrates me. He would be even more fascinating as a character if we understood what he was doing, but the show continues to force him to be mysterious and creepy. Honestly, Anthony Hopkins' terrific performance is probably the only reason I think Ford is an asset to the series. If not for that, he would be a liability with his confusing motives and ideals which only take away from the story. I hope to learn more about his goals soon and I hope that his motives aren't saved for shock value like last season.
There were a few flaws in the Maeve/William confrontation. For one, it's really hard to buy William surviving his wounds. But if he dies now, it will feel really unsatisfying, so the writers have put themselves in a hole. I also didn't like the use of flashbacks to remind us of William and Maeve's history. We can understand the weight of the moment just fine without the flashback.
The Unknown: What are Strand's objectives? What does he plan to do with Stubbs and Bernard?
What is the significance of the multiple Bernards? Will that come into play later? Could the present Bernard be different from the future one?
Where did Dolores leave the control unit? Is it really in the valley beyond or was Bernard lying? Speaking of which, what is the valley beyond? Where is it and what is the purpose of it?
Where were Hector, Felix, Sylvester and Armistice in this episode?
Will William survive his wounds? Will Emily find him? What is his next move?
Best Moment: The confrontation between Maeve and William was tense, exciting and cathartic. I think it was the best executed part of this episode
Character of the Episode: Maeve.
Conclusion: This episode was exciting and packed with action, but a lot of flaws prevent this from being amongst the very best quality Westworld has ever produced. But this episode is still very good and delivered on my expectations.
Summary: William and Emily talk and Emily reveals she wants him to come home and not die. William leaves her in the night. Maeve leaves Shogun World but Akane and the others choose to stay. She meets her daughter but finds that she has a replacement mother. Teddy has turned into a ruthless killer and Dolores ha regrets. Bernard and Elsie go to the cradle which is where all of the data is kept. Bernard enters it and finds Ford.
The Good: The William and Emily (I don't know if it's Emily or Grace, but for now I'm going with Emily) story was really well done. I have been largely uninterested with William once more being on a lone journey to discover the answers to a mysterious puzzle, but this gave the storyline the shot in the arm it needed. With William's family matters being explored through Emily's return, it adds a fresh new aspect to William, giving his arc more resonance and emotion. After all of the examination that the show has done for William, I genuinely care about what happens to him, so adding an emotional edge is very smart. Furthermore, Emily comes off really well as her desire to live out life with her only remaining family is a very easy to understand motivation. Her character can neatly be built around this relationship with William and I'm excited to see more from them.
The Maeve storyline had some good moments despite it being disappointing overall (see: The Bad). The moment where Maeve saw her daughter again was cathartic and equally tragic when we see that there is another host as her mother. It's heartbreaking and also makes perfect sense, which really highlights how Maeve took everything for granted and assumed that she could just do whatever she wanted. It's a fitting wake-up call which obviously had a huge impact on Maeve who wasn't expecting her daughter to no longer love her. While I wish we spent more time on that (again see: The Bad), the overall story had a good emotional heart to it. I also like the background story of Sizemore wanting to escape his situation while also feeling bad since he has formed something of a bond with Maeve who he now accepts isn't a bad individual and has a human quality about her.
Dolores' story with Teddy had a great emotional core too. After the tragedy at the end of last week's episode, Teddy has changed and Dolores is starting to face the consequences of her decision. Now Teddy is much more efficient as a bodyguard, but he is no longer the man he was and he also seems to be rather spiteful about that. Now Dolores can no longer get the small romantic talk she loved and is stuck feeling guilty and perhaps even regretful about what she has done to Teddy. Now it's abundantly clear that Teddy is gone and this new version of him isn't the real Teddy.
The most intriguing storyline was once more Bernard's. We still don't quite know what he has been up to and there was a lot more intrigue as he has been getting flashes upon entering the cradle. I have theories (see: The Unknown), but so far it has mostly remained mysterious. However, we seem to be on the verge of getting a truckload of answers as the episode provided a massive reveal at the end. And that reveal is the return of Ford, which I'm very excited about. Ford was the standout of the entire last season, and to see Anthony Hopkins reprise his role is an extremely exciting development. Furthermore, Ford has all of the answers about what Bernard has been doing, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say to explain all of the weird things that have been happening.
The Bad: I had hoped to get more clarity on what exactly happened to Teddy. Last episode I had assumed he would be completely erased, but that is clearly not the case since Teddy is still conscious and with Dolores' group. I would have appreciated it if the show had actually revealed what would happen to Teddy and what has happened instead of keeping things as a mystery.
I hate that there are apparently some Delos employees still alive and around while Westworld is in chaos. How did they survive? How did the hosts let them survive? I wish we had more answers to this. Speaking of answers I wish we had, hat is Dolores hoping to accomplish with the train? What is it going to do, how does she know to do it and what does it accomplish for her? Without knowing the answers to these questions, the moment loses all significance and value.
Maeve's storyline was very flawed, in particular the closure to Shogun World. While it was a fun detour, the problem is that it was a detour. That means that it had no actual value to the story and is nothing more than filler. The only thing that the story accomplished was that it showed Maeve to have some sympathy, but that seems like something that could have been accomplished in 5-10 minutes, not in an hour-long side story. Without Shogun World having any relevance, it feels like a waste of time and I'm left questioning its inclusion in the story.
Furthermore, the Maeve story is hurt by its need to rush a lot of stuff into a single episode. This episode had a sword duel, the closure for Akane's character, Maeve's group leaving Shogun World, Maeve meeting her daughter, Ghost Nation attacking and Sizemore contemplating calling for help before actually doing it. It's an overwhelming amount of developments, and the sheer number of developments means that the episode isn't able to focus on its more powerful moments like Maeve realizing her daughter has a new life. The arrival of Ghost Nation actually ruins the moment and all of its resonance which is really annoying.
In the end, the flaw in the Maeve story highlights my biggest qualm with this episode. It's too cluttered with far too many storylines and no clear focus. The two best episodes in this season so far have been the ones which focused specifically on a single plot point, and that isn't a coincidence. Without any real focus, episodes like these fail to hit as hard as others, making them feel pretty disappointing overall.
The Unknown: What was that test in the opening scene? Is Bernard the same sort of host that Delos was? Did Ford actually end up perfecting the hosts made from consciousness?
What was the significance of Akane taking Sakura's heart? Also, what was with the heart? Does it have a specific role in hosts or is it just there to add to realism?
Is Emily actually there or is she part of Ford's game? I noticed William messing up a detail about his past regarding the elephants, and while it's possible that was used to develop that William has forgotten his family life, I suspect that it was William testing to see if Emily was a host. I wonder if Emily is the one who is meant to lead William to the door which could perhaps be the door out of Westworld and into the real world.
What is the role of Ghost Nation? Clearly they are important since they are appearing very frequently.
What was the purpose of the train explosion? Was that Dolores breaking out of Westworld? Will it help her find her father? Does it mean she is coming for Charlotte's group?
What will Bernard learn from Ford in the cradle? What else can be found in there?
Best Moment: While I'm tempted to pick Ford's reveal, I'll go with Emily and William's conversation. I bought into the story completely after that and I'm now invested in their relationship which has genuine stakes to it.
Character of the Episode: Ford for returning.
Conclusion: This episode had a lot to it and several things worked, but it was too cluttered and messy to truly succeed, making this one of the least satisfying instalments so far.
Summary: Teddy and Dolores talk and Dolores realizes that Teddy is too soft to survive so she has him wiped. Maeve's group is captured by hosts from Shogun World who have the same characters as them since Sizemore was a lazy programmer. The Shogun wants to take Sakura, a geisha but Akane doesn't let her go and kills the messenger. Maeve offers to help the group escape while also hoping to escape herself. Sakura is kidnapped by the Shogun so they take a detour to save her. The Shogun kills Sakura so Akane kills him. Maeve discovers that she can command hosts using just her mind and has all of the samurai kill each other.
The Good: The introduction to Shogun World was awesome, and recaptured the wonderful feeling that was present in "The Original" when we first saw Westworld. It was a lovely adventure to see the style, characters and locations in the world, and the modified soundtrack beautifully suited this new world and added a lot through some lovely melodies. I thought that the setting and atmosphere was impressive as always and I really enjoyed getting to see this new world.
I love how certain characters were copied for Shogun World. It allowed for some interesting interactions and also let the characters have some very unique bonds as they realized that they were essentially making friends with themselves. Maeve and Akane's relationship in particular felt very fresh and well-developed, also allowing Maeve to develop more of a sympathetic heart for Akane as she displayed that same motherly love that Maeve has for her own daughter. Also the simple concept that Sizemore would be lazy enough to rehash entire storylines feels really corporate and real, and it also provides a really good laugh.
Speaking of laughs, this was the funniest episode of Westworld yet with a lot of nice humorous moments amidst all the violence. Most of that is thanks to Sizemore who is doing a tremendous job of comic relief. I also really appreciate that the show is taking the time to develop relationships and have comic relief characters. Conventions aren't always bad, and in this case it actually aids the show since it's no longer spending time being mysterious and confusing. The straight-forward nature of this episode also helped with that.
I really enjoyed the action scenes too. With the action scenes being very clear on who the good and bad guys are, they are much more exciting than previous ones, and are aided even more by the fact that characters we care about are involved in them. This was the most I've been entertained by Westworld action scenes.
I also love that the show continues to explore the idea of if these hosts finding consciousness makes them any more real than before. Sizemore believes them to still be just code while Maeve tries to convince him against that. The conversation as fascinating and did a great job of continuing to get us to think about the realities of this world and how real the hosts actually are.
The climax of the episode was fantastic too. Sakura's death was surprising but it also built up nicely to the satisfying moment of Akane killing the Shogun, which mirrored all of the moments that Maeve had where she finally stood up for herself and killed her enemies. The Shogun's death was a really satisfying moment too and was fittingly gruesome and violent. Of course the conclusion with Maeve getting a hold of her new powers was executed well too and makes me eager to see what happens next.
Finally we go to Dolores and Teddy's storyline which was surprisingly touching The one thing which the show has been consistent with is the romance between Dolores and Teddy, which makes their "break-up" all the more impactful and genuinely meaningful. It's sad that Teddy had to go through this, especially since we know his ultimate fate is in the ocean full of dead hosts.
The Bad: Sizemore saying something along the lines of "that's not supposed to happen" has become a cliché because of this episode alone. It got really old as he said it over and over again.
Unfortunately the Maeve storyline doesn't feel very important. The show has a much bigger scope than just Maeve and her group, so it's disappointing to not get any focus on the bigger scheme of things and instead spend an entire episode with Maeve. While I did enjoy it, it just didn't feel like as big of a deal as it should have so I wasn't hooked as much as I could have been.
The Unknown: How were the hosts wiped in the future? Who did that? Was it Bernard who did that? Why?
How did Maeve get this new power? Did she always have it? How does it work? Does it have any limits?
What will Sizemore do with his walkie? I feel like the walkie may be the kind of risk which will lead to his death.
How is Shogun World non-fatal? I understand that in Westworld the guns can't hurt guests, but how does that work with swords and arrows?
Best Moment: The conversation between Sizemore and Maeve was excellent.
Character of the Episode: Maeve.
Conclusion: This was a really fun episode which was easier to follow and enjoy than pretty much every other episode of Westworld. Though it only focused on one storyline and didn't advance the overall story, I enjoyed this.
Summary: In the past, Delos works towards making an eternal-living host for Jim Delos and William is in charge, but the process isn't going smoothly as Delos' mind is rejecting his new body. The process goes on for several decades without success and William eventually abandons the project. In the present, William and Lawrence run into a group of hosts who capture them. William kills everyone and breaks free before running into his daughter. Bernard is taken to Elsie and they find a facility. Inside the facility they find what remains of Delos and put him out of his misery.
The Good: This was a very good episode, one of the best in the whole series. It shouldn't be a surprise that when you take away pointless confusion and mystery and provide an easy-to-follow narrative with legitimate resonance it improves the quality of the story begin told. That is exactly what happened here, as the episode focused on 3 stories with actual relevance and focus which were easy to follow and understand.
The first story is the one in flashbacks and I think it is the most powerful and thought-provoking one. In this storyline we get to see Mr. Delos on his quest for immortality, which is surely what William had tempted him with back in "Reunion". Delos has become a host and William is the one who is working to turn him into a fully-working and immortal being. I really love the way that these scenes were executed. At first there is no background on the story whatsoever as we get a Lost-esque sequence of Delos staying in his chamber until he is visited by William. We learn a few things here and there are several clues of things not being what they seem with Delos exhibiting some strange ticks. Clearly he is either sick in some way or is a host. The scene is executed wonderfully, highlighting some important clues and bits of information and the following two scenes do a terrific job of explaining everything and bringing very real emotional stakes to the episode.
The emotion was brought on by our perception of Delos' situation. It is especially poignant with William's final visit as we understand just how long Delos has been waiting to go free. Even though he seems to be a bad person, our natural instinct wants to see him be free from confinement and to overcome his shackles and bugs. But that never happens and we instead bear witness as William, obviously turned cold, tears him apart metaphorically and reveals to him that his entire family has died while he awaits his return to the world. It's a sad scene and a fantastic examination of men's fears of death and their ability to overcome it; a prevalent theme in this episode. Furthermore, the storyline is aided by some terrific acting by Peter Mullan, who brings Delos' personality to life and delivers an absolute cracker of a performance to make us sympathize with this "piece of shit" as William describes him.
Speaking of William, I love what has been done with his character. Last season his transformation was very abrupt, but this season is thankfully allowing us to understand him more. Instead of being a murderous psycho, we can now understand him a little more as we see his goals and relationship with Delos. This aids his current storyline as William doesn't seem quite so empty anymore, and we can now understand his aspirations to discover more about himself and the world, something which has always fueled his character that we can now understand more than ever. While his storyline has flaws (see: The Bad), it is fairly entertaining and has a nice twist at the end.
The final storyline is with Bernard and Elsie and I think that works very nicely. I'm enjoying the dynamic of their relationship and I think that the show should keep focus on them to add some development. Their relationship has a neat and fresh feeling as we get to follow Elsie getting used to the fact that Bernard is a host, completely changing how their relationship was in the last season. I really enjoyed seeing them work their way through the facility as the mystery continued to expand about what was really happening. Bernard's flashbacks are also very interesting and were shot superbly with glorious transitions and angles. The cinematography in this episode was truly special and I believe that this is by far the best-looking episode of Westworld yet.
The climax of the episode where we got to see current-day Delos was fantastic. The scene was shot like an exciting high-budget horror film and had genuine tension to it, while also serving as a sad reveal of what Delos' fate was. I was impressed with the final monologue from Delos as well. I'm not yet sure what to make of his final lines, but they will surely be fascinating to try to analyze to decipher what point Delos is trying to make.
The Bad: The present-William storyline is still tough to get into because it feels too familiar and generic. There hasn't been much change to how his storyline works with some fun action, but there is hardly anything fascinating with these scenes anymore. While there is thankfully more tension since William can actually die and get hurt now, it's still hard to care much for these scenes with many more interesting storylines going on around the park.
The Unknown: What disease killed Mr. Delos? Could it be returning soon? Also has Delos, the company, tried to make any other people immortal? Could Mr. Delos have just been a prototype? The lab he was in had a 12 on the door. Does that mean there are many more of these? Could Mr. Delos not have been he first attempt at doing this?
What are the memories that Bernard had? Why did he kill everything in the facility? What was his role in what was being done to Delos? Was he aware? How can he control the drone hosts? What was he creating in that facility?
Is Ford's influence still controlling everything? Did Ford have Clementine bring Bernard to Elsie? What is his end goal for William? What does he mean by saying that forward is the wrong direction?
How is Emily in the park? How long has se gone there? What is her relationship with William like?
W are the Ghost Nation's motives? Do they protect humans? They seem to capture them and let them go. Are they under Ford's orders? Or somebody else's?
Best Moment: William revealing to Delos that his old life is gone and that he is better off dead is a very sad and powerful moment. Quite possibly my favourite Westworld scene so far.
Character of the Episode: Delos.
Conclusion: This was a great episode which was much more organized than most episodes. There were satisfying answers and powerful storytelling, making this one of the show's best instalments.
Summary: In flashforwards, Strand takes Bernard to meet Charlotte who is impressed that he made it out alive. In the present, Bernard and Charlotte locate Abernathy but he's captured by Dolores along with Bernard. Dolores assigns Bernard to fix Abernathy. Dolores camp is attacked by Delos as they are led by Charlotte and they capture Abernathy. Bernard is taken away by Clementine. Maeve's group enters the underground of Westworld and reunite with Armistice, Felix and Sylvester before heading towards Shogun World. A girl meets a guy in a colonial India theme park but the guy is killed when the hosts turn on the guests. The girl is chased to Westworld by a tiger.
The Good: This episode was carried by the fact that it introduced two new parks at the beginning and end. The opening sequence in particular which introduced us to a sort of Colonial Indian world was fantastic and immediately got me invested in the new park as well as the characters introduced. I like the exploration of the idea that both of the guests we see are bored of getting something pre-determined with hosts and are now longing for something real after spending so much time in the park. It's a really cool idea and I really hope that it gets explored more in future episodes. I believe that "The Dorr" which Ford mentioned to William may actually allow William to realize the value of the real world around him instead and free him from the park. That would be a great story to watch unfold and would continue to explore this powerful new theme.
The rest of the opening sequence was great too. It was great to see some different scenery for once and the cinematography was top-notch as usual, making the world seem unique and real. I also loved that we got a proper look at the park boundaries between Westworld and the Indian world, and interestingly the bomb didn't seem to trigger when the tiger escaped the park (see: The Unknown). I still do appreciate that we have been given some clarity on how the multiple parks will operate as that will definitely help me stay more in touch with the storylines which involve multiple parks.
I did like seeing Dolores gear up for war as it made me feel like I was watching something like "Lord of the Rings" or "Game of Thrones" for a moment which is a very good thing. While I did have some big problems (see: The Bad), I thought the actual battle was fun and it was shot well to encapsulate the struggle without using up too much of a budget.
The star of this episode was undoubtedly Peter Abernathy who returned with some great acting from Louis Herthum. I thought that his scene with Dolores were great and were surprisingly touching. The thought of Dolores still loving Abernathy despite knowing he is fake because he is all she knows is touching and it allows me to buy into their relationship. Because of this, their scenes had some genuine impact and I could properly buy into Dolores wanting Bernard to fix Abernathy no matter what so that she could have her father back.
I thought the Maeve scenes were pretty good too for the most part. I'm very happy tat Maeve and Hector are being given a developing relationship and Sizemore's reaction to it was very well done and properly conveyed the confusion he would feel once he realizes that these hosts are actually becoming conscious. I do like the twist that Hector is still using his built-in lines to describe his love as it continues to blur the lines between a host being fully-conscious and semi-conscious. I'm intrigued to see if there are any other paths in the maze that Westworld has yet to explore.
Lastly, I was glad to see Felix and Sylvester return to the show. There needs to be more humans in this show for us to bounce off of. I thought the final reveal of Shogun World was great and it gets me excited to see what comes next.
The Bad: I didn't like the scene in the future with Bernard and Strand. It was inoffensive as a scene and gave some interesting tidbits, but I think it's ultimately unnecessary. The story would be better off without these flashes to the future and I would prefer if we just see how things play out and resume with future Bernard once the story catches up.
I enjoyed the action sequences but they really lacked any semblance of logic. We just learned that Delos isn't going to interfere until Abernathy is given to them. Yet Charlotte just talks to them quickly and all of a sudden they send all of their guys out which is really contradictory. I also didn't like how they seemed to know exactly where Abernathy was to the room, and just casually walked in to get him. If they can track him, why didn't they pick him up way earlier?
Dolores is already beginning to seem inconsistent as a character. I thought her goal was domination with a host army, yet here she just sends hosts to their deaths because apparently not all of them are good enough? What? That makes no sense. How cans he choose which hosts are good enough? Why does it matter anyways? This development feels really forced and contrived, as it would make much more sense for Dolores to recruit and value her host army instead of sending them to their deaths. Additionally I find it hard to really buy into Teddy's merciful nature as something significant as it feels forced into every scene he is in.
The Unknown: How was Colonial world affected by the uprising? Was it the same across all of the parks?
What happened to the bomb inside the tiger? Why didn't it go off? Did Ford disable them before he died or something like that?
Who is the new character from the Indian world? What will she do in the story? How is she going to get away from the Ghost Nation people?
Where has Abernathy been taken? How did he end up getting away between now and the future we have seen? What is Bernard's role in this? What did he see when he explored Abernathy? Did he download whatever it was that Charlotte had inside of him? Does he have it now?
What does Dolores want in Sweetwater? What does Clementine want from Bernard? Some interesting motives here.
Best Moment: Dolores and Abernathy speaking to each other was genuinely touching and I think it was the most powerful this show has gotten so far.
Character of the Episode: Abernathy.
Conclusion: This episode had an outstanding opening scene and one really powerful moment, making it one of the better episodes so far. Unfortunately there were some large flaws in the writing here, but this certainly did more good than it did bad.
Summary: In flashbacks, Arnold takes Dolores out to see the real world. Sometime later, Logan is contacted for an investment in Westworld and is taken to a demo in the real world where hosts are performing. He is blown away and wants to invest. Even later, William convinces Logan's father to invest in Westworld as it provides guests with the ability to find themselves. In the present, Dolores recruits an army of hosts and gets an employee who is able to bring back hosts whenever it is needed. William recruits Lawrence again and tries to get El Lazo's army, but Ford doesn't allow it and the army executes itself.
The Good: After 12 episodes we are finally given a few glimpses of the outside world and it's really satisfying. One of the biggest questions which I never asked myself was "are the hosts only allowed to be in Westworld?" Here I got a clear answer as we get the reveal in this episode's opening scene that Dolores has been taken outside of the park before and has seen the outside world. This adds a lot of interesting implications to the show and opens the doors wide for directions that the show could go in. It feels like this episode ripped off all of the show's shackles and that is a really satisfying feeling especially for those who love the puzzlebox way that this show works. Without using the meaningless "surprise!" tactics from last season, Westworld has provided an exciting twist which has successfully excited me.
The scenes in the real world were very good. Logan walking into the host party was really well done and did a tremendous job of selling why Westworld was such a big hit. Logan's shock and awe as he slowly realized that everybody was a host made me buy into the fact that Logan believed in this park to be the future. The scene itself was well executed and well acted and was very impressive.
I also enjoyed how this tied into why William thought Westworld would be a great investment. Logan was in awe at the basic concept of hosts, but William wasn't. Instead William was appreciative of how the park let him discover who he really is and was allured by its charm because of that. It's a great way to highlight the differences between both characters. I also like how this ties in with Sizemore's narrative which he proposed last season, hinting that the idea that Westworld allows you to find your true self was actually created by William.
The present storylines were pretty good too. I enjoyed Dolores' confrontation with Maeve quite a bit. It's interesting that they both have a protector and a human to help them out and it raises a few questions. The scene was tense and exciting since we haven't seen those 2 interact before in the show to my recollection. The rest of Dolores' storyline did a great job of illustrating her as a threat especially since she has seemingly discovered a way to make an invincible army now that she has a human who can revive everyone whenever she needs him to.
The Man in Black's storyline was fine too. There was some fun action and an awesome cameo from Giancarlo Esposito which was easily one of the episode's highlights. He is such a charismatic actor and I was genuinely surprised to see him. El Lazo's hosts all killing themselves on Ford's orders was an interesting moment which I definitely have more to talk about (see: The Unknown).
The Bad: The show is still very messy. Even though the show is much easier to follow now as it jumps through time, I have to question what the significance is. I enjoyed seeing some backstory on Westworld, but why do we need the backstory? I feel like it's no going to play as important of a role as it should, just like the young William story in season 1 which pretty much only existed for the Man in Black reveal at the end. With so few storylines flowing together cohesively, the show isn't as engaging as it should be. I feel like the story as a whole would be much better if told in chronological order to some extent without jumping all over the place. Maybe then the show would engage my emotions.
Episodes like these are what make Westworld somewhat disappointing. There wasn't anything bad in particular about this but it was horribly average and it felt too much like pieces being moved around without any satisfaction. TV shows are wonderful because of the self-contained stories which are told in each episode. Westworld doesn't adhere to that and instead attempts to make each episode like a piece in a puzzle. It makes sense and the writing is good, but it lacks any kind of memorability and I'll forget about these episodes very quickly.
The Unknown: How many hosts have been brought into the real world? Where do they exist int he real world? Are there still some out there which have been stationed by Delos?
Has Dolores ever been outside any other time than the one we saw in this episode? What does she remember from those experiences? How will her memories impact the story?
What are Delos' motives? Is there some sort of master plan in place created by Logan's father? I'm very interested to learn more about this. Also how did William factor into all of this? He clearly seems to have been much more involved than expected.
How is Ford able to control hosts? Is he still alive in some form somewhere? How? Where? How can he follow William through the park? Why doesn't he want William to raise an army? What is the end goal?
Best Moment: I'll pick young William talking to Dolores about his past experience in the park. It was a great moment of character reflection.
Character of the Episode: William.
Conclusion: This was another solid episode which had some very welcome developments but also ramped up the incoherent storylines by jumping through time. The show remains fine but is still missing a big spark.
Summary: Bernard wakes up in the future, 2 weeks after the gala. Delos higher-ups have arrived. They discover a new sea which wasn't there before with tons of dead hosts. Back to the present, Bernard and Charlotte escape the gala. Bernard is losing brain fluid but manages to keep his identity as a host secret. Charlotte prepares to retrieve Peter Abernathy since Delos is interested in him. Dolores and Teddy continue murdering humans. William meets young Ford who tells him the game is for him now. Maeve picks up Sizemore who decides to help Maeve go to her daughter.
The Good: This was a very solid premiere. It wasn't bogged down by pointless mystery and confusion and was able to focus on the story instead. That's a big improvement on season 1, where the convoluted storytelling took away a lot of enjoyment from the show. Hopefully this season doesn't get confusing in future episodes and keeps this current format of several stories occurring simultaneously with different characters. I really hope that we don't get more flashforwards to Bernard after this episode. If all this is kept the same, this could definitely become a show I can get behind.
I'll tackle the future scenes first. I really liked the focus on Delos stepping in to help settle the mass murder, after all it is in their best interests that the hosts don't spiral out of control. The new character Strand has intrigued me and I'm very excited to learn more about him and what his motives are. I just hope that his true motives aren't kept hidden like Ford's in the last season.
The season is implying that it will look more into how hosts function, which is very welcome by me. I am a sucker for sci-fi robot stories and androids, so this excites me and hooks me with a tease of full answers about how these hosts function.
The host murder scenes were pretty great and suitably brutal. They were as terrifying as they needed to be and did a great job of conveying the tables turned in favour of the hosts. Dolores' intense joy in killing and torturing the humans is great to watch and Evan Rachel Wood does a superb job.
The one storyline which I thought worked more than any others was the Maeve story. She gets to connect with Sizemore and it works really well since these are 2 characters who have extremely clear motives and characters. They are easy to understand and that improves the show a lot. It's almost as if making everything a surprise actually isn't as good as simple storytelling. That's sarcasm. Anyways, their dynamic together is very good and they shared a lot of great dialogue and had some great humour. This storyline is easily the one I'm most invested in and I'm excited to see their relationship expand and to see where Maeve's motives take her.
The Bad: Skipping the immediate aftermath and massacre after the gala was disappointing especially after the cliffhanger we got. It felt anticlimactic and I think it would have been more effective to put over the brutality of the hosts by showing the full massacre which occurred everywhere.
Bernard's character is difficult to fully understand right now. He is likeable but his sudden apparent mind for peace is a little forced and takes things away from what he's doing. While he is the character I'm most interested to see in this season, his actual personality doesn't feel clearly defined which hurts my ability to sympathize with him and understand him. Hopefully this can be cleared up in the following episode.
The death of the stable hand seemed to be written as an emotional moment which I really can't understand at all. The hosts just murdered people in cold blood and they have died hundreds of times, so what does it matter if he was killed? The tone felt awkward there and it felt like the show was trying too hard to be emotionally powerful.
The William storyline didn't excite me in this episode which is disappointing. Initially it was pretty fun but now it looks like it's going to be exactly like the last season. Ford has a game for him to play and discover only this time it's meant for him. This is not new and it unfortunately seems like the writers don't know what to do with William's character now.
I mentioned the show trying to be emotionally powerful earlier, and I feel that it still hasn't really learned from last season's inefficiencies. I want this show to develop its characters more, but it doesn't exactly seem to be interested in doing too much of that. This season unfortunately seems to be setting up for more twists and mysteries, despite that not being nearly as enjoyable as character development and powerful moments.
The Unknown: Where is future Bernard in the park? What has he seen in the past before then? Apparently he killed everyone, so how did that happen? Did he actually do it? Where did the sea come from? Why was a tiger in it? There are lots of good questions raised here which do a great job of hooking us into the second season.
How did Stubbs survive? What happened to him when he was captured? Will we ever see it?
What is with Charlotte's safe zone? Who else knew about it? What are her motives and goals? Is she working for Delos or somebody else? Does she know Bernard's secret? Why are Delos getting DNA samples from guests? What are they planning to do with them? How will that come into play later?
Bernard apparently is on the verge of terminal malfunction after he got shot in the head. What happens during terminal malfunction? How did he stop it from happening? Was it brain fluid being injected into him which fixed it? Why do Delos want Peter Abernathy and not somebody like Maeve? What is significant about him? Where is he anyways?
I was ecstatic when Ford returned as the kid but was equally disappointed when he was sot by William. Is Ford really gone then? I hope not. What is the door he was talking about?
What is Dolores going to show Teddy?
What are the drone hosts? What are they for and what do they do?
Best Moment: Not much stood out much, but I'll go with Dolores talking to Teddy about what she wants. It's good that the show has clarified what Dolores' motives are and what she wants to accomplish.
Character of the Episode: I'll give this one to Maeve.
Conclusion: This was a solid return for Westworld which fixed some of the shows problems but not all of them. I'm excited to see more of the season and hopefully it can provide something more compelling than season 1.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.