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.