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.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.