This article will contain spoilers from both season 1 and 2 of Westworld
Just last weekend I had stumbled across this new show Westworld. It was a show that I had always planned to get into thanks to the adverts that would grace my television every now and then. The blend of science fiction and western was something I couldn’t pass on. I had to at least give the first episode a try and before I knew it in the space of a weekend I had finished the first season, not to mention the countless podcasts and explanation videos I had to watch after each episode. I’m not ashamed to say that I found myself a bit confused during the season. But that was part of the beauty of the first season trying to work out how many timelines are currently going on and how this action would lead into an event further down the timeline. And by the end of the season finale I was really satisfied, they wrapped up a huge storyline while setting the stage for the Ford’s next story take place for season 2. Now here we are season 2, only a couple of episodes in and maybe it’s the fact I’ve taken in so much Westworld in the past week and I need a break but this season has kind of been a disappointment for me so far. Granted we are only 3 episodes in and that could change by the end of the season because the first season to me was also a slow burner. I wanted to use this article to just layout my thoughts on the season so far and the current issues I’m having with this season so far.
No Anthony Hopkins
Look it was always going to be a tough to follow up a character such as Ford after the season finale. Now granted Ford’s character isn’t fully dead if you know what I mean, his mind and his thoughts are still there it has just been transferred into other characters. It’s a smart way for the show writers to make sure the character is still apart of the storyline without having to be there physically. But it has impacted the show, Hopkin’s performances in the first season were just amazing. He brought so much to the first season that his presence is missed throughout the early episodes of season 2. It does look like Bernard/Arnold is taking that role from Ford and while Jeffrey Wright is a great actor too the show greatly misses Hopkins’s presence as any film or TV show would to be honest.
Too much going on?
Is the show doing too much? Now I know that may seem confusing coming from someone who enjoyed the first season but this season for some reason it feels like they maybe spinning too many plates at the same time. Will the pay off work this season? This season looks to be building up to where Bernard/Arnold kills the rest of the hosts laying in the river. But we also have the likes of Dolores and the Man in Black travelling to the place known as ‘The Door’ which has a weapon that will help destroy that world. Of course it wont be an actual weapon like a gun or anything. It’s interesting to note how the maze from season 1 allowed the host to find their inner conciseness and be awake and now with the door what happens? Maybe its a way out, who knows. You also have Maeve who is practically free going on her own journey to look for her daughter, somehow I just think she will end up going to ‘The Door’ with the rest of the main characters. The main point I’m trying to make here is when is it too much with what the show is trying to accomplish? I haven’t even spoken on the fact that in the last episode we were treated with two new parks which are the Raj themed world and Shogun world. I also forgot to mention the importance of the character Peter Abernathy who had been uploaded with up to 30 years of data which makes him a crucial aspect of the storyline for Delos to capture. What information is he carrying? Not sure but Charlotte has already shown us how they are using androids to keep information on the guests that can be used in the real world. The information he has must be important for the storyline and those who enter Westworld.
Dolores’s character maybe the biggest issue I have with this season so far. It’s not that the actress is bad or anything, Evan Rachel Wood has been great throughout the entire series. The direction in which they’ve taken the character doesn’t really interest me. I want to support and cheer for Dolores and that’s just hard to do at the moment. Ironically she has turned into the the Man in Black from season 1 as she is now formed with Wyatt. She’s just killing everything in sight to get to this new weapon on her journey to carry out this rebellion in which she hopes to finally break out into the real world. While I’m interested to see where this character goes by arriving at her destination so far it’s falling flat to me. What I do find interesting though is her relationship with Teddy. Lately we started to see how she’s been manipulating Teddy and in the last episode Teddy starts to think and act by himself. It will be interesting to see how and when they clash because Teddy’s body is there amongst the other robots that are presumably dead which we saw in the first episode.
Maeve is probably the only character I’ve been most invested in since season 1. In my eyes she has become the most sympathetic figure in the show. This is helped by her actions in season 2 where her only goal is to meet her daughter whether she’s real or not. Unlike Dolores who’s angry at the way she’s been treated by the humans she doesn’t go out of her way to make those suffer who put her in that position. Maeve comes across as the most sympathetic character on the show right now and someone that I’m currently rooting for. I want her to find her daughter because I feel like she deserves this piece of happiness, unfortunately knowing Westworld it most likely won’t be a happy ending for Maeve. Also I have to mention I like the people she’s picked up along the way on her journey in season 2 so far. I loved Hector’s character since season 1 and along with the likes of Felix and Lee Sizemore it provides for an interesting group dynamic which provides for a source of humour at times.
The Man in Black
While on the subject of characters another one I need to mention is The man in Black. This is probably the character I’m least interested in so far. He was easily my favourite in the first season but now having got what he wanted with a park that now had stakes and consequences it’s hard to be invested in him. Now he’s looking for The Door after spending season 1 looking for The Maze. Although I find the flashback scenes of William investing in the park this is where I feel like the show is just in a loop characters are practically just living out the same story arc in the first season just in a different form. Knowing the show it was probably done in this way on purpose, maybe it’s leading up to his huge crescendo.
Or maybe I’m just totally wrong, I still think there’s a lot I can learn from the show and while I was initially worried about writing a piece such as this on the show I can’t help but put out there how I feel about season 2. After finishing season 1 I was contemplating if this show was in my top 5 TV shows of all time and the start of season 2 has kind of left me flat. Granted this is just the start of Westworld, I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet. I’m confident that this series will run for a number of seasons and of course I’ll be there along for the ride.
Depending on how well this article does I may just do recaps on the shows for the rest of the season, let me know if you’d like me to do that
Have you started Westworld yet?
What do you think of season 2 so far?