Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

This week’s episode of Westworld ‘Les Écorchés’ was huge for the park and the future of the series. In this episode a number of characters take a crucial step in reaching the Valley Beyond. However while all this is going on Ford is back and he’s in charge of the main narrative taking place. This may not have been one of the best episodes of the seasons so far but it sure was eventful and does throw the future of the park into jeopardy

Inside the Cradle: Bernard/Ford

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Last week we were left with the bombshell of Ford’s return. Now I for one wasn’t too shocked because Ford has been working in the background this whole season because it’s his narrative. But to see Anthony Hopkins himself return to the screen in the park was a welcomed surprise. This episode picks up with Bernard further exploring what’s inside the cradle. As suspected last week this is a backup world with the copies of all the hosts and their narratives. I love the conversations here between Bernard and Ford in the cradle. Ford clearly sees himself as a god-like figure in the park and that’s because he pretty much is. He claims “I don’t think god rested on the seventh day Bernard, I think he revelled in his creations” as he sits in the saloon watching the other hosts go amongst their loops. He also mentions how he knows one day it will all be destroyed which plays out in the end of the episode because this is what Ford wants. When the backups are finally destroyed the hosts will able to break free.

One of the most important things we learned here is that the park isn’t for the guests, its for the hosts. They are the ones in control and Ford describes the guests as the variables. He claims how everything in the world has been copied except for the human mind. This is what we saw William struggling with earlier this season when he was trying to copy James Delos’ mind into a new body. It actually makes more sense when Dolores says to Charlotte how the humans want to copy the host since they are perfect but they can’t achieve fidelity… except for Bernard? We see flashbacks of Bernard being programmed by Dolores to my surprise. She too has been doing the fidelity test on Bernard and both her and Ford have created him from their memories of Arnold as Dolores tell him “You’re almost the man I remember”. So has Ford achieved fidelity with Bernard? Is this even the same Bernard since we are shown a room full of Bernard’s later on. But how much of what we have seen from Bernard this season is actually him? We see in this episode how Ford has been controlling him throughout the season. He told Bernard this is his story now but Ford is still the main person in control. He even takes over Bernard’s actions by killing the security team at Delos. This leads to me think when the season started at the Valley Beyond and Bernard says “I think I killed them” clearly it was Ford that made him do it. But how much of a bad guy is Ford really? He lets the Cradle get destroyed because it has to be burnt down first for the hosts to gain freedom. Now Bernard is instructed to go to the Valley Beyond which looks set to be the climax of this season as Dolores, The Man in Black and now Ford/Bernard are all heading there for different reasons.

Maeve and The Man in Black showdown

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There has been a lot of callbacks to season 1 during this season but none had quite the effect on me when Maeve and The Man in Black meet again. This memory of The Man in Black killing her daughter is at her core and to see it almost play out again was so emotional. I love how when they meet William thinks Ford is playing a trick on him again. The Man in Black this time isn’t here to kill Maeve, he barely even acknowledges her. Maeve is the one who strikes first because of course all she knows is that he takes her daughter’s life. The stand off between these two characters is great too. I love how Maeve uses her powers especially when it comes to Lawrence by making him search within himself to see how The Man in Black previously treated him in season 1. However with as much praise I have given this ‘showdown’ I do have my issues with it. I personally thought they should have killed off The Man in Black. That would have been a bold move for the show runners to take. To have him on the brink of death knowing he’ll probably survive was a let down, I thought this could have been a great ending for the character. I mean he got shot multiple times and with there being no rules in the park anymore how can he survive after that? Someone has to turn up that ends up helping him, I wouldn’t put it past Emily finding him again. I also found it interesting that when Sizemore and the Delos team arrive to take Maeve after Ghost Nation takes her daughter no one pays The Man in Black any attention. I mean did they just not see him? Isn’t this still the owner of the company? You would think him dying would have huge ramifications for the future of the park.

Dolores’ attack on the Masa

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In this episode we finally get some closure with Dolores finding her father. Knowing this show I honestly thought they wouldn’t get to meet again. But her assault on the Masa was brutal, her and Teddy really took no prisoners. As she states what’s inside Abernathy’s head is the ‘key’. The key to what? We don’t know yet, all we know is that key will be used at the Valley Beyond. It’s interesting that people believe his memory unit is used for various things. Charlotte claims what’s in his memory unit is a ‘failsafe’ or as she puts it an encryption key which is used in times of disasters. To be honest I don’t believe a word Charlotte says, she just comes across as someone who is so untrustworthy. During Dolores’ raid on the Masa the Cradle actually gets blown up so according to Ford the hosts are free now. By watching Dolores’ and Maeve’s interaction by the end of the episode I noticed something interesting. She lets Maeve live while claiming the humans would use her as a powerful weapon against them. I can’t remember Dolores killing any other hosts. For as much as she’s depicted as a bad person she’s really fighting for her people. Or does she feel guilty for the way she treated Teddy? But leaving Maeve behind could comeback to haunt her because Sizemore seems like he’s going to help her but for who? For himself? Or for Maeve to find her daughter again. Before I finish this review I have to praise the scenes between Dolores and Peter Abernathy. Both actors were so great with their performances, although they haven’t had much screen time together throughout the series I couldn’t help but feel sorry for both of them in his final scene. It also goes to show how Dolores is willing to do anything for her cause as Abernathy takes his last breath. Even though he can be easily brought back I think that’s the last we have seen of him in this series.

Overall this was another really strong episode of Westworld. Honestly at times this felt like it could be the season finale. Bernard is taking centre stage for this season and I’m completely fine with that. At first when the season started and it looked like it was all leading up to the events that take place at the Valley Beyond I was skeptical. But as the season has gone on I’m loving where this is going. By the end of the episode Bernard is being interrogated by Charlotte and he gives up the location of the memory unit which will lead them back to the Vally Beyond. With the last couple of episodes being so action packed I’m expecting a more calm episode next week but if Dolores and Charlotte’s team cross paths again I’m pretty sure we’ll witness an all out war that will end things for good this time.

Let me know your thoughts on this week’s episode

Feel free to check out my reviews for the previous episodes:

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Phase Space’ Episode Review

Westworld: My Thoughts On Season 2 So Far

 

 

Jared Leto To Get Standalone Joker Movie

A solo Joker movie is something that is clearly high up on the list of priorities in the boardrooms of Warner Bros. It was reported a couple of months ago that the studio were developing a solo Joker movie but with a different actor. While it was never confirmed there were reports of the studio talking to Joaquin Phoenix for the role. It was even reported at some point that a script would be submitted soon and production would start later this year. As if fans weren’t confused enough with this potential Joker movie Variety today has reported that the studio are developing a solo Joker movie starring Jared Leto. This movie is set to take place within a universe which consists of the characters form Suicide Squad. I’m all for Jared Leto getting another chance with the Joker role but a whole movie? I thought this would have been a perfect opportunity to put him as the main villain for the Suicide Squad sequel, learning from their previous mistakes. Suicide Squad 2 is still in development and according to reports it should go into production later this year. It will be interesting to see his role in this film. As for what I would prefer? I rather go with Leto’s Joker playing a more prominent role in Suicide Squad 2. I can’t lie though a solo Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, produced by Martin Scorsese set in the 80’s does sound like a great idea. But I think ultimately they need to set their sights on one solid idea. I mean there are more characters in the DC universe that deserve this kind of priority.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below

Feel free to check out my other articles on the potential solo Joker movie:

Do we need a Joker origin film?

The Joker film picks up pace as a script is set to be submitted next week

 

 

Rumour: Penguin To Be The Main Villain In ‘The Batman’

The Batman movie which will be directed by Matt Reeves is slowly becoming one of the most anticipated comic book movies ever. One question that has been on the minds of Batman fans like myself is “Who are they going to pick as the main villain?”. Batman to this day still has one of the strongest rogues gallery when it comes to main villains. Matt Reeves is really spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the main villain for this film. while we haven’t had much information on the film so far Justin Kroll who is pretty reliable might have just revealed the main villain for The Batman movie.

The last time we saw the Penguin on the big screen was back in 1992 with Batman Returns. Penguin would make a formidable opponent for Batman even if he doesn’t look like it. Depending on how the character will be portrayed Cobblepot is someone that can grow to have extensive political influence along with his wealth. One thing to note is Penguin usually surrounds himself with henchmen. I bring this up because it will be interesting to see if they pair him up with another villain. Could we possibly see the Penguin and the Riddler team up against Batman. If not you could also throw the likes of Hugo Strange or Black Mask in the mix. Just the thought of pairing up these villains against Batman has me excited. Now as for who would play the Penguin I’ve seen some fans mention Josh Gad names which I would be fine with. But as we know with the DCEU as Justin Kroll states they could changed plans tomorrow. We just have to be patient, this movie will be ready when Matt Reeves feels like it’s ready.

Here’s a brief background on Cobblepot (via. Wikipedia)

The Penguin is a master criminal who aspires to be wealthy, powerful and respected (or at least feared) by Gotham’s high society. The Penguin’s wealth gives him access to better resources than most other Batman villains, and he is able to mix with Gotham’s elite, especially those he plans to target in his future crimes. He is also capable of returning to his luxurious lifestyle very easily despite his violent criminal history and prison record. He has even attempted multiple times to enter the political world, even launching expensive election campaigns. The Penguin also has strong connections with other criminal kingpins across Gotham, allowing him to hire their assassins and workers or to spy on them easily. The Penguin relies on cunning, wit, and intimidation to exploit his surroundings for profit, and despite his short temper, he is normally depicted as being more rational and sane than other Batman villains, or at least relatively so.

Although he often delegates the dirty work to his henchmen, he is not above taking aggressive and lethal actions on his own, especially when provoked. In spite of his appearance and stature, he is a dangerous hand-to-hand combatant with enough self-taught skills in judo, fencing, ninjutsu and bare-knuckle boxing to overwhelm attackers many times his size and physical bearing. The Penguin is usually portrayed as a capable physical combatant when he feels the situation calls for it, but his level of skill varies widely depending on the author; the character has been written both as a physical match for Batman and as someone the masked vigilante is capable of defeating with a solid punch. His crimes often revolve around stealing valuable bird-related items and his car and other vehicles often have an avian theme

Let me know your thoughts on this rumour

Do you think the Penguin would make a great main villain for The Batman movie?

Westworld: ‘Phase Space’ Episode Review

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This week’s episode of Westworld which is titled ‘Phase Space’ continues the strong pace that has been set by the three previous episodes. The season is getting much stronger with each episode. I feel like I’m saying this every week but this week’s episode could be the best one yet of the season so far. As for importance it’s definitely up there, there was a lot of significant stuff that happened in this episode. From Westworld to Shogun World to the real world this episode took us everywhere. With that being said lets get into the events of ‘Phase Space’.

Maeve meets her daughter/Shogun World

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I’m actually surprised that we got to visit Shogun World again in this episode. With this season it feels like the episodes have been split up for specific characters. For example you would have an episode that is solely dedicated to The Man in Black and in other episodes they would focus on Dolores and Teddy. So having just left Shogun World in the last episode I was surprised to see it featured again so soon in last night’s episode. We ended the last episode with the death of Sakura and Shogun’s army charging Maeve. While Maeve had discovered her new powers I didn’t think she would be able to take on a whole army. But she did as the episode shows us Maeve standing in the centre of the screen surrounded by the lifeless bodies of Shogun’s army. I would have to say that Maeve is pretty much unstoppable right now. What I like the most about this episode is how its focused on the hosts making choices for themselves and choosing their own paths. Akane who finally lays her daughter to rest actually decides to stay with her in the place Sakura described as where she finds peace. One line that both Akane and Maeve say I want to focus on in particular is “We each deserve to choose our fate… Even if that fate is death”. I love this line because it not only relates to these two character but to pretty much everyone else in the park. Dolores, Teddy, and the Man in Black are living by this line which I will go into greater detail later on when I talk about their journeys in this episode.

In this episode we finally get to see Maeve meet her daughter for what feels like the first time. If you thought this would be a happy ending what show have you been watching? We knew this wasn’t going to pan out as Maeve wanted. Her daughter does not even recognise her and to make things worse Maeve’s role as her mother has been replaced by another host. Given Sizemore is in charge of all the narratives that take place in Westworld did he know this all along? After all he does call back to Delos at the end of the episode calling for help. Is he in fear that Maeve will finally find out that he was playing her this whole time? When Maeve realises she has been replaced she doesn’t have time to react because the same loop that was playing out in her original narrative starts to play out for replacement. The Ghost Nation arrive but this time I have to mention it’s a different Ghost Nation. They aren’t here to kill anyone, instead it looks like they’re here to recruit Maeve. The Ghost Nation leader tells Maeve “We’re on the same path”. We know the Ghost Nation have been playing this security type of role in the park this season but who are they controlled by? Is it Dolores or Ford that is pulling the strings?

Dolores and Teddy

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The last time we saw Teddy he was being reprogrammed Dolores and the Delos tech employee. If you don’t remember they increased his cruelty and aggression to the maximum. I personally couldn’t wait to see this new side of Teddy. I feel both the actor and the character have been wasted in this series so far. This new Teddy is brutal as he just executes a guard who Dolores was questioning without flinching. After he kills this person Dolores has a look on her face as if she’s thinking if she made a mistake by reprogramming Teddy. One thing I found interesting is that Teddy knows he’s been reprogrammed by Dolores. He states how he wanted to leave this place but “I guess you fixed that too”. This is dangerous for Dolores because I think this will end up blowing up in her face. By the end of the episode after he shows the Delos tech ‘mercy’ on the train they finally arrive at the Delos headquarter outside the park. I thought the build up to this was great, Delos finally get back control over the park’s map and you see this red blip moving towards the edge of the map and we find out that it’s actually the train. Dolores stated she was coming for her father and it just so happens that her father is at the headquarters too. Bernard is there too, I love how all this is coming together. I can’t wait to see Dolores and Bernard meet again.

Family Reunion (The Man in Black and Emily)

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I couldn’t wait to see the impact of The Man in Black’s daughter showing up for the character. I love how at first he thinks Ford is playing one of his tricks on him. But we soon find out that she’s real, not that I ever doubted her. With this episode we really get to find out a lot about their relationship which I loved. She initially blamed him for her mother’s death which she later apologises for. We also find out why she’s in the park to begin with. She claims Charlotte Hale invited her and this was a way for her to get her father back. The park has caused so much damage to their family she doesn’t want him to go out in the say way. Emily claims what he’s doing right now is pretty much suicide by robot. This isn’t Emily’s first time at the park. She came here multiple times as a kid and as we first saw her in the Raj World she claims it was her favourite park. I also found it interesting how she mentioned that her father didn’t drink in the real world but does in the park. You have think that he drinks in here because he feels responsible for his wife’s death. Although it may seem like Emily got through to her father by forcing him to leave the park The Man in Black continues on his journey as he abandons Emily over night. Not even his daughter is enough for him to leave the park at this point. This world has really destroyed both him and his family. It will be interesting to see if Emily continues to tack down her father. By their earlier conversations her sole purpose was for them to leave together so I think we’ll seem them run into each other again by the end of the season.

“Hello old friend”

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Ford is back! Well at least for now. I want to comeback to this reveal by the end of this paragraph because it ties in with what Bernard and Elsie were doing throughout the episode. Bernard and Elsie make it back to the Delos headquarters ironically through the same tunnel in which Dolores’ train crashes through. For the most part while their screen time is brief in this episode they might have the most important scenes. They come to find out that the park as a whole has been taken control over by someone or something. Elsie is constantly being blocked by the cradle whenever she is trying to take control over the infrastructure. Bernard forces Elsie to perform a auto-extraction where she takes out his memory core. What happens next is still confusing to me if I’m being honest. When Bernard shows up at Sweetwater I thought they were showing him entering the park for the first time after helping create it. The same narrative of Teddy bumping into Dolores is playing as we’ve seen a million time before. And Ford is there playing the piano.

I have to point out how earlier in the episode Dolores was also playing the piano just like Ford is at the end of the episode, some clear foreshadowing there. But back to the cliffhanger of the episode with Ford’s return. After doing some research this park Bernard is in is clearly a backup for the actual park. Therefore they have the copies of the original hosts along with their narratives. At some point Ford must have uploaded himself to the park by creating a new body with the cradle. If you think back to season 1 especially with the death of Theresa in the basement, Ford has his own cradle. There was a couple of shots showing the cradle creating a new host but we never got to see the face or the process finish, one would have to think Ford was building a copy of himself and put himself in this back up world so he can still be effective in the the park. I know that sounds confusing because it is. Again I may not even have the answers I could be wrong please feel free to correct me. This could be dangerous for Ford though because if the Delos employees find out about this couldn’t they have access to this backup world? Before I end this I also want to bring up what we saw at the beginning of the episode with Dolores interviewing Bernard. This raises so many questions. Is this occurring in the current timeline? Does Dolores once invading Delos get her hands on the cradle and is able to create her own hosts? Is she trying to bring back Arnold in some way? Right now I have no idea but I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

Overall I thought this was a very eventful episode. What is that three in a row now? This season of Westworld while it started slowly is on pace to be better than the first in my opinion. So much has happened already and we still have four episodes remaining. I haven’t enjoyed breaking down a shows like this in a long time. I can’t wait to see what happens next week in particular with Delores showing up outside the park.

Let me know your thoughts on this week’s episode

Feel free to check out my reviews for the previous episodes

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

Westworld: My Thoughts On Season 2 So Far

Revisiting Spider-Man: Homecoming

Check out my thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming after I watched it again recently via Revisiting Spider-Man: Homecoming

Chris Pine Spotted On The Set Of Wonder Woman Sequel

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The sequel for the highly anticipated Wonder Woman movie is about to start shooting. While Wonder Woman herself (Gal Gadot) will obviously return there’s one character that looks set to be returning which has left many fans scratching their heads. A couple of months ago a production sheet for the Wonder Woman sequel leaked. One thing that stood out from the cast list was that Chris Pine’s name was present. Now the document was never proved to be a real or a fake but leaked set photos would prove that this leak was right. I can’t post the images and videos of Chris on set here but believe me it’s real footage and he’s present on set. You can just do a quick Google and see for yourself.

Now what has fans confused of course is how Steve Trevor died at the end of Wonder Woman. It would be understandable for the character to return if the sequel was set before the first movie. But it has been confirmed that the sequel will be set in the 1980s which just raises further questions about his role and purpose in this movie. I believe his character will be used for flashback scenes at best. I’ve also seen some theories from fans online stating Steve Trevor could be used as an illusion against Wonder Woman. I hope his character has a minor role in the movie. As much as I loved Steve Trevor in the first movie I don’t want to see him return to be honest. I felt the way they handled his death was great, I loved his final scene with Diana. Bringing him back would hurt everything that I love about the scene especially its emotional impact.

But hey that’s just my opinion, you may feel differently.

Let me know your thoughts on Steve Trevor’s return down below.

Wonder Woman 2 is set to be released November 1, 2019

The Synopsis For Avengers 4 Revealed

If you’re still recovering from the events of Avengers: Infinity War I don’t blame you, you’re not alone there. But there’s also this little movie coming out next year called Avengers 4 which will pick up after the events of Infinity War. While it hasn’t been confirmed as a part two it has to be considering the way Infinity War ended. We don’t have the official title for Avengers 4 yet as the Russos are still keeping it under wraps but today the synopsis for the movie has been revealed in Licensing Magazine

The official synopsis for Avengers 4 is:

“A culmination of 22 interconnected films, the fourth instalment of the Avengers saga will draw audiences to witness the turning point of this epic journey. Our beloved heroes will truly understand how fragile this reality is, and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it.”

This is worrying because it clearly states that some sacrifices will have to be made and I believe this time for real. Some Avengers are going to die for good in this movie with my main prediction being Cap. The “turning point” in the synopsis could be describing how the Avengers will have to go back in time through the Quantum Realm which is just my guess from the set photos that have already surfaced. If they’re going with the time travel route there will have to be consequences for going back in time.

Let me know your thoughts on the synopsis for Avengers

Have you got any early predictions/theories?

Check out my article on the importance of the Quantum Realm and Ant-Man in Avengers 4

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Check out my review on the latest episode of Westworld!

via Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review