Westworld: Season 2, Episode 10: “The Passenger” Review

This is it! It’s the moment we’ve been building to this entire season. What is the Valley Beyond? What’s The Forge? Who’s going to die or survive? Is this the end of the park? This season finale had a lot of expectations to live up to and for the most part it did for me. However I can’t help but feel that some aspects of this episode felt rushed and how the show runners started a lot of threads that they just couldn’t bring to an end in a satisfying manner to me. I don’t want to waste any more time as there is a lot of stuff to breakdown in this episode so let’s get straight into it!

Inside The Forge

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We start the episode with everyone heading to the Valley Beyond, not knowing that The Forge is the key for opening of valley. The scenes that took place within The Forge were fascinating. While The Man in Black arrives at The Forge what happens to him during this time isn’t told to us until the post credit scene. When Dolores runs into him we’re just about to find out if he’s a host or not but she interrupts that process and I’m left even more confused at the end of the episode. Dolores and Bernard are the main characters who spend most of the time there. The Forge is a facility that keeps the data of all the guests that have visited the park. It’s mentioned that it has over 4 million ‘souls’ which explains the wealth of the company because you have to think visiting the park wouldn’t be cheap at all. Inside The Forge both Dolores and Bernard visit what I would call the core of the park a much bigger version of the Cradle, under the surface and its inner-workings. This is where surprisingly enough we run into Logan who isn’t alive but is the systems A.I, he’s in control of everything. He was tasked to make the perfect replications of the guests and it took over 18 million versions to find the perfect version of James Delos. But as we saw when William was testing his own version of James Delos he would malfunction because they can’t live in the real world. However he mentions Dolores might be their best chance. We actually find out that Logan and the park under control of Bernard which was a huge revelation. As Ford told a couple of episodes ago this was now his story. He himself has been to The Forge many times and wanted Dolores to see it for herself. They literally have the guests code put down into book. I thought it was interesting how Logan explained that humans weren’t that difficult to understand. All their decisions keep leading back to the same point and it’s the hosts who are perfect. James Delos’ code is only 10,000 lines which is crazy when you think about it, all his decisions, thoughts and feelings fit into one book. Delos’ book is one amongst the millions that are also present in The Forge. The shot of the endless rows of books was great for depicting it as an actual library and it’s understandable as to why Bernard would want Dolores to come here.

The Valley Beyond – Eden

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During Bernard’s conversation with Logan it’s revealed that Bernard was the one who created the Valley Beyond or the Eden as its called, a new world for the hosts. While they can’t survive in the real world this one was created that would allow them to be free and make their own choices. It’s at this point that a crack starts to appear at the top of The Forge’s facility giving the hosts the option to jump into the Eden. Just by looking at the Eden I got this heaven like feeling from it. It was beautiful watching these hosts run into this new world. Going into the Eden would leave their lifeless bodies on the other side which explains the number of dead hosts in the valley, something that has been a key factor during this season. However not everyone was going to make it to this new world including Maeve. It was heartbreaking to watch Maeve and the people around her go out like that. I initially thought they were building up towards a stand off between Maeve and Clementine but that wasn’t the case. I love how Maeve finally got that moment with her daughter. Watching her daughter run off into the Eden while sacrificing herself was a great way for Maeve to go out. But I have to bring this up, what does death mean any more? It’s hard to feel emotionally attached with Maeve’s death when they could bring her back so easily. While everyone sees the Eden as a a new world and an opportunity to be free Dolores sees straight through it. She calls it a counterfeit world and the only world that’s real is the ones the humans belong in as she starts the process of a ‘data purge’. This leads to Bernard actually killing Dolores as his suspicions of Dolores turning into a monster becomes a reality.

The Real World – Dolores/Hale

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I’ll be honest I did not see this twist coming at all. Dolores was inside Hale?! This was so crazy and genius at the same time! I thought how this all tied in was perfect. Bernard was in charge this whole time, its been his narrative from the start. Ford was never present in this season as we thought he was, it was because Bernard wanted him to be there. It makes sense why he scrambled his memories in fear that Delos would find out what he knows. I thought it was interesting how this season was built around trying to perfect a host that could survive in the real world and it was finally achieved with Dolores in Hale’s body. Dolores reveals how she initially created Bernard with Arnold in mind and now he’s kind of done the same thing in return after he kills her in The Forge. I also want to bring up how Dolores has a change in heart, she actually saves everyone in the Eden, she beams their data far away in a place that it can’t be reached. She’s actually the hero of the season, for all this talk of her being the ‘Deathbringer’ I have to hold my hands up she won me over here with her actions. I have to eat my words again because I thought she didn’t have feelings for Teddy I thought she was just using him. It was great seeing him in the Eden and it shows Dolores’ feelings for him were genuine. Just to clear up any confusion this was made possible because she took out Teddy’s memory core at the beginning of the episode.

By the end of the episode in the current timeline (it was so hard to tell in this episode) Dolores finally leaves the park. Before she leaves the park she has a really interesting conversation with Stubbs. He implies that he could be a host but does it matter anyway? This character has been in the background for the majority of the season. Was this meant to be a huge bombshell? If so it didn’t work for me. It just goes to go show how he was protecting the hosts this whole time. As Dolores leaves the park we see in her bag she has the memory cores of 5 hosts. One of those we know for sure is Arnold/Bernard who she eventually brings back (could one of those balls be Teddy and her father Peter Abernathy). Now she’s giving him his opportunity in the real world as he programs him. Throughout the season we’ve seen scenes where Dolores is testing Bernard and this is it. They’re in the current timeline after the events of the Valley Beyond in the real world. One thing that I found really interesting with their interaction is how Dolores tells him “You’ll try to stop me and we’ll probably both die”. Implying that there will be further problems between the two characters in the future. I love how the episode ends with Arnold literally opening a door as he enters the real world which has been the main theme for the entire season.

After Credit Scene

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I’m going to be honest here I have no idea what this scene was about. During this episode while Dolores and Bernard were in The Forge we see The Man in Black also go in there and that’s it. What happens to him inside The Forge is left to our imagination. This scene clearly takes place way down the timeline in the future because The Forge as we now see it is in disarray. William is greeted by his daughter Emily who I believe is still dead but just like Logan she is present via. A.I. The scene ends with Emily running the fidelity test on William as he still has the same injuries to his hand. Honestly I don’t know what to make of this. A major theme of this episode is how humans choices leads them to a specific point, is this Williams point he keeps running into? But for William to be under the fidelity test wouldn’t that mean he’s a host? Or is he really just losing his mind and this is all in his imagination as he’s been questioning his own reality this whole time. You know what I would have been fine if the character had died in this episode. I thought it would have been the right time to bring the character’s journey to an end. When William was shown receiving help by the Delos team after the events of the Valley Beyond I was disappointed. This scene just left me with so many questions and it was kind of frustrating rather than satisfying. They can’t just seem to end one point they’re trying to make, they continue to dangle the carrot in front of us. Now we have to wait a couple of years for our answers.

Overall for the most part this was a really satisfying episode of Westworld. Was it trying to juggle too many storylines at one? Absolutely, but that’s Westworld in a nutshell. While there were some aspects that didn’t sit well with me in this episode but with the way first episode started and where we ended last night was satisfying enough for me. Retracting Bernard’s crucial steps was a great choice for this season to go in and everything surrounding it lived up to the same quality. I’m not sure if I like this season more than the first one just yet, I’ll probably leave that for a future article. But as for right now I’m kind of glad this season is over. This show is exhausting mentally and I’m happy to take a break from it for a year or so.

Let me know your thoughts on the season finale and the season as a whole

Feel free to check out my articles on season 2:

Westworld: My Thoughts On Season 2 So Far

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Phase Space’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Kiksuya’ Episode Review

Westworld: Season 2, Episode 9: “Vanishing Point” Review

Westworld: Season 2, Episode 9: “Vanishing Point” Review

The week’s episode of Westworld was nothing short of emotional. I’m still trying to collect my thoughts after what just happened. This episode has really set us up for what’s expected to be a grand finale next week. This episode was really centred around William/The Man in Black and how his life has changed since he first visited the park. This is important because it plays in with his motives for getting to the Valley Beyond, Emily and his future in the series. Also we see how the likes of Dolores and Bernard take crucial steps in the same journey towards the Valley Beyond during this episode.

Without wasting anymore time let’s get into the events of this episode!

‘One last game’

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I know William/The Man in Black is a bad guy but he really went through some stuff in this episode. The episode starts off with William and his wife who we get to see for the first time at a party in his honour. Throughout the season we have seen glimpses of the moment where William finds his wife in the bathtub but how she ends up in the bathtub and what leads to it is something we were always building up to. And finally in this episode we got our answers. Earlier in the episode Emily mentioned how her mother was a drunk and I initially thought she must have drowned in the bathtub by accident while being intoxicated. We find out that Ford is somewhat behind her death, or at least he plays a minor role. I say minor because it was evident in this episode how fractured their relationship really was. The park had torn them away from each other, William’s wife was even questioning him on if anything was real to him which is a theme that plays out later in the episode.

Although William ultimately blames himself for her death it was actually his wife finding his profile card that became the tipping point. She found out what he had been  doing in the park and how much of his activities were based around another woman (Dolores). Also with this you have the speech where William tells her that he belongs to a different world implying the park, it pushes her over the edge. It was a really emotional scene, even though William was the main cause of her death I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Something that I keep playing over in my head from this episode is Ford giving William his profile card at the bar. Even in the real world was he controlling the narrative? How would he know that his wife would find the card? Was this all apart of his “last game” for William? Either way it resulted in the death of William’s wife and while it may seem like they weren’t in love, her death has certainly impacted both him and Emily in the park.

Is this another one of your tricks Ford?

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After the showdown with Maeve and The Man in Black Emily showed up at the Ghost Nation’s camp to ‘heal’ her father. And to be fair to her she does heal her father regardless of her true intentions, which we actually find out in this episode. She doesn’t just want to leave the park with her father and go off happily in the sunset acting like nothing happened. No she truly wants to make him suffer. Emily makes it clear that she knows all of the messed up things her father and the company has done. She wants to publicly shame William and keep him in locked up just like he did with James Delos. Emily also mentions how she wants answers relating to her mother’s death. I’m not sure if that means she wants to bring her back because her mind maybe stored at the Valley Beyond. We find out in this episode that she actually blames herself for the death of her mother. I thought her relationship with her mother was great but it actually wasn’t. While William didn’t want to see his wife go into rehab Emily forced it upon her. I guess she feels like this had pushed her mother over the edge to take her own life. By the end of the episode the relationship between The Man in Black and Emily takes a turn I did not see coming at all. There has been a number of times in this season where The Man in Black has thought Ford had been playing a trick on him by talking to him through other hosts. I always thought it was just funny that he thought Ford was messing with him but in this episode it meant something darker. The Man in Black to put it simply is losing both himself and his mind in the park to the point where he kills the Delos team that arrives to help him. This tragically ends with him then killing Emily because he thought she was a host this whole time until he finds his profile card in her hand. I mean this shocked the hell out of me. It was so dark, any sympathy I had for The Man in Black is thrown out of the window at this point. The Man in Black goes on to question if anything about him is real and whether he’s making these decisions by himself. It ends of the cliffhanger of him about to cut into his to see if he’s a host. Personally I don’t think he’s a host at this point but it looks like we’ll be getting our answer next week.

Not everyone gets to make it to the Valley Beyond

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Look I knew that Dolores would be the only one to make it to the Valley Beyond amongst her group. I knew her reprogramming Teddy would comeback to haunt her in a major way and it did. Ever since Teddy mentioned how he knew she reprogrammed him the writing was on the wall. I personally thought that he would end up betraying her but to see him kill himself was shocking. I love how they did it though I must admit that. We saw how far back his love for Dolores goes even before they first met in Sweetwater. Their connection started before the park while they were getting programmed. While he can’t hurt her he knows killing himself is the only way to for him to escape this nightmare he’s been dragged into as he tells her “You’ve made me into a monster”. This scene was brutal, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Teddy. Knowing what Dolores had done to him but he still loves her at the end of the day. What I found interesting was the clear similarities between Dolores and William with how they both had a major role in the death of someone they love. We’ve seen what the death of William’s wife has done to him so it will be interesting to see how Dolores will react to Teddy’s death going forward.

The Forge

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This whole time we thought the Valley Beyond was called The Door but not anymore, Its actually called ‘The Forge’ now. What exactly is The Forge? Well it’s described as a much bigger version of the Cradle. It’s the culmination of what Delos has been doing the entire time since William took over the company. At The Forge they basically have the code of all their guests that have entered the park. It’s interesting that everyone is going there for different reasons. Dolores wants to use it against the humans while The Man in Black wants to burn it down. The Ghost Nation members who came into contact with Dolores during this episode see it as a passage to the real world. I’m still confused as to why Bernard is going there. Next episode we’ll see everyone finally meet up at The Forge and see its real purpose.

 

Overall I thought this was an excellent episode of Westworld. Leading up to the season finale this episode really tied up all the ends to the point where everyone is heading towards ‘The Forge’. The Man in Black was prominent in this episode and I think it was that way for a reason. Having seen the storyline of his wife and daughter play out I believe we’ll finally see the end of his story in the season finale. I have high expectations for next week’s episode. It’s all been building to this and I expected nothing but to be blown away at the end of the season finale.

Feel free to check out my reviews of the previous episodes

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Phase Space’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

Westworld: ‘Kiksuya’ Episode Review

 

 

 

Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

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Feel free to check out my review on the latest episode of Westworld!

via Westworld: ‘Les Écorchés’ Episode Review

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

 

 

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

Krypton Renewed For Second Season

The first season of Krypton has been a welcomed addition to the world of DC shows currently on television. As a huge Superman fan I have to admit at first I wasn’t completely sold on the concept of exploring the life of Superman’s grandfather in this technologically advanced world. But I always wanted to see a spin off television series or film that centred heavily on Krypton mainly because of Man of Steel. So far I’ve found the series really interesting and produced well, especially when it comes to the visual effects. It’s such a breath of fresh air compared to the other superhero TV shows which are currently running. So the news that he show had been renewed for a second season was a welcomed surprise to me. I have to admit in the midst of the recent controversies surrounding shows such as Gotham and Lucifer I was worried about Krypton’s future. Now that it has been renewed for a second season the world of Krypton can only get bigger. They have already introduced General Zod, Brainiac and now Doomsday in the first season. Where do they go with the season season? Do they introduce Justice League members? They referenced the Green Lantern Corps this season too. I have no idea where they go next but at the moment I’m just enjoying the ride and I can’t help but be excited about the return of Krypton next year

The season one finale of Krypton “The Phantom Zone” is set to air tomorrow night

Have you been watching Krypton?

If so what do you think os the series so far?

Let me know down below

Westworld: ‘Akane no Mal’ Episode Review

This week’s episode of Westworld ‘Akaine no Mai’ took us to a new park and adventure with the Shogun World. The Shogun World was something that was hinted at by the end of the first season and while we knew we would eventually go there I didn’t expect it to be this soon. There were high expectations going into the Shogun World from fans and did it live up to the hype? For the most part I really enjoyed what we saw from the Shogun World in this episode. It was a breath of fresh air that was needed for the series and a nice change of scenery for once. However this episode wasn’t all about the Shogun World, you also has some very interesting developments between Dolores and Teddy which are huge for Dolores’ character arc and the park as a whole. With that being said lets get into the events of this week’s episode.

Salvaging hosts

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With all the talk of Shogun World we actually start this episode outside the park. At the o beginning of the episode we are up to speed on the timeline picking up straight after the events that left the hosts dead in the valley. Delos are gathering up the hosts from the river and are pretty much salvaging them for any data and their bodies because if we think about it they don’t have any hosts sitting in reserve. We also see Delos employees cleaning up in their headquarters where the map of Westworld is located. It will be interesting to see if they’ll be able to get it all back up and running. One last thing I wanted to point out amongst the bodies that are being cleaned up we clearly see Teddy who we presume is dead. I don’t want to go into Teddy’s role in this episode just yet, I’ll come back that because it goes hand in hand with what Dolores has been doing in this episode.

Shogun World

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The majority of this episode takes place in Shogun World and I didn’t complain one bit. What I found interesting was how Shogun World wasn’t created for people to just experience this different culture. As Sizemore states they created this world for the people who felt that the original park too tame and it was a place that was built full of artificial gore. Just to provide some context the Shogun world is based on period between the 16th to 18th century Japan which is known as ‘Edo’.

This period can be best described as “During the reign of the Tokugawa Shoguns, Japan’s emperor reigned in secluded majesty at the imperial capital in Kyoto; however, the true centre of power, government, the economy and social life was Edo, where the Shogun lived and ruled the country”.

The Shogun World at first sight looks beautiful, alive and just aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However while looking closely at the environment I started to notice the clear similarities to Sweetwater. While the architecture maybe totally different to the buildings we saw in Sweetwater the layout of the town is really just a copy of how that town was laid out. This is important because a lot of what we see in the Shogun World is really just a copy of what we saw from the original Westworld park from the narratives down to the characters. This is where we run into Maeve’s group and we soon find out that they have doppelgangers who are playing out the same narrative of storming the town and stealing a safe. Akane clearly resembles Maeve as her narrative is based around her daughter Sakura who gets kidnapped. The rest of the episode is spent with the two groups working together trying to get her back from the Shogun and his army. Akane’s daughter gets kidnapped because the hosts are all going off script. The revolution that started in the first park has spread across multiple parks as we saw with the Raj world earlier this season.

Maeve’s new powers/journey

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During Maeve’s time in the Shogun World we actually find out that she has powers. At the start of the episode when she tries to control the hosts verbally it didn’t work just like with the Ghost Nation but when she does it through her mind she gets what she wants. Due to her new found powers Maeve is labelled the ‘witch’ throughout this episode. When Sakura is captured we see that Shogun has carved a cherry blossom tree into her back. I had to do some research on this because I knew this had to mean something, it’s Westworld, everything has a deeper meaning. The cherry blossom tree is common in Japanese culture and it represents ‘the fragility and the beauty of life’, ‘It’s a a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short’. We saw this with the death of Sakura by the end of the episode. Before going on to Dolores’ role in this episode there were just a couple more thing I wanted to touch on with Shogun World. The first being how Shogun just like Bernard in the first episode was leaking cortical fluid from his ear. Has he been tampered with? Or has someone else’s mind been put into his body? I guess we’ll find out soon especially with Bernard. The last thing I wanted to touch on is when Sizemore finds this device in the woods. He acted like he knew it was already there and wanted to keep it a secret from everyone else. The voice coming from the device was heavily distorted but one would have to guess it was the people back at the Delos headquarters on the other end. What the hell is Sizemore up to? I have a feeling he’s leading the group down a dangerous path.

Dolores and Teddy

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Dolores’ path to the great weapon has taken her back home to Sweetwater where it all started to look for her father. However once she gets there the town has been destroyed with only a few hosts left alive. What happened to these hosts isn’t told to but it’s a reminder that the hosts are going off script and have killed each other. But not all the hosts have gone off script as we see with Clementine’s replacement who is still on her loop as he says her staple line “Not much of a rind on you”. How are some hosts still on a loop? That part is still confusing to me. In this episode we see just how determined Dolores is trying to complete this revolution through her conversations with Teddy. She talks about how her father tried to deal with his cattle that was struck with bluetounge and Teddy stated how he would have sheltered the infected cattle. It was at this point I believe Dolores knew she couldn’t trust Teddy. He was someone that could go on to betray her and work with the humans. He could eventually be the disease that could influence the rest of the hosts who are carrying out this revolution. Teddy throughout this episode was trying to convince Dolores to take a different route and just walk away from it all as he claimed there was a spot for them in the world to live together. It did look like Dolores was going follow Teddy on his proposal, we even saw them have sex which we haven’t seen before between two hosts. But I believe she knew what she was going to do with him after their conversation about the cattle. What what exactly is done to Teddy by the end of this episode? At the beginning of the episode with the current timeline we saw Teddy’s body at the Delos facility. Dolores with the help of the tech looks to be reprogramming Teddy to get him fully on her side. I can only think that with the tablet she is raising his loyalty and possibly his aggression to the max. In future episodes we will definitely start to see a much darker version of Teddy. Ironically this means Dolores is turning into her oppressors because this is what they done to her, the constant reprogramming for what is a brutal process. It does make it hard to root for Dolores here when she is forcing people to side with her. Dolores told him “To grow we all need to suffer first” which leads me to think Teddy’s still part of her major plan. We just have to wait and see how Teddy eventually meets his demise.

Overall I thought this was a really strong episode, after last week’s episode this season is really kicking into high gear. The Shogun World was really refreshing to see and was a much needed change to what we have been accustomed to. I really enjoyed everything about the Shogun World and especially how the episode ended on that cliff hangar. I have to mention before I end this that scene where Akane gets revenge on Shogun for killing her daughter was breathtaking. Dolores’ storyline continues to keep my interest after this episode because while she’s the leader of this revolution I do think more people around her will start to question her and it will be interesting to see if she treats them in the same way she did with Teddy.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Be sure to comeback here next week for my review of the next episode!

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

Westworld: ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ Episode Review

The latest episode of Westworld maybe one of the strongest episodes of the series yet. If not then it’s at least the best episode of this season so far. While season 2 has started off slowly this weeks episode kicks the season into high gear as there is a lot of interesting stuff that is revealed going on both inside and outside the park.

With that being said lets get into the events of the latest episode of Westworld which is titled: “The Riddle of the Sphinx”

William and James Delos

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The episode starts with a montage showing the daily routine of James Delos’s (Logan’s Father). While the camera pans around this beautiful apartment you notice straight away that James isn’t well at all, this was implied in the last episode at his retirement party when he was talking to William I noticed him coughing and being short on his breath every time he spoke. It’s quite strong imagery that below the surface of this beautiful property is a man who is breaking down struggling to survive. James is soon visited by William who by this time after his first visit to the park is in full control of the company. While is isn’t spelled out straightway what’s going on jumping forward into the middle of the episode we find out that James has actually been dead for 7 years. What William has done for him looks to be groundbreaking, he’s taken his mind and put it into a hosts body. However while James appears to be healthier than ever in his new body the company’s experiment hasn’t worked as he keeps breaking down from what William calls ‘Cognitive Plateau’. This has led the company building up to 149 versions of James all with the same result. From what it looked like while his mind was implanted in this new body it was rejecting reality. William compared his condition to when someone receives a new liver and how it rejects its new body. This leads to William claiming how this whole enterprise was a failure. But what enterprise? When William and James met earlier in the season his whole aim was to store the information from the guests and sell them to marketing firms. Now that looks like it has changed, it seems like they are trying to prolong life, to make people live on forever. Or was this just a one time experiment for Mr. Delos? Also from their conversations we find out that Logan died recently due to an overdose. By the end of the episode it really feels like William is torturing James by telling him how everyone around him is dead and how “Some men are just better off dead” when he refuses to carry on this experiment. I mean as the song at the start of the episode implies William is playing with fire with this experiment by trying to stop how death works.  The scenes with these two was easily my favourite part of the episode. At times it was very emotional and I even found myself feeling sorry for Mr. James which was helped by the actor’s great performance.

The return of Elsie

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One of the episode’s biggest surprises is the return of Elsie as the last time we saw her was during season one as she was being choked out. At the time we didn’t know who by because we weren’t sure is Bernard was a host at the time but she did confirm it was him who attacked her in this episode. As for Bernard his condition isn’t improving at all as he is in need of cardinal fluid, he cannot even recall what he did to Elsie. It’s revealed that through Bernard Ford has been protecting Elsie this whole time because of what she knows about the park. Either way Elsie still doesn’t trust Bernard and to be honest I don’t either. Their scenes take place in this lab which at first I thought was the same lab Bernard and Charlotte were in earlier this season. As we start to see flashbacks from another timeline it’s shown how Bernard kills everyone in the lab. It also looks like they were creating these new devices in the lab. These new devices could be used to store the mind of people which is then put into a new body like we saw with Mr. Delos. This theory seems more plausible because by the end of this episode we find out that this lab was the place that was used to keep Mr. Delos in. It’s revelations such as this that make me love the show in general. I honestly paid it no mind where he was located at the start of the episode because I didn’t think it was that important. To find out he was in the park all this time was a great reveal. By the end of the episode as Elsie is still finding it hard to trust Bernard he says “For the first time I get to decide who I want to be”. Has Bernard reached full consciousness already? Personally I don’t think so as I feel Ford is still in control of his actions and will be for the rest of this season.

The Man in Black’s journey

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The Man in Black or William as we also know him really took centre stage of this episode both when he’s inside and outside the park. Going back into the park we follow his journey to find ‘The Door’ and he runs into the Confederados who have occupied Lawrence’s hometown. Ironically they’re the same members that Teddy let go in the last episode. Maybe Dolores was right and he should’ve killed them because once they find Lawrence’s hometown they do nothing but take out their frustrations from being betrayed by Dolores on the locals. What I found most interesting about the scenes with the Confederados is how the leader whose name is currently slipping my mind acts exactly how The Man in Black did when he visited the same town in the first season. One clear similarity is how he starts to dance with Lawrence’s wife which is exactly what The Man in Black did too. However unlike his actions in season one this time The Man in Black has somewhat had a change in heart and actually saves Lawrence and his wife. During her rescue we are shown footage of William running up the stairs to find his wife who had committed suicide. While he couldn’t save his own wife’s life I thought it was a nice touch that this time he was able to save Lawrence’s wife. However what does this mean for the Man in Black? Has he changed now? He claimed at the beginning of the season how the journey would let him wipe the slate clean but that’s not the case. Acts such as saving Lawrence and his family don’t outweigh everything else he’s done in the park. This is shown as Ford takes control over Lawrence’s daughter and tells him “One good deed doesn’t change that” and that he’s looking in the wrong direction. It will be interesting to see how he acts going forward. One last thing I want to add is how last time when The Man in Black was looking to recruit Confederados for his journey Ford took over and killed them. However by the end of this episode when he recruits Lawrence and his cousins Ford doesn’t intervene. Has he passed one of Ford’s tests? I found this really interesting.

The Man in Black’s daughter

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Speaking of going forward we finally get to find out who Grace really is. Having first being introduced to her in the first episode where she was in the Raj world I just knew she was linked to the park in someway. And it turns out she’s the daughter of the Man in Black. Given the circumstances of her mother’s death you can tell their relationship isn’t the best as even The Man in Black at one point during the episode claims his daughter wouldn’t mind seeing him be gunned down. Also there isn’t this emotional embrace when they see each other, you wouldn’t think they were father and daughter by the way they acted in this scene. It will be interesting to see throughout the rest of the season if their relationship will develop or not. One question I want answered about Grace is what’s she doing in the park? Did she go out of her way to look for her dad? What’s the deal? Also one last aspect that links in with Grace from this episode which I found interesting was we finally get to see the role of the Ghost Nation in the park. Instead of killing the humans they’re in fact protecting them playing a security role, it looks like they’re under the control of Ford. Of course while Ford isn’t physically at the park his presence is still felt because after all this is his narrative.

Overall I thought this was a really good episode, it might be one of my favourite episodes of the series so far. It’s definitely the strongest episode of the season so far and while the season started off slow this episode provides for a great watching that should satisfy all fans and have them greatly anticipating the next episode.

Let me know your thoughts on last night’s episode of Westworld.

Be sure to come back here again next week for my review of the next episode.

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Westworld: My Thoughts On Season 2 So Far

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

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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?

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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/Wyatt’s storyline

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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

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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

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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?