Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What I’m Watching: Westworld (Season Premiere)

Westworld: Season 2, Episode 1 “Journey Into Night” (B+)

It’s fair to say this was a highly anticipated premiere. I thought the first season of this show was excellent, and was sad to see it get nominated for so many awards and then win so few. Fortunately, it’s back for a second season, and with “Game of Thrones” out of commission for a year (though facing off against it for its previous season at the Emmys this fall), this is sure to be the HBO show with crazy twists that everyone is talking about. It’s so incredible to see what has become of this theme park following the events of the season one finale, with hosts running wild and the board members attending the event within the park being hunted and executed. Dolores in particular is taking power, explaining to Teddy that she has her memories and that it’s their turn to make the guests feel pain and misery. It’s frightening to see that, but equally fascinating because of how docile a character she once was. Bernard is getting a much more central role, and the fact that we know that this show isn’t presented in a narrative format doesn’t actually make it any easier to understand. We’re seeing him at two different times, one following Karl around during cleanup and apparently featuring him confessing to killing everyone, and in the immediate aftermath of the massacre being told by a very self-assured Charlotte that he doesn’t actually have any idea what’s going on in Westworld. The fact that we know he’s a host is particularly mesmerizing, and I’m curious to see how that plays out this season. The Man in Black surviving is a good thing for humanity, though it’s not clear if he actually wants to save anyone else. And Maeve continues to be the show’s best character, teaming up with Hector and making Lee feel what she’s had to as she enlists him as her personal escort. This is sure to be a mind-bending, immensely captivating season after this start.