Friday, May 18, 2018

What I’m Watching: Westworld

Westworld: Season 2, Episode 4 “The Riddle of the Sphinx” (B+)

One of my favorite things that shows can do is to bring back a character that was presumed dead or simply written out of the storyline but whose death or departure was never actually shown. I did wonder why it was that Shannon Woodward, who was great on shows like “The Riches” and “Raising Hope,” had such a small role in season one before being apparently taken out by a mysterious figure later revealed to be Bernard. The fact that he was able to subvert his programming enough to chain her up and keep her alive was great, and she’s understandably very pissed. It’s helpful for Bernard to have someone around who understands what’s going on and can speak his language, though we’re seeing that he’s experiencing quite a few glitches which make him experience time in a non-linear fashion, which suggests that Elsie may well no longer be alive since he doesn’t know what’s now and what already happened, including his own murder of a scientist. Without either Dolores or Maeve to anchor the episode, we saw more of William and his efforts to get to Glory, saving Lawrence and his family from Craddock, who was on the warpath, only to be told by Ford, speaking through Lawrence’s daughter, that he was on the wrong track. Watching William, first in his youthful form and then as the Man in Black, have the same conversation with Delos over and over again, was mesmerizing but also indicative of just how much he wanted to perfect this recreation of a person’s life that experienced just as many hiccups as Bernard seems to be. It’s helpful to see plotlines coming together, like the tiger hunter who managed to escape her Native American captors turning out to be none other than William’s daughter, a truly intriguing revelation.

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