Friday, June 1, 2018

What I’m Watching: Westworld

Westworld: Season 2, Episode 6 “Phase Space” (B+)

Not getting to this show until four days after it aired, I accidentally glimpsed a few headlines declaring a shocking return appearance, which of course happened in the last seconds of the hour, but fortunately I managed to avoid learning the character’s identity. Ultimately, it’s hardly a shock that Anthony Hopkins would continue to be involved with this show given Robert Ford’s instrumental role in making the parks what they are, and it’s also hard to trust Bernard’s experiences as indicative of when they take place, meaning that Ford may well not be reincarnated but simply existing in a time before he was killed by Dolores. Bernard seemed very ready to subject himself to immense pain in order to help Elsie figure out what was going on, and it still feels very risky for anyone to be traipsing around the facilities when there are dead bodies lying around everywhere and no sign of an end to this conflict anytime soon. Charlotte got Peter secured in a pretty brutal way, and let’s hope that the transfer of this most wanted host means that some sort of backup is indeed ready to kick into gear. I was relieved to see an episode that pulled back from Maeve’s adventures in Shogun World since the host-host interactions aren’t nearly as compelling as the host-guest scenes. I don’t think we need to see hands and heads cut off when we could be watching techs disagreeing about whether to help sympathetic hosts defend themselves against threats from other hosts. As he should, the rebooted Teddy is feeling very resentful towards Dolores for reprogramming him, no longer subject to the same kindhearted inclinations he used to be. It was intriguing as always to see Dolores in one of her familiar conversations with Bernard, in which she stopped him to freeze his motor functions and test his fidelity. William isn’t doing himself any favors by believing that his daughter is Ford talking to her through a host and then leaving her behind since he really could use allies to stay alive and achieve his ultimate aims.

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