Is west world even west world if it’s not trying to break your brain? It’s a valid question, and I think “no” would be a valid answer. But ever since the show left the park at the end of season two to dystopia from the real world, the third season felt like everything was a mystery until the last few episodes, leaving the answers feeling unsatisfactory or undeserved. That season four has arrivedit seems clear that the show knows it can’t be completely mind boggling and needs some answers be satisfactory. Which, while great, isn’t nearly as satisfying as where the show is go†
Actually, it’s quite impressive that “Well Enough Alone” is as awesome as it is when it mainly focuses on just three characters and two storylines, namely William (Ed Harris) the host (minion of the man-hating, Dolores-corrupted control unit in the body of Charlotte Hale) and then the further adventures of Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul). There are a few brief check-ins with Dolores lookalike Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) where she hears an unhoused person on the street rant about a tower, just like Peter did the stalker who turned suicide in the premiere last week. Then Christina checks in her work’s archives and discoveries she actually wrote a story about a man named Peter who lost everything, became obsessed with a woman and committed suicide. Finally, she visits the hospital where Peter left his money, only to find that the hospital has long been abandoned and that the wing of the annex, funded by Peter and dedicated to him, was built even earlier.
It’s a mystery to be sure – along with whatever hell is Christina’s relationship with Dolores – but the other two storylines are full of answers, starting with William visiting Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) the Host, who lives quietly in a Spanish-speaking country… until the Host in Black finds her tracks down, asks to know where Maeve is, and shoots Clementine in the head when she doesn’t answer.
Soon, Maeve and Caleb visit a senator and his wife to find out that they are both secretly Hosts who work for William and Hale (Tessa Thompson), but have been upgraded so that Maeve can’t use her tech magic to mentally disable them. at least not easily. The hostess is murdered and Maeve searches the host senator’s memory banks to discover that William had killed the original senator; the woman was about to be killed too, except Hale arrives and ominously tells her to take her to the barn in the back, as “cattle” for an experiment the host’s leader wanted to try.
Maeve and Caleb go to the shed, where they see only the results of this experiment, and they are… chilly† The senator’s wife slaughtered all her horses; when Maeve and Caleb take her out, she doesn’t remember doing it. But then she gives the duo a message: they are invited to a meeting because their “old friend” Don Giovanni wants to meet them. When Caleb declines the woman’s request to put her out of her misery, she attacks Caleb with a knife until Maeve shoots her in the head.
If I had to guess, Hale was trying to figure out a way to program and control humans, just as humans had programmed and controlled hosts. It wasn’t a complete success because the senator’s wife was broken by the experiment, but it’s clear that Hale isn’t concerned about collateral damage, especially to humans.
After an obviously reprogrammed Clementine rejects an angry Deputy Counter-Terrorism Assistant from meeting William, none other than the Vice President of the United States personally visits the Delos chief honcho on his golf course with a polite request to cease his activities. , such as buying the Hoover Dam and surrounding properties. (The Veep implies that William is building a new park, but this time in America rather than safely offshore, where the depravity and chaos are more easily ignored.) , the Veep threatens to leak information the Man in Black would ruin… but then he turns and sees that Clementine killed his Secret Service bodyguards, and William smashes his head in with a golf club. As for the deputy assistant, Hale later shows up in his car, holds him and lets a fly crawl into the man’s eyeball. When the Veep and Assistant appear later, they – or, of course, their host replacement – have approved everything William has done, and Hale’s plan is immediately carried out.
While the role of the flies is still mind-boggling — and extremely horrifying — and we don’t know exactly what Hale is up to specifically, she lets us know what she hopes to achieve: to create a world where her “children” are safe from humans. She doesn’t want to kill all people or replace all people with Hosts as that would be pointless, but she will kill as many of those in power as possible and replace them with Hosts under her control if necessary. And she tells all this to the real William (or probably real William, but definitely the same William who decided his mission was to kill all the Hosts and got his throat slit in the season three finale). He is alive and thoroughly locked in some sort of sci-fi suit held by one of the Host-making rings. And then Hale stuns him and puts him back west worldThe equivalent of freezing carbon.
It’s good stuff, but it can’t quite match the thrill of what happens when Maeve and Caleb attend the mysterious party in Los Angeles. It’s a chic chic cocktail bar full of equally beautiful, classy people, but no hosts. The two are stunned until the bar suddenly swings and Maeve quickly understands what’s going on: They’re on a train to a park. And not just any park, but a brand new park built by William based on the 1920s and the mobsters who dominated it.
There’s so much fun about this! It was a surprise to find that Maeve and Caleb had unknowingly boarded a train to a park, it was unnerving to realize that this top secret train was in downtown Los Angeles, and it was a thrill to see the skyline of Los Angeles. to see the 1920’s, even if we knew visiting this particular park was on the way. But what I especially liked was the return of Lili Simmons (who played “New Clem” after the original Clementine was removed from the park in season one).† in the role of the host who greets newcomers to the park – like the character played by Talulah Riley who initially welcomed young William and Logan return in season one. She leads Maeve and Caleb into a replica of the same registration room we saw in the second installment of the series, but this time it has more clothes and weapons that fit the twenties. However, it still has the same choice: white hat or black hat? Caleb’s choice: “I’m not much of a hat person.”
I do not think so west world can really be rated until the end of the season as the episodes are usually more than the sum of its parts. That said, I really enjoyed these first two episodes of season four, and considering they make up 25 percent of the eight-episode season, that’s not unimportant. I’m thankful we’re getting enough answers to feel like the story is really moving forward, while still being teased with enough mysteries to keep viewers invested in finding out what’s going on. The show strikes an excellent balance between the two, leaving viewers satisfied but also irritable. I don’t know if the major mysteries of the season – especially of course what the hell is going on with Christina – will be worth while at the end, but I’m hopeful. See you next week… in Mobland.
- mob world? Mafia world? gangster world? The Roaring’20s world? I’m betting on Mobworld.
- The senator tells Maeve and Caleb that there are currently 249 hosts like him in the world. Do you think he only means Hosts in total, or Hosts ordered by Hale to bring about her “New World”? I’m assuming the latter, which is extremely bad news.
- Ed Harris is the MVP of the episode, just hugely entertaining from start to finish. When the (real) senator to his old “Happy wife, happy life!” saw, the way he pronounces “My wife” dead” stands for perfection.
- I’ll attribute this to the writers, but the golf scene is perfect too. The vice president scolds William when he hits a hole-in-one. The Veep’s mouth falls open, completely taken aback by the shot. As the conversation escalates, William punches a second hole-in-one, and the Veep stares at it incredulously. And when the Veep starts uttering outright threats, William hits a third hole-in-one — and the vice president slowly realizes that no human can make three holes-in-one in a row. Awesome!
- It was cool to see the hat selection again, but I don’t think many people wore white hats in the 1920s. Certainly not as much as black.
- Just a reminder that I called William all alive after his throat was slit in the season three season finale and I’m not over it beaming.
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