Westworld - Hopkins, robots, six-guns


#863

Well, given that the first season had a fairly precipitous drop in quality/appeal from the promise of the pilot to the finale, if season 2 is not as good, I’m surprised you’re surpised at the negative reception. As for the show as a whole - others have expressed it pretty clearly. It’s more than happy to play its silly mystery box games in preference to exploring in a coherent way its metaphysical themes and characters’ lives. And, for me personally, there’s another robot uprising show airing concurrently that does it so much better on a tiny fraction of the budget and with a far less prestigious cast. So of course I’m disappointed.


#864

I am being critical, and I don’t dislike the show as a whole, but I would say this show went from a 4/5 season 1 to a 3/5 season 2. Good, not great.

It feels like the show is more for people discussing the show, and less for people watching it.


#865

I thought season 1 was absolutely brilliant, and absolutely did not display any such drop-off, so, yeah, still baffled.

If we were talking True Detective s1 to s2, sure, I could see it. But we’re not even approaching that here, imo.


#866

Well, we’re sort of approaching the drop-off from the first four episodes 4 of TD S1 to the “it was the weirdo pervert, because he’s a weirdo pervert” ending, but Westworld S1 didn’t even have the sustained run of excellence that True Detective did.


#867

I strongly disagree with both the idea that True Detective s1 had any real drop-off and the idea that Westworld s1 wasn’t as consistently good.

But anyway, I am not going to be convinced that the experience I had wasn’t grade A (maybe B+ this season) TV, and I am not in need of explanation as to the negative views other people had. I have read the thread. I just don’t understand having that reaction to the show I saw. and I don’t particularly want to understand it, because it seems like a much less pleasant 11 hours to have spent.


#868

I think the drop off in True Detective was when you found out that there wasn’t some Cthulu cult thing.


#869

There was a cult, as I recall. If you were really invested in that cult having supernatural powers, then I can understand being disappointed but that’s not anything to do with the show’s quality.


#870

OK, when Bernard is woken up by Hale, presumably a week or two later

and he says “you killed her” he was referring to Elsie, but I only saw Dolores’ body there. Hence Hale’s reply of “Did I, Bernard?” She covered up Elsie’s murder, is that right? Edit: Ah, never mind, I figured out the real reason. But why does DoloresAsCharlotte shoot Bernard at the end of the scene? Not clear on that.


#871

Bernard would be detected, if they weren’t already aware he’s a host (and I think at least one person survived who would know that but I can’t recall for sure).


#872

Thanks. So he’s revived later at Arnold’s compound, it looks like? Also, toward the end of the episode, they certainly imply that…

Summary

Stubbs is himself a host, or is at least fully aware that NuCharlotte is, and that William/MiB is as well. Which would explain why he’s been shot like 12 times and is still alive.


#873

What makes the series for me, is the way it fleshes out a world set in the future. Everything builds it up and extends it, and builds on what has come before. It’s an exploration of a setting, through the story. It has consistency and a quality to it that is a culmination of decades of shallow lazily written science-fiction perhaps crippled by the networks they were shown on.

I would say that for me, Lost was the first to step outside the box and build a world within limitations with believable people within it (let’s not talk about how it arguably lost it’s way and the ending). Next for me was Game of Thrones, as an outstanding world, setting and characters that was written well and raised the bar further. And finally I would put Westworld, carrying on the raised level of quality.

In this well-made and believable exploration of a version of the future, it was a success for me, and I Iook forward to the next season. And while I liked this season fine, I did find it lacking compared to the last season. There were many things I liked about it that stood out (from William’s father in law’s tests, to the Indian dude, to the surly engineer being dragged along, to the dimensional gate like path to the simulation for the hosts) but as a show it just seemed less cohesive and less well constructed than the season before it.

The scene after the credits I also liked, with William’s daughter testing him for fidelity in the far future, calling back to his father in law being tested by him, as well as hinting to where the show was going.

I guess for me, a television experience comes down to the journey not the individual peccadilloes that raise my hackles along the way, and every show, movie or game has them. As much as I like Japan as a country, I personally find shogun-land dragging and boring and just not meshing as well as the western setting. But overall, this is a high bar in an exploration of a setting that I am more than happy with whether I would have liked to have seen it go another way or not. Looking forward to season 3!

I’d leave a final note that I found Anthony Hopkins to add a huge amount of substance and depth to the series. Without him in either season, I am not sure I would have found them as compelling. It’ll be a pity if he isn’t in the third season.


#874

It’s definitely heavily hinted that he knows about Charlotte. I don’t think you’re right about the rest of it.


#875

I phrased it poorly. Didn’t mean to say that Stubbs knew about MiB. That conclusion was more due to the voiceover by NuCharlotte.


#876

I don’t think there’s any reason to believe the current era MiB is or has ever been a host, aside from him digging around in his own arm, which does not appear to have turned up anything but blood and normal human tissue and was almost certainly him being paranoid. The post-credits scene is almost certainly a replica but is ostensibly in the far future. It’s possible he, as a controlling power in Delos, will still have some major role to play as an antagonist for the next season as the proxy for the human end of the coming conflict, though.


#877

There seems to be at least one scene of replica MiB pre-credits when he gets on the elevator as Bernard doesn’t see him get off. Then we get MiB on the beach recovering then post credits MiB getting off the elevator.


#878

Yeah. But I don’t think that means the current MiB is that replica. Just tricky editing again.


#879

It’s odd though, in that it’s him with the wounded hand… which would suggest that they made a replicant, with a crippled hand? Specifically to walk into an abandoned building?


#880

I would assume that they’re pulling the last scan data they had, which would be as he’s exiting the park. There doesn’t seem to be any other reason to use old man bodies for him or for Delos.


#881

It is odd, but I’m treating that entire post credits scene as almost non-canon for now. I mean, it’s part of the show, it happened, but from its placement and the remarks in interviews, I think it would be wrong to try to interpret anything prior to that scene in a new light based on that scene.


#882

Well, it isn’t too crazy of an idea to take in. It takes place in the far flung future, clearly they have a full copy of his personality that they can place in a host. And maybe they finally have solved the fidelity issues they were having When he was testing Delos.

But, per the interview with the creator, it takes place far in the future. Leading me to believe that eventually they do solve the whole issue with putting human minds in robot bodies, (which, over time, I am sure they would) and they were having fun calling back to when he was on the other side of the table.

I know I have sounded very down on the show, but I am not. I am just critical of its many flaws. It is still interesting enough (and well funded) to be good television with lots of action and intrigue. But boy, did this season feel like it had a lot of filler material in it. Take, for instance, the Shogun world. It was a neat setting, but nothing of consequence happened in it. Maeve saw another “mother” deal with the loss of a child, but there were no lasting consequences to what happened there, other than people being badass, and us getting swordplay for an episode. It felt fan-servicey. Had there been some macguffin in that park, or had a more consequential character joined them long-term…

The biggest problem I had with the entire season is they held off all of the consequential reveals and plot to the last 2 episodes. (heck, even the last 2 hours). I think the AV club finale review was title “On Westworld, revelations come when you most expect them” which is how the season felt.