Westworld: Nightmares & Fantasies

Episode two of the new HBO series Westworld was released online this weekend to stop it clashing with the presidential debate. (If you haven’t seen it yet: go.now.)

This episode we get more of an insight into the world of the guests. The futuristic world they come from too the nitty gritty of the wild west, the juxtaposition between the two make things all that more abstract.

Jimmi Simpson and Ben Barnes star as our new guests Logan and William, work colleagues and sort of friends. Logan is desperate to participate in all of the debauchery and William is nervous about what it has in store. Logan makes a quip that delves into why people come to this place:

“I know you think that you have a handle on what this is gonna be: guns and tits and all that mindless shit that I usually enjoy. You have no idea.”

Everything is perfectly tailored made for the specific guest from the clothes too (I’m suspecting) the woman who guides our precarious guest through the orientation period.

Behind the scenes of what the guests see, Maeve is dangerously close to being decommissioned. Simply the guests don’t want to fuck her. She has an automated speech about her arrival in America and slowly the ‘memories’ of what she saw in her other lifetimes begins to seep into her consciousness. About the time she was living in the outlands with a daughter only to be killed time and time again. The incessant torture that the robots all experience becomes all the more palpable.

Running out of steam was one of my initial concerns with the pilot but the majority of this episode dealt with the world building mechanics of the type of world that gives birth to a Westworld theme park.

In another of the storylines we see Anthony Hopkin’s Dr. Robert Ford and Ed Harris’ Man in Black both march around the ends of Westworld completely entranced in an unreal universe. The Man in Black, goes to desperate lengths to find the next level of the game, a maze that’s supposed to lead to the next level of the game and Robert Ford tracks the wide open desert with a boy who may or may not be a robot version of himself. The two present a different side of the same coin, whether Robert Ford is aware of the man in black or if the two will ever meet remains to be seen.

As the storylines change, Teddy is disenfranchised, Maeve is ready to be removed and Clementine likely to replace her. Dolores is dogged by dreams of her now decommissioned father and the violent delights with violent ends.

Whether Westworld will be swamped with different storylines or they all interconnect is remains to be seen. Of course we’re living within a ruthlessly controlled world here and everything could be destroyed within an instant.

 

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