Sunday, December 4, 2016

TV Show Review: Westworld

HBO's Sci-fi/Western concluded after tons of twists and turns throughout the season as robots developed consciousness and rebelled against their programming. The story had multiple plot threads to follow that didn't always make sense and didn't always have the most exciting episodes but as the show went along and the world added flesh, it was quite interesting to follow along. 

The stories central figure is the android Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) who begins her process of waking up as the original host of the park. The first sign of her awakening was a slap of a fly to show that she could harm a living creature. She begins to have flashbacks to other time periods that she is not supposed to remember. This awakening begins to affect other hosts as well.

Maeve (Thandie Newton) had one of the most exciting storylines as a host that was once the head of a brothel and becomes aware that she continuously gets reprogrammed. She convinces two technicians to increase her awareness but a memory of her daughter's death shocks and troubles her. She conspires to overthrow the park and have the robots rebel against their owners.

Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is the head designer of the hosts and with his partner Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) try to upgrade the hosts to a more realistic standard. A major twist that was telegraphed pretty early on was Bernard's origin as a host himself. The greater twist was that Bernard is, in fact, a copy of Arnold, Ford's old partner. Bernard has a relationship Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) but can still be forced to murder her when Dr. Ford commands.

The final storyline that took a prominent part of the narrative was of William (Jimmi Simpson) who was an earlier version of the Man in Black (Ed Harris) showing his origin from a timid individual into the ruthless robot killer that he becomes. His love for Dolores leads him to buy majority shares of the park as he pursues the center of a mysterious maze. 

There were a ton of impressive supporting cast members like Tessa Thompson, James Marsden, Luke Hemsworth, Rodrigo Santoro, and more. The show had amazing production value with great special effects as television leaps into the modern age with more complicated narratives and all-star casts. Westworld has taken new steps in the sci-fi genre and though at times it was convoluted but it seemed to explain everything and wrap up a lot of loose threads in the finale. The story explored a lot of things especially about how we view television and what we want from our entertainment as technology advances.

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