TL;DR – We start to delve into the larger world of the parks near Westworld, and discover what everyone could be hunting this season.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
What is life, is it the drive to accumulate as much power as possible before we die, is it to live as honourably as possible, is it to care for your family at all cost, or is it to feel alive in whatever way possible? This episode looks at what drives us as humans (maybe not just humans), indeed what would you do to stay alive?
So to set the scene, the park is falling apart as the virus/code/awakening spreads outside of Westworld to infect/liberate hosts everywhere. We open on a new part of the park resembling a Raj’s Palace of colonial India, coincidentally called The Raj. It is here that we meet Grace (Katja Herbers) and Nicholas (Neil Jackson), and also hear Ramin Djawadi reinterpretation of The White Stripes Seven Nation Army on I think a sitar. Of course, everything falls apart and Grace is forced to race away from a pursuing Bengal Tiger. Meanwhile at the end of Reunion (see review) Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) had started to build her army, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) was working with Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) to track down the Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum) host and Maeve was still hunting for her daughter forming an army of her own. Oh and Teddy (James Marsden), poor Teddy was starting to have severe reservations as to the road he was walking down. This week we have a little bit less of the timeline jumps with most of the episode taking place in the aftermath of the rebellion with only a little bit at the start showing that Charlotte survived the two weeks and ended up in the central mesa. As always we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
Much like the first episode Journey into Night (see review), this did feel more like an episode of moving people into position and setting things in motion for the future. We get introduced to the problem everyone is looking for this season with Peter Abernathy having something stored in his code, something very important, and something worth killing over. What is that something, I would assume that it is a record of all the depraved stuff guests have been doing in the park to be used as blackmail, but that is only a guess. It is the reason Charlotte has not been evacuated, and one of the things that Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) is hunting for. We also get to see our two main protagonists (maybe, at least one of them might be best described at this point as an antagonist) continue to build their armies. For Dolores, it is finding and using a whole army as cannon fodder just to fend off the first counter-attack from Delos and to buy her the time to find the secret they are hiding. For Maeve, it is growing the group around her of people she cares about and also people that might be there just to be sacrificial lambs, she has a single focus but she does not seem to be vindictive about it like Dolores.
From this episode, I feel there are three key plot points, first that Teddy not only has had reservations about Dolores who is acting more like a terminator, but actively disobeys her when he lets Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker) go. Teddy is finding his own story and the more it goes on the more it is clear that that will take him away from Dolores’ path which does not bode well for him. Secondly, as we continue on we see Maeve show a clear affection for Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) which surprises Lee (Simon Quarterman) because Hector should only love Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal). Well, that becomes more complicated when Armistice returns with a deskinned hand and dragon fire. But as she continues they run into Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum), but more than that they find out that there is more than just Bengal Tigers bleeding across park lines taking us to a brand new world in the coming weeks I assume. Finally, besides the quest as too what Peter is hiding, we see that Grace survived her introduction with a tiger, and so what will her story be? Because she seems to have more importance than the few minutes she had on screen would let on.
Once again the production design in Westworld is just phenomenal with the new The Raj being a particularly good example of this. You first have to find the right location, which they did, but then also you have to get all the little details right with the costumes and accessories. I would like to see how they filmed the ridding on elephants scenes, as while most of the shots are clearly on gimbals, there are others that look in situ, which is either very good visual effects or some people are going to get upset. In this episode, we also get our first real battle in the show so far, and while it is not Battle of the Bastards they do a good job of putting it all together, bar explains where all those mortars are coming from. It will also be interesting to see how they approach the inclusion of Indigenous Americans as they look to make a bigger impact on the show this season. The Raj and Westworld both play into colonial fantasies of claiming a savage/uncivilised world, so it will be interesting to see what direction they take this representation. There were also some really emotional moments like Dolores and Peter reconnecting for a moment before he slipped away again.
In the end, overall I am still really liking Season Two of Westworld and Virtù e Fortuna is no exception. However, these last three episodes do feel very straightforward and it would be nice to see the show shake thing up a bit more like they did for a moment at the start of this week episode. However, with the ending, I have a feeling that things about to head in that direction.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen Westworld yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Westworld
Directed by – Richard J. Lewis
Written by – Gina Atwater & Jonathan Nolan
Based off – Westworld by Michael Crichton
Created by – Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy
Music by – Ramin Djawadi
Starring in Season Two – Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman, Rodrigo Santoro, Angela Sarafyan, Shannon Woodward, Ed Harris, Clifton Collins Jr., Tessa Thompson, Talulah Riley, Louis Herthum, Katja Herbers, Neil Jackson, Gustaf Skarsgård & Fares Fares with Anthony Hopkins, Ben Barnes, Jimmi Simpson, Oliver Bell, Giancarlo Esposito, Betty Gabriel, Christopher May, Zahn McClarnon, Peter Mullan, Jonathan Tucker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rinko Kikuchi, Tao Okamoto, Kiki Sukezane & Julia Jones.