Westworld: Que Sera, Sera & Full Season 4 – TV Review

TL;DR – While I am not sure it landed its final episode, this season was a successful course correction, and I hope they make that one last test.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

The Man In Black appears from the smoke.

Westworld Review

Ever since the second season of Westworld failed to capture the dramatic highs of that first season, people felt that it could never live up to the hype it built. However, I still found Season Two to be engaging, and even more, it is still the high watermark for the show for me with Kiksuya. I also enjoyed Season Three’s more streamlined narrative. However, there was a feeling that maybe the show didn’t have much more to explore. Well, if nothing else, Season Four showed the latter assertion plainly wrong. With our review today, we are first going to look at the season [or possible series] finale before taking a broader exploration of the season as a whole.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s Metanoia, the host copy of The Man In Black (Ed Harris) went on a killing spree, first killing the original Man In Black (Ed Harris) before taking out Maeve (Thandiwe Newton), Charlotte (Tessa Thompson), and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). Before that can even sink in, he causes the control tones from the tower to infect every human being left on the planet to send them into a murderous rage. As Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) with Teddy (James Marsden) tries to stop the carnage, and Caleb (Aaron Paul), his daughter C (Aurora Perrineau), and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) try to escape it. One thing is clear: this might end sentient life on Earth. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.   

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Westworld: Zhuangzi – TV Review

TL;DR – There is a new God, and they are bored with the human race.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

Christina discovers the control she has.

Westworld Review

There are some aspects of Westworld that hide in the subtext, and there are others that blare at you like a foghorn. Today’s title is Zhuangzi, which takes its name from one of the core works of Taoism. Its view of a central authority starkly contrasts with other core philosophical schools of China. That tension has been playing out across Westworld’s many seasons and, as we will see, the episode today.

So to set the scene, as we have been going through the season, Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) have been on a mission to stop Hale/Delores (Tessa Thompson) and her mission to take over the world through the use of parasites. We didn’t know until the closing moments of Generation Loss is that Hale had already won that war a whole generation ago. She has such control over the human race, using audible sounds from the tower, that she can stop and the entire city in its tracks like it was one large Westworld park, and everyone was a host. But in the deep desert, the long-buried remains of Maeve were unearthed by the prophetic Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), and a rebellion is on the move. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Westworld: Generation Loss – TV Review

TL;DR – All things become clear, but in a Westworld way that asks far more questions than it answers    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

Maeve drags Caleb to the evac point.

Westworld Review

There are many strengths to a show like Westworld. They get to play around in an interesting setting, actors take on these grand roles that let them chew all the scenery, and you get to mess with people’s expectations all the time. In Season Four, we have been getting all those things, and a plot that is moving like a cheater is chasing it in the Serengeti. The question is, can it run out of steam? Well, it hasn’t today.

So to set the scene, at the end of Annees Folles, Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) know they we walking into a trap, but not a trap with Caleb’s daughter (Celeste Clark) as bait, and the infestation of mind-controlling parasites as the goal. We open with Caleb screaming as the parasites take control, but Maeve is not ready to get taken out by The Man in Black (Ed Harris) just yet. Meanwhile, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) have been rounded up by the rebels and C (Aurora Perrineau) and her boss (Daniel Wu), who are trying to work out if they are useful or if they should just have them killed. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Westworld: Annees Folles – TV Review

TL;DR – We race forward at the speed of light, but I just hope the narrative does not run out of steam before the end.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

Bernard's Eye

Westworld Review

This season so far, we have gotten to see what Charlotte/Dolores (Tessa Thompson) is up to with her possession and host Man in Black (Ed Harris). We’ve gotten to check in with Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) as they escape hit squads. Indeed, we even have gotten to see but not really understand what is going on with Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy (James Marsden). But there has been one piece of the puzzle that has so far alluded the show. Well, that is till today.  

So to set the scene, at the end of Season 3, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) discovered that the hidden codes to enter The Sublime were not found in the Supercomputer AI or Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) but hidden inside of him all along. With that revelation and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) bleeding out in the bath, he decided to visit The Sublime to see if he could find a better path for the world. When Bernard arrives, he meets an old friend Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), who lets him see all the possible futures they have modelled. The only problem is that Bernard dies in all the futures he returns to the real. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Westworld: The Auguries – TV Review

TL;DR – This first episode is almost a soft re-boot or realignment of the show, and while it does not reveal much, it intrigues me.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this show.

The Hoover Dam

Westworld Review

I have always been intrigued by Westworld because even when it is not landing its hits, it is still swinging with all its might, and I always respect someone reaching for the stars, even if they don’t quite get there. Season 1 was this wild ride of betrayal and discord, where the very world shifted under your feet. Season 2 was this crazy roller coaster that inverted itself halfway through, and while it was a bit of a mess at times, it did have Kiksuya, the best episode the show has done to date. Season 3 jumped us out of the island and into the world proper for all its strengths and weaknesses. Can Season 4 capture what made Season 1 so good? Well, as long as it tells an interesting story, I will be there for the ride.

So to set the scene, we open seven years after the riots that marked the end of Season 3 and the AI controlling the destinies of humans in the background. Many people have tried to formulate new lives in the meantime, but something has stirred and has started to make their move. In the renovated Hoover Dam, a cartel kingpin (Arturo del Puerto) meets with a man in black (Ed Harris) about buying their data operation in the Dam. It is a ridiculous question because this is the cartel’s crown jewel, not for sale. But the Man in Black posits that they can sell for this price today or give it away for free tomorrow, and the cartel chooses door number two for their own demise. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Article – A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television

TL;DR – After a long pause during the 2000s we are seeing a new golden age for Sci-Fi as shows go back into space and more.

A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television
A New Golden Age of Science Fiction on Television

Article

The other day I was working on a review and then something dawned on me, for the first time in a long time I was excited by the many different Science Fiction shows coming out of television. We were going into the stars, exploring the future, and in some cases just getting plain weird. It was a joyous moment because I remember a time when it was like this before and the long valley in-between the two peaks. So today, I wanted to take a moment to talk about where we have come from, what is so exciting about now, and why we are seeing this new Golden Age.

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Article – Masters of Cinematic Music: Ramin Djawadi

TL;DR – We explore the wonders of Ramin Djawadi’s musical score through the lens of Light of the Seven

Masters of Cinematic Music: Ramin Djawadi. Image Credit: HBO.

Article

Today we are starting out the first entry in a series about modern cinematic composers. For me at least, one of the factors that emotionally connects me to a piece of visual media, whether that be, a video game, a television show, or a film is the music. The right musical choice can make or break scenes and can be one of the factors that make these moments resonate across the media landscape. We all remember that first time we heard the Imperial March or The Avengers theme explodes onto the screen. They help us get lost on the high seas, traverse galaxies far, far away, or in our first example help us delve into a world of fire and ice. Because this is an article about music, I have added links to the songs in question so you can listen along.

Ramin Djawadi is a German/Iranian composer and the key musical voice of Game of Thrones, the hugely successful HBO series based of George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series. As a composer, Ramin has been working for a long time in the musical world starting first as an assistant and then creating addition music for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Ned Kelly, working under one of the defining voices in modern composition Hans Zimmer. Before moving onto working on his own films like Iron Man and Pacific Rim.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Chapter 2 and Season 1 Overview   

TL;DR – We started with a group of people on a ship in space, and over the season, as adversity after adversity piled up, we ended with a crew. I mean I just wrote 1000 words just on the cast, the show is that good.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The USS Discovery being all majestic and what. Image Credit: CBS Studios.

Review

This year has been a strong year for Sci-Fi on TV we have Lost in Space, Altered Carbon, The Rain, as well as more Westworld, 3%, and The Expanse. In the middle of all this was a release, which for me was probably anticipated more than anything else, a new Star Trek series. Now the fact that I really like the Star Trek franchise should come as no surprise, indeed a wrote an article all about my love for Star Trek Deep Space Nine. However, there was also a lot of trepidation going in, since DS9 we had Voyager that had some great individual episodes but nothing really came together as a series, and Enterprise that took three seasons to find out what type of show it wanted to be and when it got there decided to end on just about the most insulting note that it could (yes I know it was not meant to be a series finale but still). However, I went into this thinking that I can at least give it a season, and boy what a season it was. So in the first season of Star Trek Discovery the broke it up into different chapters, we took a look at Chapter One here, and today we are going to take a look at Chapter Two which was the back half of the season but also some of the themes that transcend all of the season, you can also see all of our reviews for the individual episodes here. With this in mind, just a warning that we will be looking at the season as a whole, and as such there will be some major [SPOILERS] discussed in this review. So caution is advised if you have yet to finished Season One of Star Trek Discovery, and we would recommend you giving the first season a watch.

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TV Review – Final Space: Season One

TL;DR – This is cool animated series that sways between the absurd and heart whelming in a way that shouldn’t work but totally does.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Final Space banner

 

Review

I went into Final Space with absolutely no idea of what it was, bar the fact that it was animated and was set in space, and since some of my favourite TV shows of all time fall into that particular Venn diagram I thought I would give it a watch. Now from the opening titles I didn’t have the greatest opinion of the show, but hey they are only half an hour I can give this a look, well ten episodes binged in one sitting later I am really glad I did.

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TV Review – Westworld: Season Two

TL;DR – When it works it is some of the best TV on the planet at the moment, when it doesn’t well at least it is still well shot and acted.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Season Two. Image Credit: HBO

 

Review

With The Passenger (see review) coming to a close we have reached the end of Westworld’s Season Two. It was a season of competing timelines, the coming of a war, a mother searching for her child, and a lone warrior standing up when everyone needed him too. Today we are going to look at the highs and lows of Westworld’s sophomore season as we return to the holiday destination now turned into a massacre. So say goodbye The Maze and hello to The Door.

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