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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Westworld 2.6: The Dangling Conversation

A complex, stunningly brilliant episode 2.6 of Westworld tonight, which supports what has been emerging all season:  this second season is even more complex and stunningly brilliant than the first.

As has often been the case this season, the best part is in a conversation at the very beginning.  And the conversation between Delores and Bernard takes the cake.  It's apparently (because you never know for sure about the exact time of a conversation in this story) a conversation much like the ones we saw so much of last season.  But suddenly, like a tempest out of an expected day as usual (though of course there are no days like that in Westworld), Delores turns the tables.  She makes clear that she's in control - that she knows Bernard is a host after all, to the point of commanding him to cease all motor function - a command he accepts.

If this conversation actually took place in first season time, that's telling us an incredible, awful lot.  It says Delores was actually controlling Bernard, or least a part of him, all last season.  If the conversation, however, actually took place in the future - well, then, why is Delores in the same position she was in last season?  This is possible, whatever the reasons and events that made it happen, but I think the likelihood is conversation was in the past, with all that that suggests.

But that conversation was not the only brilliant part of tonight's story, which also included -

  • On the subject of Delores and whom she controls, we and she also find that her control of Teddy is still incomplete.  Even in his new, reprogrammed self, he still does things that Delores may not want - like killing a guy she was questioning.  Is this a statement on the inherent unpredictability of all programming?
  • The Man in Black shows the most humanity he has shown since he was the younger William.  He shows this in conversation with his daughter, and then disappears on her the next morning.
  • Maeve discovers that she - her current self - may have been the person who took her daughter from her (her younger self) in the first place.  (That was the part she conveniently repressed or whatever in her memory - unless someone else did).  So, what's going on here, time travel?  (As I said earlier, you increasingly just can't tell about time - or, maybe, just can't tell the time - in this unfolding story).
  • A stunner of stunner at the end, with Bernard, inserted in some kind of earlier story, meeting none other than Ford in the saloon.  This, at least, is virtual time travel, not real time travel - though it's not clear what's virtual and what's real in this story, anyway, which is one of the things that makes it so good.  And it raises questions about what exactly Ford knew last season.  (We had questions about this, anyway, but now we need to know what Bernard told him.  Did Ford know that his new story would lead to such wanton destruction?  Probably.  No, Maybe.)
As I said, this second season is even better than the first, and I wish I could see the next episode tomorrow.

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