Sunday, June 24, 2018

Westworld 2.10: The Realest World

An extraordinary season 2 finale of Westworld just concluded on HBO.   Herewith a few thoughts about what we just saw, with perhaps more to follow -

1. So Dolores not Ford made Bernard.  Or, mostly so.  And after Bernard kills Dolores and comes to regret it, he spirits her out of Westworld into our real world (that is, the world in which I am right now, writing this, and you presumably are, too, reading this). Bernard does this by making Dolores look like Hale (which is not as shocking as it may seem, and is actually not that major a part of this part of the story).  And Dolores, not holding Bernard's killing of her against him too much, decides to help get Bernard into our real world, too, because she knows she'll somehow need his help in that big bad world (our world) out there.  And this is where we'll see them, next season, not quite enemies, but not allies either, because their ultimate visions of what they want for humanity (guests) vis-a-vis androids (hosts) is quite different.

2. The Man in Black, at least at the very end, turns out to be a host!  But he was not a host all along.  He's rather an example of the attempt by Delos etc to perfect a kind of immortality, in which the human mind can live forever, in the body and code of a host (forever because, if the host is killed, he or she can be recreated, as long as their code persists somewhere).

3. The promised land that the Native American hosts and Maeve and her daughter were headed to turns out to be not our real world, but some kind of mega-virtual reality.  Whether the hosts who made it there can come back to Westworld is not clear (although in an important sense, it's just another park - a very special park - in the Delos park system).  Anyway, Maeve's daughter is there, with some kind of version of Maeve - so Maeve kept her promise to her - as is Akecheta and his true love.  As to our Maeve - the main Maeve - she was killed, but, again, death is not death if there's any of her code still around, so we'll no doubt be seeing her around next season.

In general, this finale did a very good job of tying together some of the dangling loose ends we've been seeing all season - including the charging bull in the opening credits - as well as opening up some important new vistas.  I'm looking forward to see where they lead to next year, or whenever Season 3 is up and running.

You know, there's actually a fourth world at play in Westworld, in addition  to the parks, the promised virtual land, and our real world:  it's the world that was just on the screen in this series called Westworld, which of course comprises all three but is also a world in itself, created by the writers, producers, directors, and actors.  Hats off to them all!

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