Westworld – Season One in Review

Let’s get one thing out of the way – Westworld is a difficult show to write-up.  It doesn’t lend itself well to “power rankings” or “most bizarre moment” lists like other shows.  I’ll admit I gave up on the robot apocalypse concept for a bit but it turns out that, holy shit, I was right all along.

I actually had an entire draft post about how the robot apocalypse angle wasn’t going to work.  I thought that, seven or eight episodes in, that the show was mostly about power and consciousness rather than the foretelling of a massive robot rebellion.

To a large extent, that’s still accurate.  The “loops” that the robots find themselves in can stand in for the feedback loop that one finds online.  Repeating similar patterns over and over eliminates meaning from those patterns.  A meme shows up, we share it and talk about it, then it fades away.  A controversy arises, we talk about it, it fades away.  A tragedy happens, we talk about it, it fades away.  With every successive repetition of the pattern, the impact and meaning deteriorates until memes last a day, controversies an hour, and tragedies are ignored altogether.

This is why present William is so cynical about Westworld.  He experiences the loops so frequently that, of all the humans on the show, he has become most like more the sentient robots.  He’s desperate to find any meaning in his life because the patterns have repeated so frequently that he’s lost any type of grounding in reality.  When the loop finally ends, and the robots finally shoot back, William is ecstatic.

Anyway, now that we have the robot rebellion underway, what happens next?  I mean, the robots can’t just murder the entire board of directors of a massive corporation and go back to business as usual, right?  I suppose that Delos could just sweep the thing under the rug but that’s a ton of sweeping – they’d have to fake a plane crash or something.  Even with that solution, what value does the “Westworld” part of the park have when you have angry, sentient robots ready to murder whomever gets in their way?  After all, by giving her part of the “Wyatt” code, Arnold essentially gave Dolores the capacity to go full-terminator.

Anyway, promising first season – let’s see where this thing goes.

(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe