Category Archives: Westworld

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

 

 

 

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Watch, Season One, Episode Four

This week may have been the most confusing episode of Westworld yet.  The show is compelling, but to be honest it’s hard to see its eventual endgame and how that can stretch out for several seasons.  Assuming the robots become sentient, what happens next?  Perhaps the final battle at Armageddon?  But by logic, nothing happens after that.  Hmm…

Robot Sentience (Last Week, 3/7 Seals Broken)

I was starting to think that Dolores was the one that was going to go full terminator on everyone.  She may still do so, but right now Maeve is the dangerous one.  Fortunately, she hasn’t figured out quite as much as Dolores has, nor does she have Bernard egging her on.

This week: 4/7 seals broken.  Things are progressing, but not THAT fast.

Incompetent Staff (Last Week, 1/7 Seals Broken)

Really?  You left the bullet in the robot?  Seriously how dumb are you?

This week: 3/7 seals broken.

Creator Hubris (Last Week, 4/7 Seals Broken)

Ford doesn’t have a god complex.  Ford has become a god, and he’s going to make damn well sure everyone inside and outside of Westworld knows that.

This week: 6/7 seals broken.

Guest Interference (Last Week 2/7 Seals Broken)

Poor William.  He doesn’t for a moment realize that Dolores is coming along because she’s gradually becoming a sentient, potentially murderous, automaton.  Then again, maybe she’ll whack his annoying, rich, d-bag companion.  So there’s that.

This week: 2/7 Seals Broken

(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Watch, Season One, Episode Three

Behold – I continue to provide non-election themed reading material for your enjoyment.  But lo!  The robot apocalypse is nigh!

Robot Sentience (Last Week, 1/7 Seals Broken)

Poor James Marsden.  He’s a fine actor, but his robot character, Teddy, just can’t catch a break.  While Dolores, Maeve, and others are getting more self-aware, he just gets thrown into another situation resulting in his certain death.

Current Status: 3/7 Seals Broken.  Even considering Teddy’s situation, the march toward the robot revolt continued ahead this week.

Incompetent Staff (Last Week, 1/7 Seals Broken)

Unlike the last two weeks, the staff at Westworld didn’t do anything obviously foolish this week.   Well, unless you count freeing that stray robot towards the end, but I would argue that wasn’t an obvious error.

Current Status: 1/7 Seals Broken.  No one went out of their way to make matters worse this week.

Creator Hubris (Last Week, 4/7 Seals Broken)

I thought Ford was the nutty one (so does the Westworld Board of Directors apparently).  Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is all over the place, but mostly channeling his grief into making Dolores more and more self-aware.  And this is before we get into any discussion of Ford’s secret, former partner, who apparently wanted to play god at an even higher level than these two.

Current Status: 6/7 Seals Broken.  No good can come of these two being in charge.  Or is it these three?

Guest Interference (Last Week 2/7 Seals Broken)

Here’s a quick question.  Whom do you think will be the first guest that Dolores kills?  The Man in Black?  William (Jimmi Simpson)?  Or maybe some other poor, more unsuspecting person?  Because it’s totally going to happen.

Current Status: 2/7 Seals Broken.  Like the staff, the guests didn’t really do anything to accelerate their own, robot-related doom.

(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Watch: Season One, Episodes 1-2

After yesterday’s article, I had considered writing about more shows that I’ve kicked to the curb, but what fun is that?  Instead, I’m going to write about HBO’s newest reason not to drop your subscription after Game of Thrones ends – Westworld.

As anyone who knows about the original movie Westworld (1973) or the Simpsons episode inspired by it (Season Six’s “Itchy and Scratchy Land”), no good can come of putting semi-sentient robots in a giant amusement park.  The robot apocalypse is nigh, but what are the seven signs?  Whom are the four horsemen?  For ease of write-ups, I’ll go with four horsemen: Robot Sentience, Incompetent Staff, Creator Hubris, and Guest Interference, each with seven seals foretelling their arrival.  Be warned!

Robot Sentience

Two episodes in and a couple of the robots are starting to figure things out.  Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is doing a better job of hiding it than her previous “father” robot or madam robot Maeve (Thandie Newton).  On the one hand, not many of the robots are getting wise.  On the other hand, Dolores is the oldest robot in the park and therefore has the most potential to lead a “kill all humans,” Cylon-style uprising once she starts remembering all the horrifying crap her creators have put her through.

Status: One seal broken.  Not enough robots have gotten wise to the game.

Incompetent Staff

How much do you want to bet those two geniuses who were working on Maeve fail to report what happened?  I mean, you’d think the trail of robot blood (can we call it blood?) would give them away, but considering the number of morons that seem to be working behind the scenes, this is anyone’s guess.

Status: One seal broken.  Mistakes have been made, but nothing catastrophic as of yet.

Creator Hubris

Ah Sir Anthony Hopkins, what gravitas you bring to the role of Dr. Robert Ford, the creator of Westworld.  Dr. Ford apparently has never  read the dozens of stories where the creator of robots goes too far and causes nothing but mayhem.  Then again, he did nix the hyper-violent “Odyssey on Red River,” so there’s that.

Status: four seals broken.  This guy is already too far down the line.

Guest Interference

The guests tend to be either 1) drunk bros with way to much money and a murderous streak, 2) people reluctantly dragged along, or 3) Ed Harris’s sadistic “Man in Black.”  So far the bros aren’t too much of a problem.  The Man in Black on the other hand is getting bored of the typical Westworld experience and is searching for a secret maze.

Status: Two seals broken.  No good can come of secret mazes.

(c) 2016 D.G. McCabe