Tag Archives: Robots

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings, Season Two, Episode Four

A day late, but here is your weekly Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings!

1. Elsie

She’s alive!  Why, how, or for how long, we don’t know.  But she’s alive!

2. Maeve

Bring on Samurai World dammit!

3. Dolores

Dolores got the week off, but the murderous robot queen can’t fall past third right now in my opinion.

4. William

Why did William bother trying to keep James Delos alive?  We may never know.

5. Robert Ford

However, I’ll bet the end of Ford’s “game” involves Ford still being alive in a robot, then shooting William in the head.

6. Bernard

Bernard’s journey was far too confusing to comment on this week.

Also receiving votes: Teddy, William’s Daughter, Charlotte Hale, Hector, Ashley Stubbs, Lee Sizemore, Arnold,  Young William, Clementine, Ser Pounce, Roxy Music, giving the devil an offering, and shots of nitroglycerine.

(C) 2018 D.G. McCabe

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings, Season Two, Episode Three

I was impressed with the third episode of Season 2.  The introduction of the other parks gives the show a new lease on life so to speak.  That said, here is your weekly Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings!

1. Maeve

I’m not sure where Maeve thinks she is going, but she has some clear advantages.  First, the Delos Corporation mercenaries don’t seem to be looking for her.  Second, she has a group with diverse skill sets that is, importantly, only half robot.   On the downside, the whole group might be lost in Samurai World.

2. Dolores

Westworld’s other sentient robot overlord has the most firepower, but look at her closest associates and look at Maeve’s.  I mean, c’mon, Teddy?  Really?

3. Charlotte Hale

Pros: Charlotte has unexpected survival skills.  Cons: Charlotte had her goons charge a fortification head-on with windowless cars.

4. Robert Ford

Ford’s cat and mouse game with William got a break this week, thus the drop in the Power Rankings.

5. William, the Man in Black

And William is still losing said cat and mouse game.

6. Bernard

Bernard isn’t controlling events at this point.  Rather, he seems to be pulled along by other players, especially Charlotte.

7. Teddy

We already know Teddy’s decision to have mercy on the other robots will not end well for him.

Also receiving votes: Hector, Ashley Stubbs, Lee Sizemore, Arnold,  Young William, Clementine, Ser Pounce, brainless military maneuvers, predictive text, and fans of Rudyard Kipling and Rule Britannia.

(C) 2018 D.G. McCabe

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings, Season Two, Episode Two

After a bit of a Dolores focused episode, there isn’t a lot of movement this week on the Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings.  But, out of force of habit, I’ll publish one anyway.

1. Robert Ford

I don’t know about you, but I thought it was hilarious when the army leader, after giving a long winded lecture to William, switches gears and delivers a personal “*#%*% You” from Ford.

2. Maeve

Dolores IS just playing Ford’s game, she just doesn’t know it.  Even though Dolores let Maeve pass freely this time, more conflict between the two, self-aware robots feels inevitable.

3. Dolores

Did Arnold design Dolores to retain memories on purpose?  That’s what I’d like to know.

4. William, the Man in Black

If the big reveal of this season is “Delos/William use Westworld to scoop up personal data and sell it to advertisers,” I’m going to be vastly disappointed.

5. Karl Strand

6. Bernard

7. Charlotte Hale

The next three stay put on the rankings, since, you know, nothing happened to them this week.

 

8. Teddy

Teddy, on the other hand, is always in last place.

Also receiving votes: Hector, Ashley Stubbs, Lee Sizemore,  Young William,  Ser Pounce, robot cocktail hour, zombie robots, and splendor.

(C) 2018 D.G. McCabe

Westworld Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings, Season Two, Episode One

I’m not above copying an idea, and what works for Game of Thrones can work for Westworld. This is assuming that Season 2 doesn’t go off the rails after three episodes only to rebound in the last five minutes of the season (cough, Season One, cough).

That said, the Robot Apocalypse Power Rankings are nigh. Repent!

1. Robert Ford

Fire me will you? How about I kill everyone (including me) with my evil robot creations! Muhahahahahaha!

2. Dolores

While Dolores is a robot, her insatiable thirst for vengeance is an entirely human reaction to a lifetime of being tortured, raped, and murdered every day. She’s become Skynet from The Terminator (1984) and the Maschinenmensch from Metropolis (1927) all rolled into one.

3. Maeve

What Lee, the buffoon writer, doesn’t get is that Maeve doesn’t care if her child isn’t really “her child.” She’s found purpose, and that purpose is recusing the one good thing she found in her entire screwed up existence.

4. William, the Man in Black

Ford respected William more than any non-Arnold human. Ford’s crescendo is murderous, suicidal, and specifically designed to give William exactly what he wants.

5. Karl Strand

New character alert! Strand is the leader of the group that Delos has charged with cleaning up Ford’s mess. He has lots of guns and soldiers! What could possibly go wrong?

6. Bernard

Things aren’t going well for our robot/clone/whatever. There’s only one reason why he’s ahead of Charlotte.

7. Charlotte Hale

Bernard is still alive in the “flash forward” scenes, helping Strand. I don’t see Charlotte.

8. Teddy

Poor Teddy. Designed to be the Ned Stark of this world.

Also receiving votes: Hector, Ashley Stubbs, Lee Sizemore, Elsie Hughes, Arnold, Armistice the Snake Woman, Young William, Clementine, dead tigers, the Sea, Chinese island making technology, Ser Pounce, and a feast for robot vultures.

(C) 2018 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

Evil Robots!!!

More often than not, the robot comes to us in the movies as a villain.   However, an examination of these so called evil robots reveals that the evil robots are not always as evil as they appear. Take for instance, five movie robots, starting at the beginning with Fritz Lang’s “Maschinenmensch” or “Machine Man” from 1927’s Metropolis.

 

As background, the Machine Man was developed by the mad scientist Rotwang as tool of revenge.  Rotwang uses it to incite violence and chaos.  While the Machine Man is clearly used for evil purposes, it could be argued that if it were programmed not to obey a mad scientist but rather to, say, help old ladies cross the street, we wouldn’t think of it as an evil robot.  Clearly that would make for a very boring movie.  Let’s move on.

 

Certainly HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) qualifies as an evil robot – right?  It’s even listed in AFI’s ‘100 years” series as one of the top villains in movie history.  But is HAL really evil?  In order to complete its mission, to trace the signal being projected by the Monolith, it decides to eliminate all obstacles (in this case the humans).  But is HAL’s mission and the resulting evolutionary progress for mankind worth the lives of the two cranky astronauts?  If you argue yes, than HAL is not evil at all.  Machiavellian perhaps, but not evil.

 

Certainly the Machines from the Matrix (1999) are evil right?  After all they enslave humanity to either a lifetime of being plugged into a video game or eating gruel and fighting the machines in an endless war.  But this line of thought conveniently forgets that the humans built the machines to enslave them, and then tried to destroy them all with nuclear weapons (forgetting, apparently, that nuclear weapons would destroy everything else too).  Also, it appears all life on Earth has been obliterated except for the humans, so the machines and their massive game are the only things keeping the humans alive.

 

Certainly Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is evil right?  After all he tries to destroy humanity.  And just look at him in the poster!  He’s kidnapping a scantily clad woman!  How evil is that?!? That’s a very human-centric way of thinking about it though.  Apparently the other civilizations in the galaxy don’t like our penchant for violent conflict and want to preemptively take us out a potential threat.  Unfair, perhaps, but to them, not especially evil.

 

Finally!  Megatron (Transformers (2007)) is definitely evil!  It’s actually pretty hard to argue against this, partly because Michael Bay’s “films” have about as much subtlety as a jackhammer.

Anyway that’s enough evil robots for today!

(c) 2012 D.G. McCabe