by Steve Lancaster 4/14/19
In season one, Westworld established the existence of a theme park populated by androids whose single purpose was to be fodder for the rapacious instincts of the human guests. The androids are murdered, abused, raped, and tortured, rebuilt and returned to service the next day. Season one sets up the rise of sentience in the androids and memories of death, rebirth and death over and over.
Westworld is the creation of Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and his partner Arnold/Bernard (Jeffery Wright). Arnold, before the park opens detects a hint of sentience in the androids and tries to stop the opening and free the emerging new species from slavery. To accomplish this task Arnold has his oldest android, Dolores (Evan Rachael Wood) kill him. Ford opens the park after Arnold’s (suicide/murder). Two of the early guests are William (Jimmi Simpson) and his soon to be brother in law Logan (Ben Barnes). Logan and his family are super rich.
Season one and two revolve around what happens to both of these men in the park. Logan is the heir apparent to his father’s fortune. William is on a journey of self-discovery and will mature as the infamous Man In Black (Ed Harris), the gunfighter/killer of android dreams. If you look closely in one of the episodes you will see a decommissioned android that looks like Yul Brenner.
At the end of season one the androids rise up against their human oppressors, Dr. Ford loses his life in the same manner and from the same android that killed, (murdered?) his partner Arnold, Dolores. The question is left hanging, was Dolores action one of free will or programed? And is Ford really dead or has escaped into the digital world of the androids.
Like season one, season two asks the same questions that science fiction writers have struggled since the pulp magazines of the 30s. What is the nature of machine life and can it be defined? The Westworld answer seems to be yes it can be defined, and the androids are the example of what could happen. Is the capacity to love, self-sacrifice and planning for the future exclusively human? Westworld asks these questions and the answer for those who watched Terminator is a disturbing yes, androids from Westworld have all too human hopes, dreams and faults.
The season ends with the bulk of Westworld androids either dead or escaped into a digital paradise. Dolores and Bernard getaway to the human world. Dolores exabits all of the human emotions including hate. Her opponent is Bernard, season three sets up as a war between the androids in human society. Season three is due in the spring of 2020 from HBO.[The previous installment of Steve’s Westworld review can be found here.] • (46 views)