In the some distant future mankind will look back at old westerns, Sci-Fi movies with starring emotionless robots, Disneyland and Red Dead Redemption and go let’s spend billions of dollars on a theme park where you can play in the old west, talk to robots that don’t care what you do them and you’re always the winner. That sounds like an amazing way to row in that sweet futuristic dough.
Pre-Review: Season 2 has finally arrived and I thought why not talk about one of the greatest shows in recent memory. (Out of the ones I’ve seen at least) Based off that old movie from the 70’s Christopher Nolan’s brother thought of bringing it to the small screen on HBO back in 2016. I never watched the first season while it aired I was just scrolling through the different shows and I went ‘Hey this might be interesting’. So as of this review I’ve watched this season three times and I’m more excited than ever to see where the story goes next. But here are my thoughts on this season.
Plot: Westworld is set in a futuristic world where rich people can play out their Wild West fantasies as they interact with the machines within the park known as the ‘Hosts’. But when some of the host start going off script we see a bunch of different characters going on their own personal journey to find the center of the maze.
The Very First Episode: Not many shows can hook you in within the first episode and Westworld is one of those shows. In this episode we see how the park operates on a daily basis. We see the host’s day to day loop that only changes if a guest decides to get involved, we also see the Westworld HQ and see how they operate. This episode brilliantly sets up the main characters. Like Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) a farmer’s daughter who isn’t all she seems especially in the last 5 seconds of this episode and Teddy (James Marsden) who is shown as the outer town hero but he’s always meant to be the loser when a guest gets involved. It also starts up some story lines that will be important later on and mysteries that will be more relevant by the end of the season. It brilliantly shows what the tone is for the rest of the season; it’s a perfect first episode which is what every TV show needs but for some reason doesn’t.
The Story Lines: There is a lot going on very much like Game of Thrones except less characters and most of them I give a damn about. Anyway here are some of the main ones.
The Maze – The main one is about some of the hosts going off script and going on this journey that will hopefully lead them to the center of this maze For example The Man in Black (Ed Harris). The Man in Black is the coolest character on this show. He’s shown as the mysterious gunslinger who’s just a grumpy old jerk and kills people. He wants to find the center of the maze in hope that the hosts can fight back because he believes there is no fun if your opponent is always made to lose.
Wyatt – Robert Ford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is the mastermind of Westworld and he’s working on a new narrative for the park which features a new villain named Wyatt who is also connected to Teddy’s past. This story line ties in with another where a rivaling company wants to kick Ford out for their own selfish reasons and Ford makes it clear he’s here to stay. Wyatt is constantly been teased throughout the season but not as much as…
Arnold – One of the park employees Bernard (Jeffery Wright) discovers that some of the hosts having been playing up because of an old code made by one of the parks founders Arnold. Arnold was the one who created the maze and tried to destroy the park from opening. As some of the characters learn more about Arnold he becomes even more annoying than why Dolores has voices in her head.
Maeve – Maeve (Thandie Newton) the best character on the show in my opinion. Maeve is just the charming smart mouth madam at the saloon but that all changes when she gets a good look at the behind scenes side of Westworld and it’s probably the most engaging story line out of the lot.
William and Logan – Two rich business men come to the park, one is a rich jerk who’s a regular of Westworld and the other is just a boring good guy. This one is interesting as it’s a self-discovery story for the two that starts slow but gets interesting as it goes along.
That’s all the relevant ones. I might’ve missed a few but do you really care about the drunk idiot writer who pees on the big map thing in front of his boss that he only just met at the swimming pool five minutes earlier, Do you?
The Presentation: For a TV show it looks like a movie which makes sense for a HBO show. When the characters are in the Wild West it looks like they got a camera and filmed these actors in the hot desert. The sets all look amazing, excellent soundtrack especially when they play it on the piano in the saloon and great costume design it all looks fantastic. With great performances from everyone as well except from that writer guy who I just hate. The story is also very complicated especially for first time viewing but it’s a smart show with a lot of complex themes that makes you think about what you’re watching which isn’t very common now days. But if you’re not into any of that there also a lot of violent shootouts, murder, Boobs, Horse riding, gore and more manly groins that I didn’t need to see. If that’s what you’re looking for the show does have that too.
My Few Nitpicks: One of my main complaints is most of the human characters are boring compared to the host. (Which was probably the idea) For example the smoke chain business lady who should’ve been played by a man only so she could’ve had a moustache to twirl, or the I.T girl who only does whatever the script says (Ironic), The other Hemsworth brother is just there and another character who shows up later in the season I think came in a little bit too late. Also after episode 1 it goes pretty slow until Episode 5 which might be my favourite episode.
Then the last few episodes gets better as it builds to the climax and then throws everything onto the table, which can be overwhelming but it ends in a way to bring you back for more. Also the show does kind of suffer from too many characters especially when they focus on other hosts that I’m supposed to care about, but I don’t because they haven’t been given enough screen time. For example the outlaw dude who has a bit of sad storyline set by the park and that’s it to his character. My last praise is after you watch it for the first time it is definitely worth re-watching right away because of some of the stuff that happens in the last few episodes will make you have a different perspective on the show.
Final Thoughts: My favourite genre is Sci-Fi, I really love Westerns and I love it when a movie or a TV show makes you really think about what’ve you just watched. It’s one of my favourite shows out now and I’m highly looking forward to Season 2. So I give the first season a 9/10 it’s a must watch and it’s definitely worth seeing before the new season arrives. I know I’ve been very vague throughout this review so I’m quickly going to talk about the ending and how they ended these storylines so spoilers from here on out.
Plot Twists Everywhere: So one of things you’ll notice by the final episode is it’s not told in chronological order it’s like Pulp Fiction but really confusing. One of the big examples is that we find out that William becomes Ed Harris in the future which I thought was an amazing twist and I’m the only who thinks that. One of the main storylines I didn’t talk about is Dolores storyline which on a first viewing no one would understand since her arc is all over the place. Her storyline leads into some of the big twists, 1. Arnold combined her with the personality of Wyatt, 2. Teddy’s flashback is actually Arnold’s and Dolores’s plan to end the park, 3. Teddy is a host (Which doesn’t really count because we learn this in the first episode), 4. Arnold looks like Bernard and 5. Bernard is actually a host.
There are so many I didn’t even mention like the reveal of Dolores voices, Ford’s master plan, The reason why Maeve is going off script and so many others that it can stop being a show and just become spot the plot twist. Hopefully they’ll tone it down for next season. But not everything is answered because it ends open enough so you’ll be wanting more. It ends with Dolores killing Ford and presumably all of the Delos board members then it just ends with a smile on Ed Harris’s face as he stares at Wyatt’s army.
Those Are My Thoughts On Westworld Season 1: The Maze if you agree or disagree please let me know in the comments. If you can share it with your loved ones that would be great and if you haven’t notice I’m a huge fan of movies and TV Shows and I’m willing to suffer for my audience (if I have any) so let me know on what I should review next.
Thanks for reading this review and I’ll see you again in the next review.