Welcome back to Westworld (well, more like the real future world), and if you didn't catch Sunday's episode, it was full of some plot payoff and set things up nicely for the last couple of episodes of this season. In case you're unaware, this season of the HBO drama releases rogue host Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) into the real world to wage war on the species who created and enslaved her kind in a theme park: humans. Maeve (Thandie Newton), Bernard (Jeffery Wright), and other hosts make their way out of the parks to help or stop Dolores, though she's enlisted help (in the form of copies of herself as well as unsuspecting humans) and it may already be too late to stop her destroying humanity as the future knows it as well as the data corporations that control this world.
I get that we're moving swiftly towards the end of the season, but this episode just didn't feel as exciting or electric as last week's, or even any prior episodes this season. It was important, yes, especially story-wise, but it kind of felt like I was a kid eating my vegetables: I know I have to and I know it will pay off, but I don't like it because they aren't as exciting as the macaroni and cheese "thriller episodes" on my plate. Okay, so I'm hungry but you hopefully get my point. Despite all the shootouts and betrayal, I found it a little hard to care about what was going on. I will likely get back into caring a lot about it next episode when it all comes together again and we see Dolores fight her way out of the spider's web.
Westworld Lacked Engaging Plot and Coherence This Week
Honestly, I personally found the "making of" feature at the end the most exciting part of the episode. Warworld and Maeve's simulations bore me. If you've read my reviews of prior episodes, you knew that already; since they introduced her "superpower" and made her basically a god of all hosts? I'm bored with her stories, mostly because they all lack challenge and stimulating, creative resolution. It's like playing a video game on hella easy mode: there's no resistance, so it's not interesting. You know what's going to happen, so why waste my time sitting through an expecting, dull journey?
Perhaps I am a little too harsh though, allow me to soften that a little. I don't dislike this episode; in shows, you have to service everyone's characters and storylines. When very little to none of my favorite characters are shown in an episode, I tend to not be as enthralled with the story. This is in no way reflective of the actors because they all do an amazing job and this show, in particular, has some of the best performances on any television show I've seen in a while. I just wish there wasn't such a difference in characters and stories between the two groups of characters – it's like Dolores, Caleb, Bernard are all in one set and Maeve, Halores, and Jimmy are in another, and it's a toss-up as to which set of characters we get in an episode.
As a loyal viewer who is firmly on "Team Dolores," it's frustrating, but nothing new, and completely understood. Talk about first-world problems: screaming into the void, complaining about my stories, but I digress. This week's episode did feel a bit slow at times, though I think compared to the electric performances from Wood and Paul, the more subtle storylines and actors (even though they are absolutely brilliant) fall a bit under the radar. As a heartbreaking reminder, there are only two more episodes left in this season, and who knows when the next season will be able to even get into production, so it could be quite a wait, depending on how this all ends in two weeks. But, no matter how Westworld ends, I'll be here watching with you.