Welcome back to Westworld – err… figuartively speaking, not talking about the actual park. Because HBO's pretty much burned to the ground by now.
This week's episode is a cerebral journey through the near-future and an exploration of self as several characters seek the answer to the question, "Who am I?".
We were given a clue about what to expect from the episode description, "If you don't like what you see in the mirror, don't blame the mirror." That's deep, man. It also sets the tone perfectly for this episode – though the answer isn't quite as straightforward as you'd think.
In case you need an answer to the question, "Are there spoilers?" I can answer that in one word: yes. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! lie ahead, so if you're not current and care about that sort of thing, this probably isn't the review for you right now.
This week saw us leave Maeve and Bernard's adventures behind for the week as we focused on Dolores and her revolution against Delos and Incite and the entire data-mining industry. She basically offered Caleb a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. Luckily he's continuing down the rabbit hole with Dolores and her revolution, because he's quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in all of this.
I know Dolores has kind of become hard shiny plastic, especially after she straight up murdered sweet cowboy Teddy, but this season as her plan is becoming clearer, I'm becoming a massive fan of her revolution and everyone she's getting on her side.
Maybe that's just me projecting the real world on my fiction, but burn it all to the ground. If corruption is that rampant and cold, heartless capitalism has completely taken over society – I say they deserve to be eaten by the very subjects they enslaved.
But I digress – real views or fiction, this week's episode saw the much promised return of one head of Delos, Charlotte Hale. Well, kind of. We saw Delores put one of the host pearls she smuggled out of the park into a version of Charlotte – and I'm dying to know who she put in there to grapple with Charlotte's life.
Speaking of Hale, we saw her meet with Serac (Vincent Cassel) – with some primo location porn at the very lovely Los Angeles River Center and Gardens – and we found out some information that feels like they maybe thought it was a big reveal, but it was absolutely not surprising at all. Of course, that's the "shock" that Charlotte was the mole at Delos, contracted to get the data to Serac, who with his massive cache of data, basically knows everything that's going to happen.
Welcome to Futureworld. Is this world run by Delos? No, it's run by somebody far worse. Someone who creates a self fulfilling prophecy in people by believing that they're not worth investing in, so they become despondent and hopeless and never make it around to doing anything greater.
"The Absence of Field" had absences all right, but it wasn't of fantastic storytelling, great performances, or engaging plots and themes. The only real absence? Monotony and predictability.
This is nearly a 180 for me from last week's episode, and I am here for it. I just may have a new favorite season of Westworld if the episodes like this keep up.
Will we see Maeve vs Dolores next week now that Maeve is (supposedly) in the real world? And what side will Bernard land on? More answers (hopefully) ahead in next week's "The Mother of Exiles":