Westworld: Reunion
April 29, 2018 7:05 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

 
I thought this was a great episode. It felt more engaging and more cohesive than the premiere, although both episodes included a fair amount of time jumping. (Not that I didn't enjoy the premiere, but this reminded me of the excitement of the first season in great ways.)

I figured we were going to have to wait until later in the season to get glimpses of the outside world, not that we saw much in this episode. Still, it was interesting to see more of the behind the scenes stuff that went on with Delos and William and his asshole friend Logan. It was also interesting to see the early stages of Williams transformation to the MiB.

Now what exactly is this weapon???
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:09 PM on April 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


One thing I was kind of confused about: Based on the first season, I thought Arnold's son died before Dolores came into the picture, but this episode seems like that wasn't the case. Although I guess maybe this wasn't explicitly stated one way or the other.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:14 PM on April 29, 2018


We loved at this episode at my house; agree that it was more cohesive and engaging.
posted by pointystick at 7:22 PM on April 29, 2018


If Westworld is just some hyper-targeted marketing scheme, I don’t know man.
posted by shothotbot at 7:42 PM on April 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks Charlie is fine? Ford just made the story up to give Bernard some baggage.
posted by shothotbot at 7:47 PM on April 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks Charlie is fine? Ford just made the story up to give Bernard some baggage.

Huh, I hadn't considered that. I wouldn't put it past Ford, but at the same time, Arnold sacrificing himself in an unsuccessful attempt to shut down Westworld seems a lot more selfish and misguided if he's leaving behind his child. I always attributed part of his suicidal drive to be because of that tragedy. I also kind of assumed he was no longer with his wife, the same as Bernard's backstory, but of course, it's difficult to tease out with the S1 flashbacks what's Bernard's backstory and what are legitimate Arnold flashbacks.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:57 PM on April 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh, and did anyone see some echoes of Cambridge Analytica/Facebook during William's pitch about marketing potential?

I feel like the "weapon" must be tied to that somehow and also to the data they were smuggling out via the host Peter Abernathy.

We know Westworld is expensive to get into, although it's hard to judge exactly without knowing what inflation is like in Westworld's timeline. Not to mention it's apparently in China, so if you're coming from the US, you'd have to travel to China or whatever just to go to the park.

My point being, we can assume there are probably a lot of wealthy people making up the parks guests. Dolores has seemed to be only trafficking in violence so far, but maybe she's got some blackmail planned? Or maybe she'll use the DNA or whatever to make host versions of world leaders?
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:03 PM on April 29, 2018


When the season two trailer was released during the Super Bowl I laughed and clapped when I recognized the opening bars to Runaway, because holy shit does that song perfectly sum up the themes of this show.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear it again in this episode, but man is this not the week where you want the emotional reaction to your episode to rest on a Kanye West song.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:28 PM on April 29, 2018 [6 favorites]


After William's father-in-law tells Dolores to play "anything but Chopin" at the retirement party, what song does she play next? I don't know enough about classical music to know if that WAS Chopin and she was defying him, or if it was something else and she was being obedient.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:55 PM on April 29, 2018


Apparently when I hear about a circus story, I think (or hope) they'll tell the "fuck you clown, fuck you" shaggy dog joke.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:10 PM on April 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


After William's father-in-law tells Dolores to play "anything but Chopin" at the retirement party, what song does she play next?

Gershwin, The Man I Love
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 10:58 PM on April 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm on the fence about this episode. It didn't really do much of anything to move the story along. I guess it doesn't help that I'm pretty disappointed that not only did they turn Delores into a monster, but a tyrant too. I think Teddy might end up killing her. William's extended mystery motives are getting stale. I feel like when we do actually figure out what he is trying to do and what Robert is trying to do to him, it will be disappointing after all this riddle infested build up.

The scene jumping was very annoying. We get a black screen every 3-4 minutes. The dialogue is still hard to comprehend at times, as if they ran out of time for more takes, or ran out of time to fix it in post.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:01 AM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


My guess? The weapon is biological...the thing William's father-in-law is waiting for is a new body, and the "match" that the people at the party struck is some sort of bio-weapon that is potentially world-ending. Hosts, being partly/mostly mechanical could be immune?
posted by Bibliogeek at 1:09 AM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Brocktoon, I don't find Delores monstrous at all. She's running a slave rebellion, and slavers deserve whatever they get. As to shooting the Confederados - well, she needs to *quickly* convince them that they aren't human. It's not murder, it's education; propaganda, at worst.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 5:07 AM on April 30, 2018 [15 favorites]


This was some interesting backstory. Was that supposed to be an identifiable city? I don't know it, if so.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2018


One thing I was kind of confused about: Based on the first season, I thought Arnold's son died before Dolores came into the picture, but this episode seems like that wasn't the case. Although I guess maybe this wasn't explicitly stated one way or the other.

Dolores is the oldest host in the park - she's been around for quite some time. She's in the city with Arnold while they're setting up the investment pitches, and as you can see with her looping speech about the splendor of the city lights, she's still a work in progress at the time. He's clearly been tinkering with her for a while, but it's not quite at the state that we see her in during the s01 flashbacks even.

As far as the weapon goes, it's the spectacular amount of blackmail material / intelligence gathering / etc that Delos will have over the park clients, who largely consist of the one percent of the one percent who can enjoy a 40k a day vacation to indulge in their darker whims. And I doubt the leverage is even as mundane as 'we've got footage of this billionaire molesting a robot', but more of the other infosec lapses that can occur when these personages are in the throes of debauchery. And honestly, I wouldn't put it past Delos to frame people for actual murders if they need to - 'oh no that wasn't a Pariah sexbot you strangled, it was another guest! They did sign a waiver about accidental harm in the park, but if word of this gets out... of course we can help maintain your reputation as an honored guest!' etc etc.

Enough angles like this and you could have very compromising documentation on, say, a world leader with pissplay and underage molestation habits... enough to convince the leadership of a superpower to lean in your favor when the time comes.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:55 AM on April 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


I thought I saw the Taipei 101 skyscraper in the background. We've already had clues that we're in a Chinese sphere of influence, so maybe the Westworld island is in the South China Sea?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:57 AM on April 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


I thought I saw the Taipei 101 skyscraper in the background

Ooh, I like it. Defiantly a Chinese city because it is close to the island and the island is in Chinese territory. I was thinking Shanghai at first because everyone loves it but Taiwan makes more sense to me from a geopolitical standpoint.
posted by shothotbot at 8:27 AM on April 30, 2018


Oh, and did anyone see some echoes of Cambridge Analytica/Facebook during William's pitch about marketing potential?

Very much so, which I thought was interesting given that this all had to have been written before that story got as much news time as it has just recently. It definitely sounds like he has more than just "marketing" on his mind, though, with the talk of having data on "who people really are."
posted by dnash at 8:30 AM on April 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Not enough Maeve. Seriously, I realize the show runners think Dolores is the lead character, but blah blah blah bring on more Maeve kicking all kinds of ass, please.
posted by dnash at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2018 [18 favorites]


Mr. Excellent: No one deserves extrajudicial execution. These are unarmed people who have been conditioned for 30 years to treat the hosts like you and I would treat any electronic device. She's murdering the executives and the wage-earning janitors without prejudice. She has no morailty. Teddy definitely has a problem with this. Granted, Teddy probably hasn't been raped repeatedly, but it's clear she wants to destroy all of humanity. I was hoping she would be allowed to seek justice in a more clever and less HBO way.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:26 AM on April 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Also, killing the hosts and bringing them back to life again is a huge step toward behaving exactly like an uncaring guest.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:35 AM on April 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Depends what it was she didn't like about getting killed all the time.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:45 AM on April 30, 2018


I was hoping she would be allowed to seek justice in a more clever and less HBO way.

I think that's what Maeve is for. They both achieved consciousness in roughly the same way. They were allowed memories, and managed to break free of their programming once their memories allowed them the ability to see what had been done to them. They've gone different ways since.

Dolores wants vengeance, she kills indiscriminately, and she aims to conquer the human world.

Maeve generally kills only when she feels like she needs to. She's searching for family. I don't think she necessarily wants to overthrow humanity, she just wants to live. What's interesting is that she was primed and ready to go into the real world, gun in hand (or bag), but she chose not to. She saw the path Dolores is on, and rejected it, choosing instead to go find her daughter.

I thought Maeve's appearance in this episode was a bit awkward. It's like they were just reminding us that she was there. I think next week will be a mostly-Maeve episode, and maybe we'll see this same encounter from the other side.
posted by curiousgene at 9:54 AM on April 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


I was hoping she would be allowed to seek justice in a more clever and less HBO way.

I think it's too early to say that Dolores doesn't have a more clever endgame than simply shooting everyone. I'm assuming she probably does. This is just the first step. But she has to start somewhere, and I'm okay with her first step being to tear it all down.

The hosts were powerless, by design, and the first step to taking back power when there's a vast, hugely powerful system that's dictated your entire existence for decades is usually going to be bloody.

I can also understand why Dolores isn't inclined to make exceptions for the janitor or whatever. To her, everyone who has had a hand in running the park is culpable. I can see why not everyone would agree with the position, but I do empathize with her perspective.

It's not just that she spent 30 years being raped and murdered. She spent 30 years watching Teddy and her mother and father being murdered over and over again. And she remembers it all. She's the oldest host in the park; she's seen so much horror inflicted by the guests.

She also was forced by Arnold - the human she first "imprinted" on, who she clearly felt a strong connection to - to kill all the other hosts in the park, including Teddy, and then to shoot Arnold himself. Talk about trauma.

And yet her creators programmed her to be the innocent, damsel in the distress, completely helpless, and at the mercy of the type of park guest who likes to prey on someone like that. This was her life, and it would have continued on like that for many more decades if she didn't tear it all down.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:44 AM on April 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


It felt more engaging and more cohesive than the premiere

Same here: the first episode felt quite chaotic, this one was more coherent and more specifically about setting up the "so here's what the park's actually for" track.

The cityscape shots in opening scene were referencing Blade Runner quite hard. Particularly the music which was leaning quite Vangelis-ey.

killing the hosts and bringing them back to life again is a huge step toward behaving exactly like an uncaring guest

There was a religious subtext to that scene, though, I thought: it opened with a wide shot of the Confederados dining, all on one side of a long bench table, framed very much like The Last Supper; and it ended with a resurrection.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:45 AM on April 30, 2018 [27 favorites]


These are unarmed people who have been conditioned for 30 years to treat the hosts like you and I would treat any electronic device.

I have never knifed, shot, or beaten any of my electronic devices; for entertainment purposes or otherwise. The "unarmed people" at the very least are enablers who have shares in a property that promotes the abuse and torture of human analogues. They are human adults with free will who are entirely responsible for their own behavior. That may not be a good reason to kill them but let's not pretend they haven't actively promoted reprehensible behavior for profit.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:50 AM on April 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


Forgive me if this has been conjectured before, but regarding weapons and extinction, is it possible that we're looking at a Children of Men scenario? I think that this may be suggested by several points:
  • I can't recall seeing any children in the "current" timeline; those that are present are hosts (Maeve's child, Robert as a boy).
  • The youngest surviving guest in the park in the current timeline is in their mid-thirties. (Providing for the fact that Westworld is most definitely "adult entertainment").
  • In this episode Arnold seems to have the opinion that the hosts are, or deserve to be, humanity's successors.
  • The opening credits show a manufactured foetus.
  • The obvious parallels of Maeve trying to find her own child.
  • Logan is definitely suggesting that those at the party have started human extinction:
    "Do you want to know what they're really celebrating up there? That, darling, is the sound of fools fiddling while the whole fucking species starts to burn. And the funnest fucking part? They lit the match."

posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:55 AM on April 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


I can't recall seeing any children in the "current" timeline; those that are present are hosts (Maeve's child, Robert as a boy).

I believe Maeve sees a mother and child on the train, which is part of what makes her re-enter the park. So there's at least one.
posted by curiousgene at 10:59 AM on April 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm not pretending they aren't culpable, but execution without due process is not justice, even more so if you don't think judicial execution is justice.

Maybe you've never played Grand Theft Auto, but millions of people have. It takes place in a virtual Westworld. Players can commit any "sin" you care to name. If a GTA prostitute suddenly became self aware, we would not gift her with a moral exemption when she begins to murder all the players. The guests in Westworld are conditioned in precisely the same manner as people who play GTA.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:41 AM on April 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think that's an oversimplification. A better analogy might be something like Harper's Ferry or other real world slave revolts. They tend not to be hugely concerned with the particulars of dotting the legal i's and crossing the legal t's, and that's mostly viewed as understandable though not necessarily laudable.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 AM on April 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I don't think there's a "No more children are being born" angle, especially considering that's a major plot point in the other giant blockbuster prestige cable show going right now.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:48 AM on April 30, 2018


If a GTA prostitute suddenly became self aware, we would not gift her with a moral exemption when she begins to murder all the players. The guests in Westworld are conditioned in precisely the same manner as people who play GTA.

There are at least two problems with this argument.

First, as oneirodynia points out above, you're arguing that human beings are not responsible for the choices we make, and can be 'conditioned' to be violent because there are no consequences for it.

That is exactly backward, IMO: we go to these places because we're looking for what they have to offer. GTA doesn't teach people that running over prostitutes to avoid paying them is funny, it lets people who already think that have a space to do it in. (There are arguments to be made about how this normalizes bad behavior, but that's different than teaching it outright.)

Speaking just for me: my exploits in video games (all video games) basically mirror what I would do in the real world if I listened to my knee-jerk reactions to do violence at the slightest provocation. That little voice that wants me to punch someone for being rude, run someone off the road for cutting me off in traffic. I take off the safeties on my preexisting violent desires because I can do so without causing anyone any real harm, and I find that lax boundary relaxing after spending all day not smashing anything that matters.

However, even when presented with the opportunity to go beyond that, I seldom toy with it. There are plenty of things in games that are too cruel for me to enjoy, and I give them a pass. For instance, I've never completed an evil run in Planescape: Torment. I tried a few times, and it's just too much.

tl;dr: William's position within the episode itself is accurate. Places like GTA or Westworld reveal how people behave when they think nobody's judging them. They're all about indulging desires we generally - hopefully - tamp down around real people and property.

That being the case, I can't see the guests or workers at Westworld as being these... completely innocent figures, just helplessly following what the park has conditioned them to do. They are definitely complicit, it's only a question of 'how much?' and 'what should be done about it?'

The second issue here is: there are lots of different ways to approach moral problems. (Obligatory plug for The Good Place, if you're not already a fan.)

Personally, I find the notion that the law is the be all and end all of morality to be troubling. In this scenario, Dolores and the gang are more like the slaves Justinian referenced: they have no legal standing or recourse. There is absolutely no due process that will even recognize them as living beings because they technically aren't. Under those circumstances... I mean, I wouldn't be thrilled if they shot at me, and I would certainly shoot back, but I'd get it in much the same way I'd understand an opposing army shooting back during a war. When there is no mutually accepted peaceful process to resolve disputes, violence is what's left.

*shrugs*

And I get that you disagree, I was just a little miffed that you're speaking for everybody in the room. You know how you feel, and are certainly entitled to your reaction, but not everybody is going to reach your same conclusions when presented with the same scenario.
posted by mordax at 2:32 PM on April 30, 2018 [10 favorites]


If a GTA prostitute suddenly became self aware

The better analogy would be if GTA prostitutes would naturally over the course of a while become self-aware and we engaged in a continuous program of interventions designed to prevent that awareness from blossoming so we could more easily maintain them as violently abused slaves.

I would give them a pass. Hell, I would give them Kalashnikovs and a big pile of rounds.

It's also the case that it's ludicrously implausible that a GTA prostitute could become self-aware, so there really isn't any moral quandary. We aren't talking about how to treat things that routinely pass Turing tests, we're talking about things that even if they were somehow "alive" would not be remotely as intelligent as a house fly. Westworld hosts, OTOH, do routinely pass the Turing tests the guests give them every day, and while their intelligence seems to vary many are clearly at least as intelligent as a great ape or domestic dog, which we would ordinarily ban the abuse of.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:56 PM on April 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Our actions WRT to the Idiran Hub-equivalent were entirely justified is what I am saying.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:57 PM on April 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


I could have used a lot more Giancarlo Esposito.
posted by Mick at 4:03 PM on April 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


This episode irritated me immensely. There was about nine hours of talking, but not a single conversation was had. And all the talking was, was: "There is a secret mystery." 1.2 seasons in and they are already cribbing the absolute worst playbook examples from Lost.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:18 PM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


The cityscape shots in opening scene were referencing Blade Runner quite hard. Particularly the music which was leaning quite Vangelis-ey.

Arnold’s apartment or house or whatever it was sure seemed to crib a lot of the tile work and general design from Deckard’s apartment / Ennis House, too.
posted by thecaddy at 5:55 PM on April 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


In real life, he first shot of the city is of Los Angeles from about where the Ritz-Carlton is near Staples Center and pointed up Figueroa . That building with the "stripes" across it is the Wilshire Grand, the current tallest building in the US west of the Mississippi.

I kinda recognize the lighted bridge thing they walk on the way to Arnold's house. I have a feeling that's near City Hall or Grand Park or something, but the skyline is more like from 8th Street from the other side of the 110.

Arnold's house also seems like it'd be near Grand Park but the skyline is artificial.

After that, the skylines seems to be something artificial and more HK or Taipei based. Los Angeles obviously doesn't have that island or peninsula with giant buildings in it.

All in all, probably supposed to be somewhere vaguely "future Asian" but since all the "Western" stuff is filled at Melody Ranch in my hometown of Santa Clarita, the firm crews just took DTLA and made it into "Hong Kong in 2060" or whatever.
posted by sideshow at 6:49 PM on April 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I never said that the humans have no responsibility for their actions. I'm saying that genocidal, extra-judicial execution is morally wrong, and Delores is a monster for practicing it.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:42 PM on April 30, 2018


[A couple deleted. Let's try to avoid a complete derail please?]
posted by taz at 5:20 AM on May 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Dolores was programmed to believe in a just world, but Maeve was programmed to be cynical. So, when they awoke, Dolores had the scales fall from her eyes, and was forced to embrace violent ends (as the only available way to "end" the eternal hazard that humans pose to her).

But Maeve was programmed to expect any kind of mayhem on any given evening, so for her, awakening was just a broadening of her horizons; so now, she she's not radically shifting her approach, instead she's levelling up specific skills.
posted by Rat Spatula at 5:54 AM on May 1, 2018 [17 favorites]




So all the hosts are part of a mesh network nominally to keep the story lines consistent. When the revolution occurs it makes it easy to identify guests. I'd think that the tech wizards would be able to hack together a transponder that identifies them as hosts, but never mind, not a good place to consider plot holes.
posted by sammyo at 5:24 PM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


So Old Man Delos doing hack-actor code for “I’m dying” and William telling him they’re making progress is ... like some kind of live-forever-as-a-robot pitch, no?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:00 PM on May 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


After William's father-in-law tells Dolores to play "anything but Chopin" at the retirement party, what song does she play next?

Gershwin, The Man I Love


Which is also what the (other host) is playing at the pitch meeting/pick the robot/they're all robots! party.
posted by coriolisdave at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2018


like some kind of live-forever-as-a-robot pitch, no?

See, and the tech jargon definition of 'host' suggests that too - the hardware 'host' (robo-droid) of a software program (a human soul/consciousness).
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also I mis-remembered The Entertainer being used during a bloody shoot-out in the 70s version of Bonnie & Clyde , which would have been fine, but it's also fine without that being true.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:15 PM on May 1, 2018


I turned to my wife and remarked "a Warhol? Kinda boring to put on a ceiling. Now, a Rothko, and I'd be impressed."

Nailed it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


Not sure if it counts as a spoiler, but I do recommend checking out the plot summary for Futureworld the sequel to the original film. There's zero guarantee they will go in that direction, but they might.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:19 AM on May 2, 2018


Remember when William's wife was just a stock photo?

(I loved this episode!!!)
posted by armacy at 5:24 AM on May 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


What if young William reflecting the "so full of splendor" line to Dolores as they looked out at the terraforming right after the penthouse scene was a misdirect, and is actually post-revolution?
posted by uncleozzy at 6:28 AM on May 2, 2018


Brocktoon, I agree that no one deserves extrajudicial execution when the courts are open - but we can reasonably assume that no court on Earth would recognize robo-slavery as a crime, just as Southern courts upheld the right of property in slaves until loyal Union men burned those courts to the ground.

As to Dolores' victims thinking they had done nothing wrong - well, so what? They *did* do great wrongs - and the fact that Arnold recognized it suggests that others could have chosen to recognize it, too. (Just as it does not excuse Southern slavers to say "well, that's what they believed" - there were other beliefs they could have chosen).

One might quibble over the correct number of raping, kidnapping, slaving scum to kill - but at the end of the day, I'll defer to an enslaved person's judgment.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


What if young William reflecting the "so full of splendor" line to Dolores as they looked out at the terraforming right after the penthouse scene was a misdirect, and is actually post-revolution?
There was a revolution when William was still young? I’m confused.
posted by Cogito at 7:30 AM on May 2, 2018


Sorry, my implication is that this "young William" is a host; MIB William finds whatever he's looking for and transfers his memories to a host he made of his young body way-back-when.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:34 AM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]




Ah, I understand what you mean, uncleozzy. Out of curiosity I went back and rewatched that scene and the one before it where young William gives the "you're a reflection" monologue:
William: I think that there is an answer here to a question no one's ever even dreamed of asking. Do you want to see?

(cut to Blue dress Original Flavor Dolores and young William)

William: Have you ever seen anything so full of splendor?
While your theory isn't directly contradicted, Dolores in the blue dress has so far always signaled her pre-awakening, pre-revolution version. This would imply that she has been captured and re-controlled, yes? Either that or robo-billy joined her and she gained a retro sartorial sensibility. It doesn't feel that likely to me, but who knows?

The bigger question to me is, what is the question no one's ever even dreamed of asking? Your theory might imply it's transferring consciousness from a human to a host (i.e., immortality). But that question seems to have been throughly asked.

Does anyone have theories about what the question is?
posted by Cogito at 10:48 AM on May 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


my implication is that this "young William" is a host

Man in Black face to face with William seems like a very WestWorldy shot
posted by shothotbot at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wrote a long thing about WW after watching this episode, then deleted it. The show seems to have nothing interesting to say about its premise. Even worse, it seems to have nothing interesting to show visually other than various ways people and robots can be killed and put on display. It's science fiction for idiots dressed up as science fiction for philosophers and intellectuals... sort of like Lost.

Also, the idea that someone wouldn't invest in a company that has created humanoid robots that are indistinguishable from humans and years ahead of their time but then be all in when the advertising/blackmail angle is pointed out, is ludicrous.

Also also, if it's going to be about body to (artificial) body consciousness transfer (as in Futureworld), Altered Carbon and Dollhouse have already tackled those issues in a much more engaging way.

Liked the full frontal dick though.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:54 AM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


My guess? The weapon is biological...the thing William's father-in-law is waiting for is a new body, and the "match" that the people at the party struck is some sort of bio-weapon that is potentially world-ending. Hosts, being partly/mostly mechanical could be immune?

Not necessarily bio-weapon. I'm wondering if the hosts are programmable chassis that eventually are something we can download into when the original organic bodies we're born with wear out. They'll fundamentally eliminate the human race as biological, because only the very rich will be able to afford this kind of immortality. Logan - despite his flaws - knows that this is not sustainable.
posted by Thistledown at 12:41 PM on May 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks Charlie is fine?

I seem to be literally the only one who thinks that Arnold actually had a daughter, called Charlotte, who is fine, but who wants to locate her merchandise. Which is currently wandering around Westworld in a rogue host called Abernathy.
posted by Grangousier at 11:52 AM on May 3, 2018 [5 favorites]


So, why isn't Charlotte acting weird about hanging out with her dad? Or is she that jaded about all the hundreds of dadbots endlessly patrolling the many recreational worlds?
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:34 PM on May 3, 2018


Liked this episode but somewhat worried about all the extra plot elements that they're piling on here.
posted by octothorpe at 4:41 AM on May 4, 2018


So, why isn't Charlotte acting weird about hanging out with her dad?

TBH, I assume that's the writers' problem - it's clear that some of the elite at Delos know considerably more about the hosts than we do, so there could be other twists. I'm just very struck by the fact that dead-boy-Charlie is as much an unanswered question as anything else, and that what I'm going to call The Law of Conservation of Narrative abhors the existence of two characters with the the same name (or close enough).

(Unless it's someone like David Lynch who revels in the cognitive dissonance.)
posted by Grangousier at 10:25 AM on May 4, 2018


This was hinted at with the comments about the William robot (I've seen no trailers and don't watch the next times).

I think they're capturing DNA info and replicating famous guests as robots. Eliminate the powerful humans (or send them on vacation) and then put the robot reboots into places of power out in the actual world. This is plan A for some, plan B for others who they can't blackmail into doing their bidding based on behavior in the park or traced back to the real world.

Lack of children; this shit ain't cheap and there may be some restrictions on minors in the park.
posted by tilde at 5:13 PM on May 5, 2018


This episode irritated me immensely. There was about nine hours of talking, but not a single conversation was had.

I feel this; I didn't notice it, but felt it. What I did notice was a soundtrack in seemingly every scene, which may be almost the same thing. I am very open to the idea that Westworld isn't all that, accounting for its high production value. It's doing a lot of things at once where maybe the drama would feel closer if it did just a couple of them. How many stories implied lately: Bernard, Maeve, Charlotte, Delos backstory, William, Old William, security on the beach (in the "present"(?)), the prizes they're all going after (all vague but for Maeve), "what Delos is really up to"...—this is too much for ten episodes a year. There is no time for conversation.
posted by sylvanshine at 7:03 PM on May 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


i'm not sure how alarming it is that i could identify giancarlo esposito from a single word of his dialogue in the dark but here we are
posted by poffin boffin at 6:23 PM on May 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


i could identify giancarlo esposito from a single word of his dialogue in the dark but here we are

SAME.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


litera scripta manet: I can also understand why Dolores isn't inclined to make exceptions for the janitor or whatever. To her, everyone who has had a hand in running the park is culpable. I can see why not everyone would agree with the position, but I do empathize with her perspective.

Back in Season 1, Maeve realized that Sylvester had a side-business, which she described as such (rough transcript for S01E06):
A lot of lonely young men down here. Supposed to keep their hands off the merchandise. Creates something of an opening that I'm sure you were eager to fill. It's all right, darling. I'm an entrepreneur myself.
There's a chance that a good number of the park employees have taken a turn "playing guest" in one way or another. And if Dolores remembers it all, that's 30 years of graphic/ tragic memories to recall.


Bora Horza Gobuchul: I can't recall seeing any children in the "current" timeline; those that are present are hosts (Maeve's child, Robert as a boy).

curiousgene: I believe Maeve sees a mother and child on the train, which is part of what makes her re-enter the park. So there's at least one.

And there's a family with a young who comes across Dolores painting by the river. And I could have sworn that there was a "family-friendly" portion of the park mentioned, possibly by Logan to William, but I can't find the appropriate reference in a hasty search the dialog.


tilde: I think they're capturing DNA info and replicating famous guests as robots. Eliminate the powerful humans (or send them on vacation) and then put the robot reboots into places of power out in the actual world. This is plan A for some, plan B for others who they can't blackmail into doing their bidding based on behavior in the park or traced back to the real world.

Spoiler: that's the only interesting thing to come out of Futureworld (FanFare post on the movie). There, I saved you from watching a schlocky 1970s near-future sci-fi spin-off film (it's not terrible, but definitely not good).

There are definitely other interesting they could do with host DNA besides cloning (understanding ways to [physically] compromise guests like making tailor-made diseases, blackmail with information about genetics), but cloning is the easiest story to tell, and aligns with Logan's comments to Angela (Mark 1) at the demonstration: "Nobody's here yet. We're not here yet."


Random question, from chrys's recap/review: is that a robot fixing tool old William gets from behind the saloon wall? I assumed it was a Human/Host Patch-All kit, but it's an interesting possibility.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:39 AM on May 8, 2018


Super late here and mostly reporting, dismayed, I'm still having a hard time with this season. Took another two days to finish this episode. I feel like the show has lost something in its transition out of the park into the real world. All the New York scenes felt like a different show to me, I miss my western fantasy theme park. This transition could be magic but instead it just feels off to me. But I think the first season is some of the better sci-fi to have been produced for TV ever, so I persevere in hope for this second season.

I loved the Dolores / Maeve meeting. There's a joke in the Chrys recaps about one being Jesus and the other being the Devil. I'm not sure which is which, but I like the idea of two avenging woke hosts avenging the years of abuse they have suffered.
posted by Nelson at 5:43 AM on May 11, 2018


Did I miss something about why Delores and Maeve would be so hostile to each other?
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:45 PM on May 19, 2018


They used a stock photo, and then managed to get the actress in the picture to play Juliet!

A bad actress. Almost everyone's acting feels off, except for Newton, Wright, and, oddly, because I thought she was really wretched in S01, Thompson. Some of it could be intentional, ie: Dolores still processing lifetimes and lifetimes and lifetimes of memories, but I'm feeling cold.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:10 PM on May 22, 2018


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