Westworld: Virtu e Fortuna
May 6, 2018 7:29 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Beauty in individuals; the fight for survival.
posted by litera scripta manet (66 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Welp, Rajworld is the fucking worst.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:29 PM on May 6, 2018 [11 favorites]


This was another good episode. Maybe not quite as cohesive as last week's, but it made up for it with more Maeve screentime + Felix is back! I had been wondering what happened to him.

I also thought the opening sequence was great, if only for the excitement of seeing where that tiger came from.

And Teddy has now made it through two episodes without dying, although given his disregard of Dolores's instructions, I don't suppose he'll survive much longer. Of course, we already knew that, since the end of the S2 premiere showed him face down in the water.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:33 PM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


The scene between Dolores and Peter was really, really hard to watch... he wasn't a glitching robot in that moment, he was a beloved dad with dementia. It was a little too much like some moments I had with my grandma in the weeks before her death. Both actors are incredible for pulling that off, but... ow.

SIGH, Rajworld. The sitar cover of Seven Nation Army was kinda bangin', but otherwise, hard pass on vacation colonialism.

You know the way Bernard keeps waking up in random places? I bet by the end of the season we'll see that those are moments when someone has just switched him on. Because they've got to know he's a host. Come on.
posted by palomar at 9:49 PM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


I too liked the sitar version of Seven Nation Army and wondered whether it was chosen in part because it appears on The White Stripes' album entitled Elephant.
posted by carmicha at 9:56 PM on May 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


No one else seems to be reacting this way, but I’m finding this season to be a chore. The multiple timelines and characters on different threads and with different layers of memory are a lot to track. It was all much more coherent when the park was running.

I also think this show is so serioso, perhaps way more than is good for it, and way more than the premise merits. The scene in this episode when the one host got flipped into compassionate-hero mode was actually funny, and it was like throwing the window open so could air could get in for a moment. Otherwise I’m afraid I’m always about to get a speech about Dolores playing a new role, Herself, or something.

For all the heaviness, in the end it’s a show about robot cowboys. I wish it could be even slightly as goofy as that premise suggests. Something of the absurdist irony of Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead, for instance, would be an incredible addition. But that would involve more vulnerability than the writers seem willing to show at the moment.

I don’t know. To me, we’re heading into B- territory and I’m ready to sign off soon.
posted by argybarg at 10:29 PM on May 6, 2018 [20 favorites]


Yeah I coulda done without Rajworld, but I think the take away from that is the one guest's suspicion that another guest is actually a host. That whole "Would they bother making fake guests?" The answer seems to be clearly YES and is probably tied to what the "weapon" is or the "research" on the guests.

I was kinda underwhelmed by the whole Hector is Lee's alter ego, but it was fun to see how badly he reacted to Hector's new relationship.

Like Argybarg I'm a bit tired of Delores waxing philosophical and I'm also concerned that adding on the new worlds might be too much too soon in terms of loading down the story arc for this season. I mean, there's already a ton of things at play.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:27 AM on May 7, 2018


By the way, the hat guy who Bernard reprogrammed to be super-chivalrous was in the background in the episode one scene where Bernard wakes up on the beach, exclaiming something like "You're shooting a woman? Over my dead body!" before being executed. So I guess the programming stuck.
posted by dfan at 5:20 AM on May 7, 2018 [24 favorites]


I am finding lots more pockets of boredom this season, generally. I find the pacing to be a little slower and the story not moving at a speed I like. The elements that are being brought in are diversions so far, and it definitely is feeling like LOST to me. (Now we have The Others; they’re from park 6. We have to get off the island. We need planes from the mainland. Black and white. And so on.)

I do hold out some hope, but the points argybarg makes resonate with me. It’s so serious, and I don’t think I am quite feeling the gravity of the situation that the humans do just yet. I did last season. Now? It feels more diffused, less urgent.

This episode was all right. I kind of wish Bernard said more than 9 words an episode. Evan Rachel Wood is a delight, and she is doing the best with what she’s got. But yeah. A little slog here.

On the positive side, I am secretly hoping that the clear target audiences for these parks gets brought into the story smartly. I also applaud the focus on women-led stories this season: we have multiple women in power. And Wyatt/Dolores is slightly evocative of identity exploration IRL, which is also good to see.
posted by hijinx at 6:01 AM on May 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh great, *another* POV character.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:53 AM on May 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


My score card so far:

Episode 1: C- ...mostly laying groundwork
Episode 2: A- ...actually good
Episode 3: C+ ...mostly laying groundwork

I'm hoping they find a better rhythm between setting things up and delivering entertaining stories.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 AM on May 7, 2018


I'll join the ranks of not really feeling this season, either; I think 'pockets of boredom' characterises it pretty accurately. It all feels rather overwrought. (Though I binged the entirety of S1 whilst flat on my ass with the flu so it's possible I never really engaged with the story, and am just noticing more now.)

I will make an exception for Louis Herthum as Peter Abernathy, though. That man's performance is straight-up compelling. He had maybe two minutes of screentime in True Detective as a grieving father and delivered one of the most captivating and unsettling performances of the series, which is no small feat.
posted by myotahapea at 7:33 AM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


SIGH, Rajworld. The sitar cover of Seven Nation Army was kinda bangin', but otherwise, hard pass on vacation colonialism.

I took the existence of this new park as further evidence for the essential capitalist white supremacy of the world outside of the parks, which in that sense is exactly like our world but possibly worse.

India currently has roughly 1/5 of the world's population; if that 1/5 had the money and resources to spend on Delos' parks, there's no way in hell that there would be a market for an obscenity like Rajworld. Take away whatever residual romanticism you may have about the Old West, and Westworld is the exact same thing.

Delos is banking on the cultural fantasies of a small and concentrated white/European economic elite, who evidently still retain a nostalgia for their past conquest and colonization. Clearly, the future world of the show is still fundamentally racist and unequal, and the parks are a reflection of everything that continues to be wrong in that world.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:59 AM on May 7, 2018 [26 favorites]


I am guessing Bernard downloaded the big file from Abernathy into himself - and maybe deleted it from Abernathy? There is so much build up to the Delos scheme and I am worried it will be another Star Wars was triggered by a tax squabble situation.

Overall I liked this episode more than most of the commentators but the mystery of the first season and the exquisite way they told it seems impossible to repeat.

I had thought the Tiger was pointing to some sort of Arabian Nights world mainly because what kind of psycho wants to live in the Raj? Similar to one who wants to be a gunslinger I guess.
posted by shothotbot at 8:31 AM on May 7, 2018 [8 favorites]


The Trump sons would totally go to Raj World. Team Robot.
posted by armacy at 8:44 AM on May 7, 2018 [16 favorites]


I am guessing Bernard downloaded the big file from Abernathy into himself - and maybe deleted it from Abernathy?
Must be, yeah. I actually called this around half an hour earlier; in the "present" Charlotte tells Bernard (paraphrased) "Man, that Abernathy is really hard to find, I wonder where he could possibly be", while the camera lingers longingly on Bernard in a way that felt to me like a huge wink.
posted by dfan at 11:34 AM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think a vacationworld in India/South Asia could be cool but the Raj era is perhaps not the time to set it. I think the pre-British Takeover past could be a much better setting with more mythic adventures or something. Overall, the guest we followed there seems to have a much more reasonable approach to it than, say, Logan. I liked that she was so eager to avoid a host booty call that she got out the weapons, and her response to "oh god everything's gone off the rails" was solid. I'm certainly hoping she lives through her introduction to the Ghost Warriors. Also, love the sudden host interruption as an attempt to dissuade guests from different groups from interacting.

ARMISITICE IS BACK AND SHE'S GOT A FLAMETHROWER! Oh hell yeah. A point, though - I think her backstory was that her whole settlement was killed by Wyatt - I'm curious what hosts who have previous experience with Wyatt will think of Dolores/Wyatt.

I am surprised that the edge of the park was so ... banal. I would sort of expect more of a physical barrier before you get to the "guests, don't cross this" announcement.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:49 AM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


With Teddie's fate foretold in episode one of this season, maybe he joins / starts an anti-Deloris faction?

It's interesting to think a bit about the different reactions to family of Maeve and Deloris to "family." Deloris is compassionate toward her "father" but has her own mission uppermost in her mind. Maeve is allowing her "daughter" to be come the sole organizing principle of her life. Would love it if anyone had any insights.
posted by shothotbot at 11:50 AM on May 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


My thought on that is that Maeve isn't as off-script as she thinks she is. At the end of season one I was pretty convinced that she's still bicameral (so her script is Arnold's more sophisticated, pre-consciousness one), though the show doesn't seem to care as much about that as it did last season.

Alternatively, Maeve's foundational trauma was her daughter's death(s). Delores loves her father, but he's not foundational in that same way.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


No one else seems to be reacting this way, but I’m finding this season to be a chore.

I've been feeling the same way. First season worked because of the thrill of the new, but now that thrill is gone, and we are just watching people shuffle about aimlessly. I will stick with it and hope for the best but I'm pretty much at the point where I don't care any more because I haven't been given a reason to. All the characters are ugly and there is nobody to root for, except MiB, because it's Ed Harris, and Maeve, because it's Thandie Newton (though her mission is shit). Sadly, rooting for a character just because you like the actor is not the same as being invested in the character itself.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Calling it now - the new POV character (RajTigerLady) is a host, who's become self-aware. The book she's carrying contains the notes she's made in every loop, similar to Maeve's hidden drawings in season 1.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:37 PM on May 7, 2018 [8 favorites]


ARMISITICE IS BACK AND SHE'S GOT A FLAMETHROWER!

A dragon.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:59 PM on May 7, 2018 [9 favorites]


Last season, when I was talking to my Mom about Westworld, she wasn't interested at all. I explained the whole bit about the robots becoming self-aware, and the ethical questions that follow, and her response was "well, they still don't have souls" (She's, obviously, religious).

I wonder how much of the divide about whether the show is interesting comes down to essentially the same thing. Maeve knows she doesn't actually have a daughter in any real biological sense, that it's just a memory programmed into her. If you just see her as a robot following her programming, than the quest to find her daughter isn't terribly interesting. To me, it's far more interesting that she knows it's a fake daughter, and still chooses to find her. Or does she actually have a choice?

And are we any different, really?

I mean, I don't think this is a particularly deep insight; that's the whole point of the show, it seems to me. Are you watching a show about rogue killer robots or one about the birth of a new form of life? Does free will exist for them? For us?

Yes, the ending of Lost was awful. But I still enjoyed watching it, even if I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, knowing how it ended.

I like the music in Westworld.

I also like Humans (BBC) and look forward to season 3.
posted by booooooze at 5:11 PM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


That battle was bullshit. All unarmored dune buggies, no HMMVs, no mounted heavy guns, no snipers, no RPGs that I could see. A couple TOWs would've vaporized the lot. All Deus Ex Machina so they could plausibly fail.
posted by scalefree at 5:41 PM on May 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


rajworld could be glorious so long as the british are crushed.

i would sell each and every one of you directly to satan for an entire season of just maeve and hector
posted by poffin boffin at 7:44 PM on May 7, 2018 [10 favorites]


Apparently there's more lingering attachment tucked away in the back of my mind for the first two X-Men movies than I thought, because when Teddy was sent to execute that guy my gut reaction was CYCLOPS NO! If this show has Marsden shake the whole boy scout hero thing he's always got going at some point, it's going to be a thing to see.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:06 PM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


i love him and his incredibly sincere cheekbones
posted by poffin boffin at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2018 [4 favorites]


Rajworld was both uncomfortable to watch but also extremely on the nose. I think I as a viewer found the idea of a Wild West-themed robopark not, you know, viscerally uncomfortable whereas Rajworld (even assuming nonsentient hosts!) is just an absolute no-go.

Even though the American occupation of the West was arguably as much an imperial effort (though in a very different way) as the Raj. How many Indian billionaires in this universe would care to vacation in Rajworld? Probably not many. Probably the existence of Rajworld should mean something about who exactly is ascendant in the world outside the park.

Also, somehow knowing that the guests in the other parks enjoy cosplaying as British colonists manages to make them seem even worse than the ones that just want to play cowboy...

If this all is about life-extension, then I'm wagering the data that Abernathy is carrying is Arthur's mind. Which, having been downloaded into Bernard, is causing him understandable issues.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:11 PM on May 7, 2018 [12 favorites]


booooooze: Those are questions that people have been trying to squeeze out of Blade Runner for decades. Blade Runner and 2049 set us up to think that our philosophical notions about "humanity" might be obsolete, yet decided to give us a baby savior instead. I guess the filmakers thought we liked how Battlestar Galactica ended. Deckard could have redeemed himself and convinced K that he didn't need a mother to justify his existence. Instead he gets a free pass and all the replicants are convinced that they need to have babies. Hopefully Westworld will trust us enough to challenge our violent and morally corrupt ownership of "humanity", but my impression is that the show might be too busy juggling timelines.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:17 PM on May 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also if you're feeling let down by this season and aren't 100% sure why, it might be because Anthony Hopkins is not in the cast anymore.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:21 PM on May 7, 2018 [8 favorites]


Brocktoon, it's partly that, and partly because it is a rambling, aimless wafflefest packed with shitty characters.

Except for Steven Ogg as the fastest, most virtuous gunfighter in the west. Now THAT is a season of telly I would give you all away for!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:21 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't care about the quality this season because KATJA HERBERS IS HERE!!! I loved her in Manhattan!

What ? No, I'm not biased because she's a fellow dutchie!!
posted by Pendragon at 2:40 AM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't care about the quality this season because KATJA HERBERS IS HERE!!!

I was pretty pleased to see her turn up in the cold open myself — actually googled about to verify it was her, as her accent was less pronounced. Really enjoyed her turns in The Leftovers and The Americans (as Nina's cellmate in Lefortovo and one of the scientists operating the LADR machine, respectively), so I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with this new character.
posted by myotahapea at 3:03 AM on May 8, 2018


I must now purchase tickets to this "Wafflefest". It sounds much more enjoyable than the annual Fish Fry.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:26 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


I can't stop listening to seven nation sitar.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:46 AM on May 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


That battle was bullshit. All unarmored dune buggies, no HMMVs, no mounted heavy guns, no snipers, no RPGs that I could see. A couple TOWs would've vaporized the lot. All Deus Ex Machina so they could plausibly fail.

Having worked in Occupational Safety and Health and studied various industrial disasters, respectfully going to disagree here (except for the part about snipers I guess).

Firstly, let's get it out of the way and say that most major accidents are systemic failures, rather than failures by an individual - almost by definition, since if an individual failure lead to a catastrophe, the individual involved was allowed to be a single failure point, which points to a greater failure by supervisors, and/or upper management, and/or regulatory authorities.

That said, often it's clear that individuals involved do not understand the risks that they're subjecting themselves to, either professionally (e.g. cutting these corners will raise the probability of a major disaster within my time as CEO to >50%) or personally (e.g. ignoring these four alarms simultaneously means that I will shortly be vaporised). And even for those individuals who do identify problems, there are often strong institutional pressures against speaking up and causing a fuss.

And that's all for avoiding the disaster. Assuming that the disaster happens and then planning to mitigate it afterwards is even further down the road (i.e. if your organisational planning was bad enough that the disaster happened, you probably don't have a good mitigation strategy, either).

And here I am talking about old, boring industries where the hazards and risks are well-understood: resource extraction, process chemistry, refineries, firework factories, petrochemical storage.

Not new and disruptive industries like self driving cars robot entertainment slaves, which are subject to poor regulatory oversight.

So: The battle happened between the firm's robots and the firm's internal QA team (PMCs, as opposed to an actual army), who probably had contingency planning and training for single rogue robots threatening guests - perhaps even inadvertently threatening them, due to a malfunction - rather than "all robots go offscript simultaneously and kill everyone". In that context, I'd expect them to work like police marksmen in a hostage situation - trained to wait for a shot, consider their background, and kill the rogue robots with as few and as accurate shots as possible. (The red FN P90s that they're equipped with are submachine guns, probably intended for use in semiautomatic mode like the UK police's H&K MP5s). So an indiscriminate and potentially guest-killing grenade, RPG, TOW, etc probably isn't considered appropriate weaponry. Also, despite their light armour, they're also presumably not expecting serious resistance from robots with guns that aren't supposed to work on humans, which would also explain their rapid but woefully under-armoured vehicles.

You may argue, "ah, but they should have planned for an event like this" but I would counter: you should see the obvious shit that happens in the real world because people don't plan for obvious, predictable, preventable problems. Like that waterpark where a Kansas Representative's son was decapitated, despite the many glaring safety flaws that many people knew about.

Anyway, in conclusion... The feeble response in general and that battle in particular didn't seem that unrealistic to me.

Bonus link: A Public Assembly Facilities Manager Considers Jurassic World
posted by chappell, ambrose at 11:33 AM on May 8, 2018 [25 favorites]


That battle was bullshit. All unarmored dune buggies, no HMMVs, no mounted heavy guns, no snipers, no RPGs that I could see. A couple TOWs would've vaporized the lot. All Deus Ex Machina so they could plausibly fail.

These were not trained soldiers with the best gear, but the QA team already stationed on the island before the host rebellion. Think glorified mall cops.
posted by Pendragon at 11:41 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


It seemed odd to me that installing barrels of actual nitroglycerin was somehow part of the fort's narrative. Even if it wasn't, and the hosts are operating somewhat autonomously, where did they get it?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:44 AM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]


Calling it now - the new POV character (RajTigerLady) is a host, who's become self-aware. The book she's carrying contains the notes she's made in every loop, similar to Maeve's hidden drawings in season 1.

Note that the notebook she had contained a drawing of the same interlocking-hexagon shape that appears on Bernard's tablet when he is logged into Abernathy and trying to sort out the encrypted host data. I'm thinking she may be a fed or corporate counter-espionage.

As far as the dune buggy battle goes - A) those weren't the crack mercs, they were definitely local security that hadn't had to deal with anything more coordinated than a malfunctioning host, B) they're also working under the assumption that the hosts' guns can't (for the most part) actually hurt them (which is broadly true), and C) the Nitro is the same supply that gets passed around and pumped into Lawrence's buddy in S01.

What I find interesting is that S01 sets up the premise that explosives in the park aren't live by default - pyro effects have to actively get authorized and activated by the control room, like MiB's cigar trick from S01's jailbreak. So is the control completely off, which means all the host guns / magic tech-bullets suddenly become real guns by default? Or is someone actively engaged with the controls from the backend, deliberately activating the weapons as needed?
posted by FatherDagon at 11:55 AM on May 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


It seemed odd to me that installing barrels of actual nitroglycerin was somehow part of the fort's narrative. Even if it wasn't, and the hosts are operating somewhat autonomously, where did they get it?

Personally I think that one of the weakest aspects of the show’s lore has always been guest safety (ignoring the possibility of the hosts rebelling, I mean). The nitroglycerin was in a train robbery plot last season, wasn’t it? But yeah, very dangerous and indiscriminate. I’m still not 100% clear how the guns work. Knife attacks? Bludgeons? Fall hazards? (The MiB is particularly fond of standing on the edge of high mesas with no safety rail.) What about dangerous local fauna that isn’t robotic, like snakes and scorpions? And I hate to be crude, but given the sex aspects, how are they preventing guest-host-guest STI transmission?
posted by chappell, ambrose at 11:57 AM on May 8, 2018 [1 favorite]


Knife attacks? Only certain hosts had 'blade' permissions, even if they were around knives or axes they wouldn't be able to use them (per the programming, which is of course fallible) - see the QA investigation into the sole woodcutter host who ran off, leaving the rest of the camp hosts on loop because they couldn't get firewood; also, Hector's inability to perform surgery on Maeve with his knife was most likely permissions rationalization rather than a character qualm.

Bludgeons? Robots punch hosts all the time - there's a certain amount of measured roughhousing that happens as you go towards the edge of the park. There are waivers the guests have to sign that indicate they are aware of the tiered levels of physical discomfort that can be inflicted based on the location of their activity - fairly similar to the waivers people sign now to take part in those 'extreme hell house' things that crop up all the time in real life.

Fall hazards?

About the same level of risk as going to an actual national park.

What about dangerous local fauna that isn’t robotic, like snakes and scorpions?

S01 sets up that the only non-host fauna on the park grounds were the flies, which sets up the whole 'couldn't harm a fly' ::DELORES CRUSHES FLY:: of s01e01. Granted, that seems wildly implausible, but it is what they said.

And I hate to be crude, but given the sex aspects, how are they preventing guest-host-guest STI transmission?

One of the major effects of the Delos Corp's medical operations was the near eradication of most disease (in the first world, at least) - a guest tries to bring it up to the MiB in S01 before getting shut down hard. Similarly hard to swallow outside of utopian/dystopian setting material - it's part of what Ford resented about the real world, things becoming too safe and comfortable.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:30 PM on May 8, 2018 [4 favorites]


That battle was bullshit

Yeah, they lampshaded the wimpy response to the park-tastrophe in s02e01 by having their security guy tell the chinese(I think?) military to push off, presumably along with their real guns. Yes, it's transparently so they can set up some fights that aren't just Reaper drones murdering everyone from 25k feet.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:34 PM on May 8, 2018 [4 favorites]


It makes sense that they still have some notion of recovering the hosts, and thus rule out an A-10 attack (what do the lawyers say is more valuable I wonder, the guests or the hosts?). Presumably the world-at-large doesn't know exactly what is going on yet (is there a Westworld in China RIGHT NOW that I don't know about because my credit score is "fair"?!). The crossing of an open field in daylight like it was Gettysburg seamed pretty ill-advised, however. And the production quality of the scene seamed cheap, like a low budget sci-fi serial from the turn of the century. I think at one point I yelled "did the director not see The Battle of the Bastards?!" Is HBO not funding this series sufficiently?! SEDAGIVE?! The acting performances are still pretty good I think. I'm glad we get to see more of Major Craddock, but hopefully not at the expense of characters like Lawrence or Angela. And I'm glad Teddy gets to do his own major decision making! He's a bit of welcome untarnished light in a sometimes oppressively brutal chain of events. He just wants to take Delores across the ocean like she asked, and punish the people that hurt her, but now he maybe can't reconclie the two goals. Team Teddy.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:44 PM on May 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'd assumed they'd spent their budget this episode partly on Rajworld and mostly on the tiger.

One part I liked about this episode is Dolores lampshading that the other hosts are children to her. I hope they lean into this strange in-between world that she's in. She's not human, but she is using hosts like the humans do: she knows they're not self-aware and she doesn't mind sending them to slaughter. The hosts don't seem to know what to make of her- she makes them very uncomfortable until she nudges them onto a narrative they're familiar with. She's almost acting like the "voice in the head" of their bicameral minds, since she has agency and they don't.

I'm still not sure where her "let's kill all the confederados" plan came from, though. Is it just Wyatt coming out? Or is she planning to send herself and her chosen few to robot heaven and doesn't want them along?
posted by BungaDunga at 7:15 AM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure where her "let's kill all the confederados" plan came from, though. Is it just Wyatt coming out? Or is she planning to send herself and her chosen few to robot heaven and doesn't want them along?
I think it's simpler than that, and point to your comment of her using the hosts like humans would - the confederados were a convenient available force she could use to neutralize the initial wave of QA operatives she knew was coming. Certainly her Wyatt persona helped her develop that strategy.

My question is: what is her plan to address the Delos army that she knows is on the way? because it certainly wasn't teaming up with the confederados.
posted by aerosolkid at 7:38 AM on May 9, 2018


the confederados were a convenient available force she could use to neutralize the initial wave of QA operatives she knew was coming. Certainly her Wyatt persona helped her develop that strategy.

That's what I thought too, until her personal guard in full Wyatt-style cultist gear started firing through the gates into the mass of confederados and then bayonetting the remainder- she really wanted them dead, not just in between her and the assault. Locking the gates so they can't retreat is one thing, proactively killing all of them is something else.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:49 AM on May 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


I initially wondered if RajTigerLady was someone associated with a "free the hosts" group in the outside. But it seems likely she might be a self-aware host given the pains she took to be sure her admirer was. The Significant Look she gives to the mirror when he asks if they'd take the effort to make a host appear to be a guest was ... significant.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:48 AM on May 9, 2018


The Significant Look she gives to the mirror when he asks if they'd take the effort to make a host appear to be a guest was ... significant.

I took that to be a nod towards Futureworld, the sequel to Westworld, in which Delos is making host duplicates of real people and sending them out into the real world. I mean, it's kind of the obvious next step from the secret underground blackmail bunker from last episode.
posted by selenized at 10:15 AM on May 9, 2018


That's what I thought too, until her personal guard in full Wyatt-style cultist gear started firing through the gates into the mass of confederados and then bayonetting the remainder- she really wanted them dead, not just in between her and the assault. Locking the gates so they can't retreat is one thing, proactively killing all of them is something else.
Well, after you tricked a ruthless band of confederate soldiers to do your dirty work for you (and in so doing suffer massive losses), you wouldn't want any pissed-off survivors around to get their revenge on you, would you?

Which makes her allowing Teddy's mercy on Major Craddock and the remaining confederados (which she obviously was not pleased by) a little problematic, and not very strategic.
posted by aerosolkid at 11:52 AM on May 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


Presumably she could "repair" all these hosts like she did in the previous episode, so her motives still seem a bit murky. The Major knows she can do this too, so his reaction was also confusing. Initially I thought she wanted a pile of bodies to restrict access to the gate, but when the survivors were killed that went out the window, unless she was worried about them turning on her.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:18 PM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


In the featurette about Fort Forlorn Hope, Jonathan Nolan says
We met the confederados in the first season. Dolores has unfinished business with them.
So…maybe it's simply her carrying out a grudge now that they've past their point of usefulness to her.
posted by Cogito at 11:22 AM on May 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Why does Dolores blame the un-awake pleasurebots for their ignorance? Maeve would not make that mistake.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:44 PM on May 10, 2018


I thought that Dolores taking out the Confederados was straightforward -- though Wyatt-extreme -- "capture my father and threaten to torture him for being a Union sympathizer? We'll see about that" revenge. But I guess unfinished business is also a thing.
posted by sldownard at 10:50 PM on May 10, 2018


And Teddy has now made it through two episodes without dying,

He's dying inside.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:47 PM on May 11, 2018 [4 favorites]


See, I figured she was taking out the Confederados through the door to prevent them from breaking back in, ensuring they were still a lure for the QA troops on the outside of the structure until ... Angela? Wyatt has another name for her, doesn't she? (Justice?) Could shoot the nitro and deal with the troops en masse. If they got back in, the QA troops could have changed their full frontal assault into something that wouldn't have worked.

I dunno, Wyatt is sort of boring. Hopefully they do something with Teddy before Wyatt finishes her whole messianic arc? Dolores was sweet and interesting and nice to see her coming alive, Wyatt is just flat and boring, even her end goal sort of feels scripted.

Anyway, yeah, I'm sort of feeling the complaint that they don't quite seem to know where they're going with this season. It's the Matrix 2: Electric Boogaloo all over again, really. The awakening story (Dolores/Neo) is awesome and you can make up all kinds of really cool headcanon for what the followup movies would be like, but in reality... eh, no, not so much.

I'm curious about how Maeve doesn't seem to be able to control the Indian tribe. That's, y'know, probably a separate access control she didn't grant herself when she typed iddqd on the control pad back in S1. Yeah, that's the ticket.

And definitely there's some minor explanation required to square off the whole ammunition / explosives treatment in S1 versus now. Ok, I could buy that part of Maeve's Mesa hack dropped all the restrictions on explosives but the simunition is harder to justify.

Also yay for Katja Herbers.
posted by Kyol at 10:00 AM on May 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


I read a theory that Elsie is still alive and reprogramming the Ghost Nation to save humans, which seemed far fetched but at this point I'm kind of thinking anything could happen. Also I want Elsie to still be alive and also save the day.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:06 AM on May 12, 2018 [5 favorites]


Well, naturally. Who doesn't.

And I recognize that that's sexist in a way - woman on voyage of self discovery: sweet, woman on murderous rampage across the park: boring. But it's more the lack of any real sort of explanation for her motivations. I'm ok that she's using violence to further her goals (i.e. killing, then resurrecting the dudes last episode), it's that they've just done a particularly lazy job of expressing those goals. GET TO DA CHOPPA only works for like 2 hours, guys. If Dolores had had as flat an affect during the whole awakening sequences last season, say? Yecch.

As it is she's just sort of mysteriously handwaving that she needs to do these things to ensure the survival of the nascent robo-species so they can Go West and get to The Good Place, Somewhere, etc & so forth. But what's the plan, Wyatt? Kill every last living motherfucker and ensure a robotopia? Prove you're enough of a threat that they accept you're a Serious Thinker or just leave you alone?
posted by Kyol at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2018


It's irritating that Dolores is so inexplicably concerned about her "father"*, and not other unwoke brethren, and that's what makes her Destroy All Humans platform a sad sham.

Secondarily, because, I mean shit, organize a "wake the sheep" protocol or something, ma'am, Morphius had this figured out in The Matrix, and
hell, I mean, Danaerys, Muad'Dib, Spartacus, we have BEEN here, we HAVE these t-shirts.

But primarily because it threatens to somehow cheapen Maeve's obviously legitimate concern for her daughter

And Hector's.

Also like duh OBVIOUSLY Elsie is Ghost Queen.


*And why does an android need its brow wiped, and assuming he would, why wouldn't an attentive robo-daughter simply rig a string to direct the moisture away from sensitive components and initiate DISM.EXE, and really, Charlotte's ace plan to spring Abernathy (with DELOS.ZIP) was "we'll go in the back door?", and...it worked?
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:46 PM on May 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's irritating that Dolores is so inexplicably concerned about her "father"*, and not other unwoke brethren, and that's what makes her Destroy All Humans platform a sad sham.

If she is still somewhat split between the Wyatt and Dolores persona then this weirdness makes more sense... she's both the murderous outlaw and the loving daughter and she's trying to do both at the same time.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:28 PM on May 13, 2018


I'm curious about how Maeve doesn't seem to be able to control the Indian tribe. That's, y'know, probably a separate access control she didn't grant herself when she typed iddqd on the control pad back in S1. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Maeve says to the two Ghost Nation folks:
Stop. You will let him go. And you will forget that you ever saw us.
It almost seems to work for a minute, but then a bunch more Ghost Nationals emerge and Maeve's jedi mind trick seems to wear off. So, it wasn't really clear to me whether she just can't control these hosts and the momentary pause was confusion as to what she was trying, or whether it's not an area affect spell and the reactions of the rest snapped the first guy out of it.

In any case, the motivations of Ghost Nation are certainly curious since the apparently didn't off Stubbs and ended up fighting Dolores on the beach. I'd love if Elsie were somehow behind it, but I don't think that's likely. She's the Syrio Forel of the show for me.
posted by Cogito at 1:00 PM on May 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Okay, so the Ghost Nation speaks Lakota — and in the credits, "Akecheta" is listed. I wonder if that's a misspelling of Akicita, the Lakota word for 'peacekeeper/police.' The akicita were the warrior society that were also protectors and enforcers of laws. I interpreted their conversation to mean that they had come to take the human with them, to protect him. They could've easily killed the hosts at any time, but chose not to.
posted by culfinglin at 6:33 PM on May 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


Factoid: the actor, Zahn McLarnon, who plays Akecheta is Hunkpapa Latkota.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:55 PM on May 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


And he, Zahn McLarnon, was amazing as Hanzee in the second season of Fargo. Notice that he was also in the earlier episode representing Argos Group to Logan. I liked the reference to the land of the Golden Fleece to Logan.
posted by jadepearl at 3:17 AM on May 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


You may argue, "ah, but they should have planned for an event like this" but I would counter: you should see the obvious shit that happens in the real world because people don't plan for obvious, predictable, preventable problems. Like that waterpark where a Kansas Representative's son was decapitated, despite the many glaring safety flaws that many people knew about.

Yeah. I have a background in Risk Management, and the real world is terrifying enough that I don't have to suspend disbelief at this level of S.N.A.F.U.
posted by mikelieman at 7:48 AM on May 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


"We can't obviously prepare for this type of event, because it would scare people" is a common management layer failure.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:41 PM on May 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm two weeks late and just wanted to thank the folks having a harder time enjoying this season. Me too, although this episode I liked better than the earlier ones. I like watching avenging Dolores/Wyatt vamp it up but it's sliding into camp for me, not serious feminist allegory. It could be both. The Maeve half of the story is falling entirely flat for me. I think it's the way it's filmed, particularly the close and dark underground sets.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on May 22, 2018


(does anyone even read the comments down here?)

After the last episode I kind of meh'd out. Then I finished watching "The Terror" (excellent) and was at a bit of a loss so I thought what the hell, I'll dig back in and ... sigh. It occurred to me that the missing part was narrative tension on a bigger scale - in the first season it was the joint mystery of "Who is the man in black/ the labyrinth" and "what the when the hell is anything even happening here?" This season it doesn't have the same greater narrative mystery to solve. Dolores is running around kicking ass, as is Maeve but what really is the point? If they're on an island, they're never getting off of it... This was the strength of the 'new' Rajworld character - who is she? is she a robot or not? What's with her little book? That is pretty obviously some kind of map and notes of the location? And she gets out of Rajworld without any real trouble - she knows where to go. And shouldn't the tiger blow up when it crosses the laser line/boundary of the park? Sigh. I'll watch the next episode, and the one after that but more than anything, if they don't figure out what the point is, this could be the end of the series.

They could comfortably make a series that happens with the background of robot war uprising by focusing on the shenanigans of the various parties: some robots are woke others aren't, corporate spies show up, Bernard doesn't even know he's being played, or he's the only one who does know that he is a robot...
posted by From Bklyn at 2:48 AM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


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