The hit HBO show Westworld is back for a second season. Each week we’re we’re going to be walking through each new episode, and giving our thoughts on how thing played out. Fair warning we’re going to get into some spoiler territory here.
This week brings us the full reveal of Shogun World, the second park after Westworld. There weren’t a lot of answers this week, and there were a few new questions raised. Overall, the episode focused much more on advancing the characters’ journeys. Which is honestly a really good thing. That’s not to say that previous episodes this season haven’t done that, but this episode was very much character driven in the best ways possible. We’re going to take a look at the questions that are raised by this episode, and a few answers we get.
After the tease of a second park at the end of Season 1, and the reveals this season that there’s 6 parks, and one of them is the India themed The Raj, we finally see Shogun World. This park is a little more brutal, but also uses some of the same ideas that Westworld does. (Because Sizemore isn’t as good at his job as Ford was.) I also have to say, I am insanely pleased to see Hiroyuki Sanada join the cast. He is an amazing actor, and seeing him kick ass as Musashi the Ronin was awesome, and hopefully he’ll stick around for a while. It’ll be interesting to see how these hosts adapt to the overall situation within all the parks, and the potential freedom awaiting them. It’ll also be interesting to see how much more time we see spent in Shogun World. I honestly think that they made a point to show that the two parks are rather similar as an excuse to not dwell on the other parks for too long. Use them to introduce other characters if need be. But the storylines aren’t as necessary if we’ve already seen them play out repeatedly and in various ways in Westworld.
Dolores and Teddy
We’ve known since the end of the first episode that something would happen to lead Teddy to be drowned in that mysterious lake. Since then it’s been a question of whether Dolores would be the one to kill Teddy or someone else killed him. After Teddy disobeyed Dolores’ orders to kill the Confederados it seemed like she would kill Teddy due to his lack of loyalty. But with her changing him now in some (currently) unknown way, it almost seems like he’s going to end up becoming some sort of mindless drone she uses to do her biding. Which may make it easier for her to dump his body if he gets killed. If Teddy is his same old devoted self, she would fix him. If he’s become something else, then she can let go of him easily. And until that point, she can use what little emotional connection he has to her, to her advantage.
Maeve has been slightly ahead of the curve throughout all of this. And there’s still a question of how much of it is part of a story created by Ford. This episode we saw her gain the ability to control other hosts without even saying a word, just using her thoughts. This is huge for multiple reasons. The obvious point is that she now has this true God like power amongst the hosts. And it will be interesting to see how this progresses from here, who all she’s able to control, and how she uses these powers moving forward. Second, it gives more importance to the minds of the hosts. If the goal was to create consciousness within the hosts, and we’re seeing them gain that and learn how to use that, how does that change when she can essentially rule over the hosts through their minds. How do the rest of the hosts grow when there’s one host who can overtake them just as the employees of the park have done in the past. And how does Maeve herself grow from here as someone who has been on both sides of this.
Bernard and Elsie
The episode begins with what we’ve referred to as the “now” timeline. The point that seems to be the furthest along in the Season two story. With Delos finally bringing in huge numbers of security to take out the hosts and take back the park. Bernard talks with Karl Strand as he works with his main tech Antoine Costa (Fares Fares). Costa reveals that a third of the host they’ve removed from the water appear to have no information in their minds. As if they were just created and never given a narrative. It’s not exactly clear yet if Dolores may have somehow created these hosts herself, or found a way to wipe them completely clean as part of her army. But it’s something that’s sure to big a big point moving forward. The weirdest part of all this though is that Elsie isn’t with Bernard. We’ve seen Barnard go through all this with Strand throughout this season, with no sign of Elsie. Last week revealed that Bernard had found her and is on a mission with her, but we have no idea where that mission led to and where she may be now. Hopefully we’ll find out soon. And hopefully she’s not dead after their mission. Elsie is a great character, and I’d hate to see them bring her back only to kill her off.
This really was an interesting episode but I almost wanted a little more. I am happy to finally see Shogun World, and I’m excited to see what the Shogun characters bring to the story. But hopefully we’ll get more into te bigger mysteries again next week.
Check back with us next week when we dive into the 6th episode of this season of Westworld “Phase Space” Westworld airs Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO.