TV Review: Westworld, Season 1, Ep 6: The Adversary
This recap/review of Westworld is written with the expectation that everyone who reads this and comments below will have seen the episode already. Thus, if you've yet to see the episode in question, DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER. SPOILERS!
EPISODE: Season 1, Episode 6: The Adversary
REVIEW: After a few weeks spent developing Dolores’s (Evan Rachel Wood) and William’s (Jimmi Simpson) story, the two are wholly absent this week as more time is spent on the behind-the-scenes turmoil at HQ. In fact, of the season, this is the episode with the least amount of time spent in actual Westworld, with only The Man in Black/Teddy’s storyline taking place in the park, other than an establishing scene for Maeve.
It’s this tormented madam who gets the lion’s share of screen-time this week, with her deliberately provoking a customer into killing her so she can pick-up what she’s learning at the lab, coercing a technician to take her directly to where the hosts are made. She realizes exactly what she is but, turning the situation to her advantage, gets the techs to upgrade her intelligence, having already proven to them the regular rules that affect the hosts no longer bind her.
Just who is sending the information that gives them awareness is what much of the episode hinges on. Elsie (Shannon Woodward) is able to prove to Bernard that Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is smuggling information out of the park. But, it’s also clear she’s not the one programming the hosts. It’s revealed the ones made aware are first-generation, designed by Arnold, and it may be that he’s not as dead as we assumed. Certainly Elsie seems to be in trouble when we leave off.
Meanwhile, Ford’s own activities at the park seem suspect, with Bernard learning he’s been living with a family based on his own, acting as a grandfather to a young version of himself, which - to his horror - is now capable of lying to him and killing, Again, Arnold?
In the park, we get to follow Ed Harris and Teddy as they wreak some carnage on Wyatt’s men, with Marsden going all WILD BUNCH on them, an act that surprises Harris. Whether or not the latter is William, a now popular theory, isn’t explored this week. Whatever the case, a lot of threads have been opened this week, not the least of which is Tessa Thompson’s knock-out new corporate overseer. The long-MIA narrative developer, Sizemore (Simon Quartermain) also makes a comeback, although as in other episodes I find him uninteresting and the only weak point of a great episode.
As we hit the middle of the season, “Westworld” is just getting better-and-better, and clearly HBO’s hit the mark with this one. I assume it’s all heading to a throught provoking end, and hopefully the numbers will encourage HBO to keep it going, as it has much potential.