TV Review: Westworld Season 1, Episode 5: Contrapasso

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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 5: Contrapasso

PLOT: Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) goes on an adventure with William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes), while Ford (Anthony Hopkins) begins to have some suspicions that the park is escaping his control.

REVIEW: Last week, after posting my “Westworld” review, I read an interesting article that put forth the theory that Jimmi Simpson’s character was in fact a younger version of Ed Harris’s Man in Black. The fact that the Simpson/Ben Barnes story-line and the rest of the show wasn’t happening at the same time was something that never occurred to me before reading it. Now, this week’s episode has made it explicit that this is in fact the case, opening up a whole world of possibilities for the rest of the season, although giving it some much-needed momentum that puts it right back on track after a week or two of good but somewhat uneven installments.

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There any many “tells” that the William/Logan story-line is happening early. The biggest is Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr) being alive in a scene right after he’s killed - with it unlikely they would have been able to repair him and put him back into service so soon after Harris slits his throat and drains his blood. More repair work would have been needed. Even discounting that, Ford pumps Dolores from information during an upkeep session while she’s out on the trail with William and Logan - so that’s that. Logan also mentions that the park is hemorrhaging money, and the robots are shown to be ultra violent - with them later giving him an vicious beating that would have certainly caused panic in the control room.

As to whether Simpson and Harris’s character are one and the same - it’s possible. Harris speaks longingly of once loving the robots, saying they were beautiful before being made more human. Can this be a reference to William’s relationship with Dolores, who’s now showing an independent, adventurous streak while on the run? Could it be she, along with the other robots, were reprogrammed? Even still, it doesn’t quite make sense that he’d turn into a monster like Harris, although leaving Logan to his beating shows a cruel streak, even though he had it coming. It could also be that Barnes and Harris are the same guy - but that seems like a stretch.

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Later, Harris and Hopkins finally get a tete-a-tete, where it’s shown they have a history. If Simpson runs into a young Anthony Hopkins, then it’ll be clear. It’s fun watching the two act opposite each other, a memorable scene in an episode full of those - including an epic orgy set to a piano cover of Nine Inch Nails. All in all, a great episode and a great way to kick off the second half of the season, which seems more ambitious and exciting than ever.

Source: JoBlo.com



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