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TV Review: Westworld - Season 2, Episode 4 - The Riddle of the Sphinx

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 2, Episode 4: The Riddle of the Sphinx

PLOT: Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) unravels one of the park’s most enigmatic mysteries.

REVIEW: “Westworld” takes an interesting turn with this super-sized, seventy-four minute episode. Here, we learn one of the park’s major reasons for existing - that William’s (Jimmi Simpson/ Ed Harris) father-in-law, James Delos (Peter Mullan) aimed to use it to resurrect himself by copying his mind into the body of a host - something that never worked with each clone going insane within a few days. We see that William’s been working on it for years, and the important package Delos is bent on recovering may well be Bernard himself as he seems the only stable human copy made (which is why he wigs out every so often).

It’s an interesting new direction for the show to go into, with Ford’s endgame still obscure. Much of the episode focuses on William’s gradual degradation. Simpson’s performance is especially good, focusing on his transition into the cold-blooded killer played by Harris through subsequent visits with Delos. We learn his wife eventually kills herself, with the strain of living with a sociopath obviously wearing on her. Significantly, Harris’s version of William winds-up showing the most modest streak of compassion when he saves Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) and his family from Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker) and his men, although any sense of nobility is undercut by the final scene where he makes it clear that he’s only doing what he has to in order to move through Ford’s game. It would indeed be a bit hard to swallow if a man we now know is a serial rapist and murderer (of hosts anyway) were all of a sudden a hero. I doubt that’s the road this is going down.

As with the rest of the season, this is another excellent episode, well-directed by Lisa Joy. It’s a shade too long running over an hour, but it’s intriguing. I especially liked Peter Mullan’s acting throughout, and the idea that replacements for captains of industry and VIP’s are being made. - kind of hybrid humans/hosts. The final reveal, that Katja Herbers’s character is William’s daughter, while not unexpected, is a smart twist. As we go further down the rabbit hole of S2, the show remains utterly absorbing, even if I do kinda wish the pacing was a little faster as some of the bits are starting to feel like treading water.


Source: JoBlo.com

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