TV Review: Westworld - Season 2, Episode 2

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 2: Reunion

PLOT: Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and William (Ed Harris) separately seek allies in their respective quests.

REVIEW: Following a compelling, but complicated season premiere, “Westworld” doubles down on the promise of last week’s episode with another one that takes us deeper into the mythology of the park. One thing that’s never been clear to me is just how many hosts the park actually has, with it seeming like hundreds, if not thousands. Early on, Dolores and Teddy (James Marsden) mention there’s only fifty of them, but clearly that’s only meant for their immediate number - I.e the hosts who are self aware. Throughout the episode, Ed Harris’s William continues his odyssey and meets dozens of other hosts who are unaware of any changes to their reality, and we haven’t even seen the other, promised parks, such as Samurai world.

Overall, this is a bit of a slower episode than last week, but it connects the dots in important ways. Probably the most interesting parts of the episode are the flashbacks, which take us all the way from the weeks leading up to the park’s debut, to the point when the younger William (Jimmi Simpson) got his father-in-law involved (a cameoing Peter Mullan).

The episode starts off with Jeffrey Wright’s human Arnold taking Dolores into the world, and showing her his home - much to the annoyance of Ford (Anthony Hopkins - who doesn’t appear but his voice is heard). We jump forward to Ben Barnes’s Logan being seduced into investing by an encounter with Angela (Talulah Riley), set to a cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway” (what timing!).

One important thread that’s resolved is that we learn Barnes survived season one, but only as a broken, sidelined man, with William now essentially in control of his dad’s company, leaving him a dissolute drug addict. The buzz leading in to season two was that William was going to be an important protagonist, and indeed, this seems very much like Ed Harris’s season, with him launching into an endgame scenario. He’s at peace with the fact that he’ll die in the park, but he relishes the opportunity to test his mettle with real stakes, enlisting Clifton Collins Jr.’s Lawrence to help. He also tries to recruit the bandit king, El Lobo (a cameo by Giancarlo Esposito), but it doesn’t work out well, with the character being just another way for Ford to screw with his head from beyond the grave.

The episode also teases a union between Dolores and Maeve (Thandie Newton), and likely the stakes will go up from there, although Bernard’s time with the Delos gang after the battle isn’t explored this week. As always, “Westworld” is intriguing, but also a slow burn that rewards patience, just as in season one. While there’s clearly more exciting reveals to come, this is an interesting episode that fills in a lot of William’s back story, and teases some interesting ways the season could play out. So far, season two is pretty damn great.

Source: JoBlo.com



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