TV Review: Westworld, Season 2, Episode 6

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 6: Phase Space

PLOT: Teddy (James Marsden) re-emerges a changed man, while William (Ed Harris), and his daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers) form an alliance.

REVIEW: Following last week’s dynamic introduction to Samurai World, it seems like Akane (Rinko Kikuchi) and Musashi’s (Hiroyuki Sanada) arc came to an early-end, for now anyway. Following a rip-roaring sword fight, the two, free from their pursuers, save Maeve’s (Thandie Newton) crew, but with Sakura dead, they see no reason to go on. Freedom outside their world means nothing to then, as it’s the only world they know. They may pop back up later, but it feels like a logical end, especially given the surprise of actors with the stature of Kikuchi and Sanada showing up with little fanfare. Maybe these were just short-term guest shots, but anything is possible.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual for “Westworld”, driving us deeper into the labyrinthine mystery. There’s an interesting visual flourish this week, where Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) experiences in the Westworld hive, which he has himself deposited into, is shot in 2:35:1. This aspect still strikes me as the least compelling part of the show, although the pay off this week, marking a return for Anthony Hopkins, is good. It seems that the season is fated to be divided up into four main stories, one being Maeve’s, the others being the old William and then Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy, and finally Bernard’s, with occasional digressions.

Maeve’s story is by far the most compelling, with the interesting twist being that the daughter she loves calls another host mother, who’s quickly killed, pairing the traumatized girl with a woman she doesn’t know. Of everyone, Maeve has always seemed the most human, host or otherwise, and this further examines her building awareness.

Meanwhile, William and his daughter, while interesting, is a bit unsettling, in how this monster, now, seems like he’s being sold as a kind of heroic character. It doesn’t quite fly for me, but I have faith there’s a solid endgame in store. Dolores and Teddy’s story, while slow to start, steps-up this week now that Teddy’s been reprogrammed as a badass, not unlike the gunfighter played by Yul Brynner in the original film - complete with the hint of sadism. Marden seems to relish playing the new twist.

As the first episode of the second half of the season, this gives us a bit of a hint to the eventual endgame, although I can’t deny parts of it seem like they’re treading water. That’s not unlike season one though, although I must say I’m surprised at how much Maeve’s arc dominates my interest this year, maybe due to the mystery aspect, with the jumping timelines, being a little too much work to decipher. It’s good stuff - as always, but the show still isn’t without it’s draggy bits.

Source: JoBlo.com



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