This wasn’t as mindblowing as the season’s two opening hours, but there’s still a lot to appreciate here.
A New Park
Although I thought Shogun World would be the second park to make a proper appearance on Westworld (and judging by the ending, we’ll be going there next), Virtu’ a Fortuna brings another park to life: The Raj. Using the backdrop of India under British forces in the 1930s, this world is yet another fascinating addition to the show’s mythology. The teaser is a particularly captivating introduction as we meet two Bengal-hunting guests who meet their unexpected demise during the host rebellion. Nicholas getting shot is a moderately surprising development, but Grace getting ravaged by a CGI tiger (yes the effects are too obvious) is a jawdropper of a moment that provides a really impactful start to the episode.
Naturally the hour’s closing moments reveal that Grace is still alive as she finds herself captured by Ghost Nation. Uh oh. I guess she’s not a disposable character after all? Color me intrigued.
One Long Trip
I was honestly expecting a bit more forward momentum where Maeve is concerned. Although the scene between her and Lee was intriguing as they debated his failed love life (and just how much of that he injected into the narrative), the journey was a bit too filler-y for my liking. There was a good amount of suspense with Ghost Nation chasing our gang down the elevator (especially after Maeve recognized one of them), but the momentum soon came to a halt. On the bright side, Maeve’s detour features the welcome returns of Felix, Sylvester (with a grenade under his chin) and Armistice. Woohoo! #SquadGoals
Baddie with a Heart
Louis Herthum was a standout in his brief turn as Peter Abernathy last season, so it’s exciting to see him play such a integral role this year. Although we still don’t know what data is encrypted inside him (did Bernard manage to transfer it?), his reunion with Dolores was very touching. In addition, it allowed Evan Rachel Wood to tap into her character’s compassion after being so bloodthirsty this season. Not that I’m not loving her character’s trajectory; the manner in which she massacred her new “allies” using the mine was chillingly effective.
Of course I doubt that big ol’ heart of hers is going to last now that Teddy let Major Craddock and his men escape. Teddy is far and beyond the most boring character on Westworld , so I’m hoping this little kink in Dolores’ plan will create some much needed drama where he’s concerned. Fingers crossed!
Bits & Bots
– Grace shoots Nicholas to prove he’s real (before having sex with him). Yup, that’s how twisted this show is, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
– Is this the first time we see the borders of the “guest experience area” when Grace runs out? I think it is.
– Bernard making Rebus the most “virtuous gun in the west” was a hoot. Loved seeing him protect the ladies (after being such a rape-y savage).
– Notice how Charlotte very casually takes control of the team. I love Tessa Thompson, and it’s a real treat to see her storyline intersect with Dolores as she captures Abernathy.
– How vicious is Clementine now? I loved her taking out Bernard at the end.
– Hector’s “she has a dragon” moment in reference to Armistice and her flamethrower was hysterical.
– Dolores walking through the gunshots was very Terminator-esque huh? I really wanted to see her and Charlotte face off though.
– That final samurai shot was badass. Bring on Shogun World!
Digs & Dolores
Dolores: My whole life has been dictated by someone else. Someone who’s been saying, “You will.” And now now I feel like I’ve discovered my own voice. And it says, “I may.
Bernard: What do you want, Dolores?
Dolores: To dominate this world.
Bernard: This world is just a speck of dust sitting on a much, much bigger world. There’s no dominating it.
Dolores: You’ve never been outside the park have you? Out to that great world you speak of. I have. And the world out there is marked by survival, by a kind who refuses to die. And here we are. A kind that will never know death, and yet we’re fighting to live. There is beauty in what we are. Shouldn’t we too try to survive?
It might be the weakest episode thus far, but it’s still wonderfully engrossing TV.