Beginning Season Four of Westworld, I was not sure what to expect.
I had loved the first two seasons but found Season Three to be a drop in quality, and I hoped that Season Four would return the show to its former glory.
For a time, it did exactly this, before falling back into old mistakes.
The Fourth Season picks up years after the events of Season Three, with various characters in different situations.
Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul) now has a family but after they are threatened by Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and host William (Ed Harris), he teams up with Maeve (Thandie Newton) to take the two down once and for all.
Meanwhile, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) awakens from his journey in the Sublime and, armed with knowledge of what is now to come, goes on a mission with Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) to save the fates of humanity and the hosts.
Most mysterious of all, a new version of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), named Christina, is working at a video game company, yet slowly coming to realize that there is more to her world than it seems.
The first episode which established the various plot lines admittedly did very little to grab me.
Episodes Two and Four, however, did a much better job of getting me back into the show, and this all built up to Episode Four, “Generation Loss”, which got me back on the Westworld hype train.
“Generation Loss” made me feel the exact same way I did when watching the first two seasons of the show and the subsequent episodes kept up this level of engagement, supported by the great score from Ramin Djawadi, and fantastic performances from practically every cast member.
Of the old cast, the best of the bunch is definitely Aaron Paul, who delivers an amazing performance throughout as Caleb.
As for the new characters, Aurora Perrineau is a welcome edition to the cast and I liked her role and performance.
Then there is the returning cast from the older seasons where, surprisingly, I would say that Teddy (James Marsden) really stands out.
I was someone who was not attatched to the character all that much in the first two seasons but he was honestly one of my favourite this season.
What with all of the great acting and story telling from Episode Four onwards, I was expecting Season Four of Westworld to have a great ending, which would at least put it on par with Season Two for me.
Then we got the last two episodes, which dropped the ball, in my opinion.
I was really not a fan of the direction these last two episodes went, as it felt like they had twists just for the sake of having them.
A lot of the character fates also felt quite stupid, in particular Maeve’s and Stubbs’.
Not to mention there was a lot of convenience in the final episodes, with quite a few fights in the final episode suffering from bad logic.
As for the ending of the season itself, it left me feeling as lukewarm as the ending to Season Three did.
All in all, this made Season Four quite the conflicting experience for me.
It started off slow but, by Episode Four, felt like it had reached the same high quality of the first two seasons, only to stumble at the finish line with the last two episodes.
I would rank Season Four above Season Three but below Seasons One and Two.
I just hope Season Five can be great throughout but, at this point, I would not hold my breath.