Westworld: Vanishing Point – William is Officially the Worst Father of the Year.

Warning: Contains major spoilers for the episode.

4 and a half stars
And the worst father of the year award goes to William, from Westworld.
In all seriousness, the latest episode of Westworld, Vanishing Point, delivered plenty of shocking moments and deaths.
Chief among those was the death of Emily at the hands of her own father.
I realised this was going to happen a full ten seconds before it did and spent those seconds literally screaming at the television for William not to kill his daughter.
Sure enough though, he did because he thought she was secretly a host being controlled  by Ford.
However, sadly for William and Emily, she was not a host created by Ford and William really just killed his own daughter.

William kills his daughter
William realizes that Emily was not a host so he killed his real daughter.

I think it is fairly safe to say now that William is irredeemable at this point.
He looked to be on a redemption arc in the fourth episode Riddle of the Sphinx but, what with the whole murdering his own daughter thing, I do not see that really working out.
This shocking scene does lead to a very interesting one though, as William digs into his arm with a knife to see if he is a host to absolve at least some of the blame for Emily’s death.
While the episode does leave you hanging about whether or not William is a host, I think it is safe to say he is not.
One because the Delos security officers tested him right before he killed them and their tech said William was human, secondly because making him a host would remove most of the impact of him killing Emily.
Speaking of which, Emily and the Delos security team’s deaths were not the only ones William caused this episode as in a flashback it goes into the death of his wife Juliette, played in a brilliant cameo by Sela Ward.

Sela Ward
Sela Ward was great in her small role as William’s wife Juliette

Watching her death play out and how it inadvertently led to the death of Emily as well was tragic to see.
The death of Juliette and Emily are not the only tragic deaths this episode though because Teddy dies too, or at least I think he does.
This is one of the few problems I have with Westworld because when a host dies you never know if it is going to be for good or if they will be brought back to life later.
Yes the hosts destroyed their backups by blowing up The Cradle, but Charlotte just brought Clementine back this episode and we still do not know if Lawrence is dead for good.
That being said, Teddy’s death was still very emotional.
At first I thought he was going to attack Dolores for changing him, before he said he would never hurt her and shoots himself.
Dolores reaction at the end is painful to watch, although this may led to something interesting in the finale because it looks like she and William will be teaming up to get to The Valley Beyond, due to both their tragic losses.

Dolores cries
Dolores tragic reaction to losing Teddy, possibly for good.

While having tragedy, this episode also had hope and dread for the finale.
Ford gave Maeve some new ability to help her escape her confinement saying he thought of her like his own child, which was very emotional.
Then there is Bernard who banished Ford from his mind, but for how long I wonder?
Finally, there is Clementine who, in a terrifying foreshadowing of things to come, was brought back to life by Charlotte and given Maeve’s admin powers.
Charlotte plans to use her to get all the hosts to kill each other, thus eliminating the threat.
We can see this plan coming to fruition in the season finale promo but Maeve is also there so hopefully she will be able to stop Clementine.
Another interesting thing in the promo is its connection to Logan, who looks to be playing a central role in the season finale because we can see Dolores and Bernard investigating his memories through the Forge.
Overall Vanishing Point was a tragic episodes with the deaths of Emily and Teddy, which will probably bring Dolores and William back together again.
It looks to be an intense season finale next week.

 

Westworld: Les Ecorches – Action, Suspense and One Stupid Soldier.

4 and a half stars
Warning: Major Spoilers for the Episode.

In my review of the previous Westworld episode Phase Space I predicted that the seventh episode of season two, Les Ecorches, would be “absolutely insane” and I was right.
Les Ecorches was an insane episode with many exciting moments as Dolores led her army into the Mesa to retrieve her father Peter Abernathy.
What followed was a bloody battle that had many intense scenes, like the moment where Dolores confronted Charlotte and Stubbs.
This scene was probably the best in the entire episode with Charlotte attempting to go toe to toe with Wyatt-Dolores and fail miserably.
Speaking of Dolores, can someone give Evan Rachel Wood an Emmy?
She has given a fantastic performance all season long, showing both vulnerability and moments of disturbing savagery.
This is most apparent in her scene with Charlotte where she goes from comforting her father to preparing to torture Charlotte with a miniature buzz saw.

Dolores Wyatt
Evan Rachel Wood gives an excellent performance in the scene with Dolores’ confrontation with Charlotte. 

However, it was not just Dolores’ storyline that was really good this episode.
First there was Bernard who was having a rough time in both the past and present timeline.
In the present his existence as a host is discovered by Charlotte and the others who force him to tell them where Peter Abernathy’s brain is and in the past he had to deal with Anthony Hopkins in his brain.
Ford took over Bernard’s mind to make sure his plan for host domination continued accordingly, leading to some brutal moments from Bernard being controlled by him.
If this was not enough, another important revelation came for Bernard when it was revealed the scene we got last episode of Dolores checking him for “fidelity” was actually to get him to act exactly like Arnold, which means Dolores created him just as much as Ford did.
So my prediction that this scene was actually in the future and Dolores was trying to make Bernard Arnold was wrong.

Bernard and Dolores
Dolores testing Bernard for “fidelity” was to make him closer to Arnold.

The final great storyline this episode was Maeve’s whose confrontation with William was nothing short of enthralling.
I actually thought William was going to die this episode when Maeve made Lawrence remember how he killed his wife in the first season.
However, then the team Sizemore called in arrived and gunned down both Maeve and Lawrence.
Sizemore will most likely save Maeve next episode but it looks like Lawrence is done for, sadly, considering all the hosts’ backups were destroyed in the Cradle.
This also means that Angela, Peter and Clementine are dead for good as well.
Although there are some shots of Clementine from the trailer that have not been seen yet so I wonder if this was just footage for the trailer or if she somehow survived.
Speaking of Angela though, her death was the one scene that really brought down the episode for me.
She seduces a soldier and takes a grenade from him, blowing them both up, along with the Cradle.
In my opinion, this was the stupidest scene in all of Westworld.
This soldier knew how dangerous Angela and the other hosts were because he had seen them kill his fellow soldiers and yet he let her get close enough to grab his grenade.
He walked up to Angela, talked with her and let her touch his gun and kiss him, right before she grabbed it.
What did this guy think was going to happen?
While it was a nice callback when Angela said, “welcome to Westworld,” before she blew them both up, the soldier’s stupidity ruined the scene for me.

Angela
The soldier falling for Angela’s act was terribly written, a rare case for Westworld.

It is a shame that this scene happened because without it this would have been perfect.
It had many fantastic performances, the highlight being Evan Rachel Wood’s, intense action and plenty of deaths.

Westworld, Season Two Episode Three: More Reunions Than in Reunion.

4 and a half stars

Warning: major spoilers for the episode

Westworld delivers its best episode of season two yet with its third episode, Virtu e Fortuna, which honestly had more reunions than the previous episode that was actually titled Reunion, but we will get to that later.
This episode actually started out, rather surprisingly, in another park, however, not in Shogun World but in a British Colonial India style park.
It is here where we meet a mysterious women named Grace, played by Katja Herbers, who looks to be pretty important in the series going forward.
I have heard numerous theories that this woman may be The Man in Black’s daughter but I personally think this character has some relation to Theresa, considering when we first saw her she was smoking the same was Theresa did before her death.
When the episode opened with her I actually thought the woman was Theresa in the past, due to her smoking.

Grace
Grace really reminded me of Theresa in the opening moments of this episode.

It was through Grace that we learned how the host tiger ended up on the beach in the season premiere as she fell off a cliff with it before being captured by Ghost Nation.
As for the main storylines with Dolores, Bernard and Maeve, there were plenty of great moments.
For starters, Bernard meets up with Charlotte again in the future timeline and is it just me or does Charlotte know Bernard is a host?
She was acting really suspicious of him.
Cutting back to the past timeline, Bernard and Charlotte attempted to capture host Peter Abernathy, played by Louis Herthum.
This lead to a hilarious scene where Bernard reprogrammed the host Rebus, played by Stephen Ogg, to be the most chivalrous gunslinger in the west.
This also has a rather sad implication because Bernard watched Rebus get shot trying to protect a host in the season premiere.
After this, both Bernard and Peter were captured by Dolores’ army, leading to the best scene of the episode where Dolores reunites with her father.
This was a very emotional moment and both Evan Rachel Wood and Herthum gave excellent performances as the two reconciled briefly before Peter began jumping between multiple Westworld identities again.

Dolores and Peter
Dolores and Peter Abernathy reunite in a very emotional scene.

Then came the battle at the Confederate fort, where Dolores and the Confederados faced off against Delos Security.
Dolores, however, betrayed the Confederados, leaving them to die and later ordered Teddy to kill the surviving Confederado Major Craddock, played by Jonathon Tucker.
However, Teddy lets him live, which will undoubtedly cause problems in the future.
I am confused as to why Dolores let all the Confederados die though.
Wouldn’t she need them for her army?
Also, the reason she let them die is kind of weird, saying they did not deserve to make it.
The Confederados had been programmed to act cruel, just as every other cruel host in Westworld so they are just as much victims as the other hosts.
Finally, there is Maeve’s storyline where, as I said earlier, there were more reunions than in the previous episode.
Maeve’s group met up with Armistice, played by Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Felix, played by Leondardo Nam, and Sylvester, played by Ptomley Slocum.
This lead to the funniest moment of the episode though, when Hector saw Armistice burn someone to death with a flamethrower and states in amazement “she has a dragon!”

Maeve and Hector
Hector had one of the funniest moments in the entire episode.

It is with these characters that the final moments of the episode play out with them being ambushed by a Samurai.
Overall, Virtu E Fortuna was the best episode of season two so far.
It had great action sequences and even better character interactions.