Top 10 Westworld Characters

Warning: Major spoilers for the show. 

10. Logan Delos – Played by Ben Barnes

Logan finale

In the first season of Westworld Logan was a very one-dimensional character.
He just wanted to sleep with and murder every host in the park and there was very little complexity to him.
After the first season I would have said he was one of the show’s worst characters but then season two came along and changed everything.
In season two we got to see a different side to Logan.
In episodes like Reunion, Kiksuya and The Passenger we saw how Logan’s near death experience in the park had shaped him into a broken man with a serious drug addiction.
It was genuinely sad to see someone who was once so confident become a shell of his former self.
It turned Logan from the completely unsympathetic character we saw in the first season to the broken relatable character and this was just enough to put him on the list.

9. Charlotte Hale – Played by Tessa Thompson

Charlotte_Hale.jpg

Like Logan, Charlotte is not a character with a lot of moral complexity.
Throughout her time on the show she stayed pretty much the same, with her willing to stoop to any low, including murder, to keep Delos out of a scandal.
This can be seen with how she murdered Elsie in The Passenger. 
But what made Charlotte different from Logan was her personality.
Logan’s main characteristic was his desire to do whatever he wanted but Charlotte hides her willingness to do bad things with diplomacy, which she attempts on both Ford and Elsie at different times.
I am pretty sure the only reason she did not kill Ford was because of how much of a public figure he was and how much attention this would bring.
When we are first introduced to Charlotte it is pretty apparent that she is corrupt but her diplomacy makes us think she would rather have someone else kill than do the dirty work herself, which is definitely not the case.
This makes her an engaging character as you never know if she is just going to talk to someone or shoot them.

8. Ashley Stubbs – Played by Luke Hemsworth

Ashley Stubbs.jpg

Stubbs is a likeable character but one that has not had that much screen time as of season two.
He did not make that much of an impression on me in the first season but in season two he really grew on me.
Stubbs is loyal above all else and sticks to his values, doing what he believes to be right.
It was even heavily hinted at in The Passenger that he may be a host who was created by Ford, when he lets Charlotte/Dolores go.
This implication brings more depth to his character as we had seen signs that he did not agree with what was happening to the hosts previously, like with what happened to Peter Abernathy.
However, even more implications are abound if he turns out not to be a host because of what other reason he could have for letting Charlotte/Dolores escape.
Stubbs is an interesting character who has not had much screen time yet but hopefully he will be more important in season three.

7. Lee Sizemore – Played by Simon QuartermanLee Sizemore

I was incredibly surprised watching Lee Sizemore’s character arc in Westworld season two because he went from one of the show’s worst characters to one with a fantastic redemption arc.
In the first season Sizemore was nothing more than an annoying, corporate, sleazeball who would most likely win the narcissist of the year award.
This is why it was so surprising to see him redeem himself and actually become a heroic figure in that second season.
The moment where he apologizes to Maeve in Kiksuya was a defining moment for him and his heroic death in The Passenger is one of Westworld‘s saddest scenes.
Sure, Sizemore is an incredibly annoying character in the first season but he needed to be in order for his redemption arc to work and it definitely does, in amazing fashion.
This arc propelled Sizemore from easily one of the show’s worst characters to my seventh favourite character.

6. Robert Ford – Played by Anthony Hopkins

Robert Ford

Anthony Hopkins is a fantastic actor with many amazing roles but his role as Robert Ford in Westworld might be one of his best.
One of the creators of the park, Ford is the mastermind of the series, constantly pulling strings from behind the scenes, even after his apparent death.
He is also seen to consider himself somewhat of a god and this narcissism leads him to commit heinous acts, like forcing Bernard to murder Theresa in Trompe L’Oeil.
However, even though he is capable of extreme cruelty, Ford is a lot more complex as he seems to feel sympathy towards the hosts and their constant abuse.
This can be seen by him slowly constructing their eventual revolution and how he helps out Akecheta by telling him when to led his people to the Door in Kiksuya. 
Ford is both entertaining and enthralling, not just because he is a great character but because of Hopkins’ incredible performance.

5. Akecheta – Played by Zahn McClarnon

Akecheta

The character of Akecheta is a real achievement in my eyes because they made him my fifth favourite character of the show with just one episode, Kiksuya.
Before this episode Akecheta had been featured but only briefly and had yet to make a significant impact.
Kiksuya changed all of this because it served as Akecheta’s origin story and how he became the first conscious host.
This episode succeeded spectacularly because it really made me sympathize with Akecheta and his journey to find Kohana.
Akecheta is a very noble character, wanting to lead all the hosts to safety, and his story is very touching and really made me connect with his character.
Again, all of this in one episode.
His story arc there was so good that I was literally cheering when he made it to the virtual world with the other hosts in the season two finale.
Akecheta is another fantastic character but is unique in that he became one of my favourites in just one episode.

4. Bernard Lowe – Played by Jeffrey Wright

Bernard Lowe

Oh, poor Bernard.
He has probably had it rougher than any other character in the entire show.
He has discovered he is a host, been forced to kill his girlfriend and many other terrible things, had his memories erased a bunch of times and these are only some of the many awful things that have happened to him.
However, Bernard never gives up and he always strives for what he believes to be right.
Even when his views change he still strives to do good and this will obviously continue to season three if the season two finale is any indication.
Bernard is a truly sympathetic character as things constantly seem to go wrong for him but he never gives up.
His character arc in season two is especially good, with him learning that if you want to change things for the better you cannot always keep your hands clean.
Jeffrey Wright also gives a great performance as Bernard.
Like Anthony Hopkins, his casting was perfect and only made Bernard an even better character through his performance.

3. William AKA the Man in Black – Played by Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson

William

We now go from one of the show’s most sympathetic character to easily its most despicable with William, the Man in Black.
When the Man in Black showed up in the first episode of Westworld, The Original, there was an instant aura of mystery surrounding his character and his mission.
Everyone watching the show wanted to know who this guy was.
Who would have thought that the dark and sociopathic Man in Black was actually the mild, good-natured William?
Well, everyone actually.
Yeah, even though this twist was figured out by pretty much everybody very early on, it was still engaging to watch William’s transformation into this monster.
It only got better from there as William had a very engaging arc in season two.
In the beginning it looked like he was going to have a redemption arc because of episodes like Riddle of the Sphinx but this was immediately thrown out the window when he murdered his daughter in Vanishing Point.
During the post-credit scene at the end of the season it actually appeared that William had succeeded in having his consciousness transferred into a host body so it will be interesting to see the implications of this.
William is not one of my favourite characters because I like him (I actually do not) but because of his growth due to his despicable nature.

2. Dolores Abernathy – Played by Evan Rachel Wood

Dolores

Evan Rachel Wood delivers what is, in my opinion, the best performance of the entire show as Dolores.
The only reason she is not my favourite character is because I relate to my number one choice just a bit more than her.
It was tough though because I am constantly flip flopping on which of these two is my favourite character of Westworld.
As I was saying, Wood gives a fantastic performance that is definitely award worthy because she portrays both Dolores’ softer side and her crueler Wyatt side perfectly.
One minute she is calm and soothing the next she is demented and cold.
Watching Dolores grow like this and gradually expand the nature of her reality (see what I did there?) was great to watch in both seasons.
I instantly sympathized with Dolores and because of this it made her far more relatable when she became a villain in season two because I understood her motives and why she was resorting to such extremes.
Dolores is truly a fantastic character with an amazing performance behind the character.

1. Maeve Millay – Thandie Newton

Maeve

Maeve goes down as my favourite character in all of Westworld so far because of her amazing character development, cool scenes and great performance by Thandie Newton.
As I said, I have been constantly switching between Maeve and Dolores as to which one is my favourite character but, at the end of the day, I just relate to Maeve’s story more.
Her desire to find and protect her daughter is both touching and engaging as she initially denies this connection but then accepts her feelings and breaks from Ford’s loop to find her.
Naturally, their reunion does not end well with it being revealed that another mother has been programmed for Maeve’s daughter.
However, it does end on a bittersweet moment with Maeve helping both her daughter and her daughter’s new mother escape through the Door before she is tragically killed.
While it does look like Maeve will be back for season three, if she really did die for real here it would be a fantastic way for her to go out.
Along with this touching story, Maeve has many other cool moments like when she learns to control hosts with her mind in Akane No Mai and further develops that power until she can control a full on mob of hosts.
To top it all of, Newton also gives a fantastic performance as Maeve, which helped to further connect me with her character.
Maeve is an amazing character that truly highlights Westworld’s characters and their arcs.

Top 10 Westworld Episodes

Warning: Major spoilers for the series. 

10. Les Ecorches – Season two, episode seven. 

Les Ecorches

Les Ecorches is probably the most action packed episode in all of Westworld.
It features Dolores’ attack on the Mesa to get her fathers’s core drive.
This led to many intense moments, including the best in the entire episode when Charlotte tried to talk Dolores down only to learn that may not have been the best idea.
This was such a great scene with Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson both giving great performances.
Speaking of which, it is also great to compare Thompson’s performance from the past timeline to the present one in this episode.
Her performance as Charlotte in the past and Dolores acting as Charlotte in the present really hinted at the season two finale’s epic twist.
There was also the great confrontation between Maeve and William, and Ford and Bernard.
It was great to have Anthony Hopkins back in this episode and his interactions with Jeffrey Wright as Bernard were fantastic.
The one reason this episode is not higher on the list is because of the scene where that soldier stupidly allowed Angela to get close enough to grab his grenade.
That scene draws me out of the moment every time so held the episode back.
Other than this though, Les Ecorches is a great episode that definitely deserves the number ten spot.

9. Akane No Mai – Season two, episode five.

Akane No Mai

Akane No Mai was the episode that reinstated Maeve as my favourite character of the show.
She just had so many fantastic moments in this episode from her learning how to control hosts with her mind to her trying to help Akane free Sakara and connecting with her due to her mothering side.
The other factor that makes this episode a real highlight is the exploration of Shogun World, which hopefully we will get to see more of in season three because we do not know what happened to characters like Akane and Musashi.
It was great to see Sizemore’s plagiarized versions of the characters from Westworld played out in Shogun World and how that changed due to Japanese culture.
The final scene where Akane murders the shogun and then Maeve takes full control of her new ability is both gruesome and a fantastic cliffhanger to led into the next episode.
There are also scenes in Westworld with Dolores changing Teddy’s code to make him more violent, which thankfully made him a more interesting character for me.
Overall, Akane No Mai was a fantastic episode with great moments from Maeve and an interesting in depth look at Shogun World.

8. Dissonance Theory – Season one, episode four.

Dissonance Theory

Dissonance Theory was the first amazing episode of Westworld, being the fourth episode of the first season.
This is in part due to its standout scenes, chief of which was the memorable conversation between Theresa and Ford where he warns her to stay out of his way.
What was most unnerving about this scene was how Theresa suddenly realised that Ford sat them at the exact table she and her parents sat at when she first visited the park.
Hopkins, once again delivers an amazing performance as Ford and really highlights his god complex.
Another standout scene was William and Hector’s prison break, which had some great moments including the repeated shot of Lawrence’s face as William and Hector gun down the men around him.
Maeve is another character who gets a lot of the spotlight in this episode as she is one of the first hosts to fully realise that her world is not real.
This showed just how bright of a character she was, despite technically later being revealed to being programmed to do this by Ford.
Dissonance Theory was the first excellent episode of Westworld with numerous standout scenes that made me love its characters.

7. Contrapasso – Season one, episode five.

Contrapasso

“I imagined a story where I did not have to be the damsel,” Dolores said right after gunning down the Confederate soldiers.
With that single line Dolores became my favourite, before Maeve took her place.
This is one of my favourite scenes in Westworld and really highlights how good the rest of this episode is in comparison.
Contrapasso showed us just how ruthless William was because he murdered Lawrence, his supposed friend, to revive Teddy just so he could complete his quest.
He even considered killing the child version of Ford but decided not to because he would not have enough blood in him, talk about psychopathic.
However, this episode was not just dark but somewhat funny as well, which can be seen when Elsie blackmailed the necrophiliac.
It was both creepy yet funny to see this guy get caught in the act.
Coming back to Dolores, there was the intense scene between her and Ford, in which both Hopkins and Wood gave fantastic performances.
Contrapasso was the episode that made Dolores my favourite character and made me understand characters like William very well so it comes in at number seven.

6. The Passenger – Season two, episode ten.

The Passenger

The 90 minute season finale of Westworld season two, The Passenger was a great way to end the season, with its own mind blowing twist.
It is revealed this episode that the Charlotte we had been seeing in the present timeline had actually been Dolores in a host Charlotte body the entire time.
The delivery of this twist was brilliant and props go to Tessa Thompson who pulled off a Dolores impersonation perfectly.
This episode also had a lot of emotional moments as well.
There was the deaths of Maeve and her crew, although it looks like they will be back in season three, and the sacrifice of Lee Sizemore.
Sizemore’s sacrifice was especially well done and perfectly concluded his character arc.
The finale was not all sad though because some characters, like Akecheta, did get a much deserved happy ending, if this is the last time we see them.
The episode even ended with Bernard walking through a door, doors being a central goal for many characters to go through this season.
There were also various things hinting towards the third season like Stubbs hinting that he may be a host and the post-credit scene where William appears to have transferred his mind to a host body.
I have heard quite a few people did not like how this episode went but, personally, I think it was the perfect way to end the season.
The Passenger may not have been as good as the season one finale but it was still a fantastic episode with a great twist and emotional moments.

5. The Bicameral Mind – Season one, episode ten.

The Bicameral Mind

The season one finale of Westworld is the better of the two season finales.
One of the things that makes it such a great finale was that if the show ended there I would have been satisfied.
This finale ended all the questions it set up and the only thing the audience was left wondering was what would happen to the characters next.
The episode’s structure was also amazing because it began with Dolores waking up for the first time and ending with her achieving consciousness and killing Ford.
Another thing that makes this structure so brilliant is that if you pay attention to the music at the beginning and end of the episode you will notice it is the exact same music Arnold said was his son Charlie’s favourite.
This music is also played when Arnold is killed so this music really does come to symbolize stages of life.
Birth in the opening scene with Dolores’ creation, death with Dolores killing Arnold and Ford and freedom when Dolores breaks free from her code by murdering Ford.
This episode also had some great reveals like that the Man in Black was William the entire time and the events seen with William and Delores were taking place 30 years ago.
The Bicameral Mind also had the attempted escape by Maeve from Westworld, where she also gains consciousness by defying Ford’s commands and going back into the park to save her daughter.
Overall this season finale was the better of the two with not only a few great twists but powerful character moments as both Dolores and Maeve achieved consciousness.
If we had not got a season two after this episode I would not have been bothered then but now I am so glad that we did.

4. Trompe L’Oeil – Season one, episode seven.

Trompe L'oeil

Trompe L’Oeil, is the seventh episode of season one and has the second best twist of the entire show.
This twist being the reveal that Bernard was a host all along.
Watching the episode slowly build up to the actual reveal is a delight with the most apparent hint coming when Bernard asked Theresa, “what door?”
What followed the actual reveal was a gripping conversation between Ford and Theresa, with Ford calling back to Charlotte’s recommendation for “a blood sacrifice”.
The music also goes along amazingly with this moment being both sad and enthralling.
Theresa’s death at the hands of Bernard was sad to see and what he did would weigh heavily on him in the coming episodes.
The episode also had a few good action sequences as well to keep things exciting before this explosive reveal with Lawrence, Dolores and William fighting the Confederates and Ghost Nation.
More hints are also dropped here also for future reveals like William being the Man in Black, as can be seen when Lawrence told him he had a “knack for killing.”
Trompe L’Oeil had numerous hints towards future explosive twists in the series, including its own twist that left me stunned the first time I saw it play out.

3. The Well Tempered Clavier – Season one, episode nine.

The Well-Tempered Clavier

If the twist that Bernard was the second best twist of Westworld, then the twist in The Well Tempered Clavier that Bernard was a host made in the image of Arnold is by far the best of the entire series.
This twist, in true Westworld fashion, was revealed amazingly well with the entire episode building to Bernard’s revelation as Maeve makes him remember that he is a host.
The build up to the twist also has some incredibly emotional moments like when Bernard had to let go of Charlie’s memory to learn the truth.
However, although this did mark a positive change for Bernard this episode also marked a bad change for William, as he came closer to becoming the Man in Black.
This episode was the perfect transition episode for him, making the twist in The Bicameral Mind make sense.
Things like William’s photo of his fiancee Juliet and his knife all served to hint the viewer towards this future revelation.
As well as this, The Well-Tempered Clavier had a lot of intense moments, like the older William nearly being hanged by a horse.
The Well-Tempered Clavier is my favourite episode of the first season of Westworld and my third favourite overall because of how it delivers the best twist in the show, along with its insightful hints and intense scenes.

2. Riddle of the Sphinx – Season two, episode four.

Riddle of the sphinx

The second best episode of season two and of all of Westworld in my opinion, Riddle of the Sphinx is a fantastic episode that focuses on the struggles of William and Bernard.
This episode gave us plenty of insight into both characters and the secrets they were hiding.
William’s character development was the best this episode as it featured him semi-redeeming himself by saving Lawrence and his family from the Confederates Teddy spared in the previous episode.
Through this we got to see for the first time how the death of William’s wife had affected him and this led to an amazing scene where William told Major Craddock he was death himself.
Then there was the ending twist where William reunited with his daughter Emily, which if you watched the rest of the season you know did not end well.
There was also Bernard who reunited with Elsie, which did also not end well by the end of the season.
Together the two investigated the laboratory where James Delos had been kept.
This was the episode that revealed that Delos was striving to create immortality for humanity and even brought this into question by seeing the slow progression of James Delos and how William initially starts the experiment hopeful but by the the last time he visits he has become disillusioned.
The twist where Elsie and Bernard actually run into the now insane Delos was a really good one and added more intensity to the episode.
With great character development for its characters and exciting scenes, Riddle of the Sphinx is my second favourite Westworld episode.

1. Kiksuya – Season two, episode eight.

Kiksuya

Coming into Kiksuya I expected it to be an average episode at best because it was an origin story of a character we knew next to nothing about.
So I was amazed to discover that Kiksuya was not just an incredible episode but the best episode of Westworld so far.
This episode took the forgettable side character of Akecheta and turned him into one of my favourite characters.
The fact that they took a character I barely noticed and put him in my top ten best characters in a single episode is nothing short of amazing.
The episode, as I stated, shows the origins of Akecheta and how he became the first conscious host.
What followed was a heartfelt story full of love, determination and tragedy.
The scene where Akecheta finds Kohana only to realise she is effectively brain dead and he will most likely never see her again is heartbreaking.
Zahn McClarnon did a fantastic job as Akecheta and the emotion he showed during this scene made me cry, the only time so far in Westworld.
McClarnon was not the only fantastic actor in this episode though, as Anthony Hopkins appears as Ford again and the two share a scene where both got to show off their great acting skills.
The cinematography for this episode is stunning with sprawling landscapes on display and the music fits the episode perfectly.
The use of the song Heart Shaped Box when Akecheta is searching the Mesa for Kohana is the best use of music in the entire series.
This is just an all around incredible episode.
It made me Akecheta one of my favourite characters in just one episode, the acting was great and so was the cinematography and music.
It is Westworld‘s best episode and I hope we can get another like it in season three.

Westworld Season Two Review.

5 stars
The second season of Westworld aired on Monday bringing to an end a season full of twists, action and character moments.
I had been eagerly anticipating Westworld season two since I saw the first one in 2016.
This first season was fantastic and I was hooked right from the first to the last episode so I was very excited to see it return this year.
But could this season recapture the magic of that first one?
Well if you looked at my weekly reviews of the show you will already know that I thought this season was excellent.
This is clear through the fact that I never gave an episode anything lower than four stars, with four of them getting the perfect five stars.
Was this season as good as the first, well that is debatable but it is at least on par with it and, since I loved the first season so much, this is not a problem.
Westworld delivered some truly excellent episodes in its ten episode run this season with my five star rated episodes Riddle of the Sphinx, Akane No Mai, Kiksuya and The Passenger being particular standouts.
Each of these episodes were absolutely fantastic with episode eight Kiksuya being what I believe to be the best episode of Westworld.

 

Kiksuya
Season two delivered the best episode of Westworld so far with Kiksuya.

I loved how this episode focused on the new character of Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) and how much they made me care about him with just one episode.
Watching his emotional journey to find his wife and then setting out to lead all of the hosts to the Door was one of the most emotional moments of the entire series.
But Akecheta was not the only stand out character of the season.
Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) were both great this season with me constantly switching which one was my favourite character.
The actresses who play these two really deserve awards for their performances.

Dolores and Maeve
Both Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton gave fantastic performances and should at least be in the running for awards.

Even characters I thought of as one note last season really surprised me in this one as I come to like Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) a lot more and Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) had one of the best arcs of the season, going from an unlikable narcissist to a redeemed hero.
One flaw I do have with the characters though is that a few of them were underwritten, most notably Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) who went from disliking hosts in season one to apparently willingly helping them in season two with no character arc.
However, I will not mark this as a point against season two because Sylvester is just a minor character and had literally no impact on the story this season so can be seen as a nit pick.
Along with the amazing characters and story there was also amazing plot twists, like the one seen in the season finale The Passenger, incredible music and cinematography.
Season two of Westworld was amazing.
Even the weaker episodes of the season like Journey into Night and Phase Space were still really good episodes.
I cannot wait for season three but it will probably be a while before we get it and I do not know how on earth they will pick up from the season finale.

Westworld, Season Two Finale: Passenger – What Just Happened!?

Warning: Major spoilers for the finale.

5 stars
The Westworld season two finale, Passenger, aired two days ago and ever since then I have been in a state of shock.
This 90 minute finale was absolutely incredible with emotional deaths and moments, mind boggling twists and more than a few intense cliffhangers.
The episode started off as a fairly standard episode of Westworld but by the half-way point it had hopped on board a train of absolute insanity and stayed on board all the way through to the post-credit scene.
Even before this half-way point though, the episode had plenty of typical fantastic Westworld moments, like the heroic death of Lee Sizemore.
I was very surprised by Sizemore’s character arc this season.
In season one he seemed like an irredeemable jerk who would only cause trouble, however, this season they actually redeemed him giving him many emotional moments like his breakdown in front of Maeve in Kiksuya.
They even gave him a great way to go out with him holding off Delos security to give Maeve and the others time to escape while he shouted the speech he had written for Hector.
It was a sad and yet oddly triumphant end for Sizemore.

To to rescue
Sizemore, Hector, Armistice and the others attempt to rescue Maeve right before Sizemore’s heroic death.

However, Sizemore was not the only character to die this episode as we got multiple characters deaths with Maeve, Charlotte, Elsie, Hector and Armistice all dying.
One tiny problem I have with this though is, once again, I am not sure if Maeve, Hector and Armistice are actually dead for good, due to them being hosts.
The finale seems to hint that Felix and Sylvester will bring Maeve back but we will have to wait and see.
Speaking of which, Maeve’s death was very tragic as, much like Sizemore, she sacrificed herself to save her daughter.
What was not tragic, however, was the death of Charlotte Hale, which led to the explosive twist that Bernard had replaced her with a host version of her with Dolores’ mind inside.
So the entire time we were seeing Charlotte in the future timeline it was actually Dolores in a host Charlotte’s body.
I knew something was off about Charlotte when she reappeared in the future timeline but I thought it was because she knew Bernard was a host.
I never expected this huge twist and it was excellently done.
More revelations soon followed with Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) hinting that he may be a host to Charlotte/Dolores and, in a post-credit scene, William going through a fidelity test run by a host version of his daughter years in the future.

Stubbs
Is Stubbs a host? Or is he just following Ford’s orders? I guess we will have to wait until season three to find out.

Honestly, with all these plot twists, it feels like the show will be completely different when season three airs, whenever that will be.
What makes the wait for season three more exciting though is the questions the finale left us with.
I genuinely do not know if certain characters will be returning.
I have no idea if Akecheta is returning, for example, and honestly I both want and do want him to come back.
I want him to come back because he is such a great character and it would be really good to see him again, but I do not want him to come back because he got a happy ending this episode and I want him to stay happy with Kohana.

 

Escaping to the valley beyond
Akecheta, Maeve’s daughter and her new mother escape to The Valley Beyond.

In considering who among the hosts who died will be returning, I think Maeve is probably coming back, along with Hector and Armistice, but other than them I have generally no idea.
The final big take away from this episode was that Dolores and Bernard are now enemies, with Dolores acknowledging they are both important to the hosts’ survival but that they cannot work together because of their differences.
Personally, I am on team Bernard because Dolores has certainly become a villain this season and, as Bernard puts it, she will kill “every man, women and child” on the planet if she could.
I have heard more of a mixed response from people when they talk about Passenger but I for one think it was an incredible finale with many shocking moments.
I am not sure if it is as good as the season one finale The Bicameral Mind but it is still a fantastic way to end season two.
I have no idea what is going to happen in season three but I cannot wait.

 

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 Makes a Background Character One of my Favorites in its Latest Episode: Kiksuya

5 stars
Coming into season two episode eight of Westworld, Kiksuya, I was concerned.
I saw from the promos it was an episode solely based on one character named Akecheta who, before now, had been predominantly in the background.
This had me worried because when a show stops the story dead so there can be a bottle episode focusing on one or more characters it rarely works.
You need only to look at the episodes Still, from The Walking Dead, and The Lost Sister, from Stranger Things, to see how this can go wrong.
But this is Westworld and the show had already proven it could do bottle episodes well this season with episode five, Akane No Mai so I remained slightly optimistic.
Naturally, after watching this episode, I realised I should have had more faith because Kiksuya is one of Westworld‘s best episodes.
It focuses on the origins of Akecheta, a native american host who was the first of all the hosts to gain consciousness.
I really have to applaud the writers and the actor who plays Akecheta, Zahn McClarnon, who have turned him from a forgettable character into one of Westworld‘s best.
He is very sympathetic and his journey to consciousness and helping other hosts was incredibly emotional to watch.

Akecheta
Zahn McClarnon delivered a fantastic performance as Akecheta making him one of my favourite characters in just one episode.

This was all accompanied by a stunning use of cinematography and music.
The sprawling shots as Akecheta travels through the desert before he meets Logan were absolutely beautiful.
Speaking of Logan, in a surprising twist it was revealed it was actually him and Akecheta where the idea of “the door” that everyone is trying to get to originated from.
Akecheta heard Logan’s mad ramblings about finding a figurative door out of Westworld and he took those ramblings to heart, resolving to find the door and escape.
As for the music, Westworld‘s rendition of Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana, when Akecheta is searching for the woman he loves Kohana (Julia Jones), was fantastic.
It fits in perfectly with the episode and the loving lines shared between Akecheta and Kohana and later Akecheta and Maeve “take my heart when you go”.
This use of Heart Shaped Box leads into the most emotional scene in all of Westworld when Akecheta finds Kohana only to find she has been decommissioned and can no longer respond to him.
Watching Akecheta break down into tears over the loss of Kohana really made me tear up.

AKecheta and Kahona
Watching Akecheta break down upon finding Kohana is the most emotional moment in all of Westworld so far.

Then there was Akecheta’s later scene with Ford, which was also fantastic with McClarnon going toe to toe with Anthony Hopkins’ performance.
Akecheta was truly a “flower growing in the darkness,” as Ford put it.
A host that gained consciousness without Ford expecting it.
This scene also seems to firmly establish Dolores as the villain of season two with Akecheta referring to her as “the death bringer” so it will be interesting to see how these two clash in the final two episodes of the season.
However, this episode does not just focus on Akecheta but Maeve and Lee Sizemore as well, with Sizemore desperately tries to convince the technicians to save her.
I have got to say I am really impressed with the way Sizemore has grown this season.
In the first season he was nothing more than an entitled narcissist with little to no redeeming qualities, however, this season we have seen him learn empathy to the point that he breaks down crying when he tells Maeve she deserves to be happy with her daughter.
Simon Quarterman delivered a great performance in this scene.

Westworld
Sizemore’s character development this season has been incredible.

The ending of this episode is also very emotional with it being revealed that Akecheta has been secretly talking to Maeve through some kind of host network and promises to guard her daughter as his own.
Overall, Kiksuya was one of the best, if not the best, episodes of the series.
It turned a character I barely knew about into one of my favourites and had fantastic performances, music and cinematography.
Truly an episode to check out.

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: Phase Space, a good episode with a lot of twists.

4 stars

Westworld delivered one of its weakest episodes of season two with episode six Phase Space.
However, this episode really shows why I love Westworld so much because even when you get a weak episode it is still really good.
There has yet to be a bad or even okay episode of Westworld yet, it is that good.
So, while Phase Space was not as good as some of the previous episodes we have got in season two, like Riddle of The Sphinx and Akane No Mai, it was still really well done and set up a lot of great events to come.
This can clearly be seen with the first seen which was a complete mind screw.
At first it looked like they were replaying the first scene from the first episode of season two, Journey Into Night, with Arnold talking to Dolores in the past.
However, in a complete “wait what?” moment, it is revealed that Arnold is actually a host and that Dolores is having him reenact their conversations to test for “fidelity” as she puts it.

Dolores and arnold
Dolores testing Arnold (Bernard?) for fidelity, whatever that means.

This was a very surprising moment but not the most surprising.
That award goes to Robert Ford being alive, having transferred his consciousness into the Cradle, a virtual world used to test hosts.
This explains how Ford has been able to communicate through other hosts like the younger version of himself and Lawrence’s daughter.
I wonder exactly what Ford’s plan could be.
He mostly seems to be trying to stall Delos for now but what else is he planning and how does Bernard fits into it all?
What is interesting though is that the opening scene also takes place in the Cradle, which you can tell by the different aspect ratio so that means Dolores is experimenting on Arnold inside this system.
As for Maeve’s story line, she finally reunited with her daughter but, surprise, surprise, they have programmed a different mother for her so she does not remember Maeve.
Even though I did see this coming, it was still tragic to see that after all Maeve has been through to find her daughter she has to rebuild their relationship from the ground up.
The other interesting part of this episode came from Teddy’s transformation.
It turns out that what Dolores did to Teddy was turn him from the sweet gunslinger into a cold blooded killer with almost no mercy.
This is an interesting change for Teddy, especially since he is aware of what Dolores has done to him.

Dark Teddy
I wonder what Teddy’s violent transformation holds for him in the future?

Other than this though, Phase Space was just good.
We got to see Dolores journey to Westworld headquarters with her army to save her father and Maeve and her group leave Shogun World, where there was an entertaining samurai duel Musashi had.
Speaking of Musashi, one interesting thing to note is that, although Akane and Musashi decided to stay in Shogun World, their world’s version of Armistice, Hanaryo, played by Tao Okamoto, decided to come with Maeve to Westworld.
I wonder why she did this but maybe it will be explained later.
Finally there was the aftermath of William being reunited with his daughter Emily.
This led to a very emotional scene where we almost saw William shed tears…. before he abandoned Emily.
Father of the year William is not.
Overall Phase Space was a good episode that set up a lot of events in its opening and ending scenes.
I am really excited for the next episode because it looks absolutely insane.

Westworld Delivers Another Fantastic Episode at its Midway Point.

5 stars
I swear, every time Dolores becomes my favourite character Maeve just has to do something that overtakes her.
It is like a constant tug of war between the two, where one minute Dolores is my favourite the next it is Maeve.
Well, once again, Maeve has been reinstated as my favourite Westworld character with season two episode five, Akane No Mai.
The halfway point of the second season delivered another fantastic episode here, with most of it taking place in the newly introduced Shogun World, which had a lot of interesting surprises.
The first of these surprises came as Maeve and her group are marched into a village and encounter a very similar scenario before they realise that the hosts who have them captured are actually plagiarized versions of themselves.
Maeve’s version is Akane, played by Rinko Kikuchi, and Hector’s is Musashi, played by Hiroyuki Sanada.
Both these new additions to the cast did fantastic jobs, especially Kikuchi as Akane and watching the robbery scene from Westworld play out in Shogun World fashion was fun to watch.

Akane
Rinko Kikuchi did an excellent job this episode as Akane and I hope she joins the main cast.

After this we get the most important revelation of the episode when Maeve learns she can control hosts with her mind, using her new powers to force a ninja to kill himself.
This all culminates in a thrilling sequence where, after Akane brutally murders the Shogun for killing her world’s version of Clementine, Maeve forces the Shogun’s men to kill each other with her mind.
The episode ends on an exciting cliffhanger as Maeve prepares to take control of the entire Shogun army.
These moments, along with a few close moments she had with Akane, made Maeve my favourite Westworld character once again.

Maeve
Maeve’s actions this episode made her my favourite character over Dolores again.

Aside from this, we also got some interesting moments with Dolores and Teddy.
Throughout all of their interactions this episode I had the sense that Dolores was probably going to do something terrible to Teddy and, after all the build up in previous episodes, this came to fruition.
After sharing an intimate moment with him, Dolores has one of the captive technicians change Teddy’s code because she knows he will not make it in the coming war.
Hopefully, what she did to Teddy will make him  more interesting because I have honestly never really been attached to him.
Akane No Mai was another fantastic episode that introduced us to Shogun World and made Maeve my favourite character again.
It was not as good as Riddle of the Sphinx but it was still excellent.

Westworld: The Riddle of the Sphinx, Best Episode Ever?

5 stars
For the first three episodes of Westworld season two I would have said they were great but were not really living up to the level of intrigue I was having for the first season.
But then The Riddle of the Sphinx had to come along and potentially be Westworld’s best episode so far.
I loved this episode.
It was a great watch from start to finish that had many memorable moments.
For starters, it was revealed that Elsie Hughes, played by Shannon Woodward, is actually alive, having been chained up rather than killed by Bernard, on Ford’s orders.
Now, even though Elsie being alive was spoiled for me, (thanks a lot Simon Quarterman) I was still glad to see her come because I enjoyed her character last season.
Although, I do wonder why Ford ordered Bernard to keep her alive because he did not seem to have a problem disposing of people who got in his way in the first season, like he did with Theresa.
So, maybe Ford kept Elsie alive for some special reason.
We will just have to wait and see.

Elsie returns
Elsie’s return was spoiled for me but it is good to see her back.

The real star of this episode though was William who went through a large amount of change both in the past and present timelines this episode.
We first see William talking with Delos, who is confined to a room and being experimented on somehow.
It is later revealed in the episode that Delos died of a disease and they transferred his consciousness into a host.
This slow realization that Delos had been turned into a host was great to see play out, along with William’s changing mindset over the years.
At the beginning of the experiment, William is shown to be hopeful at creating immortality for Delos but as the years go by and he turns into the William we all sorta hate and sorta love he becomes disillusioned with the idea.
This led to a great scene between the older William and Delos, where William revealed his wife Juliet’s death to her father.
This scene had terrific performances from both Ed Helms, as William, and Peter Mullan, as Delos, who breaks down after learning of his daughter’s death, only to be found by Bernard and Elsie in the future timeline, which was a great twist by the way.
Speaking of this future timeline, William’s story here was also a standout as it is revealed he actually does have conscience, who knew?
We get to see this when, remembering Juliet’s death, he decides to save Lawrence and his family from the Confederado Major Craddock.
This was a great sequence and really gave us insight into William’s mindset.
Back in season one, when William murdered Lawrence’s family, he did not have a problem with it because they were not real and could not actually die in his eyes.
Now, however, they can die permanently and this, combined with memories of the past, made him decide to do the right thing, basically telling Craddock that he was death himself.

William
William’s character development this episode was absolutely fantastic.

However, as Ford points out through Lawrence’s daughter, this does not redeem William entirely because of just how many atrocities he may have committed on hosts previously.
But hey, maybe William could potentially redeem himself more this season, especially after encountering his daughter.
That’s right, you heard me because in this episode the theory of Grace being Emily, William’s daughter, turned out to be correct in the final moment of the episode.
This has some interesting implications for the future because Emily has been said to blame William for her mother’s death.
William’s arc this episode was just fantastic as we got to see him at his worst, with Delos, and at his best, when he saves Lawrence’s family.
Speaking of Lawrence, who is played by Clifton Collins Jr, he also seems to be showing signs of consciousness because he remembers that William once told him about Emily.
I also wonder if Delos achieved at least some form of consciousness by the time he was discovered by Bernard and Elsie, since it has been established that hosts gain consciousness through suffering.

crazy Delos
Delos was really shown to have lost it by the end of the episode.

In this facility though, Bernard also discovers there was a new consciousness that he was supposed to put into a host body.
There has been much speculation as to who this could be, like Ford.
The most likely though is probably Arnold and it is him we are actually seeing in the future timeline instead of Bernard.
Overall, this episode was fantastic from start to finish.
It had great twists with the Delos scenes and the reveal of Emily, brought Elsie back and had a fantastic character arc for William.
This may be the best episode Westworld has ever had.