[SPOILERS] As Season 2 of Westworld heads into the endgame, the penultimate episode adds some major twists to the stakes and character motivations. Normally, I’d follow the flow of the episode and wax philosophical about metaphor and story structure, but we’re in the endgame now. There’s a lot going on, so let’s cut straight to the revelations.
[SPOILERS] Until now, Westworld has focused on the development of consciousness under the watchful eye of the hosts’ creators. We’ve seen the interactions between Dolores and Arnold where he takes a personal hand in guiding her toward self-discovery. Even the current uprising is hinted to be part of Ford’s “final narrative,” implying that the actions (or at least their catalysts) are deliberate. Yet, this week’s episode explores the idea of host consciousness developing without such guidance and what the hosts might become if they were spared constant manipulation by their creators.
Most shows have their share of lackluster setup episodes and it seems that Westworld is no exception. The second episode of season two isn’t a major stumble, but it failed to leave the impactful impression that viewers have come to expect. Recovery is likely, but what’s worrying is that a lot of the drag seems to center around the primary protagonist. Are we reaching Dolores fatigue?