REVIEW: Westworld, S2 Ep1 – Journey Into Night

Westworld, S2 Ep1 - Journey Into Night

Welcome back to Westworld as the second season premieres and the park is still in chaos, with the awakened hosts roaming and executing the guests. We are once again subjected to multiple timelines. Though we are all already aware of this trick, it still requires some effort to figure out where we are in the story. In many ways we are just as disoriented as poor Bernard, who still struggles to determine what is real and what is not.

Westworld, S2 Ep1 - Journey Into NightHe is the focus of two different timelines, the first being the immediate aftermath of Dolores‘ rampage at the end of season one. He escapes with Charlotte Hale and they manage to survive long enough to reach an underground lab. Hale tries to contact Delos but they are awaiting a package, something she describes as an insurance policy of sorts. And apparently, this precious package is in Peter Abernathy, the old rancher host. They need to track him down before they can be rescued.

Westworld, S2 Ep1 - Journey Into NightThe other Bernard timeline shows him washing up on a beach and being found by the Delos security forces including Stubbs. New character Karl Strand is determined to find out what really happened and to try and sort out the colossal mess. They all walk through the park, which is strewn with the corpses of various hosts. They discover that it was Dolores who went on a killing spree, mentioning something about a hidden valley.

The episode ends with them finding a large body of water, a sea, and apparently the watery grave of hundreds of hosts. The camera lingers on poor Teddy’s corpse while Bernard cryptically claims that he killed them all. This all links back to his earlier conversation with Dolores (whenever that took place) about the nature in reality.

Westworld season 2All the scenes featuring Dolores show her shedding her sweet, rancher’s daughter persona and becoming a ruthless being intent on vengeance and self-actualization. She freaks Teddy out a bit with her bloodthirstiness, but he stays by her side. She expresses her wish to see the world beyond the park. It’s not actually the best idea, considering how they don’t know everything yet about Westworld itself.

The Man in Black continues his own journey and mission. After surviving the massacre of the hosts, he seems more excited that the hosts are able to fight back now. He encounters the young boy version of Ford who is just as mysterious as the old one. I suspect that Ford has “lived on” somehow; having partly set himself up to be executed by Dolores, he still has some presence on Westworld. Even if the Man in Black shot his child-self in the head.

Westworld, S2 Ep1 - Journey Into NightMy favorite parts of the episode involved my favorite character, Maeve, as she returns to the park in search of her daughter. She enlists (forces) a reluctant Lee Sizemore to help her on this journey, and she reunites passionately with Hector (yay!). She’s on an intriguing path since she doesn’t seem to have the same vicious vendetta as Dolores (though she doesn’t hesitate to shoot down any humans). Even after Sizemore tells her that her daughter isn’t real and was only a part of the story pre-written for her, she still wants to find her.

The nature of reality remains a major theme of Westworld as we begin the second season. Various characters have begun their journeys in different timelines and it’s time for us to once again try to make sense of it all.

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