REVIEW: Westworld, S2 Ep2 – Reunion

The second episode of Westworld explores the origins of the park while Dolores continues her bloody revolution and the Man in Black his mysterious mission.

“Have you ever seen anything so full of splendor?” Dolores says in awe as she gazes at the night sky over an unnamed city. This is because she’s in the real world, and Arnold has given her a glimpse of it, as well as a cheesy line to express her admiration.

Westworld, S2 Ep2 – Reunion CWe dive into the earliest timeline yet, in the era before the park existed and when several hosts were created by Ford and Arnold to present to the Delos heir, Logan. After attending a fancy cocktail party populated with hosts (and then, of course, sleeping with one), Logan is convinced by the level of AI technology and he is determined to invest in the “Argos Initiative.”

Not so sold on the idea is his father, James Delos, even as he visits the park and meets some of its inhabitants. But by this time, his son-in-law William has had his experience in Westworld and so has developed a very sinister perspective of how it can be fully utilized. This is clearly the beginning of his road to becoming the Man in Black. He has seen the potential of the park in collecting the guests’ darkest secrets (and possibly even more than that). There’s a chilling parallel to our real world and the lines that are blurring when it comes to data privacy. William tells his father-in-law:

“In 20 years, this will be the only reality that matters… Half of your marketing budget goes to trying to figure out what people want, because they don’t know. Here they’re free, nobody’s watching, nobody’s judging… at least that’s what we tell them. This is the only place in the world where you get to see people for who they really are.”

The dark uses of free will is a constant theme of this Westworld episode with the revolutionary Dolores using the same line of reasoning as previous, brutal guests. She’s the most proactive of all the awakened hosts, becoming a fearsome leader of the bloody massacre and recruiting other hosts as well as hapless technicians to demonstrate how certain characters can be “resurrected”. She also talks about how people who believe that there are no more rules to govern them give in to their basest instincts:

“They wanted a place hidden from god, a place they could sin in peace. But we were watching them, we were tallying up all their sins, all their choices. Judgment wasn’t the point; we had something else in mind entirely.”

At one point, both Dolores and Maeve come face-to-face as the former tries to enlist the latter into her revolution. But Maeve is on a journey of her own and she is not interested in joining the bloodshed. Dolores tells her that she’s out for revenge, to which Maeve replies:

“Revenge is just a different prayer at their altar, darling, and I’m well off my knees.”

Dolores then points out that she has the luxury to choose her journeys because she is finally free. But Maeve also counters that Dolores’ way isn’t necessarily the only way they can rise up against their oppressors. She also accuses Dolores of controlling the other hosts (like Teddy) almost as much as the guests did the hosts.

In another flashback scene to where Dolores plays the piano in the “real world” retirement party of Daddy Delos, she meets William again (as well as his wife and small daughter) and he has gotten over her pretty effectively. He later says that she made him interested in himself. She also bumps into a drug-addicted Logan who, while a loathsome character in general, still spouts some foreboding words:

“That is the sound of fools fiddling while the whole f***ing species starts to burn, and the funniest f***ing part is they lit the match.”

The Man in Black continued his strange quest, this time picking up his old pal Lawrence and then facing the new El Lazo, played brilliantly by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito. Alas, his role is cut short and just before he dies, he warns William that he is meant to go on this journey alone.

Apologies for all the quoted parts in this review but there were truly a lot of memorable lines in this episode and all delivered very amazingly. Westworld always has a dense, profound script and the season has only just begun and already there are so many good moments. We’ve gotten a better idea of the history of the park and things continue to get darker and darker.

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