Westworld Season 1, Episode 2: Making Sausage

Though many of the moving parts in this story run on the same tracks, the second episode provides us with new information and perspective, while moving along the plot, in ways that make the tracks wobble.

Westworld Season 1, Episode 2 tl;dw

The Good

The mirroring of Ep.1’s introduction to the park through the eyes of a newcomer is effective exposition and a nice nod to the black and white hats of tropes of yore.

Speaking of hats. We are indirectly told that every detail is significant, so thanks to his dark hat and the reveal that Teddy might just be more than every other character played by poor James Marsden, we have a character perfectly set up with the abilities and motive to kill several guests.

I am uncertain as to whether or not the gun Dolores found contains live rounds, but I am sure that “These violent delights have violent ends” is somehow the triggering phrase that short-circuits that androids and makes them recall memories of past “lives”.

Ford’s speech about the details that make people come back to the park is a reminder to all of us of the reasons we choose to play games we have finished, reread books, and re-watch movies and series. Just because a story is finished, does not mean we are finished with the story. If we add the elements of player interaction in games (or even choose-your-own-adventure books) and fandom interaction with canon, Westworld is just a natural progression of the way we attempt to take control of a story.

Bravo to the casting department for finding a kid that looks enough like Anthony Hopkins to have the entire fandom abuzz with excitement about his potential origins.

Thandie Newton had caught my attention in the first episode, but in this one she truly shines. Seeing the inner-workings of the park through a host’s eyes was horrifying and I can’t wait for the pay-off.

Are we thinking inside job? y/y

And who on staff, if anyone, is actually an android? (The newly revealed romance angle strongly suggests Cullen and/or Lowe).

The Bad

I don’t know how we can distinguish the exact point where racism in fiction turns into racist fiction. While I can buy this depiction of Native Americans within the worldbuilding of a fantasy park like Westworld, I can’t however, completely ignore a narrative that makes our first interaction with Native Americans a violence-filled continuation of old racist Hollywood tropes.

As someone who has great difficulty being mean to fictional pixelated characters, I find it strange that so far we only have one guest who is not there to indulge themselves in flesh and violence. His attempt to help the old man was very relatable and the show has yet to answer how the park deals with guests who ruin the experience for other guests by being belligerent (and stabbing people in the hand).

The man in black is searching for a hidden game, but his methods leave much to be desired. I don’t think someone who would go to the trouble of arranging a trail of breadcrumbs would have the clues reveal themselves in a fashion as bizarre as the latest one.

Still don’t care about the people who run the park half as much as I care about the androids they run.

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