After what feels like an eternity of waiting, Westworld has returned to our screens to bring violent ends to these violent delights.
Westworld Season 1 ended with a multitude of questions that still needed answering. Whilst we do receive a small handful of answers to kick-start the new season, Episode 1 unfortunately leaves us with two new questions for every one we have answered. It’s in this vein that the episode finds its core thread, it’s a new beginning both for the TV show itself and the characters within.
It’s an episode that deals with self-discovery on quite a large scale. Whilst the story of Bernard took center-stage, the motif of self-awareness ran strong throughout every storyline and I find it highly doubtful that this theme will suddenly dissipate in the coming weeks.
The episode itself, whilst intriguing in the numerous plot points it established, was slow at times. Despite being an hour and a half long episode, it didn’t feel the need to rush events too far. Instead it took a slower approach to proceedings, giving characters plenty of time to re-establish themselves with the audience. What did disappoint however was that new characters were often given one line introductions and then left to sink or swim. Gustaf Skarsgård’s new character Karl Strand, Head of Operations for Delos, feels highly important to this seasons storyline, but received little in the way of introduction or fleshing out. This isn’t unheard of for Westworld though as season 1 was inherently a very slow show until the latter stages. I have enough faith in the character work shown by the show so far that all these characters will be given enough time to fully develop in future episodes.
So, unsurprisingly, it was characters of old who stole the show this week. As always the acting was fantastic across the board, but it was great to see Evan Rachel Wood depict a much darker version of Dolores Abernathy. If I was a betting man I would say that her relationship with James Marsden’s character, Teddy Flood, will be one of the better threads of the season. It’s also worth noting that The Man in Black once again had an episode stealing scene, this time with the younger version of Robert Ford.
I’m certainly intrigued to see where the story takes us across the course of Season 2. The time-jumping is also something that makes it openly different to Season 1, as rather than secretly installing different timelines, the show is instead using them as a device for confusion and to engage attention.
Roll on Episode 2 and let’s just hope that now we’re fully integrated back into the world, things can pick up slightly quicker than they did in Season 1.
Final Score: 8/10 Porgs