By: Imran Chaudhry
West world has been back for a full five episodes now and things are really getting tense and as expected, very confusing. Season one of Westworld was a fantastic science fiction series that ask ten questions for every one it answered and made no sense until the season ended. With extremely high production value, incredible producers and Hollywood stars I expected no less. The end of season one however, was both brilliant and frustrating all at once. Leaving us with such a cliff hanger is the norm for high budget TV shows, as it sets them up for a new season and keeps the viewers waiting for a second season.
Now that season two has begun (well, we’re half way through it) this is my simple breakdown so far. Episodes 1 to 3 were ok, but felt lacklustre and asked more and more questions than we got answers for the end of season one. This really upset me because I absolutely adored the first season and was worried the second was going down a rocky path. However, episode 4 and 5 have taken the season back onto the level of season one. The clever past and future play is done perfectly, and the story really begins to pick up traction providing more excitement than frustration.
Episode 5 spoilers ahead!
So, onto episode 5. What a great episode, it takes all the elements of Westworld we love and throws it in a blender with a new world. Following Maeve’s path into the starkly different ‘Shogun World’ based on futile Japan, we see the culture shock for the group of misfit people and hosts. The aesthetic of this episode was incredible and proves that the production value of this TV series is Hollywood movie standard (which is becoming the norm for high budget TV). Story wise, the interplay between reused storylines, hosts who are mirrors of each other in different cultures and Maeve’s development worked incredibly well to create a cohesive, intense and captivating in-episode story arc.
The twist near the end of the episode in the futile Japan story arc, with the death of a new but beloved character shocked me, despite maybe being expected. Being able to make me feel so much for a single character, in one episode, introduced in that episode shows the writing and acting in this show is on a very high level. If episode 4 hadn’t had such a great story arc with Bernard and William, I would put this episode as my favourite this season.
Quick mention to the end scene with Delores and Teddy. It was very much expected with what she saw Teddy do in a previous episode, but it was still great.
It seems that this season has gotten off to a slow start, which may be its downfall, but then picks up to an incredible nail biting standard we expect from this series.
Are you enjoying this season of Westworld? Tweet us your thoughts @JenChauMedia.