Important Takeaways from Westworld - Journey into Night
By: Brenna Gonzalez │@Brennagonzalez5
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers - don't say we didn't warn you!]
After spending one season truly captivated by Westworld's realism within its science fiction world, I can certainly say that I have never been more excited to be confused as I began to watch the opening scenes of Season Two’s Premiere.
I instinctively forfeited my sleep, along with most of my sanity, as I sat in front of my dad's criminally-large TV to view the long-anticipated return of this modern Sci-Fi classic. By doing this, I was greeted with a frenetic recap of last season’s main details, and jeez was there a lot going on (in the most beautiful way). From the idea of basic human desires and the willingness to explore that, to the plotlines that turned from sinister to torture porn scenarios, this review of Season One reminded me of the show’s extraordinary appeal that will no doubt continue into Season Two.
For this being the season premiere, there was not much that was truly jaw dropping, but there were many details that did warrant a prolonged “wow” in my head.
The first standout moment of expected Nolan-esque mindf*ckery is obviously the conversation between sweet ol’ host Dolores (the even sweeter Evan Rachel Wood) and the always-complex human Arnold (Jeffrey Wright). In this short-but-impactful philosophical scene, Dolores asks the burning question that will be sure to leave you with a headache strong enough to make you call out of work: “What is real?” The answer that was then given by Arnold, “That which is irreplaceable,” is called out by Dolores due to its lack of actual truth, flowing nicely with her soon-to-be empowered personality.
Arnold seems to be using Dolores to fill the hole that the death of his son Charlie had left him with, as Dolores is his creation that will never truly die. He can always fix her, where in reality he had to watch his son leave his life for good. Is it healthy? No. But, on the other hand, it allows for a nice segue into Dolores’s self-redemption storyline. Can anything truly be real to someone who isn’t? There are many ways to interpret this quote, as there are practically infinite ways to interpret anything said in Westworld. Overall, though, this moment between the two characters should remain pivotal for the show and I am extremely curious to see how it will help drive Dolores and her actions for the rest of the season.
Another moment I find to be interesting is the weirdly-constructed dynamic between Charlotte Hale (everyone's favorite Valkyrie Tessa Thompson) and Bernard. As they continue to hide from the rogue hosts they both unintentionally created, they find themselves confiding in each other with dramatic revelations, including one that could create an extraordinarily-important arc for this season altogether. With the introduction of the horrific, skinless… things, we find out that, in a sort of meta way, Delos Inc. is logging guests' experiences and DNA.
After digging a little bit more, I found that the actual terms of visitation rights into Westworld state that “Once you enter Westword, the company ‘controls the rights to and remains the sole owner of, in perpetuity: all skin cells, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, hair samples, saliva, sweat, blood, and any other bodily functions not listed here.” (Slate, 2016).
I’m assuming that this is being used as a sort of renewable resource in order to create more and more hosts without the amount of effort it took to create the initial group. This is a HUGE deal for the actual foundation of the park and will hopefully be explored more, legally and experimentally. The one thing the writers should not do is let the perfectly timed social commentary go to waste.
Overall, I was impressed with this episode not only providing us with enough details to sustain us till next week, but because it took such a complex route at the end of the last season and added to it without becoming bloated. Westworld is, so far, maintaining the show's sophisticated integrity, and I am here for it. It was delightfully relieving to revisit the show's obscure premise after the end of season 1, and I expect that we will most likely continue to be treated with dystopian twists and turns in Season 2.