The Real-World Implications of Westworld - Virtu e Fortuna
By: Brenna Gonzalez │@Brennagonzalez5
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for “Westworld” Season 2, Episode 2, “Reunion”- If you have not seen it, why are you still here?]
Our third episode of Season 2 quite literally takes from its own title; “Virtù e Fortuna” as it deals with beauty in individuals and the simultaneous fight for survival. What was intriguing about this episode wasn’t the violence, but rather the unique beginning. We finally ventured out of the O.G. park and into a different, more exotic area (hence the actual soon-to-be-rogue tiger). This grabbed me because it didn’t focus at all on the main cast - or really even on the side characters -but instead chose to focus on a whole other aspect of the park.
This episode told the story of two people caught up in this extravagant lifestyle and allowed them to grow their own connection in a place where lust and affection could fall into your lap instantly. Going back to last week's episode and the idea that “Westworld” may truly be the only reality left, it is interesting to see how life could continue to move when you take the science fiction element out of it, only relying on genuine human behavior.
“Maybe I miss taking my chances”
So let's talk about the opening scene and why it sparks a bigger question within the reality of the series…
FREE WILL VS. DETERMINISM AND THE HUNT FOR REALISM
We meet two new characters: Grace (Katja Herbers) and someone who was not given a name but oh well, he was an attractive male (as you would expect since this is a rich person world and it's a television show; everyone's hot). Anyway, we now meet our articulately-bold heroine and what comes next is the classic love story of boy meets girl: Their instant attraction is acknowledged, leading to a steamy make-out sesh, but before they continue, the girl has to shoot her too-good-to-be-true guy in the chest to make sure he is not one of the main attractions of the park itself.
What I found interesting about this was the fact that she was so concerned as to whether or not he was a robot. Do people routinely go into Westworld (or other “Worlds”) looking for real love?
It got me thinking about the state of the world they must be living in, as that isn’t seen as crazy, but instead seen as something that probably needed to happen to ensure that the connection was real.
In a world where hyper-realistic beings surround you, how can you distinguish what is prewritten code and what is actually sincere? With Westworld, I believe there to be a lack of genuineness left in the modern world as you are just able to buy your love, and can experience all the things you desire without the actual consequences (such as watching your newfound human hunk get shot in front of you by an android safari guide).
Now say that the hosts do escape and they merge into the real world…
Say the hosts are free and now coexist with human life; everyone looks the same, so it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between the real and the fake... but does it really matter? I guess it does when it begs the question; Can you truly love someone that isn’t real?
In order for a civilization to exist, we depend on continuing lineage. In order for that to happen, we need attraction, we need desire, and we need to have love. It is our driving factor in life. Over and over again we see Maeve (Thandie Newton) continue her fight for the sake of her “child,” who although she does not remember in a tangible way, she remembers the emotions and the love she felt for that child. The beauty of individuals and the fight for survival are coinciding as they both fuel the passions of human life.
Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) and his respectably-sized self seemed to remind Maeve that whatever she thinks she is feeling is only a byproduct of her revolution and will never be as real as she thinks. “You're fucking programmed to have no love,” Lee says as Maeve and Hector share an impassioned moment. This must go for all the other hosts, as they were practically all designed to be alone in order to accommodate the patrons to whatever degree was necessary. They are not supposed to feel anything, and even if they do, it was already predetermined, no matter how conscious they are. After all, why do you think that Dolores and Teddy are still “together” even after all of his wimpy attempts to keep up with her newfound life as her powerful, take-no-shit alter ego “Wyatt”.
I guess that living in a post-Westworld world actually brings with it even more problems than were previously addressed. On top of the low-key, unstable programming of the hosts and their now violent revenge tactics, they will all never be able to find any fulfilling satisfaction within anything in their lives, no matter how free or how restrained they are.
So my final advice to everyone is this: take every opportunity you have to go after someone you love now, because we could soon be living in a world where you have to keep a gun lying around just to prove that you're with an actual human. Find solace in pure unfiltered emotions before it’s too late... before it is all just predetermined dystopian bullshit.