Key Takeaways from Westworld - Les Écorchés
By: Brenna Gonzalez │@Brennagonzalez5
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for “Westworld” Season 2, Episode 7, “Les Écorchés”- If you have not seen it, why are you doing this to yourself? Leave.]
If you aren’t somewhat intelligent, then this show will go entirely over your head. BUT, if you’re self-aware enough that you have a good understanding of your own stupidity, then the show will offer some pretty visuals and some good ol' fashioned violence. Westworld provides something for everyone and maintains a pretty firm grasp on everything it tries to accomplish.
Season 2 Episode 7 , Les Écorchés, contains mind-numbing plot reveal after plot reveal, in the most striking and pleasing way possible. With the “oh shit” and “what the fuck is happening” moments come a satisfying heart palpitation as you find yourself eagerly awaiting another interrupted mercy-kill at the hands of Dolores (I’m looking at you Charlotte, you almost died twice but yet sound design decided to distract our beauty-in-a-peasant-dress Dolores).
With all slight pettiness aside, I am all here for the Inception-like storytelling. Did we, as viewers, really expect anything less than a nod from Jonathan Nolan to his brother's cinematic masterpiece in mind-fucking, obscure timelines? I sure didn’t; not because I want to be confused after blinking for too long, but because I know Westworld is attempting to be unique, and that it is.
DOLORES VS. MAEVE
Who really holds all the power? I’m not just talking about holding power in the park, but also in the philosophical sense. After analyzing the movements and the character attributes of every standout character in the series, I have come to the conclusion that the almighty being in this show can truly only be one creature… and with that said I declare… LEE (just kidding he's a self-declared pussy)… I declare DOLORES the mighty ruler of all things.
The only real competition I had against her was Maeve, as Maeve obviously has many things going strong for her. Maeve has the edge when it came to controlling crowds of rogue hosts, but she lacks the moral integrity to lead a large movement.
Maeve lets her guard down for love, for protection, and for basically anything she finds heartwarming. Her daughter is her soft spot when it comes to attaining her goals in her long-coming revolution out of the remains of the park and into the still-questionable hands of the real world. Maeve was once SO CLOSE to getting the hell out of there back at the end of season 1 but instead just NEEDED to save her daughter… who, let's not forget, isn’t even her daughter. Yes, she is the closest thing to family Maeve's got, but come on, she was programmed to be your child! You know that we know that, so what are you still doing trying to protect her. Kids are always bringing adults down - come on girl, live your life.
That now brings me into the wonderful Dolores debate, and why I chose her as the clear winner in my eyes (and now hopefully yours). Not only was she the winner by process of elimination in this case, but she holds so much grit in her personality now that you might as well stick her with the rest of the Coen Brothers' filmography. She straight up mutilated her boyfriend as she felt he was weighing her down. If I came face to face with James Marsden I would have to run away I’d be so flustered... but Dolores, she straight-up REPROGRAMMED him to be a better fighter in order to support her crusade. She saw weakness and turned it into self-gain and an irresponsibly-submissive ability to fight anyone who isn’t on their side.
So with her monologues, her heartlessness, her revenge plot, and her good looks, Dolores' hands-down wins this competition against mind-controlling mother Maeve.
SHOULD WE BE ROOTING FOR CHARLOTTE?
As much as I am all for the “let's get 'em” rage fight Dolores is currently forcing all terrorized and terrified hosts to pursue I have to say I may be almost rooting? For? Charlotte? Not because I think she deserves anything as she is clearly a morally corrupt human being with judgment so clouded the world looks like it may be ending, but because as a consumer I understand where she may be coming from. From a corporate standpoint, she is just doing her job. I mean think about it, if you were getting paid millions and millions of dollars a year (as I’m assuming she is doing based off the expensive threads she rocks in Westworld's outside world) from the most technologically advanced and powerful companies in the world then I would probably fight for my job security too. Albeit she is most definitely an extremist at the concept but you also have to take the discovery of the cradle into consideration. Do you know how much that thing is worth? The amount of money is inconceivable for someone of her stature so that sure as hell includes someone of my stature aka someone who spends her treat-yo-self money on $5 worth of fruit at a Whole foods near her house.
Also, think about it on a knowledge-based level. She is someone who is obviously very smart as she speaks in articulate and manipulative tones, adapting to whatever situation she finds herself in among the inhumane, so that must mean she is curious about what the cradle holds. She knows about its links to immortality and in her eyes, she sees money signs and research rather and the longevity of her own life. Honestly, I gotta support her on that one. Yes, the cradle produces beings that are essentially tortured and manipulated for the point of capitalist and the bourgeoisie’ self-gain but like sometimes selfishness takes control. If the cradle were to end up in the hands of anyone who better than a driven, strong, and stylish black woman in a male-dominated corporate world?
With so many timelines and information being revealed I long for the simplicity of entertainment but also don’t wish for it to take over a show with the amount of potential that “Westworld” maintains to hold… even during the last stretch of its final episodes of season 2.
Now let's see what next week holds in the “begging-to-be-analyzed-and-overthought” department.