Westworld - Phase Space - Storyline parallels that will make your brain hurt (in a fun way)
By: Brenna Gonzalez │@Brennagonzalez5
[Editor’s Note: This review contains spoilers for “Westworld” Season 2, Episode 6, “Phase Space”- If you have not seen it, why are you doing this to yourself? Leave.]
Okay, so shit is officially going down. Well, I mean, shit has been forever going down when it comes to Westworld's wacky substance but something feels different. What is different to me now is that I feel as though the plot is coming to a head. With the introduction of Season 2 Episode 6 - beautifully titled “Phase Space” - I can frankly say I was pleasantly pulled into not only the pleasing cinematography and score, but to the characters’ actions and smart dialogue. We are making some real progress here, and it is genuinely affecting my engagement.
The anticipation for resolutions in each main-character storyline is actually making me excited for the next episode. My daydreaming mind is now completely occupied by Westworld. So long dreaming of hot summer nights; instead, I am happily welcoming my newfound dedication to this series’ powerfully-restored arc. Where I once felt hopeless about the trajectory of the series, I now feel enthusiasm.
I have always expected a lot from the series, but with the focus on the build-up of the characters and their missions taking front and center, I expect nothing less than ensemble badassery. By the end of this season, I hope to see many things. I have had many expectations regarding this series from the beginning, probably stemming from the announcement of a dystopian sci-fi collaboration between J.J. Abrams (every cinephile's dream dad) and Jonathan Nolan (my dream dream dad’s husband - what a power couple that would be). Even if most of my hopes for the rest of the season aren’t explored in the final episodes this year, I’m sure they will be eventually. But, while we wait, let's explore the possibilities they so sadistically tease of us with.
MAEVE AND HAPPINESS OUTSIDE OF HER FAKE CHILD
Someone, please give her a break. Maeve (Thandie Newton) is probably the most well-rounded and complex character the writers created, especially when it comes to being a host. She has 10x more emotions and a 1000x better character arc than virtually anyone else that is involved in the plot, yet she has been clinging to idle hope to find her child that never was. SO, she finally got to her daughter, hoping to find her resolution and ultimate peace, and instead had everything she was truly passionate about ripped out of her with the revelation (but devastatingly-predictable conclusion) that her daughter was never really her daughter and there was nothing she could do about it. She will never get what she is looking for even with her superiority. GIVE THIS WOMAN A TRUE FAMILY FOR CHRIST’S SAKE... somehow... I’m not sure how that would logistically work, but I don’t think anyone is more deserving of a happy ending than Maeve.
RACE FOR THE GREAT ESCAPE
In all honesty, this may be the thing that I have been waiting for the most in the show. I am obsessed with the idea that there has to be something super-fucked-up happening outside of the facilities that Westworld provides, as all the people trapped are not easily getting out of the park. You would think there would be better rescue personnel, but no. Also, who can forget about good ol’ William (Ed Harris), who basically chose to spend his life in Westworld rather than continue living the lavish lifestyle he once had on the outside. There must be a cool backstory, as I don’t think you can really have so many people willing to attend a park that helps them live out their deepest and darkest desires without some sort of oppressed and regulated madness happening on the outside.
When you think about how the writers will choose to make that reveal, I don’t think what the outside world is actually like should be the main focus. Instead, it should be WHO will make it out first…
- Teddy (James Marsden) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), although fiending to join the real world in order to expose the truth of their minds, seem to be focused on the revenge killing of the attendees that founded their suffering.
- Maeve, in my opinion, seemed like the best bet before she ditched Lee (Simon Quarterman) in order to grab her daughter (that is not really her daughter, which we all knew, but rather a faded projection of a fictional memory to fill her backstory). Now with her capture, she will have to once-again fight her way out of another, most-likely-bloody situation putting her behind schedule. I'd like to see her use of power within the host world some more, though, so I guess it will be entertaining no matter what.
- Does William really even want to leave, or does he plan to die there? His daughter seems to think the latter, but when it comes to fight or flight, I think if he was given the option to leave entirely, he would. He is obviously vulnerable to Grace/Emily (Katja Herbers), and even stated that he wasn’t a fan of her seeing him in such a corrupt place. In order to save not only himself but his daughter, too, he could potentially leave if it came down to it.
I guess we'll just have to see, as there are other options as to who may escape earlier than everyone, but these seem like frontrunners for the metaphorical throne into the shitty wasteland I predict they will soon enter.
A TIMELINE THAT MAKES SENSE WITHOUT IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
I can’t be the only one that sometimes watches this show and feels as though they are too stupid to understand it. I sit there watching casually wishing I were surrounded by Adderall in order to not miss any important details. The show is, no doubt, filled with superior imagery and philosophically-obtuse dialogue that may not mean anything now but will soon, but that is kind of the problem… Isn’t it?
There tends to be a fine line between sophisticated and pretentious, and for now, Westworld has done a good job trying to find the balance. But they may be coming to a fault as with the introduction of new worlds, parallel storylines, and possibilities of Dolores and Bernard/Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) unexplored explorations in the past, it may soon become too much for the average viewer. If this show wants to maintain a high viewer total, then they should eventually clear up some of the timelines, or else watching every Sunday night might feel like a chore as you will surely find yourself frantically clicking on every analysis video you encounter in order to get some sort of grasp on what is happening and when… exactly… it did happen. Maybe I’m the stupid one, but for a show that is riddled with talent throughout the cast and crew, I have no doubt in my mind that some of the confusion will soon be cleared up… at least I hope so, as I want to know what the fuck is going on with the whole Arnold and Dolores repetitive fidelity field tests.