July 27, 2018

Westworld S2E10 - The Passenger

I certainly didn’t plan to wait this long to post about the Westworld finale, but here we are. I had such a negative reaction to it that I wanted to watch it again before I shared my opinion. However, I have still not watched it for a 2nd time. I really haven’t had a desire to.

I had commented that I thought the entire fate of the 2nd season rested on how successful the finale was. That does not bode well for Westworld season two.

The finale had so much going on. I don’t really even know how to start parsing exactly what happened. When I first watched the episode I had this feeling that it was an objectively bad episode of television. I was not able to envision a world where somebody enjoyed that episode as a satisfying conclusion to the season. However, I have expanded my thinking and acknowledge that some people may have enjoyed the episode and even the season as a whole.

I didn’t do a great job of communicating this in my last post, but my largest desire with the finale was to see a resolution for William. I thought about several things that William might be confronted with when he reached “the door”. I thought about what would happen when William & Delores met up again now that we were aware of their long history with one another. I wanted William to face the reality that he had killed his daughter and see how that experience shaped him. I wanted to know what in the hell Ford’s game was.

While some of this was explored in the finale, I don’t feel like any of it was satisfactorily answered or given a satisfying conclusion. To me this really felt like it was going to be William’s season, but in the end it appears he is living on to possibly make an appearance in season 3. Going into the finale it felt like this was going to be the end of William’s arc. We didn’t get an ending for him, and now I am not sure where it will go from here.

I thought the meeting between William and Delores made absolutely no sense. It did nothing to capitalize on the history that the show built with them this season. I was amazed at how awkward and pointless their whole interaction seemed. I hated every minute of it. After being set up as key characters that were on a crash coarse into one another this whole season the ending was a blunder.

We got the post credit sequence with William. I took that as a time in the distant future where he is forced to relive his decisions continuously only to come to the end and find out he was unable to change his true nature and he always arrives at the point where he kills his daughter. I wonder about the scope of this game he is forced to play. Does he have to relive his entire life from the beginning and he always arrives back at that same point? Or is he only reliving the very end part of his life then where does it pick up?

There really aren’t good answers for the man in black. It felt like the whole show was built around him. From early on in season 1 he was the most interesting thing about the show to me. I thought he would get a better resolution to his story this year. I’ve come to terms that my favorite character didn’t get a very nice 3rd act.

I enjoyed Season 1, but thought the ending and the resolution to “the maze” was sort of lame. I enjoyed a lot about Season 2. It had a couple of the best episodes of television I’ve seen in a while. However, the ending was so weird and unsatisfying that it left me wary of the entire show. I am not excited to see what happens next. I’m not sure I even care that much.

When you invest in a show too much it is almost certainly going to let you down. I expected something really great out of this season of Westworld. I didn’t get it.

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