Just in case you were wondering: whats the answer? Fidelity.
Westworld is a very compelling, smart, engaging show – season 1 is very good, it works as a self contained season even though it does set up future seasons. I liked season 1 and I honestly give it a 9/10 – something I only do for films or shows that would be regarded as a classic moving forward. I really liked Season 1, but that is not to be conflated with understanding because I did not understand it. By that I mean, season 1 was set up for you to ask so many questions; but because it felt natural I didn’t mind. Season 2 on the other hand is a little different, it is a little different for a few reasons, the first one being it has been two years since season 1 was released, how am I expected to remember something I convinced myself I understood to begin with (I have never loved the creators of the show more than when they included the “previously”). Another problem with season 2 is that it is just different; almost at times feeling useless. The introduction of many different timelines definitely grabbed my attention but didn’t feel natural. There is so much more I want to see of the world before we go full Terminator, it just seems like a second season isn’t necessarily. I don’t want to say Season 2 isn’t great because it isn’t like Season 1, because I quite like it when the second season feels different to the first meaning it isn’t just a repeat of the original show, but Season 2 isn’t set up as a mystery but rather set up to purposely deceive you (an there is a difference).
So onto why I still gave it a very good score of 8; the season is still good, it still draws my attention and sucker punches me with its shocks, all my favourite characters return and I come to care and love the relationships between then all with Tessa Thompson given a heavier role; hell I even care for Teddy and all he does is die. But, the one character that is a complete drag is Dolores, which I will get into later. Killed his daughter. Because, I am about to slate it, I would like to say that I like when a second season feels different, point and case Stranger Things.
The season doesn’t work – it doesn’t feel self-contained, it doesn’t feel as though it has been created for interaction but rather to cause confusion, it doesn’t have the luxury to just focus on the characters arcs and deliver a natural story, but rather it has to focus on the events we have yet to see, never allowing us to win trying to confuse us and shock us and that sort of took the fun away for me. Taking the first season as an example, there were many ties and links between all of the timelines that were taking place, whilst in season 2 it seems the end all is with Bernard. He is the one that ties it all together in the end, he ties the Man in Black flashback story line, he ties the return of Ford , he ties the hosts and the humans, he ties the present and what has happened since season 1, and we are not really given any hints until we see this in the season finale. Plus, there are a load of side missions that are unnecessary and by allowing these hosts to be free, they get lost in their mission, God; Dolores is unbearable!
Whilst it seems the first season was a fun puzzle to solve, the second seems as though the producers go out of their way to make sure you can’t win. A good way to understand what I mean is imagining, the centre of the show in Season 1 was the main characters and the relationships they each have with each other, and thus the clever writing that gave us hints to the bigger picture. But the centre of Season 2 is the park, a philosophical question on what makes you human (in the sense of free will) and intentional decoys to ensure the show still packs a punch. So, the rich character development is thrown out the window so bigger questions can be asked and thus keep the audience in the dark until the big shock. And, (I really need this to come across clearly – so I’m going to put it in bold) I really wanted these questions to be asked but, just not quite yet. And so, I was absolutely baffled why they
were are rushing things. It’s not like we have to tell producers to drag things out. That way when we see a character going through such a transition, we come to love and care about them.