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After the first season of HBO’s Westworld, many considered it to be one of the best shows of all time, it’s storytelling was powerful and poetic as it captivated audiences with its fresh, powerful and thought-provoking imagination leading to unmissable television. And so, a follow up was highly anticipated, only when it came, what was to be delivered was a series that just seemed to do too much. And, so, when season 3 was announced, there was some hesitation on where the show could go moving on from the second season. Because of that, I spent the last seven weeks, reviewing each episode (which you can find here), and having watched the finale, I’m still not sure if I am back in love with a show I was once obsessed with.
After the second season, Westworld had to change, a show that felt so fresh had become somewhat predictable and unnecessary in many aspects in its second season. And, so changing in the third, was inevitable and also a real benefit, but by doing so, (almost ironically) stripped the show of its soul. I find how the show manages to reinvigorate itself, and introduce new strong characters as well as delivering pay-offs from the first two seasons commendable, and really did enjoy it, but, Westworld season 3 doesn’t feel like the show I fell in love with, and I’m sure doesn’t feel like the show many audiences fell in love with. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the first two seasons wrote the show into a corner that it had to escape from, so the story could keep its course, and by changing the show in the third season it allowed the creators to rebuild the foundations of the show by making it feel fresh again. And more importantly, feel exciting, having strong characters in different areas, and fulfilling story-lines that the show had promised as well as introducing a new character that would take centre stage later on in the show helped the season succeed. And, its story really is its strong point, carrying messages and themes throughout (which I explain in each episode review), the most important one being the idea of free-will. Which, I think was executed brilliantly throughout the season, including the finale.
As I have reviewed every episode, I wanted to talk about the finale specifically. This is a spoiler-free review and as such no plot-points will be discussed. But, leading into the finale, it was clear that the story was going to take a very different shape to what many expected. Every character, up until the finale had been utilised well when used, but in the finale, the work done to them cause their arcs to come crashing down resulting in an almost lacklustre finale as it puts the ‘end of humanity’ story line into the spotlight, a story-line that I had tried to avoid throughout the entire season. Nevertheless, the finale reiterates the ideas and themes the entire season attempted to show, with a heavy importance on ‘free will. And, as always, there were truly amazing and powerful scenes and performances by all involved.