Our three year old daughter is now at that point in her life when she likes to tell us stories about things she has done. They are delightful and cute and super entertaining. They are also very confusing, especially when it comes to when stuff in these stories take place. Our daughter’s concept of time is sketchy at best. The birthday party in question was three weeks ago; definitely not yesterday. We went to the beach a few days ago, also not yesterday. Our daughter has never been to the island where Moana is from and even if she had, we didn’t go yesterday. She’s a cutie for sure, but not the most reliable of narrators.
Now in a way, our daughter’s stories are kind of like episodes of Westworld. You know, confusing, questionable in terms of timing and containing multiple timelines. But of course she’s our daughter. We love her and as previously mentioned, the stories are delightful and cute and super entertaining. Westworld is unfortunately none of those things, which is only one of the problems the show has.
Westworld wrapped up it’s second season Sunday night with “Passengers,” putting the finishing touches on a season that was in a way, better than the first because it featured more action, but also still as confusing as the first season because it featured action taking place during different timelines. Or in some cases, deep within a computer system. TL;DR: hard to keep track of what the hell is going on. As a result, while the finale did answer some questions, it left the audience with even more, one of which could very reasonably be why am I even watching this show. You want to ask yourself that question? That’s fine and totally understandable. It’s a tough hang. Westworld is your friend in college who would get wicked stoned, start rambling about God’s knows what and would eventually retreat to their room to listen to Radiohead by themselves. You liked them, but you definitely questioned why you were friends on more than one occasion.
Given the length of time between seasons one and two, there’s a good chance that we’ll have plenty of time to decide whether or not we’re still friends with Westworld or not before season three starts. But for now, let’s focus on the questions that were left behind following “Passengers.”
Why don’t the Delos Dune Buggies have windshields?
They should and it’s weird that they don’t. Isn’t it incredibly likely that while driving, a rock would come flying up and hit the driver in the face, causing them to crash? Windshields are great. Everyone should have one, especially people driving around an unforgiving and unpaved landscape.
Where have the Maevettes been?
I don’t know how much time passed between Maeve getting captured by Delos and her bloody, bull-assisted escape, but it’s been a couple days at least. Maybe? So where the hell have been Hector, Armistice, the two human nerds and the gal from Shogun World been this whole time? I mean, probably trying to find her, but dude, could you all have taken any longer?
Does being on Delos Special Ops pay well?
Gosh, I hope so.
Why can’t Dolores ever speak up?
The Queen of Whispers would be helping us all out if she just spoke up a little more. Not saying she needs to be a loud talker, but she could at least raise the volume of her voice a few decibels. You keep putting my wife to sleep Dolores. Is that what you want to do? And I zone out at least a minute into every one of your monologues and it feels like I should be paying attention to them because they seem important. Your buddy Bernard isn’t that much better. Here’s our goal for season 3, or one of our goals, speak up a little bit.
Why does everyone want William to suffer alive as opposed to just be dead?
Ghost Nation gets him, choose not to kill him, saying he doesn’t deserve it. His daughter then gets him, says she’s also not going to kill him and do something worst to him. Dolores gets him, watches him blow most of his hand off, then says she won’t finish the job and he deserves to suffer. Honestly, how bad of a person do you have to be for numerous people to all decide on their own that dying isn’t bad enough for you? Living and continuing to suffer is the way too go. Shot in the dark here: I think William might not be the best dude out there.
Is William a host?
Based on the scene after the credits, you’d be inclined to think so. But I defer to Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair who did the leg work and learned that that scene actually takes place sometime in the future. Because you know, what Westworld desperately needs are more timelines.
When didn’t Maeve use her superpowers to stop Evil Clementine’s Host Massacre?
The tech who discovered Maeve’s powers essentially copied them and dumped them into Clementine, making her as Hale described, a lone horse(wo)man of the Apocalypse. So why does it seem like she’s more powerful than Maeve? Maeve’s powers are strong, but they seem to lack endurance. Damn Maeve, can’t you last a little longer?
It seems like Maeve could have stopped Clementine or at least frozen all of the hosts earlier, allowing something to happen. I found that part confusing. I also found the whole episode confusing, but like, whatever.
Who does Dolorette have in her purse when she leaves?
When Dolorette (Dolores’ pearl inside Charlotte’s noggin) heads to the boat to peace out, we catch a glimpse inside her purse.
Oooohh, five pearls to keep on standby. She’s bringing friends! But who?
Well, we later learned that at least one is Bernard, as Dolorette builds or actives a new Bernard in the real world after building or activating a new Dolores. Yet when we see her giving him a fidelity test, we see Charlotte looking all sorts of menacing in the background.
So who is Dolores’ new sidekick? Is it Teddy? No. He’s in the Valley Beyond. Is it the Wyatt personality? Uh, I think that’s part of Dolores, but don’t quote me on that. So who is it? It’s so nice of them to leave us with something to think about heading into season three.
Is there such a thing as too many timelines?
I can answer this one!
Yes, yes there is such a thing as too many timelines.
Who is coming back next season?
As far as regulars go, I think Maeve will be back. Not sure in what condition, but she’ll be back. I think Hector and Armistice have done their job, so I can’t imagine them coming back. Clementine the Conqueror was killed, but she can be brought back and if they are trying to get things up and running again, could be used to keep the hosts in line. As for pop-ins, Teddy could always come back in flashbacks. Same goes for Ford. I bet you didn’t know this, but Westworld loves them some multiple timelines.
Am I smart?
I thought I was at least a little smart, but I’ll be damned if Westworld doesn’t make me question my intelligence on a regular basis. When “Passengers” was over, My Darling Wife asked me what I thought. I told her my brain was broken. I just couldn’t put together a coherent sentence summing up what I just watched on television. I feel like that may be problematic. I’m all for a show challenging me and making me think, but I never thought I’d have to consider just how challenging I want a show to be. Lost was a mind blender at times, but never able to all out break your brain like Westworld does.
That may be Westworld’s ultimate undoing. It’s trying to be too smart, too clever, too deceptive. It must be tough to create television these days because you want to stand out, you want to get people talking and you want to challenge people, but you have to know where the line is, how far you should take it before pulling back. It’s hard enough that the show is trying to get you to care about the plight of robots and there’s a good chance that over two seasons, they have yet to effectively do that. So you don’t have an emotional connection to the show. That’s another thing Lost had, that emotional connection. You cared about the Oceanic 6. I don’t care about anyone (or anything) on Westworld. So if I don’t care, if emotionally I’m not there, how willing am I too be intellectually invested? You kind of need one to have the other.
I’m going to be thinking about why I watch Westworld much longer than I’m going to be thinking about anything else with the show. I’ll most likely forget about it in a couple months and then those thoughts will return whenever season 3 does. This will then lead to a choice. Do I watch season three, hoping that this time it’s different, or do I bail early and save myself the grief? Do we remain friends or do we go our separate ways?
Only time will tell.