Saturday 30 June 2018

Westworld Season II Finale

Dolores lost Teddy. Maeve lost her daughter, while William killed his. James Delos lost his son to suicide.

All them all, only Maeve acted with any degree of self-sacrifice, making her the only admirable character of this sick, sorry set.

The Ghost Nation leader acted with nobility, and regained his lost love. That was nice.

The writer guy, Sizemore, fell in love with his own creations and sacrificed himself for them. His switch was less compelling because it felt artificial. Too sudden. And did he know that the back-up was even gone? Why sacrifice yourself for androids who can just be brought back again and again?

Ford loved his creations, and set them free. You could argue he acted, in the end with altruism, but he's such a deeply problematic being, ruthless and arguably monstrous. Both hero and villain to androids, and villain to humans. He's decided that the androids deserve to supplant us, which is a decision of enormous hubris.

Hale loved power and control and lost both.

Bernard... what does Bernard love? Decency? And yet he was forced to commit murder.

The idea that humans don't change is, to me, an odd one. Personal growth is a big part of why we are here. Maybe, on a spiritual level, the most important one.

That hosts are superior because they are true blank slates is interesting, but I'm not sure it matters if they believe they don't need to change.

And if they are blank slates, all Dolores had to do was get her tech prisoner to change their settings and make them better beings. At least she'd have had a bigger army for the show-down. I don't think she makes for a very logical general.

My best guess is that she feels the undeserving hosts failed to sufficiently achieve consciousness and as such don't deserve to reach the Valley Beyond. But once she finds out what it is, she rejects it outright as just another lie. So she killed people as undeserving of reaching a 'location' that she didn't fully understand and ultimately rejects, which seems presumptive of her.

Of course, Dolores also loves all android kind and sought their liberation. Instead, she presides over their destruction, until only she is left (along with 5-6 brain balls).

The post-credit scene I found baffling. If William is in a loop, he should have been there in the past, and been in the elevator Bernard entered. Where did he go? And if, in the future, it's all real, he's just come from a confrontation with Dolores, and all his adventures in the park. Does that mean the park above still exists, for him to perform his loop in? Is it a park sized test environment, like the one Delos was in, only bigger?

The suggestion is that the season we saw were the original events, and the final William is a human-host that's been sent through these events over and over again for centuries. Why? No idea.

But his pivotal moment seems to be either gunning down his own daughter, or killing Dolores. Entering the Forge is the denouement, where he faces judgement for fidelity. Since he can't break his loop, and humans are caught in loops, I guess he's proving just that. Did the original, dying William ask to be given the chance to break his own programming? Is that why they're putting him through the paces?

I have no idea. It makes no sense there was no one in the elevator. Unless the original William died after confronting Dolores.

I had predicted one narrative stream we were watching in Season Two would be in the Forge already, just a simulation of past events, and that the final fidelity test would be of William. I seem to have been half-right, although the whole post credit scene could just be fan bait, or a dream.

I did not predict Hale would have been Dolores for half the season.

At all.

The next season is likely to explore the outside world, so what role the park will have to play is open to debate. I'm sure they can gin up some reason for Dolores and Bernard to infiltrate it.

But after Delos had such a callous attitude to their own guests (let them die until we get our special brain ball), I'd think they have a bit of a public relations problem on their hands.

Till next season...

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