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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Rage on Behalf of the Machines

Warning: This article contains spoilers for season one of “Westworld.”

There is, perhaps, no current television show more unabashedly a puzzle-box than HBO’s new tent-pole ”Westworld.” After the triumphant first season, I feared that the show might not be able to sustain itself, with almost all of the questions being answered, Ford (Anthony Hopkins) dying, and the fundamental premise of the show being upended in last season’s finale, but as I watched this new first episode I remembered just how great this show and its creators are at intriguing and confusing me, and all reservations fled.

Following the wake of last season’s robot uprising, this season looks to be quite different from its predecessor, focusing on the direct conflict betwixt humans and hosts, instead of the self-discovery both parties underwent last year. This provides an interesting setup, as characters attempt to continue their plot-lines in a world where death is now very possible, and very permanent. Bernard (Jeffry Wright) struggles to keep his robotic identity a secret from his fellow survivors, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) hunts down what humans she can find, Maeve (Thandie Newton) continues her search for her daughter and William (Ed Harris) leaps into action as the game becomes what he had always wanted.
Though it’s still the same park, the newfound danger gives the show a more closed in feel. While in season one Westworld was a place to explore, this season it seems to be a place to hide. But just because the stakes have changed, that doesn’t mean that the show isn’t still the same confusing barrage of confounding questions and incomprehensible answers. This is co-written by one of the minds behind Interstellar after all. Like a host low on energy, ”Westworld” injects new life into itself in the form of fresh dynamics and query quandaries. Like season one before it, ”Westworld’s” second season is a freshly opened jigsaw puzzle, waiting for us to put it together, week by week by week.