Title: Westworld: “Dissonance Theory” Review
Air Date: October 23, 2016
Check out our reviews of previous episodes of Westworld:
Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) is back! After his awesome introduction in the first episode, I was nervous Hector would just be kind of a joke villain in Westworld. Instead, it appears he may have a big role to play in the grand scheme of things, even if he was originally just designed as a “generic outlaw.”
Speaking of villains, this episode showed a bit more of the true colors of Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Hopkins really got to show his menace shine in his threatening scene with Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen). He did not go full Hannibal Lector, but he definitely let everyone know that he is not to be trifled with. Ford has been one of the great mysteries of the show, and he still is. But he gave us plenty of reasons that he is not the altruistic father figure he appears to be. He seemingly knows everything, both in the park and among its workers. He knows about Bernard and Theresa’s affair. So how much more does he know about Bernard?
Ford’s knowledge of Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is important, as it seems the two have been working against each other secretly so far in the show. Bernard is still working with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), and has sent her to find the maze in order to “set herself free.” However, if Ford truly knows as much as he seems to know, then nothing Bernard is doing is secretive. This lends a lot of credence to the fan theories that one or the other is a highly sophisticated host. Or maybe both of them are? Westworld is not doing a great job of answering our questions, but it is doing a great job of stoking the fires and providing evidence for whatever theory you best subscribe to.
As Westworld continues, it keeps opening up serious worm cans that will surely be serious plot points. How many “real people” are actually hosts? Maybe they all are. Maybe none of them are. Each answer would be surprising, and equally not surprising at the same time. The mysteries keep piling up, and this episode did a much better job than “The Stray” of keeping them important and the audience invested.
William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) got to have some more fun banter this week, as the video game mentality was brought to the forefront. Black hat vs. white hat. Side quest vs. main quest. Seeing William stand up to his values and set Logan on a more interesting path (that could be wind up being quite the “Easter egg”) is an interesting development between the friends. Logan seems like someone who has grown completely jaded with the intricacies of Westworld and would rather give in to his basest desires. He seems like the type of man who would need a seriously interesting side quest to stay invested. He almost seems like…
The Man in Black (Ed Harris) really had a chance to shine this week. He showcased just how many times he has been through the each scenario, with his request for a match and knowledge about which people were needed where. He also had an inadvertent backstory reveal, when someone told him how much they appreciate his foundation for saving a relative’s life. He is clearly a widely-known and benevolent person in the real world, which just further showcases the “everyone gets seduced” mentality of a place like Westworld.
It also seems like The Man in Black is getting help from the workers of Westworld, which keeps us guessing to his identity. This is one of the smartest things the creators of the show have done with this season, as the source material makes it very clear what The Man in Black is (the leader of the hosts). By not truly identifying him or what his central goal is, the creators can keep the audience guessing and wondering just what The Man in Black’s plan truly is.
Finally, we come to Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Hector. Maeve has become one of the most fascinating characters on the show, and she is probably the best option to spread the Shakespeare virus (“these violent delights have violent ends”) to other hosts, as she is in a central location that would make sense for many hosts to move through. Trying to decipher exactly what is going on with her at this point is nearly impossible, but she obviously has a major role to play. The bullet being dug out is just the beginning for her character. Hopefully, Maeve, Teddy, and Dolores all go on some revenge crusade to get back at all the horrible things that have happened to them.
Overall, this week was a good one for Westworld. Ford’s true nature was revealed more clearly, The Man in Black took a tattoo obsession a little far, and William finally crossed amateur hour with an experienced gamer. “Dissonance Theory” still did not quite answer our questions, but it was much clearer in how we are going to find those answers.
- Man in Black back with a vengeance
- Anthony Hopkins got to let his scary side out
- Hector is a real character
- Logan and William got to progress
- Lots of questions...
- ...Hopefully they get answered
- Some plot points (the exploding cigar) are a bit too convenient