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Westworld – Phase Space Review

Anyone else yell "No!" at the screen when Akane told Maeve she would be staying behind with Mushashi in Shogun World? Because man, what a bummer to have two such interesting characters taken from the game board so soon after they arrived. But, I suppose, when a show has as sprawling of a cast as Westworld continues to have, there have to be sacrifices to allow boring stories like William's to continue on. But, I have to say, I genuinely found myself enjoying pretty much everything that happened this week on the series, even if "Phase Space" was more about moving the pieces into place for the final climax of the season than it was actually concerned with moving storylines forward. Let's start with William and Grace's story line, which proved to be a great deal more interesting than I expected it to be. It's amazing what happens to a character when the series opts to work on building up his backstory and character beats rather than simply leaving him a cypher and setting him off on a confusing and muddled "quest." I'm more interested in William now that I know he's the kind of paranoid broken man who would assume his daughter was a host created by Ford just to mess with his head. And I really love Grace, who takes her father to task for his inability to understand why she would show up in the park (and for forcing him to deal with the uncomfortable realization that his little girl might take advantage of the more tawdry side of the park- that move took guts to pull off), only to get played by him once again. While I'm still not 100% on board with William's quest (nor do I really understand exactly what the quest is about), I'm thrilled we know a bit more about who he is in the here and now. That's something the show and the character has been missing. Also in the column of "Way More Interesting This Week" is poor Teddy, who is no longer stupid and confused, but it now a hardcore killer. I'm thrilled for James Marsden, who now gets to do something other than look lost week after week. And I'm equally thrilled for just what exactly this change to the show's dopiest character means for Dolores. Did you catch that moment when she wondered if, perhaps, she has created a monster in destroying the man she once loved? Because it was there, and I suspect it's something that will continue to haunt her as the series continues. With the train approaching the command center fast things are looking up for Dolores and down for Charlotte and her team. That's one confrontation I'm excited to see. Finally, I'm intrigued with just how things are going to play out for Maeve now that Sizemore is calling for help. One thinks that she won't be particularly thrilled that she's been betrayed by him (as fun as he is as a character, I wouldn't mind Maeve offing him for his actions). Having her "daughter" with them isn't going to be a picnic (she'll slow them down, and unless Felix has a way to wipe her memory of her other mother, she's not going to be cool with Maeve sweeping in and taking over the role). While Dolores is moving toward her goal, Maeve attaining hers only presents more problems. Final Thoughts: -- So, Ford is hiding in the virtual reality Bernard's consciousness is in. For all the stories about Anthony Hopkins not appearing this season, I'm interested to see just how much Ford we get next week (and whether it's CGI Hopkins or actual Hopkins- we know that Hopkins agreed to do voice over work this season, but I would be genuinely shocked if he reappeared in the flesh). -- I'm starting to lose track of the timelines, but we still need to have an unconscious Bernard waking up on the beach, and a bunch of hosts dead in the lake. So, that's still coming at some point in the next few episodes. -- Bonus points to Felix for opting to help Maeve and Co. in the gun battle, while his fellow humans tried to escape. -- The theme of the episode was "Choose your fate," which really could be the tagline for the entire series. A great line that really encompasses all that Westworld, both the park and the show, is all about.
  • Solid character development with William and Grace
  • Good changes to Teddy
  • Forward plot movement for Dolores
  • Leaving two of the best new characters behind in Shogun World
  • William's quest remains a drag


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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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