I could have skipped writing about this. The 6th episode is marginally better than the 5th, but still not good overall, and the writing is maybe even worse. I don’t even know how it’s possible to go downhill so fast, all the thematic depth of the first four excellent episodes has been completely swept away to the point there’s almost nothing left. Not only these last two are bad episodes, but the wreck all that came before.
More side-plots are being added without any elegance or consideration, to the point that certain characters can’t even appear every episode since they added so much bloat they have to proceed in a two-step kind of manner. But this apparent richness of things to say is extremely sterile and cliche. It’s not about exploring the depth of the themes, it’s all about superficial plot bloat and very artificial conflict. On top of a very irritating level of completely unexcused obfuscation.
The “mystery” show is fun when you’re given some pieces of a puzzle to fit together, and then keep filling in until all those pieces move to the right place. But instead here every episode keeps adding brand new pieces that prove you never had enough to solve any mystery. In fact there’s no mystery at all, only a bunch of poorly excused factions that do not earn any interest.
No one in this show has any motive, because motives would reveal too much.
The rest is some objectively bad writing I really wasn’t expecting for this kind of show. The first big issue is that the scenes with the MiB were purely superfluous sidetracks that literally added nothing beside providing another excuse in this episode to show some more shooting and blood. It’s okay if it’s a consequence of something going on, but here the MiB is captured only to get released once again. The whole thing could have been erased from the episode and we wouldn’t have lost anything.
The other big issue is Elsie tracking down the signal into some old arbitrary deposit, wasting time tapping on arbitrary crates, looking at arbitrary devices. It’s all a prop. The whole scene is so poorly written that it seems completely out of place. First they rely on the annoying cliche of “I’ve made a big discovery but I can’t tell you now”. Thankfully it’s not 100% stupid and the phone call happens later in the episode, but without really revealing anything. And then she gets caught but some unknown presence, because that’s the shitshow Westworld has to derail toward, apparently. “Oh no! Elsie has been caught!”
With just 10 episodes in the season, and dire hopes to see this renewed for a second season, without even thinking about the now pretty stupid plan of 5/6 seasons, this is quickly becoming just an exercise in frustration. They are planning for a long term they don’t have, and as a consequence they are wrecking the little they can have.
So what happened this episode? That we now know the “conflict” grows to three different agents, all with unknown motives. There’s Ford, whose own mystery plan is tied to this new storyline in the works, but apparently Ford is not anymore the genius of the first episodes. Stuff happens around him and he’s as surprised and caught with his pants down as everyone else. Then there’s the actual revelation of this episode, the fact that “Delos”, the company that finances the park, is smuggling data out of it, probably as a way to appropriate the thing and take control away from Ford. And finally there’s Arnold, the ghost in the machine, that is now a very obvious active agent.
This means it’s not anymore Ford who is working to give the hosts their consciousness. All the subtlety and complexity I had seen in the character is GONE. The “reveries” he coded were just that, ways to make these puppets more life-like. They weren’t part of a plan, they didn’t have more to them. Ford is just plain stupid and he just didn’t know about anything. I had misinterpreted his calm as insight. Instead he’s just too stupid to figure out the problem. The show seems to suggest Ford was the unchallenged king of this place for so long he grew complacent.
The problem here is that actually nothing changes from episode to episode. They just keep shifting the goalposts. There’s still someone working to give the hosts consciousness, but it’s Arnold instead of Ford. Absolutely nothing changes in the economy of the story. There’s just this shift of motivations from one character to another, due to an artificial obfuscation, that is meandering for no real reason.
Initially it seemed it was Ford that jumpstarted the host consciousness by giving them access to previous memories/cycles, but no, he did that just for the aesthetics. Someone else is reprogramming them. It is Delos, who’s smuggling information for their own corporate businesses. But there’s not just Delos, because there’s another third party who’s recoding the host, and that’s Arnold. And it’s Arnold who’s actually unlocking Ford’s reveries for what they actually are (full access to memory).
How many more factions we need in the show re-coding the same system? How anyone thought this multiplication of obscure agencies was a good idea?
That, without even considering there’s Bernard TOO interfering with Dolores’ programming. IT’S A FUCKING MESS. It has no thematic depth, it has no substance. It’s just a tangle of artificial plots built just for the sake of complication. Arbitrary people struggling for power, is this Game of Thrones?
Why is it that, after 35 years, and exactly when Ford decided to code the reveries, it is now Arnold to surface right at this time to unlock the Hosts memories. This show still withdraws fundamental information that is necessary to FOLLOW the show as a coherent thing.
Instead we moved from the first intelligent episodes dense with depth and layers of meaning, to a shitshow of incoherent plot lines that were inflated to the point that now they can’t even fit all together in a single episode.
I was initially thinking Westworld was going to be canceled because it was too smart and too dense for a large public, but nope, it looks like it is going to be canceled because it is too stupid.
“Oh no! Science has gone too far!”