Westworld ‘The Adversary’: ReviewNovember 11, 2016
Westworld began with what currently feels like to be the meta for almost every suspense-thriller serial out there. Begin your first episode with the narrative and the theme unraveled slowly without letting go off anything major, and end it with an ‘anomaly’. You are then kept at the edge of your seat throughout the entire season as the plot thickens, grasping its way till the core that is in letting go of everything that you had your doubts and fan theories on.
The thing that excites me the most, however, about Westworld, is how intricately the web for the plot and the mystery surrounding it has been woven to disillusion you between the good side and the bad side, leaving you to feel for both. While it could’ve been arguable that there infact aren’t any two opposing forces with colliding interests, ‘The Adversary‘, as aptly named indeed does reject that idea. The question however that lies for the views, six episodes deep into a ten episode season is, which one of them is the adversary?
The episode begins with Maeve, as she paces to her brothel. What seems to be less than interesting in her daily routine that she has outgrown on is made up with the ending moment of that sequence wherein she manages to ‘charm’ him into virtually killing her, allowing her to get up at will (we are guessing). The entirety of the episode thereafter is her (or it, at this point we are confused) tryst with reality, and her coming to terms with it. With the amount of time spent in developing her story, one would expect a few answers for her questionable behavior. This episode sadly doesn’t serve that purpose.
What it provides in this storyline, is closure. A closure to the chapter of Maeve, the brothel keeper, the whore and the ‘host’. What begins from an episode of transition is now anybody’s guess, especially with how HBO decides on leaving it too. With an AI’s intelligence cranked up to the extreme, what lies does she decipher and what does she plan on doing with her newfound knowledge is exciting to think about. Her unraveling also, was subtle and sublime, which best describes it. Her face and emotions convey the message and the internal struggle with perfection.
We then proceed to follow Elsie and Bernard‘s path wherein they also undergo an intake of new information that changes quite a lot of how they perceived their beloved park to be. Elsie, her character being that of an inquisitive apprentice continues on her groundwork of the same. Bernard however, a person who has spent the better years of his life dedicated to the growth of his work and the park is seen more tattled beneath his manliness. Jeffrey Wright continues in the progression of his character with artistic perfection, whether it be seen in nuances or with how his approach towards Theresa following their plan to ditch late-night meetings.
This episode decided to downplay Jeffrey’s character in exchange for Elsie gaining screen time suggesting a bigger role for her in the big plan, which later gets all the more explicit with how the episode ends. This is interesting not only because she is the only one to be new to the park yet integral to the plot, but also the youngest. You might want to mark her as the X-factor whenever Westworld gets close to uncovering what Arnold has been upto the whole time.
Ahh, Arnold. We are reaching the crescendo in the serial from where everything begins dropping onto the epicenter, that being Arnold. For someone so important to the entire plot, they way his backstory and reveal is handled basically carries the weight of every reason why I still continue watching this serial. Not to point it in a way that i am disheartened by other sequences, but my current focus of interest lies solely in learning Arnold, his motives, and more importantly, whether he is the adversary. Or not.
Ramin Djawadi continues to cast his spell in this serial. His score has been on point, and there really is little to no space left by him open for criticism. HBO keeps in tradition with the mystical soundtrack engaging even the current generation to listen to it casually. Overall in conclusion, Westworld steadies its control over the quality of the serial, not allowing even a slight drop in quality over the course of this season till this episode. While the plot certainly felt a little less dense this one time, courtesy Maeve’s epiphany utilizing most of the screentime, it certainly felt more of a foot-stone being thrown on the ground laying the way for the storyline to reach a conclusion soon enough.