Westworld: Season 1/ Episode 6 "The Adversary" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

The arrival of the board is nigh and with Maeve becoming aware beyond even Dolores and the staff of Westworld all hiding secrets as their peers discover them, so comes the question of who is really what they seem to be?

Review (with Spoilers)

I usually dog out Westworld but I have to admit that I’m starting to really get into it now. Leading me to wonder if perhaps the whole Dolores angle was why I have been so ho-hum about this series, for she takes an episode off. Yet, while the likely trajectory of the hosts remains the same, the same can’t be said for the staff. Some are acting erratic and strange, while others are hiding things. The type of things that if the board finds out about, oh heads will roll.

For more on “The Adversary” look below.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

The Mad Writer – Lee

Rejection hurts. Especially for a man like Lee who thinks of himself as so brilliant and everyone else, like Ford, incapable of seeing his far-reaching genius. Though what is really pissing him off is as Ford plans a new story he is messing up all of Lee’s. Thus making Lee need a few sick days to drink in the sun. Heck, he even meets a nice girl named Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) who he takes as just another tourist but we learn she is the first coming of the board. Making him confiding in her, and then literally pissing all over the place, quite embarrassing to everyone.

Question is, how will Charlotte handle this? We aren’t sure how high up she actually is, nor if she is just a rep or a full fledged member with decision-making powers? What is known though is that, Lee may not be the only one Charlotte may have to worry about.

A Present From Arnold – Ford

It still isn’t fully clear what Arnold was to Ford besides a co-creator of this world we admire, but what is known is that his eccentricities are getting odder with age. Though perhaps the main issue is Ford isn’t much for the politics of Westworld and doesn’t really reach out to make friends. Heck, even his protégé Bernard isn’t necessarily his ally. He admires him, attempts to understand him, but there is always a certain distance kept. A certain unfamiliarity to maintain Ford’s air of mystery.

Such as Ford maintaining some original models that Arnold gave him. Original hosts which are modeled after Ford’s family during a sweeter moment of his life. Of which, the oh too familiar little boy is mini-Ford and there is Ford’s brother and his father. Something which, in itself, isn’t necessarily the biggest thing to raise a red flag over, after all, Ford is an old man and reminiscing about the past is bittersweet. The real problem comes that even these models are hearing Arnold’s whispers and with Arnold having 47 models, of his creation, still in existence, capable of harming others it seems, you have to wonder what is, or was, his plans for them? Especially as he became disenchanted with the commercial goals for his masterpieces.

A Murderer Posed As the Boy Next Door – Man In Black and Teddy

Teddy has always been made out to be one of the good ole’ boys. Someone who maybe lost their way, but never a murderer. Well, as the Man in Black and Teddy encounter Union soldiers as they pursue the maze/ Wyatt, we learn of Teddy’s dark side. One in which while he may not mutilate as Wyatt does, his reputation for violence sure does proceed him. Something shown as he mows down a dozen or two soldiers with a rail gun, just to make sure, after undoing their bondages, they won’t be followed.

But, even with this reveal of his past, I must admit Teddy still is as boring as a two-dimensional square and arguably he is bringing the Man in Black with him. For honestly, the edge which was the MIB has been smoothed away now. He got captured for goodness sakes! On top of that, his background is rooted in mystery and while his storyline is focused on this maze, one in which we learn there is someone who sounds like Arnold in the center, honestly it is beginning to be hard to care about the maze. If only because the people who should be hyping it up just don’t create any sense of urgency, intrigue, or even make themselves out to be interesting enough for you to invest in them and their journey.

Changes To The System – Maeve

While Dolores is slowly waking up and is having her hand held in becoming sentient, Maeve is bypassing all that. Thanks to Felix’s guilt, and perhaps stupidity, he tells her everything she wishes to know. Hell, he even gives her a tour of multiple floors. Which strangely doesn’t raise red flags in multiple areas where hosts are either on a table or behind glass doors. Also, it wasn’t like Maeve was wearing a disguise either. She was in her normal clothes just without her hair done.

But what really matters here is that Maeve not only threatens Sylvester’s life when he threatens to snitch on Felix, but she gets him to change her personality matrix with the big changes being to her loyalty, which she has dropped, and her ability to feel pain. Now, the loyalty thing is a bit worrisome for it leads you to wonder if this means she may betray Felix or that sex worker she always talks to. The inability to feel pain is worrisome for Maeve, even at her default parameters, wasn’t some dainty woman. She’d shoot, stab, and even harm herself if she needed to. So now with being less prone to being loyal and less of an ability to feel pain, she has become formidable.

Oh, but lest we forget, she also maxed out her intelligence. Each parameter is on a 20-point scale and her intelligence was originally a 14. Said number is usually the highest and is reserved for those in managerial roles. However, now at a 20, so comes the question of what can be done to stop her? Granted, she still maybe in shackles to voice commands, but how long until she figures out a way to disable that? Being that hosts work wirelessly, perhaps like the synths on Humans, what really may stop her from awakening more people and becoming a rebel leader? One I bet you Dolores will have to face off and stop.

Espionage and Betrayal – Elsie

It has been clear for some time that the various departments of Westworld don’t get along. Either it is the butcher folks feeling like red headed, underpaid, step children, the QA team thinking they are dealing with idiots, the engineers not appreciating the nitpicking of the QA team and so on. Yet, it was assumed they were all in it together. Well, maybe not. Elsie’s discovery last episode of devices siphoning data leads her to a manhunt of sorts. One which leads to what seems to be an abandoned sector with a theater inside and a data collecting device which collects data from the original models. Now, in the previous section it was noted 47 Arnold created, but in total there are 82 1st generations in use. So while not a huge sector of the hosts, it is large enough to get quite enough data to cause some waves.

Thus making Theresa the person behind it a bit shocking. Well, that is if you don’t take note of her being at Westworld as a kid. Now, maybe this is just me thinking this show is highly predictable, but why is it that something in me thinks she worked her way up to her position to expose Westworld? Heck, if they threw in some sort of connection to Arnold I wouldn’t even be surprised. After all, the show is a bit cagey with the person lives of most of the cast and you know they are prepping for some big reveal. Whether or not it lives up to most people’s expectations is a whole different story.

Things To Note

  • Just to review, it costs around 40k to go to the park and, according to Felix or Sylvester, people in their position don’t make that much.
  • Arnold, after a certain point, wanted to do like what we see in Humans in which his creations would have memories, be able to improvise, and would worry about their own self-preservation. However, there was a 4th element to true consciousness he couldn’t grasp before his death.
  • Westworld has been around for 30 years and Arnold almost ended the park before it became the commercial enterprise it is. Something Dolores was supposed to help him with but didn’t. Leading you to wonder, while Arnold is spoken about casually, what about the details around his death? Something there seems to be fishy and with very few seemingly having been around since that time, you have to wonder if there is more to Arnold’s demise than we think.
  • Theresa breaks up with Bernard because she thinks it could affect her judgment and ability to oversee his department.

Highlights

It is Starting To Hook Me

In many ways, I still think this show is a bit overhyped, but it is hard to argue it isn’t entertaining. The main issue is that every twist seems familiar and something about this show makes it hard to let go of preconceived notions. Yet, at the same time, there is this hope, still, that it won’t lead you down a well-paved dirt path but through the woods and to a place barely explored. Which, I’ll admit, increasingly feels like wishful thinking, but the fact this show is good enough to maintain a sense of hope is what matters.

An Episode Off From Dolores

With Maeve taking center stage, I come to wonder if Dolores is a liability or an asset. Maeve created more intrigue in one episode than Delores has throughout the 5 episodes she has been featured. Leaving me to question, why is that? Is the storyline Dolores has to blame? Could it be the characters she is matched with? Or could it just be her looping the same storyline for a good few episodes and now finally breaking character being the reason? It is hard to say.

Criticism

This Maze Better Be Something

The Man in Black was mostly an interesting figure. He was the unofficial villain of the world with his mass murders, seemingly raping from time to time, and just being a plain old menace to hosts. Yet his adventure to find the maze has been a slow decline which became a steep hill once Teddy got involved. Leading you to only hope something awe-striking lies at the center of the maze. Heck, perhaps even at the entrance.

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Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

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