Westworld: Season 1/ Episode 8 "Trace Decay" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

As some grow closer to the maze, you realize it isn’t just this mystical place in the park but it may just be the park itself.

Review (with Spoilers)

After watching this episode and not rushing into the recap/ review and just letting my thoughts simmer, I realize what my issue is with this show and maybe even Humans. They aren’t so much about their characters as they are prepping for twists. With that, the characters, while developed in terms of backstory, it is hard to get an emotional connection. Add on the focus is split so widely and it makes it so all you can focus on is the general story. Which, while there are constant attempts to freshen it up utilizing the talent on the show, I must admit I still don’t get the hype.

For more on episode 8 “Trace Decay” look below.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Dolores & William

As Ford has told us, Dolores was one of the originals. Now, whether or not she was one of Arnold’s originals or Ford’s, that I can’t say. What is known, though, and as we also see with Maeve and Teddy, is that old memories may have become faded through formatting, but they are still there. With that, Dolores sees an old town, one in which, like Teddy, she finds herself to be the Wyatt of the town murdering indiscriminately and though these visions aren’t clear or absolute, it scares the hell out of her.

Though all things considered, The Man In Black told Ford what their world lacked was a true villain. So who better to play that role than the woman you’d never suspect?

The Man In Black & Teddy

Teddy’s memories return of watching The Man In Black drag Dolores to a barn and he puts the pieces together from there. With that, he knocks MIB out and so begins the confessions of Mr. Flood (assuming that is his name based on what Ford says in episode 5). Which leads to perhaps the most boring and tired song and dance of his impression that he was a good man but his wife knew otherwise. For, if you remember from episode 4, Mr. Flood noted he is a philanthropist and we are told his organization has saved lives. Yet it seems the villain of Sweetwater is his true nature and the reason his wife killed herself and daughter refuses to see him.

But whether or not this is BS is hard to tell. For while the hosts can’t kill him until they are in the far outer ring, where Ford’s game ends and Arnold’s begins, Mr. Flood doesn’t seem like the type who likes being in a submissive position. Perhaps why it seems the main people we see him towering over and tormenting are women.

Ford, Bernard, and Maeve

It’s unclear how many people Bernard has killed for his master, but as universally it seems the memory wipes are losing their effect, it seems the formerly dependable Bernard may one day turn on his master. Though it remains unclear if even those conscious can break past hearing Ford’s commands. However, considering Maeve now has a similar power, thanks to Felix, it seems the god of Sweetwater and Westworld may have to deal with an up and coming goddess.

Highlights

It’s Trying To Bring Deeper Meaning To Things

To me, this is mindless entertainment but I think part of the reason I’m thinking such is because I’m hearing vs. listening. For Ford’s words dealing with how man is as much as in a loop as the hosts, while not on the level of a Mr. Robot monologue, at the same time it did have me thinking. Leaving me to wonder as I sort of just watched this program because I enjoy the actors did I miss more than I picked up on?

Criticism

Can’t Connect

As some of the movie reviews show, I can be a blubbering mess especially if it comes to broken families, rejection, losing the one thing worth living for and etc. So between Maeve and Mr. Flood (we’re just going to stick with that for now and likely forget it next Monday), you’d think between Maeve reliving her losing her child to Mr. Flood talking about losing his family, it would have some sort of effect. Especially since Maeve’s daughter was murdered. Yet, there comes that issue noted in the intro. We learn these bits of backstory but even with the talent of the actors, with things spread so thin and details thrown to us like scraps, it’s hard to get the emotional investment needed to feel something. You may feel sad, recognize how horrible something is, but to weep and get a real emotional reaction? I’m finding it hard with each and every character no matter their tale.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?