REVIEW: Westworld – “Dissonance Theory”

westworld-review

The following is a spoiler review of the fourth episode of Westworld – Developed by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy

In the fourth episode of Westworld, Dolores (played by Evan Rachel Wood) follows William (played by Jimmi Simpson) and Logan’s (played by Ben Barnes) bounty hunt. Meanwhile, the Man in Black (played by Ed Harris) find the next clue in his search for the Maze: a woman with a certain tattoo, and, elsewhere, Theresa Cullen (played by Sidse Babett Knudsen) has a meeting with Dr. Ford (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins) to discuss the future of the park.

“It’s a very special kind of game, Dolores. The goal is to find the center of it. If you can do that, then maybe you can be free.” – Bernard on ‘the Maze.’

Let’s start with Dolores who left her loop in last week’s episode. She’s now with William and Logan, but the episode actually started with her dream/interview with Bernard. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I don’t see how he could’ve had a conversation with her while she was out in the middle of nowhere.

I guess it could be a dream, but it’s more likely that it was either a flashback or some sort of communication he had with her while she was ‘offline.’ I don’t think we’ll get all of this answered any time soon, but I feel like it was an odd way to open the episode.

I am pretty happy with how she’s slowly learning about the Maze. She knows about as much as we do at this point, and she’s brought up to speed pretty quickly via her ‘dream’ with Bernard and her ‘conversation with/vision of’ Lawrence’s daughter.

Logan and William are still oblivious to what’s going on with her, but I feel like she could’ve easily snapped at Logan when he shot the host. I definitely think Logan’s going to get a really horrible death in the park at some point. He’s just way too evil.

I will say, though, that I think it’s still a bit odd that Logan and William are polar opposites. William, the white hat, is very serious, he doesn’t want the hosts to get hurt, and he’s only in the park to enjoy the actual ‘game.’ Logan, the black hat, is just evil. He does whatever he wants to do. He’s the average Grand Theft Auto video game player, only he’s not afraid of doing it with his own two hands.

The show’s not even trying to be subtle about that at all. What is interesting, though, is that Logan’s family, which William has married into, seems to be business oriented. I wonder why Logan chose Westworld to be William’s ‘welcome to the family’ celebration. That also seems to be a very expensive welcome party.

Moving on. Let’s talk about Maeve (played by Thandie Newton). For a moment, I thought this was going to be another episode with Maeve flashbacks that didn’t go anywhere in this episode. I was wrong. In fact, she had one of the best moments in the show, so far.

It’s not at all surprising that she’s remembering the technicians that work on her – especially considering what happened to her a couple of weeks ago – but then we saw her drawing. The drawing itself was pretty creepy, but the moment where she realized she had drawn it before was absolutely terrifying. I’m not quite sure where the whole religion story is going to go, but that is very interesting – to say the least.

“This whole world is a story. I’ve read every page except the last one. I need to find out how it ends. I want to know what this all means.” – Man in Black.

The Man in Black story actually progressed a fair bit in Dissonance Theory. He found the tattooed bandit, Armistice, and he moved onto the ‘head of the snake,’ Wyatt. I’m excited about maybe seeing Teddy with the Man in Black next week, but that isn’t the most interesting thing about the Man in Black’s story this episode.

The Man in Black is a big deal. So big a deal, in fact, that he’s the face of some sort of life-saving foundation, apparently. He’s not Arnold. He just seems to be a wealthy guest trying to make the most of his vacation. That may be the biggest and best answer, or reveal, that we got in this episode.

“There have been many of you over the years. And we’ve always – almost always – found a way to make it work. So, I will ask you nicely. Please, don’t get in my way.” – Dr. Robert Ford to Theresa Cullen.

Okay, let’s move on to my favorite moment in the episode. Sidse Babett Knudsen is a very good actress, but I don’t think she’s really had an opportunity to show that in Westworld yet. In Dissonance Theory, she, at the very least, got to participate in another spine-tingling Westworld moment.

How great is this role for the great Sir Anthony Hopkins? Ford’s got a God complex the size of Jupiter, and, at this point, I’m not sure if he’s just a man in control or the Devil that Hopkins always knows how to bring forth in his characters. I’m excited to see the Delos-Ford conflict grow in the coming episodes.

Finally, let’s talk about the answers we expect this show to give us. So far, whenever we’ve gotten a question answered, ten additional questions come to mind. By this time next week, we’ll be halfway through the season, and I don’t think we have a lot of answers.

For now, I’m okay with the show-runners dangling tens of mysteries in front of us, even if we don’t have a lot of the answers yet. We need more answers, though, but I fear we won’t get the right ones for a while. We’ll see. At this point, though, I’m still extremely excited about the promise and potential of Westworld.

B+

– Jeffrey Rex

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