Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Cowboy Builders

Four episodes in to Westworld, Hannah Dunleavy‘s still got no idea what the hell is going on. Still, you’ve got to love an exploding cigar. CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Hector and Maeve

Just a flesh wound: Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) retrieve a bullet. Photos: HBO.

“I can make that feeling go away if you want”

So, as eerily off-kilter as Evan Rachel Wood is making Dolores, I’m starting to grow a little tired of her plotline as the victim not just of perpetual unchanging misfortune, but also of the male gaze.

Her early conversation with Bernard was interesting in that she referred to holding onto her emotional pain in almost exactly the same terms he used last week when speaking of his son. And she used a very Jungian idea about exploring empty rooms. And caused him to mention the maze. But other than that, I’ve lost a little interest in what’s going on with the Abernathys. Come back Peter, I say. The real Peter, not that dude with a comedy ‘tache.

Way, way, w-a-y more interesting is what is going on with two of the other female ‘hosts’: Maeve, who’s on a mission to find the truth about life outside the park, and Armistice, who is just about as kickarse as a Westworld character gets. (See also Hector, who caused me to cheer aloud when I saw him in that jail.)

Thandie Newton continues to be amazing as Maeve, and rocking a cigar herself, as well as so much chemistry with almost anyone she comes into contact with that they should put her in one of those hazmat suits she keeps drawing. (But rather especially Rodrigo Santoro as she persuaded Hector to cut that bullet out of her belly, while sitting astride a safe.)

I’ve got all sorts of time for Ingrid Bolsø Berdal too, as Armistice, the heavily tattooed gunslinger who might hold the key to whatever Ed Harris’s Man in Black is up to. (He talks to her like she’s actually self-aware, which is one of about 40 things that I wrote on my ‘Things I Don’t Understand List’.) While also continuing her loop cycle of raiding the town with her partner in crime, this time to a bit of Bizet.

No ceasefire: gunslinger Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal).

No ceasefire: gunslinger Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal).

And talking of Hector, he gets to spit out some of the other best dialogue in the series: from the rather splendidly western-y “You sound like a man who has grown tired of wearing his guts on the inside” to the single-word response as to his business in the town: “Mayhem.”

No but really, what in the blue blazes is going on?

If Westworld were any other TV show, I’d probably split writing about it into two categories: humans and robots. But I can’t, because I’m still not entirely sure which category all the people fit into. And since I’ve confessed that, I might as well add that a lot of the time I have little to no idea what in the shit is going on.

Two scenes in particular this week left me more than a little befuddled. Ford’s weird lunch date with Theresa which was… I’ve no fecking idea. Although top marks to Sidse Babett Knudsen for that look when Ford revealed he knew about Theresa’s ‘relationship’ with Bernard.

And then whatever happened between William and Logan towards the end that led to them separating was… nope, still no fecking idea.

“Thandie Newton continues to be amazing as Maeve, and has so much chemistry with almost anyone she comes into contact with that they should put her in one of those hazmat suits she keeps drawing.”

This week’s info dump came courtesy of The Man in Black, who continues to have some excellently grandiose lines of his own, as well as a new mission: Finding Wyatt. Now he’s cut Teddy from the tree (come on guys, fix up Teddy, would you?) he may be closer to finding the head of the snake. I’m not sure that’s going to bring me any closer to understanding the situation, but it’s a possibility.

We did learn, however, that Harris’s character is a recognisable face outside of the park, running some sort of foundation. Which did cause me to temporarily feel confident that he is the mystery visitor for the board Ford referred to. Or that he was looking for some sort of medical application for the technology within the park. Or both. Or neither. Man, I’m all over this reviewing, right?

Both Logan and William could also be the mystery visitor, because they seem to represent another major business looking to hoover up more shares.

Other things

I didn’t recognise what song was coming out of the pianola this week if anyone cares to enlighten me.

Elsie believes she’s the only person without an agenda. She might be right.

Maeve finding the piles of old sketches was proper spooky.

The noose around Lawrence’s neck has surely been loose enough for him to remove for ages now.

If a robot falls in the forest (gets killed by another robot) and no human hears, does it make a sound (what is the point)?

Catch up on previous Westworld happenings here.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.