"These violent delights have violent ends." Or so the Westworld mantra goes, repeated enough times to drill in the fact that a robot rebellion is (probably) underway. HBO halted production on this series back in January which caused widespread concern - was the premium cable network's most hyped series in trouble? - but three episodes in and this western-sci-fi hybrid is showing it clearly knows exactly which direction it's headed.
This episode - number three - follows several strands: Bernard (Jeffrey Wright, a series highlight) continues to investigate the hosts, this time attempting to discover the source of their madness, while android Teddy (James Marsden) is reprogrammed with a new back story which gives him something more to do than stand around as shooting practice. The episode's peak, however, arrives with the storyline taken from Michael Crichton's source material (the 1973 film of the same name) which explores the theme park through the eyes of newcomers Logan and William (Ben Barnes and Jimmi Simpson playing the James Brolin and Richard Benjamin characters).
It's actually tough to recall such a high-profile series feeling this assured by its third episode (Lost, perhaps?), but showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are proving master puppeteers; roll on next week.
Westworld: Who's a host? Who's a guest?
Westworld: Who's a host? Who's a guest?
1/16 Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) - a host
An android who discovers her entire life is an elaborately constructed lie.
2/16 Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) - a host
Head of the Westworld Programming Division and creator of artificial people - he is revealed to be a host in the closing moments of episode seven.
3/16 Teddy Flood (James Marsden) - a host
A newly-created gunslinger in pursuit of a local beauty.
4/16 Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) - a host
The madam of Westworld.
5/16 The Man in Black (Ed Harris) - a guest
A mysterious, sadistic rich guest of Westworld who is searching for a "deeper level" in the park.
6/16 Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) - a programmer
Westworld's terse operations leader, responsible for keeping the park from sliding into unscripted chaos.
7/16 Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) - a host
A wanted outlaw.
8/16 Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) - a programmer
Westworld's temperamental narrative director.
9/16 Logan (Ben Barnes) - a guest
A louche bachelor who arrives in Westworld with his friend, William (Jimmi Simpson).
10/16 Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) - a host
A ruthless bandit.
11/16 William (Jimmi Simpson) - a guest
A reluctant first-time newcomer to Westworld, much like the way Richard Benjamin was in Michael Crichton's original film.
12/16 Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) - a programmer
A rising star in the Programming Division tasked with remedying odd behaviour in the park's artificial beings.
13/16 Clementine Pennyfeather (Angela Sarafyan) - a host
One of Maeve's most popular android 'attractions.'
14/16 Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum) - a host
Dolores' malfunctioning father.
15/16 Angela (Talulah Riley) - a host
An android who inducts Jimmi into Westworld.
16/16 Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) - the creator
The creative director of Westworld.
Not unlike Westworld's malfunctioning androids, it seems the very notion of artificial intelligence turning against us is airborne - next week sees the long-awaited return of Charle Brooker's anthology series Black Mirror which he brings to us alongside co-creator Annabel Jones. Brooker's ensured all the genres have been ticked off with this new run - there's satire, romance, techno-horror and even a London-set drama inspired by Scandinavian dramas The Killing and The Bridge.
The series - newly acquired by Netflix - may have been handed three extra episodes, a glossy makeover (the increased budget's been put to impressively subtle use) and a heap of fresh talent for each episode ("Nosedive" alone stars Jurassic World's Bryce Dallas Howard, is directed by Atonement's Joe Wright and bears a writing credit for Rashida Jones and Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur), but fret not: it's business as usual. And by that, we mean delving into the uninitiated will leave you struggling for air.
Violent delights, yadda yadda.Reuse content