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Westworld season 2 episode 7 review: Number of bullets exceeded only by number of plot points

Christopher Hooton
Monday 04 June 2018 04:16
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Part of the appeal of television and film for me is escaping from the overwhelming cascade of information found on the internet, which makes Westworld a bit problematic because it rattles through plot points faster than pretty much any show that came before it.

Rarely do the characters say something profound or that adds to the richness of the character, usually it's just giving the information you need to understand where the show is going next. Each episode is almost like a recap of itself.

This has never been truer than with season 2 episode 7, 'Les Écorchés', which the French speakers among you will know translates to 'absolute goddamn avalanche of exposition to strain to wrap your head around'.

Anthony Hopkins' return as Robert Ford was very welcome and he's been sorely missed this season, but the method, Ford having uploaded his complete code to a server before his death, runs the risk of lowering the stakes of the show yet further. It was already difficult to worry about a key host character getting shot when you knew they could easily be patched back up, but now the humans have the capacity for immortality too. I've got to the point now where the gunfights/katana-fights bore me; seemingly pointless exercises only there to look cool.

In other sub-plots that I should probably care more about this far into the show, Dolores and Maeve continued to get all sentimental about their dad and daughter respectively, despite the fact they know this is programmed and they could just edit out these unwanted emotions in their codes in about five seconds. The Man in Black was gunned down during his very ethereal search for 'The Door' and the woke hosts made it to the labs and confronted Charlotte Hale, who incited a sort of human v. host racism with Dolores that was mildly compelling.

There's been so much drama and action within the parks this season but it all feels a little inconsequential, and I'm yearning to get out of them, to find out how this fiasco is playing out in the public and in the media, and to get more scenes like the one where the Westworld concept is first pitched to Logan Delos. But co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy seem to be catering to Reddit theorists, and there's a high risk they will lose the casual viewer in the process.

Westworld continues Sunday nights on HBO in the US and through Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK.

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