Westworld - The Adversary | Review
Westworld – The Adversary (S01:E06)
Now then; where were we?
While not quite a cauliflower of an episode, The Adversary is the peas on the side of your plate – not totally without merit, and quite tasty but not the reason that you sat down at the table. We got a bunch of things that seem like revelations but rather than really resolving anything they led to further questions. At the front of this was Bernard’s discovery of Ford’s family cottage.
It was fascinating to see Ford interact with his family and reinforced the picture we got of him in the restaurant scene two weeks ago. He’s totally removed from the outside world like a retiree in his backroom playing with his toy train set. What was new was the real fear and surprise when he questioned young Robert about Jock’s death. He’s spent the last 30 years in charge and now someone else is shitting in his sandbox.
As well as finding out that Ford’s not quite as benign as he thought, Bernard is rejected by Cullen further changing his world. You can reflect his journey with the paths taken by Dolores, Maeve and the other hosts: everything they thought they knew is being questioned and he’s going to have to adapt or get retired down to a sub-basement somewhere.
Look at that – science!
The revolution gets the leader it deserves as Maeve steps up and starts putting her plans into action manipulating first Felix and then Sylvester. She’s repurposing the talents that she’s been given as a madam to move her pawns about the board. In spite of my early scepticism, I really love Maeve’s story now. They’ve taken their time with the way she’s developed into the field commander for the uprising but it’s really paying off. She lacks knowledge of the real world but that doesn’t make her naïve. And now with her intelligence upgrade, I suspect she’ll be dancing rings around Stubbs and the park security in no time.
Regale me Theodore.
The other Host we see starting to fulfil his potential is Teddy. James Marsden has played a number of bland roles over the years and I think that was part of the reason he was cast in the role. When we started he seemed like a cookie-cutter cowboy but like all of the other Hosts we’re seeing him evolve. It might be artificial growth seeing as how Ford wrote and uploaded his troubled past but it feels like we’re seeing him change in real time. The haggard gaze he’s got reflects the dark, creeping realisation inside him that there’s a reason he doesn’t wear a white hat. The Man in Black seems as surprised as anyone that he is able to mow down a crowd of soldiers just because they’re in his way. I hope that we continue to get more and more of these unexpected moments as we get closer to the centre of the maze.
- I really enjoyed both uses of Radiohead this week.
- “We’re engineers. It means the glass has been manufactured to the wrong specifications.” An old joke but a good one.
- The moment when Maeve realises her full potential was glorious so it will be equally painful when we see her inevitably get it taken away from her.
- I feel like the reintroduction of Shouty British Guy and the arrival of Charlotte Hale is setting up the wider environment for future seasons which is fine but every time low-rent Gordon Ramsay turns up on screen I start scanning the screen for balconies, cliffs, and lift shafts in the hope that he gets given a flying lesson.
- Lots of horror tropes in this episode: cabin in the woods, lone female exploring creepy abandoned theatre by flashlight, water dripping in a darkened basement.
- It seems the man in the photo wasn’t Arnold but Ford’s father. More evidence for the Bernard = Arnold theory.
- Nice Yul Brynner shout out.