Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Luke Hemsworth
Created By: Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy
Written By: Various
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, HBO
Buy On Amazon
In Season Two of “Westworld” titled simply “The Door”, all Hell has broken out at the park. The hosts have a mind of their own as well as a sense of free will and are going about making those who made them suffer do the same. It’s the robot revolution in the old west!
While the first season of “Westworld” stayed strictly in the old west, for the most part, season two is kind of all over the place. Apparently there are other lands in the park like feudal Japan and early 20th century Africa. They’ve also showed viewers a glimpse of the future real world and a city skyline that pretty much looks like any modern day city at night.
With these new areas and settings introduced, you would figure that we would be getting an interesting take on the state of humanity and of why people indulge in the escape into Westworld but the story doesn’t steer in that direction. Instead we get ten episodes of a convoluted mess of a story that is trying to give real meaning to what the artificial hosts want paired with a top secret project in the park that is top priority for rescue…to hell with all of the humans left stranded in the park after the robot upheaval.
Anyone that knows anything about science fiction should have caught on as to what the “top secret project” was. The park was scanning and downloading the humans in the park…their every move, thoughts and emotional data…since the beginning in hopes of keeping humanity alive by transplanting them in robot bodies. Whether the big wigs behind the park wanted to sell those off to the highest bidders, offer it to the human guests on their deathbed or just create an army of real people in robot bodies…was not explained that well. It was more of a McGuffin to bring both the evil robot hosts face to face with the evil human overlords together at the end.
In season two Dolores, who was one of the main protagonists from the first season, has now turning into the main antagonist and while she did some horrible things in the name of revolution her turn into revolutionary leader left much to be desired. At times the writers wanted viewers to feel sympathetic for her but then she would soon do something awful and horrendous which but her in a gray area in regards to morality. Because of this, I couldn’t root for her or against her which caused me to just not really care much about her plight. In season one Dolores played by Evan Rachel Wood, was a strong and empowered character whom was kind and caring in the face of the worst kinds of adversity. The Dolores of season two felt more like a lost child that didn’t get her way but somehow became the leader of a group of bandit simpletons.
There were a couple of strong episodes such as “Akane No Mai” which was the brief introduction to Shogun World and “Kiksuya” which focused on the story of the Native American warrior Akecheta as he discovers the many lives that he has lived and the tragedy of his lover and his tribe. Those episodes had a central focus that was streamlined into self-contained episodes. The other eight episodes of season two bounced around between two or three…sometimes more…different timelines of the story while trying to juggle the story of Dolores as well as the special forced teams in the park. There were a lot of times where the episodes would build up to something like a mysterious data card or a reintroduction of a character from season one with a new plot twist…and then the episode would shoot itself in the foot and fall completely flat or just add another plot twist on top of another plot twist without the satisfaction of the “ah ha” moment.
Whereas the writing of season one was smart and unpredictable the whole way through with the final episode neatly tying everything together, season two’s writing outsmarted itself by trying too hard to outwit the viewers at every occasion. It seemed that the show fell into the classic television rut of stretching out an already paper-thin plot for much longer than it should have. For that, season two ended up being a very boring and forgettable addition to the franchise. While there was an open-ended ending to the season, I think that it’s time to stop beating the artificially created dead horse now.
2 All-New Exclusive Featurettes:
•The Truth Behind Delos
•These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
•Bring Yourself Back Online: Reflections of Season 2 • Of Love and Shogun • Journeys and Technology
•Creating Westworld’s Reality-A Special Featurette with Each Episode
DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1
English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
Blu-ray Episodes: 1080p High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Bottom Line: “Season Two: The Door” is a drastic departure from the intelligent and relevant science fiction of the first season. Instead, the show feels like a bad mashup of the A-Team and Jurassic Park set in the old west…and sometimes feudal Japan among others. Pretending to be smarter than your audience is a recipe for failure and season two does that way too often.
Running Time: 636 Mins
Rating: Not Rated