The season 2 trailer for Westworld dropped at Comic-Con. Craig, Jake, and Brian discuss their general impressions (1:42), the bloody player piano, Bernard, and the tiger (7:11), the man hanging from the tree (9:55), Sizemore and Maeve (11:08), Dolores and Teddy mowing down guests (13:09), dead people and dune buggies (15:25), and The Man in Black (17:35).
A new cast member has joined the cast of Westworld! We discuss the exciting news along with the ridiculous number of Emmy nominations.
We also preview next week’s discussion of the pilot episode of Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman.
Here is our full interview with Ptolemy Slocum (aka Sylvester). We discuss his improv background (2:20), how he ended up on Westworld and his amazing costume (9:16), his thought process behind the character of Sylvester (14:45), his off-screen friendship with Leonardo Nam (aka Felix) (23:11), what it was like being on the set (27:32), the prevalence of nudity (32:45), working with Thandie Newton (35:19), working with Billy Crystal in the City Slickers parody (39:43), a fun behind-the-scenes story (43:39), where he sees his character going in season 2 (46:56), and what it’s like watching as a fan (51:20).
Craig, Jake, and Brian dive deep into episode 10 and the season one finale of Westworld, “The Bicameral Mind.” In part one of a two-part series, they discuss Maeve’s escape, the value of Hector and Armistice as sidekicks, Felix’s redemption, Delos security, and the possibility of other parks.
Craig Carter and Brian Sutorious dive deep into the ninth and penultimate episode of Westworld, “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” They discuss Stubbs’ run-in with the Ghost Nation (4:02), Maeve’s journey to hell and back (9:59), The Man in Black inching ever so close to the end of the maze (20:38), William, Logan, and Dolores partying Confederado style (38:26), Bernard’s journey of self-discovery (55:19), and Dolores and Arnold finding each other (1:07:16). Also stay tuned after the ending theme music for our theory of the week section (1:32:01).
Craig and Jake have a quick review about episode nine of Westworld, “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” They begin with a general discussion of the episode and the huge reveal and then talk about their favorite moments: Maeve’s puppeteering skills (7:02) and the photo of Logan’s sister (12:52).
Craig and Heather dive deep into the eighth episode of Westworld, “Trace Decay.” They discuss Ford’s continued machinations and their wide-reaching effects (3:27), Dolores traveling through time (32:21), The Man in Black’s true nature (45:15), Maeve’s escape attempt (57:07), and the theory of the week (1:22:51).
Craig, Heather, and Jonathan talk about a few of their favorite moments from episode eight of Westworld, “Trace Decay.” They discuss Maeve’s Jedi mind tricks (1:05), Bernard’s tortured existence (6:03), and The Man in Black bearing his soul for all to hear (11:48).
Craig and Heather dive deep into episode seven of Westworld, “Trompe L’oeil.” They discuss William and Dolores’ journey into Ghost Nation (2:37), Maeve taking control of her destiny (24:58), and deception and betrayal in Delos (45:24).
Craig, Heather, and Brian dive deep into episode six of Westworld, “The Adversary.” This episode we're changing up the format a bit. It's still chronological, but we’re covering entire story threads in separate sections. We discuss The Man in Black, Teddy, and the Union soldiers (2:56), Maeve and the surgery cats, Felix and Sylvester (17:14), and all the weird and wonderful developments of the Delos employees (46:53).
Craig, Jake, and Brian further explore episode five of Westworld, “Contrapasso.” In part two, they discuss El Lazo’s compelling offer (0:34), Elsie’s suspicions (1:50), the orgy and the argument (7:51), Dolores visiting the fortune teller (14:22), nitro and Confederados (20:02), the time traveling train part I (25:21), smiling Logan (27:13), the time traveling train part II (29:29), The Man in Black and Dr. Ford (30:46), the holy crap ending (36:41), and Brian’s amazing skateboarding adventure (45:46).
Craig, Heather, and Jake get together to dive deep into episode four of Westworld, “Dissonance Theory.” They discuss another one of Bernard and Dolores’ little talks (3:05), Maeve’s vision (12:40), Theresa, Elsie, and office politics (19:47), William, Logan, and the family stakes (26:10), The Man in Black and his obsession with snakes (29:22), Dolores’ flashbacks (35:29), The Man in Black and the prison break (40:33), Armistice and her amazing tattoo (51:01), Maeve and the shades (54:52), Theresa, Bernard, and body language (58:40), Ford being 10 steps ahead of everyone (1:03:08), Logan and William (1:08:04), Teddy lives! (1:08:55), Logan and William and Pariah (1:09:55), the final act and the magic bullet (1:11:43), and the theory of the week (1:20:00).
WARNING: If you haven’t watched Westworld Season 1, Episode 4, beware of spoilers.
“Dissonance Theory” has answered the most questions of any Westworld episode to date. But in doing so, it’s left us with a new, glaring question: who are the shades?
Maeve’s been plagued with nightmarish memories of her time in clean-up for the last two episodes, but this is the first time we’ve seen her single in so completely on one specific figure: the shade.
During a particularly terrifying memory of her time with Westworld’s Undertakers (employees whose sole responsibility is to clean and repair the Hosts), Maeve zeros in on the likeness of one. She proceeds to furiously sketch the monster in an attempt to make sense of this memory—only to find out that she’s already drawn, and hidden away, several versions of the same character before.
When she discovers that outlaw Hector Escaton has spent time with a Native American tribe in Westworld, and that shades are considered religious figures to this tribe, Maeve sets her plan into motion. She’s told by Hector that Shades are beings brought from the underworld to oversee the “real” world of Westworld. But like Dr. Ford said, all good stories are rooted in truth and Westworld’s Shades are no different.
In Greek mythology, a shade was a ghost-like being that resided in the underworld. Typically created from the soul of a deceased person, a shade’s unfortunate fate doomed them to an eternity in the shadows by the river Styx. In Westworld, the Shade’s primary motive has yet to be confirmed. “Oversee” could mean any number of things, but it does suggest that the Arnold code may be affecting more than just Maeve and Dolores.
If we think of the Westworld shades as the Undertakers, “oversee” becomes a pretty spot-on description of their actions; an “overseeing” of the hosts after their darkest times at the park.
Hector mentions that the “dreamwalkers” of the tribe (a story for another time) believe the ability to see the puppet-masters (a.k.a. shades) is a blessing, and that Maeve has this gift. Maeve is quick to correct him and even quicker to cast aside any remaining vestiges of the naïve host we once knew. By the end of the episode, she’s found a bullet lodged in her stomach, something left there by a rushed clean-up job from the Undertakers, and has declared that when it comes to the hosts in Westworld, nothing truly matters.
But what does an overseer do better than, well, oversee? If the Undertakers are truly overseeing the hosts, could Maeve’s realization be sending her on a path to permanent removal from the park? Or will she be the leader of an Arnold Code-based riot for the self aware hosts? Only time in a dream-filled sleep will tell.
You might not recognize the name Vincenzo Natali. His credits include the wild sci-fi movie Splice and the superb fourth episode of Luke Cage. He also directed the fourth episode of Westworld, “Dissonance Theory.” He recently shared the storyboards from Maeve’s memory sequence on his Twitter account. We’ve assembled them all here:
It’s so cool to see how closely the concept matches the final product. The director did an amazing job with this episode. It’s our favorite so far this season. Something else worth mentioning about Natali–he’s working on an episode of American Gods which premieres next year.
Craig, Heather, and Jonathan give their initial impressions on the fourth episode of Westworld. They discuss the exciting jailbreak (4:00), Maeve's disturbing vision (7:49), and Ford’s power move (11:02).
Craig Carter is joined by his friends Jake Ratliff and Heather Barefoot. They dive deep into episode two “Chestnut.” They discuss Dolores’ midnight stroll (3:20), William and Logan’s arrival at Westworld (5:17), trouble in Delos (17:43), “these violent delights...” (20:39), hats and trains (23:16), The Man in Black and Lawrence (28:20), Maeve and her “faults” (32:11), getting acquainted with the Devil (37:50), William and Logan in the park (41:45), war and historical inaccuracies (42:49), Dolores and Bernard (49:13), 20% more aggression (53:36), Theresa and Bernard and corporate (55:56), Logan stabbing things and making William uncomfortable (58:47), is sleeping with a robot cheating? (1:04:44), the workshop (1:08:25), The Man in Black and Lawrence Part II (1:12:14), Ford and mini-Ford (1:20:06), Bernard and Theresa and coitus (1:23:25), Maeve's nightmare (1:25:42), Dolores' second midnight stroll (1:36:32), Odyssey on Red River (1:37:03), and a new segment: Theory of the Week! (1:42:15).