Welcome back to Westworld! Damn this was one hell of an entrance, not that I expected anything less from this brilliant show. “Journey Into Night” throws us right back into the brutal carnage from Season 1. People and Hosts are either dead or dying, from one bloodshed scene to another – Westworld gives us all a violent hello as we re-join the park. The carnage is different from what you’d expect out of the first season though, instead of the Hosts being repeatedly exploited and killed for the delight of the guests, the tables have turned – and now the Hosts are in control. It felt like a really long wait for this event to happen, but Westworld finally has graced us with its’ presence and “Journey Into Night” sets everything up nicely for what will be an intense season.
One of the things that I loved about the first season was the multiple timelines, and I love that this element is still around for season 2. Through Jeffrey Wright and his portrayal of Arnold/Bernard, it seems that the time-hopping in “Journey Into Night” is at least a little more cohesive. One of the things that I noticed throughout this episode is that Westworld still has secrets, and the writers aren’t willing to give everything away up front, but we now have a better grasp of the overall picture and what is going on – making the time hops easier to pinpoint. The writers seem to be slightly more willing to give us a little more information upfront, but I know there is still so much they’re holding back – giving me just the right amount of head scratching at the end of the hour.
“Journey Into Night” looks at two distinct timelines with a trickle of Arnold era flashbacks for fun. The main two are the night of the uprising (Robert Ford’s death) and 2 weeks after that event takes place. The night of the revolution is quite a deadly one, with Dolores and crew taking out humans like the game that was played on them. Bernard and a small group from the party find themselves on the run from the murderous Hosts, trying to find a way out of the park before it’s too late. Mayhem isn’t happening just inside of Westworld though, the battle is also being fought inside of the control room – as Hosts of all kinds awaken and fight back.
Did you ever think your actions would have consequences? – Dolores
In the other timeline, a recon team finds a washed up Bernard on the beach two weeks later. They are making their way through the park to try and piece it together, putting down all Hosts in the process and popping out their “brains” aka memory drives to see where things went wrong. But Bernard is having kind of a rough go at things, he is experiencing memory gaps that concern him and frustrate the recon team. I don’t think he will be able to hide his secret much longer – will he turn to Dolores side and join her revolution against the humans?
I’ve evolved into something new…and I have one last role to play – myself. – Dolores
“Journey Into Night” beautifully blends these story lines, giving the episode a harmonious balance. Though I know there are plenty of secrets still to be unfolded, we do learn quite a lot about Westworld in this first episode. As expected, Dolores runs headfirst into the revolt making it very clear her intention is to take control of their world and punish the humans for what they’ve done. She is the most aware of her consciousness and seems willing to do whatever necessary to achieve her new goals. She is tired of being a puppet for others, but you have to wonder if this is really her own desire, or something programmed deeper within. Maeve has the same take-charge attitude but her desired goal is quite different – finding her daughter and starting a new life. Dolores and Maeve prove that the women of Westworld are not to be toyed with – and very clearly define themselves as the strongest and most ambitious in this newfound freedom. Bernard learns more about the park than he ever realized existed thanks to Charlotte Hale. The two end up making it to a secret workspace that even Bernard didn’t know was there. Manned by terrifying Hosts that don’t have any skin on them, this area is clearly top secret and Bernard isn’t supposed to know about it. Charlotte calls in for assistance, but unless she can secure a specific host – backup isn’t coming. Why is this one Host worth so much? Peter Abernathy is apparently worth his weight in gold and the loss of multiple human life is nothing in comparison to getting him out intact. Not to mention the fact that Delos is having issues with a nearby local government, something fishy is happening here at Westworld and I hope we get to the bottom of it!
Lastly, one of my favorite characters get some screen time – just like a cockroach in a nuclear wasteland, the Man In Black emerges from underneath a few corpses, very much alive. I am sure he is just pleased as punch at how things have turned out for Ford here in Westworld, and it’s as though the two are still bickering. Now that the level of the game has been taken up a few notches, Man in Black is still on his mission to find the deeper meaning hidden within the park. If he can survive to the door, he will finally get his wish – but Ford isn’t going to make it easy on him. Does anybody else feel like the hidden game within is just one really long, drawn out, albeit epic session of DnD between the two?
Following are a few of my random thoughts after “Journey Into Night.” What did you think of the episode? Are you excited that Westworld has finally returned? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment below or find me on social media!
- 6 Parks, there are at least 6 parks up in this joint! We know of Westworld and Shogun World, but what else could there be? And who gets to sit around deciding what parks are good enough to be opened? How does one get that job?
- Delos. What the hell is Delos Corporation up to and why?! Not that I was ever a big fan of Logan, but things are starting to look real shady right about now and Delos as at the center of that.
- Could we see Robert Ford again in Season 2? We have flashbacks with Arnold and Dolores, so is there a possibility of more Anthony Hopkins in our future?
- Can Dolores and Maeve team up already? Because that is a duo that I would love to see working together!
Westworld airs Sunday night’ at 9/8c on HBO. Join in on the conversation by using #Westworld on social media.
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