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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

This show is going to be a favorite of mine, I can just tell. It’s funny because this entire park makes me feel like I’m playing  a Bioware game. That’s what it would be like to go there. They offer you quests! We see for ourselves that depending on who the guests interact with, they can end up joining different quests. Hopefully people will avoid having to gather elfroot for the rest of their journey. Yes, the idea of AI eventually turning on their owners (if that’s where this is headed) is not a new thing. But Westworld is a very thoughtful show and I think that’s what makes it work. Plus the incredible acting! Wow. Previously on Westworld, we were introduced to a theme park where visitors pay to have an authentic western experience. All the townsfolk are androids created to do whatever the visitors want. However, there’s a glitch in the system. We’re still learning the politics of the actual staff, where there’s an upstart writing frustrated with Anthony Hopkins refusing to listen to his ideas, and the director just seeming very tired and confused about what to do with all this. Or maybe it’s more than that! Dum dum duuuum. Also Ed Harris is the creepiest he’s ever been.

So we saw that Dolores killed a fly in the last episode. That is a huge turning point. The androids are not supposed to be capable of killing any living thing. After her “father” tried to get to her, she’s obviously starting to glitch a little herself. In this episode she says creepy things to Maeve, the leader of the whore house, and also finds herself what might be a real gun, not the fake guns the androids have. But this episode is actually about Maeve, and temporary visitor William. So Maeve has been off her game lately. The programmers are annoyed that she’s not really connecting with visitors as well, possibly because a few times in this she stares off into space and remembers what must have been a former storyline of hers. There’s also some commentary that what’s going wrong might be a “virus” and that Dolores talked to her earlier so maybe it was. They up Maeve’s aggression, which doesn’t help at all, and they’re going to put her away. But one of the designers figures out she just needs a little more empathy and understanding and “fixes” it. They find a physical malfunction to, so she is being put back together … and she wakes up. The doctors are like ?????!!!!!!! and she threatens them and runs, and sees all the androids being made. It is definitely the stuff of nightmares, guys. I was anxious for her the whole time. She’s put back to sleep for now, but those memories are coming back.

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I’ll admit I’m still having trouble keeping all the staff names straight. I definitely know the townsfolk, for whatever reason, but I had to look up Bernard’s name again. Oh well. It looks like he may have purposely covered for Dr. Ford’s mistake about the “upgrade” that went poorly. Honestly, Dr. Ford clearly has his own agenda. There is something going on in that man’s head, and Anthony Hopkins is perfect for making that both mysterious and relevant. He rejects the new storyline from writer I can’t remember the name of, claiming that it’s kind of on-the-nose HBO programming, which made me laugh. And if they don’t think that’s what is being referred to, they’re silly. It’s that this is all very exciting and gruesome, but what people really want is emotional connection and obsession from the audience. Don’t get me wrong, HBO is capable of that too, it’s just that we all know when it’s sensationalistic, that’s when it is at its worst. He seems to have an entire new storyline in his own head going on.

Oh and we see what it’s actually like entering the park from the POV of newcomer William. He’s there with his mildly psychotic best friend. He gets hit on by the woman who explains what everything is there, she’s an android too, and he gets dressed up ready to be in a western. He accidentally starts a quest with a drunk man, but his friend is like nope and stabs the man in the hand. My question is this: his friend is like the only way to find out who is real or not is shooting them. BUT SERIOUSLY EVERYONE HOW DO YOU KNOW? I am obsessed with the very simple answer to this. How do the visitors know who else is a visitor? What if one of the visitors decided to get really into character like Ed Harris so acted like a townsperson? How has no one died yet, that considered? I need an answer to this. William refuses to sleep with an android to stay faithful. I’m not entirely sure what his purpose here was, but maybe we’ll see him again and get a better idea.

So this was a heavy second episode and very interesting. It’s funny because if we saw that scene with Meave looking at all their bodies without her POV, it wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal. But her horror is very visceral and I felt my stomach turning looking at it. We also see James Marsden’s character who was shot in front of her, man that guy keeps getting shot, and there’s something going on with him too. I am so intrigued by this show, but I do wish we learned a little more about the staff. I think they’re all interesting, what we’ve seen of them, from the tech people to the writers, but they feel much simpler than the androids right now. Which is a weird thing to say, but also true. Oh quick shout out to Thandie Newton here. She puts on an incredible performance as Maeve.

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