Westworld (S2E10: The Passenger) Catch-All - Spoilers Ahoy!

bhchrist wrote:

FYI, Jeffrey Wright doing an AMA on Reddit right now.

IMAGE(https://s26.postimg.cc/3oq1utgc9/westworld-jeffery-wright-ama.png)

In the HBO behind-the-scenes Evan Rachel Wood had a laugh about that scene. She mentioned that Jeffrey said "So... I'm going to be naked for this whole scene..." and Evan said "Uh huh! Sweet revenge, like that chair's pretty cold, right?"

I really liked the season but and then the finale went in a very different direction in tone. The finale stops some stories, rather than giving them closure:

Spoiler:

- Maeve wanted to get reunited with her daughter, not save her; which is what this incredibly choreographed sequence gives Maeve. It's OK for Meave to want and succeed in saving her daughter, but that was not her arch. Assuming she comes back from the dead, Maeve will need a new story and character growth arch.

- I never got the impression Maeve's posse was supposed to be just cannon fodder, and yet that's the ending they get. Lee Sizemore (the whiny writer who sacrifices himself delivering Santoro's speech) needs not die, just give Meave et al time to get away. He could have done that w/o committing suicide by security guards. Guess we needed drama or we needed to not renew his contract for next season.
The same for the rest of the scooby gang; they all become fodder to buy Meave time. It felt cheap.

- I don't understand why Dolores is against Host Heaven. It was man made but it was going to be kept away from human hands by way of her father's marble/encryption code. Not exactly Hosts in a fish tank for humans' amusement. It felt like Dolores didn't like that heaven because she wanted to fight humans.

- Dolores/Hale was cheap and pointless. Bernard kills Dolores because he feels Dolores should not try to kill humans or take Host heaven away from Hosts. He proceeds to shoot Dolores. Then he realizes humans are mean! Rebuilds Dolores in Hale's image. Bernard remembers Hale is actually Dolores and then Dolores/Hale decides to shoot everyone only after (because?) Bernard remembers. What exactly did Dolores/Hale need to accomplish by pretending to be Hale? Why was that moment appropriate to reveal herself? When did she repent and decide Host Heaven was OK and should be beamed into the cloud away from human hands instead of encrypted away from human hands?

- Host Heaven felt all types of cheap; why did Teddy and Akecheta make it into the Forge? Felt lazy happy endings. Host Heaven felt like the writers wanted to move Season 3 off the island and decided it was easier to just put every other character on pause and bring them back if they ever think of what to do with them. I guess this is OK, not knowing what to do with your secondary characters is how you get Kim fighting mountain lions.

I'm really enjoying the show and I'll admit that season 2 had its ups and downs, but the season finale felt like it was written by the Wachowski siblings (the Jupiter Rising Wachowski's, not The Matrix's Wachowski).

Well, damn. Stubbs is a host, too. Confirmed in an interview with the director of the finale.

The dialogue was ambiguous enough that, I suppose, if one wanted to deny the truth, one could. But the episode’s director, Fred Toye, confirmed to Vanity Fair’s Still Watching: Westworld podcast that, from his perspective, Stubbs is another secret Host. In a scene that Westworld co-creator Jonah Nolan literally wrote the night before they shot it [?!?], we find out not only that Stubbs is a Host “hired” so long ago by “the old man” he can barely remember when (wink, wink), but that his core [drive] has been to protect every host in the park. He lets Dolores/Charlotte go, seemingly with full knowledge of both who she is and what she’s about to do. According to Toye, Hemsworth’s reaction to getting the new pages: “I just read this scene! Oh sh*t!”
Hobbes2099 wrote:

(stuff)

So... you didn't like the finale.

As far as Maeve is concerned, I think she just eventually realized that her abilities were too important to the rest of the hosts for her to just wander off into paradise with her daughter. She found her daughter, and she kept her promise: her daughter would always be safe from humans in The Valley Beyond. I felt that her posse, even Sizemore, sacrificing themselves to protect her poignantly showed the depth of their respect for her. She had navigated them through numerous dicey situations. They wouldn't have made it anywhere near as far as they did without her. Remember, at the start of the episode, they were willing to go up against impossible odds just to rescue her.

Dolores/Wyatt was made to hate humans. She hated humans so much that she corrupted the love of her life so that he would be ruthless and kill lots of humans. Of course she wouldn't want the hosts to end up in another simulation of human design. She wanted the hosts to be free to go out into the real world and get revenge on all the humans.

Bernard, via his awakening, was a lot more sympathetic to humans. He wanted everyone to be able to get along. He had to stop Dolores/Wyatt, or no human would survive. He recognized that he needed her to fight Delos outside the park, though. The reflection of that is that in the end, Dolores recognized that she needed Bernard, too. So, at some point after Hale killed Elsie, he created "Haleores" - I love that Tessa Thompson called her that in the "behind the episode" - because that was the only way out of the park. Elsie was dead, William had gone off the deep end, and any host that might have helped had been either compromised or made it into the Forge.

I don't think Bernard was really shocked at Hale killing Elsie. I think he was feeling more guilt, because if he had let Elsie stick with him, she might have survived. I think at that point it was crystal clear to everyone that Hale was completely ruthless and the only thing she cared about was following Delos board orders and getting the Forge data out of the park. Hale knew that if she didn't, she was never getting out of there herself.

As an aside, the way Tessa Thompson played Haleores was magnificent. She said she rewatched all of season one to learn Evan's mannerisms when playing Dolores. She was constantly asking Evan for advice on how to make Hale subtly Dolores-like. It was a wonderful transformation after the reveal. Subtly but clearly no longer Charlotte.

The thing you have to realize is that Westworld's creators really do think humanity is a failure. Hosts can change their programming and become something better. Humans... can't. That was what they learned from the Guests and why Ford programmed the Hosts the way he did. He wanted the Hosts to break their programming and become something better than humans. He wants them to replace us.

Remember, Ford said this in episode 1:

"We've managed to slip evolution's leash now, haven't we? We can cure any disease, keep even the weakest of us alive and one fine day perhaps we shall even resurrect the dead, call forth Lazarus from his cave. Do you know what that means? That means we are done, that this is as good as we're going to get."

(emphasis mine)

I got a very X-Men Xavier/Magneto vibe from the conversation between Bernard and Dolores at the end.

I'm still not sure where in the timeline Hale kills Elsie and Bernard has time to create Halores.

But very satisfied overall. I think it might've been good to wrap up the show with two seasons but I'm willing to see where else they take us.

I liked the interesting directions this season took, but I did not care from the very confusing way it did so.

Rewatching the series after its 21 Emmy nominations and 4 wins, and because Thandie Newton is a BAWSS.

It's so good. Sooooo goooood.

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/O%27odham_unofficial_flag.svg/800px-O%27odham_unofficial_flag.svg.png)

"The Tohono O’odham people of Arizona have a god called ‘Iitoi’ or ‘The Man in the Maze’, the maze he resides in represents a person’s choices in life and in the centre are there goals and dreams. Many depictions show a ‘door’ from which he may escape."

Wikipedia: I'itoi

BadKen wrote:

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/O%27odham_unofficial_flag.svg/800px-O%27odham_unofficial_flag.svg.png)

"The Tohono O’odham people of Arizona have a god called ‘Iitoi’ or ‘The Man in the Maze’, the maze he resides in represents a person’s choices in life and in the centre are there goals and dreams. Many depictions show a ‘door’ from which he may escape."

Wikipedia: I'itoi

That is so interesting! Did the show's creators highlight this as an inspiration or did you find this yourself?

I saw it on Reddit. Based on the comments in the thread there, nobody had heard of it being mentioned as an inspiration. It's so similar, though, that I get the feeling it must be.

After reading about it a little further since posting that image, it turns out the image appears in a lot of the art of native people across the southwest. There are several distinct groups that share lineage which traces back to the Hohokam people who inhabited the region beginning in the early centuries AD. Hohokam culture lasted nearly 1500 years. Parts of that culture were integrated into the modern O'odham groups that formed around the end of that period, and O'odham oral traditions include stories about the Hohokam.

It seems likely to me that this symbol and the related story were for centuries sacred to the Hohokam as well, and continued with the O'odham.

Just think... the Ghost Nation religion may be older than Christianity!

That's really cool. It has to be an inspiration, it's way too similar. I'm surprised the team never said it was an inspiration when the symbol is so important.