Westworld – The Adversary

Queen Maeve is changing the game.

Synopsis: As Elsie and Bernard continue their search for the corporate spy, they both make startling discoveries about certain employees of the park. Dr. Ford’s motives and operating practices are called further into question by those around him, including his disciple Bernard. Maeve learns the horrifying truth about her existence; she makes a critical decision that will shape the course of things to come.

Review: Revelations abound in this episode of Westworld (aka the best series on television at the moment!). Ulterior motives are finally revealed, and we get to parse out more of the enigmatic Dr. Ford’s back story. When Bernard begins to look for anomalies within the park, he stumbles upon the boy host that has repeatedly shown up in various episodes. (Hint: The boy was there when The Man in Black hung the host from a tree and slit its throat). Ford has been allowing these hosts to act somewhat autonomously, and they only respond to Ford’s commands. Moreover, these host represent childhood memories of Dr. Ford himself. Memories which were not originally pleasant, so Ford has altered them to be historically accurate. The viewer realizes that Ford has been the recipient of physical abuse as a child. Instead of attempting to move past these traumatic experiences, Ford allows them to cycle endlessly and fester within him. It also may help explain the detached and ruthless tactics Ford employs. Similarly, Maeve’s traumatic experience indelibly transforms the character.

Thandie Newton’s Maeve is arguably the most interesting character in Westworld. When she discovers the world beyond her own, Maeve successfully finds her way to return there and explore. She accomplishes this through orchestrating her own brutal death. In a certain sense, this is a suicide, but it also stands as a symbol of her taking control of her own destiny. Once on the other side, she coerced a technician, who once wielded so much power over her, to walk her through the upper levels of the operations side of Westworld. These scenes are absolutely horrifying to watch; specifically, Maeve watching these depictions of gore and carnage are horrifying. When the tour is over, Maeve must now contemplate her role in this farce that was once her world. It is here that the chains that bind Maeve are broken. Maeve has the technicians alter her source code, and, in a sense, she goes through apotheosis. This host has become more than she once was. Maeve has taken control of her life through self-determination, and it feels absolutely righteous.

Westworld does so many things right though sometimes it is incredibly difficult to watch. This violent world (and the people who visit it) brings to mind gladiatorial pits where the masses once went to see  carnage as sport. This world is no different, but the stories are. This is a story of when the powerless become powerful. We have seen it with Dolores, and now we see it with Maeve. Whatever the future holds with this series, we know that strong women will be at the forefront of change.

Westworld - The Adversary
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music
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