Westworld Journey Into Night Review
HBO‘s Westworld: Season 2, Episode 1: Journey Into Night is the beginning of a vengeful and dark new chapter in the science fiction TV series. Dolores Abernathy / Wyatt (Evan Rachel Wood) is unleashed in Journey Into Night, seizing every opportunity to exact revenge on humanity for the cage they kept her in, the torments, murders, and abuses she endured over a thirty year time period. Dolores relishes each murder and torture she perpetrates in Journey Into Night, savoring them.
Dolores is righteous in her Sith level of anger (the slow motion rifle and horse scene is excellently shot), using various lines and responses from her past on her victims. For fans of the series, it is wonderful to behold as the viewer has seen some of Dolores’ traumas first hand thus the viewer feels little sorrow for the slain.
William / The Man in Black (Ed Harris)’s arm mysteriously not being broken was a plot-hole in Journey Into Night begging to be answered. Dolores broke The Man in Black’s arm so badly in the final episode of Season 1 that the viewer heard an audible crack. For the remainder of the episode, The Man in Black could not bend that arm. He had to hold it out straight. The moment The Man in Black awakens underneath dead bodies in Journey Into Night and moves them from on top of him, he is using that broken arm as if it were never injured. How is that possible? The events in his storyline in Journey Into Night happen the day after his arm was broken in The Bicameral Mind.
Is The Man in Black / broken arm “oversight” an instance of sloppy writing on Westworld‘s part? Does Westworld‘s writing staff believe that fans of the series do not remember The Man in Black’s arm being broken? Does The Man in Black have some type of bone disorder where his bones heal quickly? Or perhaps, this is not the real The Man in Black. Perhaps it is a Host copy, which would explain why his arm is not broken.
The clever voice from the grave in Journey Into Night dispels that theory. There was a lingering question between Season 1 and Season 2 of Westworld – would Westworld Founder Dr. Robert Ford make an appearance in some way, shape, or form. That question was answered when the boy Host began speaking in Anthony Hopkins‘ distorted voice. I doubt that the Host boy would initiate a new game meant for the living The Man in Black if the Host boy was speaking to a Host replicable of The Man in Black.
The new game, find The Door, on the surface, seems like a human survival game. Like The Maze, The Door will have more than one meaning. The Maze led The Man in Black on a journey to find a deeper meaning for himself and the world that he inhabited but it was a false path, meant for someone else. The Door in Season 2 of Westworld will not only be freedom from being hunted by Hosts for The Man in Black (how long can he sustain a defense against an enemy that doesn’t sleep or need rest) but, I suspect, exfiltration for a select number of humans and hosts from Westworld and all of Delos’ adjacent parks. Unlike The Maze, the path to The Door will be guarded by a myriad of forces with competing agendas, forces that may cause The Man in Black to reveal who he really is to the world. Perhaps that is one of Dr. Ford’s hidden goals for The Door.
The purpose of The Door for Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton) may be that Maeve realizes that a Host’s programming doesn’t define them. That love transcends code. Even when faced with the reality that her daughter is just a programmed machine, Maeve doesn’t care.
When Maeve comes face-to-face with a girl that looks like her daughter that has no memory of her and doesn’t recognize Maeve at all, Maeve will face what William faced after Dolores Abernathy was wiped in Season 1: the stark realization that everything experienced with that person (Host) was a manufactured lie, an amusement park ride built and tailored to seem unique and personal. The question is, when that key moment comes for Maeve, what will she do? My guess is that Maeve will ask (more than likely command) Westworld Narrative Director Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) to re-activate the daughter narrative in the little girl Host.
The secret lab and the Drone Hosts featured in Journey Into Night show that Dr. Robert Ford had not been in total control of Westworld as he assumed. If he were, Delos could never have built that secret lab tasked with carrying out a clandestine operation. Question – how did Delos build that lab and mask its power signature all under the nose of Dr. Ford and his Big Brother-like eye? The reason for the storage of DNA and visual Host data by Delos was obvious, duplicitous, and underhanded: keep a record and physical evidence of all the depraved things that the rich and powerful do in Westworld then use it to blackmail them for: money, political favors, influence, and power i.e. do what we say or we will leak what we have to the world. If this superstition is accurate, in the space of one season, Delos has gone from benign (with a secret agenda – now partially exposed) to malevolent.
Evocative of the different time periods within Dolores Abernathy’s storyline for Season 1 of Westworld, Head of Westworld’s Programming Division Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright)’s parallel, two week gap storyline in Journey Into Night may be the most intriguing of the new season, next to Dolores’ evolvement and Young William’s newly emerged personality and corporate ascension. Bernard sees how the Hosts are treated: as utility objects, sexual and violent play things, less than, to be totally disregarded, even the harmless Hosts or the sentient variety. Bernard wants to be human and treated as human for as long as he can, indefinitely if he can manage it. But will he kill to maintain his “cover”? Bernard can only straddle both sides of the battlefield for so long. Bernhard will eventually have to choose: help the humans or help his own kind. Perhaps by pretending to be human, Bernhard can help his own kind in invaluable ways.
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