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Ezee E
11-28-2016, 10:21 PM
Finale Prediction:
-Maeve malfunction was well-known to Frost. He uses this as part of an entire Board of Directors massacre as a massive "mistake" that happens when his new story is revealed.

-MiB reunites with Dolores. This one I feel the least positive about, but I figure he helps reawaken her and all the other hosts in the basement to uprise in the facility itself.

-Stubbs is brought to Elsie who knows exactly what's going on. It'll be up to her and Stubbs to take on Ford.

-William walks into Dolores in Sweetwater when she's revived. He's devastated and wants to go on a plan to revive her consciousness that will end up taking 30 years.

-Dolores is awakened, similar to Maeve, to kill off the entire original village, due to a disagreement that Arnold and crew had with Frost. As a result, Frost has the new "Arnold" created, and nobody blinks an eye in the real world.

-Logan is not killed...

number8
11-29-2016, 03:00 AM
I figured out why I'm starting to resent this show. I like what's going on, but I dislike that they're showing them to me as a mystery.

Dukefrukem
11-29-2016, 03:37 AM
I figured out why I'm starting to resent this show. I like what's going on, but I dislike that they're showing them to me as a mystery.

Yes.

Ezee E
11-29-2016, 04:48 PM
I figured out why I'm starting to resent this show. I like what's going on, but I dislike that they're showing them to me as a mystery.

What do you mean?

number8
11-29-2016, 05:22 PM
What do you mean?

I don't think the show should be driven by mysteries. I don't think any of these revelations should be penultimate episode twists.

Ezee E
11-29-2016, 05:43 PM
I don't think the show should be driven by mysteries. I don't think any of these revelations should be penultimate episode twists.

Ah. Well, this season's basically come to an end, and majority of these mysteries will be answered. I'll be curious what they'll decide to do with season two.

Gittes
11-29-2016, 06:17 PM
Maeve is a conundrum in that Thandie Newton is the most compelling actor to watch on the show but her story might be the worst.

Yeah, she's really great. Unfortunately, I've been less satisfied with this show with each passing week, and even an episode directed by Michelle MacLaren couldn't restore a more spirited connection to the proceedings. However, I'll probably be drawn back for some time because of salient treasures like Newton's performance. She really knows how to bite down on lines in ways that electrify her screen presence. Newton, Hopkins, and Knudsen are turning in the best work, but, unfortunately, the latter is now off the show (some fans had been holding out hope that she would return as a host).

Knudsen's rheumy performance during her last scene, for example, was just...remarkable and heart-wrenching. Although, the scene itself was perhaps the darkest and cruellest turn in the show. I don't think it's a laudable narrative development for a few reasons. Still, the confrontation itself was indelibly scary, mostly because of the way it was staged and its use of defamiliarization (and the way each actor gamely met the surreal demands of the scene). It felt like the ending to a short story of weird fiction, in terms of tone if not necessarily in the narrative specifics. There, the disconcerting force of a nightmare was transmitted with a level of conviction that, while occasionally bubbling up in other scenes (i.e., Newton's first lunge into a gesture of carnality/self-awareness/self-annihilation), is more often dispersed through a fog of incoherency and portent.

Dukefrukem
11-29-2016, 07:50 PM
Any bets that Ford is a host created by the real Arnold as he watches from some Moon base somewhere?

Ezee E
11-29-2016, 10:39 PM
Any bets that Ford is a host created by the real Arnold as he watches from some Moon base somewhere?

I had that thought a while back, but don't think so anymore. Instead, I think Ford and Arnold had different ideas for the park, and that Ford had his creation kill Arnold so he could have full control of all things.

Spinal
12-03-2016, 04:10 PM
Gonna watch the finale, but I doubt I will return for Season 2. I swear, a bomb could drop and kill off every single one of these characters and I wouldn't care. This show is trying way too hard to be clever, but it has yet to show that it can consistently deliver on basic, honest human interaction. I end each episode more annoyed than intrigued.

Spinal
12-03-2016, 04:14 PM
Newton, Hopkins, and Knudsen are turning in the best work, but, unfortunately, the latter is now off the show (some fans had been holding out hope that she would return as a host).

I don't understand what people see in Knudsen. I thought she was terrible in Duke of Burgundy and I think she's terrible in this. Completely dull, flat and lifeless.

Gittes
12-03-2016, 09:03 PM
I don't understand what people see in Knudsen. I thought she was terrible in Duke of Burgundy and I think she's terrible in this. Completely dull, flat and lifeless.

I haven't seen The Duke of Burgundy. The following may not change your mind (and you're entitled to your own view, of course), but, in case anyone is interested, here's an elaboration of my thoughts:

I don't think Knudsen was given the opportunity to be more than steely at the beginning of the season, but she acquitted herself quite nicely during the tableside confrontation with Hopkins and in all of the subsequent episodes. There's richness in the way she juggles Theresa's power, vulnerability, and dignity (the latter word apparently came up often during the filming of her last episode (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/westworld-character-death-explained-sidse-babett-knudsen-interview-946535)). She has very expressive, intelligent eyes that feel present to the dramatic currents of her scenes. She marshals her features into this agile interplay of pride and trepidation that I found really affecting. It helped to humanize what might have otherwise been a more one-dimensional corporate foil. Also, the way her lips rest into subtle sneers and smirks amounts to a muted but potent display of arrogance and scorn. I suspect some might be tempted to dismiss this as a dressing up of banalities, but I think the onscreen results bear out my argument.

During the tableside scene, when Ford ominously announces that he "knows everything about [his] employees," the reaction shot of Knudsen is terrifically shaded: a quiet snarl and a searching yet defiant glare, whose wide-eyed parameters, as the scene progresses, also suggests a kind of hypnosis. Following Ford's thrown gauntlets, the involuntary wavering of Theresa's head subtly conveys alarmed calculations. Details like these reveal an actress who is alertly engaged with the dramatic trajectory of the scene, and who is actively working to decorate her side of the exchange with an array of nuances. At the same time, her performance style entails understatedly corralling her emotions for a more naturalistic effect. This works well, as overt stylizations — like Hopkins' delicious "under my control" line — wouldn't pair well with Theresa.

Look at the way Knudsen answers Hopkins' line about how he and Arnold "were gods, and you, merely our guest." It's this stouthearted reach for a cigarette — a gesture that, in its context, radiates contempt. She lights it coolly, and suddenly, she has the mien of a femme fatale from the 40s. Her contempt now becomes interrogative; her critical eyes narrow to serve as the vane for the arrowhead of her rejoinder: "and how did that work out for Arnold?" Such instances feel like smart but low-key performative maneuvers, much like Hopkins' absentminded smiles. When Ford amplifies his threat — "don't get in my way" — Knudsen's cigarette, once an emblem of her defiance, suddenly becomes a site of fidgety agitation, her fingers compulsively emoting the unease that her firmly set jaw is disguising.

By the end, when she rises to announce that the board will ultimately agree with her, the roiled mix of disquiet and dignity feels keenly heartbreaking (a harbinger of more distressing events to come). It would have been easy to just play that last bit as straightforwardly — or flatly — recalcitrant, but she's careful to inlay a convincing strain of discomfort. Her expression there suggests strength and self-possession, but also a certain wariness about the dangerously psychopathic man sitting across from her.

As I indicated in an earlier post, there's something discomfiting and mercilessly cruel about her story as a whole. I like it less and less the more I think about it, as there aren't enough release valves that favour Theresa. That's a narrative complaint, though. Performance-wise, she's tremendous, and the show is weaker now that she has left.

Dukefrukem
12-04-2016, 01:43 PM
90 minute finale tonight

Spinal
12-05-2016, 06:59 PM
Gittes, with all due respect, your writing is lovely, but I think you're making a whole lot out of a performer who is offering very little. I would, however, like to hire you to write my performance reviews for my job.

Ezee E
12-05-2016, 08:43 PM
The finale was... kind of boring really, with a pretty standout last ten minutes.

All puzzles were completed in my mind. The theories that were out there were mostly complete, and I don't really think the show tried to make a "surprise" out of it either, which is fine.

Curious to see if they'll spread on to other parks now, considering a location in Maeve's note said, "Park 1."

Season 2 seems like it'd have a completely different focus. Wonder if they'll go after another legendary actor now. Bring Gene Hackman out of retirement I say.

number8
12-05-2016, 09:02 PM
This series is notable for possibly being the only series where every single twist has already been guessed by fans. That seems remarkable in itself. Even Mr. Robot, which was criticized for having a predictable twist in the first season, still had a surprise or two. That said, the ending did resonate, which only compounds my previous sentiment about wishing that this story was told in a more straightforward way.

Gittes
12-06-2016, 12:54 AM
Gittes, with all due respect, your writing is lovely, but I think you're making a whole lot out of a performer who is offering very little. I would, however, like to hire you to write my performance reviews for my job.

lol. I was worried that windy encomium would be seen as too purple prosy. Sorry if I came across as too forceful in the expression of my opinion. Just to be clear, I'm not saying she's the best actor on the show, but rather that I liked her screen presence and how she was careful to inject intelligence and pathos into her work before her character was hastily dispatched by the writers. It's significantly better than what we received with Tessa Thompson, whose character and performance seems much more deserving of the "dull" criticism (although, in her defence, she was way more hamstrung by the writing than Knudsen).

By the way, we're not coming at the show from totally opposed ends. In certain respects, I agree with your earlier point about the characters not effectively earning our interest or sympathy. I think that's because they were so often absorbed into the portent of the plot, which hindered a closer connection (Maeve was one of the key exceptions, though). Lost used flashbacks to avoid this. Lindelof and Cuse were much more artful when it came to excavating character while simultaneously goosing up the mysteries.

Dukefrukem
12-06-2016, 01:08 AM
Hey good news everyone. They didn't Lost us.

Anyone stay after the credits?

Watashi
12-06-2016, 05:54 AM
Season 2: Cowboys vs. Samurais.

I'm down.

Peng
12-06-2016, 01:53 PM
Yeah this didn't need to be 90 minutes (although on first watch I would only truncate the Man In Black story). I'm of two minds about the non-linear storytelling though. On one hand, I can hear the complaints; if one strand doesn't work it can stumble hard, like Williams' adventure with Dolores, which can be fine in another more straightforward show, but when coupled with darker, more complex storylines, it just seems so surface-y (that it's on purpose doesn't help) almost all the time, with production values and Evan Rachel Wood's performance barely holding interest. On the other hand, I also think it has a purpose of effectively putting us insides the characters' headspace at certain moments; in the penultimate episode, superably directed by Michelle MacLaren, its style in glitching between revelations (even if some or most of it have been guessed already) really stimulates the falling-down-rabbit-hole feeling of having reality pulled out from under you that the hosts must have felt. Not unsimilar to the way Memento plays with structure to get us into its protagonist's head and arrive at its devastating reveal, actually. Anyway, really a messy show at times, maybe too uninterested in its characters in relative to its story ambition, but I still enjoyed a lot of it.

number8
12-06-2016, 03:08 PM
I don't disagree, but "at certain moments" is the key phrase there. I don't think it's largely worth it.

Dukefrukem
12-06-2016, 03:12 PM
It's also kinda weird where we are as we head into Season 2. What's the end game exactly? Self Awareness across all hosts? Skynet?

Ezee E
12-06-2016, 11:03 PM
Kind of weird that it takes a terrorist attack on a board of directors for the hosts to become self-aware, and become like humans themselves... Not sure how to look at that. Also, since it was all Ford's plan, are they truly self-aware? He had everything planned for weeks that the cannibal army couldn't be stopped, that Maeve and the crew would distract security, and Dolores would kill him. So none of those decisions were really the Hosts own doing.

Season 2 can go in a whole lot of different directions. Do the hosts try to create their own society with the Board trying to get it back (with a samurai approach no less on a Nonaware Samurai World?)

Plenty of struggles, but it's so well-acted and produced that I'll stick with it. After all, what the heck else would I watch anyway?

Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones are the two other shows that I watch.

Dukefrukem
12-06-2016, 11:49 PM
KAlso, since it was all Ford's plan, are they truly self-aware?

No. As proof where Maeve got off the train.



Plenty of struggles, but it's so well-acted and produced that I'll stick with it. After all, what the heck else would I watch anyway?

Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones are the two other shows that I watch.

Heh, my thoughts exactly. Aside from the Netflix stuff, TV is shit.

Doesn't really matter anyway, we are going to be waiting over a year for Season 2.

Peng
12-07-2016, 01:00 PM
Wait, isn't Maeve getting off the train meant to signal that she has enough self-awareness apart from what Ford programs? When Bernard was looking over her code, he mentioned the steps underlying every part of her escape that has already been planned, including "when you reached the mainland..." before she snapped that machine in half. Her hesitating and finally making a decision on the train also corresponds nicely with Ford's last monologue in that way. And now whatever she does next will be completely on her own, not part of the coded steps.

number8
12-07-2016, 01:21 PM
That's part of my big problem with this show. They care so much about outsmarting the audience that they've built in multiple layers of doubt regarding the characters' sense of consciousness, especially with the twists on Dolores' and Maeve's. It's hard for me to get emotionally invested in them if I'm second guessing their autonomy, which is now going to be more so if I decide to watch the next season.

Gittes
12-07-2016, 08:09 PM
Wait, isn't Maeve getting off the train meant to signal that she has enough self-awareness apart from what Ford programs? When Bernard was looking over her code, he mentioned the steps underlying every part of her escape that has already been planned, including "when you reached the mainland..." before she snapped that machine in half. Her hesitating and finally making a decision on the train also corresponds nicely with Ford's last monologue in that way. And now whatever she does next will be completely on her own, not part of the coded steps.

That's how I see it. I wonder what Ford intended for her when she reached the mainland. Perhaps that was always meant to be the breaking off point where Ford's script ends and total improvisation begins, but it just occurred a bit earlier.

Irish
12-08-2016, 02:41 AM
sigh

Gittes
12-08-2016, 02:47 AM
At last, your 10 week nightmare is over.

Ezee E
12-08-2016, 03:35 AM
I thought it said that she went to look for her daughter, maybe I was wrong.

Gittes
12-08-2016, 04:00 AM
I thought it said that she went to look for her daughter, maybe I was wrong.

Bernard says, "you recruit other hosts to help you. Then you're to make your way to the train. Then when you reach the mainland—" and that's when Maeve destroys the tablet. So, it's definitely a deviation and perhaps the first time she's actually demonstrated significant control over her actions. It could be argued that she's still obeying the programmed orders/other selves that exist within her, palimpsest-like, and which are now telling her she once had a daughter. However, I think the distinction here is that she recognizes that her connection to her daughter has a basis in fiction. She's choosing to believe the fiction, or to honour the legitimate bond that the fiction engendered.

Irish
12-08-2016, 04:04 AM
I think what was most frustrating about this show is that they had genuinely good ideas and then bent over backwards to obfuscate them. The finale was better than anything that proceeded it, but how did they get to 10 fucking hours and not realize what they had?

I mean, a character who deliberately hobbles artificial intelligence for his own ends would be an incredible villain. And opposite him, a guy who purposely attempts to raise the consciousness of those same intelligences-- but only does it out of a warped sense of love. That's a great fucking story. Too bad we saw almost none of it, and then only in hazy flashbacks and through monologue over monologue.

This thing reminded me a helluva lot of amateurish writing that I used to see in writing workshops and classes -- where everybody is a little bit too afraid of their own voice and so tries to hide it behind ambiguity. (Because of the misguided sense that ambiguity sounds artful and profound.)

I'd forgive that bad impulse here, except the people involved with this show had 5 solid years of producing stories with big ideas and big mysteries, but also real characters and actual structures.

It's stuff like this that will kill the pseudo-auteurist movement in prestige TV. One of these dumbs shows is gonna hit huge costs with no oversight and turn the entire party into Heaven's Gate.

Gittes
12-08-2016, 04:38 AM
Sorry if the jest of my last post was taken the wrong way. Here's a more straightforward olive branch.

A while back, I thought you raised a valid point about the troubling optics of the Ford and Bernard relationship. Similar thoughts crossed my mind after the reveal about Bernard being a host. The details changed once we learned about the Arnold angle, the specifics of the real Arnold's death, and Ford's belated sympathy for Arnold's ideas, etc. Just curious, did those developments make that side of the story less weird for you, or…what did you think? I'm not sure what to make of it yet. The deferred revelations still left us in an odd place for a bit, wherein we were left to think that this wealthy white man had built a POC as his robot attendant. Are the troubling aspects sufficiently ameliorated by the fact that they eventually revealed that Ford was really this old man lamenting his mistakes, missing his partner/friend, and trying to honour him?

Gittes
12-08-2016, 05:21 PM
OK...Not sure why you deleted your response that was here last night, but I was able to read it before it vanished. Thanks for the reply. Not so sure your joke to your friend (Bernard kills Arnold?) constitutes a prediction, but maybe I misread it.

I'll have to think this issue over a bit myself. I do think Ford's regard for Arnold — and other details like the fact that he controls white and black hosts alike, and is a key agent in their ostensible liberation — are complicating factors at the very least. But, yeah, that stretch of episodes where Ford just seemed like a cruel taskmaster put that relationship in a weird place. I also wonder to what degree the writers were conscious of the slaveowner angle and were deliberately activating that idea.

Izzy Black
12-11-2016, 07:49 AM
Just finished this tonight. Be back later to chime in with some thoughts. Some pretty ridiculous plot machinations at work and ton of things I still don't get, but overall it's rich material. The Delores / William storyline packed a mean punch.

Peng
12-12-2016, 08:56 AM
Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton won the Critics Choice Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Nice.

Gittes
12-12-2016, 10:01 PM
The Delores / William storyline packed a mean punch.

Looking forward to your take, as I thought this turned into one of the weaker aspects of the show. I mean, structurally, the William/Man in Black transition was underwritten by the right amount of clues and some increasingly obvious indications. However, the actual substance of that transition felt murky. William comes across as a baffling person, and his declension was rather sudden. In the finale, the match cut from William to the MiB was meant for the viewers who were still unsure about the identity of Ed Harris' character. In that case, the ostensible result is a closer empathetic alignment with Dolores: viewers are surprised to discover, along with her, that William's bright romanticism devolved into a deep cruelty. The pivot still fails to convince, though. Perhaps we'll learn more about William's transformation in season two.

number8
12-12-2016, 10:11 PM
The "Let me tell you a story about a man in the third person........ AND THAT MAN WAS ME." trope has got to be one of my least favorite storytelling devices.

Gittes
12-12-2016, 10:30 PM
The "Let me tell you a story about a man in the third person........ AND THAT MAN WAS ME." trope has got to be one of my least favorite storytelling devices.

https://media.giphy.com/media/112AWuQ0gkEHhS/giphy.gif

Izzy Black
12-12-2016, 10:48 PM
Looking forward to your take, as I thought this turned into one of the weaker aspects of the show. I mean, structurally, the William/Man in Black transition was underwritten by the right amount of clues and some increasingly obvious indications. However, the actual substance of that transition felt murky.

I've seen a lot of people say this twist was obvious and easily predicted. But I've also noticed that a lot of people saying this (not suggesting this includes you) are people who are a part of this culture of constantly trying to make predictions about events in TV shows and putting forward theories about how everything is going to unfold. That's simply not my approach as a cinemagoer. I didn't invest much time, nor do I generally, in trying to "guess" what's going to happen next. If it occurs to me, so be it, but it's not something I generally try to do. Nevertheless, one might still maintain that, notwithstanding that, the execution was poorly done and by any standard it was too obvious, or something. In that case I'll just ask for some examples, because I didn't find out who William was until pretty close to when I was supposed to find out.

And even if I had, I'm not sure it would matter much, because I still thought it was a powerful arc. I thought it was elegantly and seamlessly integrated into the show, the manner in which time / memory loops and overlaps, such that the show creates an experience for the audience, or at least for me, where we are almost in the same position as Delores in our inability to distinguish the vividness of our memories from the present. You are right that this has a highly empathetic effect, at least as far as it concerns our empathizing with Dolores, which is a noteworthy feat in my view.


William comes across as a baffling person, and his declension was rather sudden. In the finale, the match cut from William to the MiB was meant for the viewers who were still unsure about the identity of Ed Harris' character. In that case, the ostensible result is a closer empathetic alignment with Dolores: viewers are surprised to discover, along with her, that Williams' bright romanticism devolved into a deep cruelty. The pivot still fails to convince, though. Perhaps we'll learn more about William's transformation in season two.

I didn't find William particularly baffling. His decline was a bit sudden, at least in terms of how it is revealed, that's true, but I found him less baffling than the other guests. Other guests in the parks are all surprisingly callous and indifferent to the suffering of the hosts, and are presumably steeped in an ideological distortion about the sentience of the hosts that isn't on its own sufficiently explored. By contrast, William is the only genuinely relatable guest in the park in that he isn't immediately callous and indifferent to their sentience like the others. But we are also supposed to think of William has having a violence inside of him that he's suppressing. This is something we may learn more about, but on the face of it, the suggestion offered by the narrative that he feels detachment and harbors resentment for people in the 'real world' due to some lack of authenticity is enough for me to bite on to buy into the conceit. Presumably, this frustration is only amplified and unleashed when he finds that his attempted refuge in Westworld turns out to be just another sham. As far as characterizations go, he's got quite a bit more going on than the others in the cast.

As for his transformation, the show is, of course, making a significant request on us, however, in that we are supposed to imagine some 20-30+ years of William's torment in seeing his beloved not remembering him at all and taking in other suitors in just the same way she took him in, and that this contributes to his increasing violence and detachment taking over him, but this isn't too difficult for me to do. I again found that it was done very elegantly and to my satisfaction, especially in the sense that in a single moment the man in black gains a backstory and resonance that recolors all his initial interactions with the cast in a way that makes the character palatable and not a mere cipher of evil (although that is the role he's assumed). This was by far one of my favorite portions of the show. I am also happy there is much more room here to develop and further explore his backstory.

Gittes
12-13-2016, 10:17 PM
Unfortunately, I'm afraid the traffic to this thread has probably been reduced since the finale, but your thoughts are still very much welcome.


I didn't invest much time, nor do I generally, in trying to "guess" what's going to happen next. If it occurs to me, so be it, but it's not something I generally try to do. Nevertheless, one might still maintain that, notwithstanding that, the execution was poorly done and by any standard it was too obvious, or something. In that case I'll just ask for some examples, because I didn't find out who William was until pretty close to when I was supposed to find out.

I didn't think it was necessarily too obvious. Viewers interested in this sort of thing — seeking out clues, prognosticating — picked up on stuff like the discrepancy between the Westworld logo in William's scenes vs. other scenes, the very neat demarcation of William from certain events and characters (like Maeve not being at the Mariposa Saloon in William's scenes), and some overlap/echoes in Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson's respective dialogue. Some of this was present from the beginning, with more clues appearing as the show progressed. So, for certain viewers who enjoy predicting developments, it may have become increasingly obvious. However, I totally would have missed some of this if I hadn't been perusing online discussions, and may have not foreseen the transition.

My point was just that, mechanically, the fact of the transition was well supported (so that one section of the audience can pick up on clues, and the other section can later look back and discover the groundwork). So, that's not my quibble. Rather, I just think the actual emotional foundation felt a little insufficient. The violence that present-day William exhibits toward the hosts was vile and somewhat inexplicable in light of the romantic regard he once had for Dolores. It seemed to me that the telos motivating William in the present-day is this dream of making this fictional world of robots real — Ed Harris talks about real consequences, real stakes, etc. Perhaps I misread it, but that felt like a vestige of a starry-eyed hope, a dream that what he once thought he had with Dolores might one day become legitimate (i.e., the memory of that experience made retroactively legitimate via sentience)? That a better story — an alternative to his vaguely misanthropic view of humanity — might still be found in Westworld? Yet in the interim he assaults every host he sees. That's the kind of thing that I found baffling.



I didn't find William particularly baffling. His decline was a bit sudden, at least in terms of how it is revealed, that's true, but I found him less baffling than the other guests. Other guests in the parks are all surprisingly callous and indifferent to the suffering of the hosts, and are presumably steeped in an ideological distortion about the sentience of the hosts that isn't on its own sufficiently explored. By contrast, William is the only genuinely relatable guest in the park in that he isn't immediately callous and indifferent to their sentience like the others. But we are also supposed to think of William has having a violence inside of him that he's suppressing. This is something we may learn more about, but on the face of it, the suggestion offered by the narrative that he feels detachment and harbors resentment for people in the 'real world' due to some lack of authenticity is enough for me to bite on to buy into the conceit. Presumably, this frustration is only amplified and unleashed when he finds that his attempted refuge in Westworld turns out to be just another sham. As far as characterizations go, he's got quite a bit more going on than the others in the cast.

As for his transformation, the show is, of course, making a significant request on us, however, in that we are supposed to imagine some 20-30+ years of William's torment in seeing his beloved not remembering him at all and taking in other suitors in just the same way she took him in, and that this contributes to his increasing violence and detachment taking over him, but this isn't too difficult for me to do. I again found that it was done very elegantly and to my satisfaction, especially in the sense that in a single moment the man in black gains a backstory and resonance that recolors all his initial interactions with the cast in a way that makes the character palatable and not a mere cipher of evil (although that is the role he's assumed). This was by far one of my favorite portions of the show. I am also happy there is much more room here to develop and further explore his backstory.

These comments are great — bolded some of the highlights — and I'm now reevaluating my connection to this part of the show. I explained why I made my earlier assessment in my previous paragraph, but reading this has shaken away some of the cobwebs. I do think the show is a bit quick in its treatment of William's (Simpson) disillusionment, but thinking back to it now, there's a lot communicated by the visual of William discovering Dolores' lack of recognition upon his return to Sweetwater.

I do find the idea of the devout man begrudgingly becoming an apostate interesting, but the affection that William expressed earlier — for stories, for Dolores — felt so ingenuous and sincere that I found his slaughtering of hosts to be an odd reaction to Dolores' mistreatment by Logan. It felt a bit exaggerated, like it was partly meant to amplify the drama and provide more violence. I mean, that slaughtering of hosts (while Logan slept) occurred before his disappointing reunion with Dolores. Also, I kept making the connection between his erstwhile affection and this hunch that present-day William must be trying to make his utopic dream a reality, to find a world that has the meaning and attraction of the books he reads. The dissonance of those twinned ideas — a dream at once sought and spurned — is interesting, but my initial thought was that the severe incongruity was a bit confusing.

Spinal
12-17-2016, 07:20 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niggydsYjrU

Wryan
01-06-2017, 12:27 AM
Spoilers ahead.

Binged this over a few days without a single look at this thread or reddit (only telling my friend who'd seen it already that I thought the Man in Black was Arnold after a few episodes).

There's just so much meta wankery going on here. There's only so many curtains you can pull back with elaborate flourishes before we groan at the silliness of it all. A big problem with things like this is that a certain point, I can't really care about any character who has a better than average chance of being "not what they seem." It becomes sort of inevitable. I wasn't moved by a single story line here. With all these fucking glass walls, how were the various machinations not spied and called out? The scenes with Thandie and the low-level nutterbutters got more and more implausible; weirdly, even the revelation that they got her what she wanted because it was her new story didn't feel satisfying. If you can write your way out of anything by just saying "it was meant to happen that way...surprise!" then it's not very good writing. Was Dolores's gun...special? No explanation for why guns work on some and not others, or why her gun could kill the real Arnold.

Feels exciting and interesting for a little while, but it breaks down upon digestion. But there's some very good stuff here, too. Finale was 90 minutes long and 80 minutes of talk, talk, talk. The upper management faintly failed their terrific and very game actors. The second season could stand being more straightforward, but I'm sure they won't be able to resist the temptation to really Truman Show this shit up even more.

[ETM]
01-06-2017, 02:47 PM
I think it suffers when binged. Most satisfaction people got out of mulling over and discussing the possibilities in the week between the episodes.

Irish
01-06-2017, 03:18 PM
Tsk tsk. Now where's my "rolleyes" emoji. I know I've got one here somewhere.

*rifles through christian louboutin outlet store manbag*

Ezee E
01-06-2017, 03:26 PM
;565285']I think it suffers when binged. Most satisfaction people got out of mulling over and discussing the possibilities in the week between the episodes.

Agreed.

Irish
01-06-2017, 04:46 PM
Goddamit, now I need two.

*continues rifling*

Spinal
01-06-2017, 05:32 PM
I finally watched the final episode a few days ago and thought it was stunningly stupid. How many scenes can we end with someone getting shot to death? It's like it was written by Michael Scarn or something. Except anyone who dies can come back the next episode. That one guy got his jugular cut and still came back to work.

Spinal
01-06-2017, 05:39 PM
And William has very distinct facial markings that apparently disappeared as he got older.

Ezee E
01-06-2017, 06:49 PM
And William has very distinct facial markings that apparently disappeared as he got older.

He's a rich, rich man. So plastic surgery I guess.

Ugh, can't really defend the William storyline at all.

I'll see how long I can stick with it. In discussion, it's all pretty dumb, but it's just so fun to watch.

The robots were never really set free by any means. It was all Ford's plan. Dolores never found consciousness, right?

Oh well. Two years, a new thread will be made. Until then, bring on The New Pope I guess.

Winston*
01-07-2017, 02:08 AM
I got behind about 4 episodes after watching it week to week. Not sure I'll ever catch up. The multiple timelines thing seems super dumb

Spinal
01-07-2017, 06:20 PM
I think other people have said this in different ways, but the show treats the audience like an adversary to be tricked rather than as human beings that want to be engaged and told a story worth hearing.

[ETM]
01-08-2017, 02:13 AM
What's the problem, Irish? I didn't quite follow.

Morris Schæffer
02-15-2017, 11:55 AM
One more episode to go. This has been the toughest high-profile show based on material I would normally dig for me to get into.

Not sure what the problem is. Is it pretentious? Repetitive? Way too ponderous? Does it divert too far away from theme park territory for me to jive with the concept?

That I stuck with it is probably in its favor, but my thoughts do not cohere.

Yxklyx
01-26-2021, 05:31 AM
Finished the first season the other night. Too much senseless/pointless violence for me. For instance, the scene where Ford has Bernard kill himself - that's a fairly powerful moment, but it's meaningless. If Ford really wanted him gone he wouldn't have done just that because he can be restored, so the gravity of that moment is entirely undermined. Innumerable scenes of massacres - to what end? I enjoyed it a bit but after reading some general analysis of the second season progression, this show is not for me. Evan Rachel Wood is great and so is Jimmi Simpson (Under the Silver Lake represent!).