August 20, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Westworld, Season Four

Westworld season four was a fun watch, though overall it takes a pretty grim view of humanity. It almost felt like an epic that focuses on the war of demigods: one faction wants to control humanity while another wants to free it. Like the opposite of season one, the humans live in a theme park that mirrors a quotidian reality, but their actions are ultimately controlled by hosts who have created a virus that reprograms human biology to become subservient to frequencies emitted by a huge, white tower. There are time jumps and space jumps, confusing realities and identities, doppelgängers and downloaded personalities—all of which are requisite to Westward. All of this sf apparatus is asking us who we are and what is most likely to control our thoughts and actions. It uses tropes of metaphysics and religion to attempt to make sense of our increasingly high-tech world.

And I’m not sure I get much of it. The ending was also weird, like Dolores becoming god in her little corner of the sublime and hitting the reset button, thinking that everything will turn out better this time now that she’s in charge. Obviously, this can’t be right if we are indeed getting a season five. Even her alternate personality Charlotte/Wyatt—one of the more aggressive antagonists this season—just commits suicide. I’m not sure I follow her motivation: sure she failed as a god, but her final act does not feel logical based on her character arc over the last two seasons. Well, I’m guessing that they’ll all return for one final season of mindfuckery.

Before House of the Dragon, I decided to watch a miniseries that I’ve had for a while: The Pillars of the Earth from 2010, mostly because of Ian McShane. It’s not bad—kind of like Game of Thrones-lite. I’ll hopefully complete this series on Sunday.

I’m also almost finished with the colossal Redemption Ark. I’m really enjoying it, but it’s another long one. I figure I’ll finish the Inhibitor series, since I’ve come this far, so Absolution Gap is next.