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TV Review: Westworld (Season 2, Episode 6)

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The sixth episode of the second season, ‘Phase Space’, takes a step back and lets us catch up with all the characters, but in true Westworld fashion, manages to turn our expectations around, and change our perspectives on things we took for granted.

We start off with a scene which we have seen for a fair amount of times, but as Bernard and Dolores sit in the dark room, it soon becomes clear that it’s not Bernard testing her, but the other way round. What Dolores is looking for is ‘fidelity’.

Meanwhile, we also catch up with the new and improved (is he?) Teddy, a stern-faced merciless killer who isn’t afraid to shoot first and not even seek forgiveness after.

Regardless of what original Teddy felt like, this new version of him is quick to reassure Dolores that she made the right choice, because now he feels free. Either way, Dolores has the henchman she wants, and whether or not she comes to regret it is still up in the air.

In the last hub of the human response team, Charlotte and Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) reunite and are joined by a new badass soldier Coughlin, all just in time for the new step in Dolores’ plan – blowing up a train.

The Shogun world meanwhile continues to explore the nature of choices and choosing your own destiny. Musashi starts the train of making free choices by engaging and winning in a duel with Tanaka, the vicious shogun.

The real kicker, however, is Akane and Musashi’s decision to stay and defend the lake where Sakura grew up, while everyone else moves on. As we bid them goodbye, it is driven home again that the grief they feel is every bit as real as they feel it is, and it will persist for as long as the two of them are around.  

Which brings us all the way back to Maeve, who leaves her ragtag group of companions to move on her own and go back home to her daughter in a surprisingly stupid, but emotional moment. As she arrives and meets her daughter, the moment is made all the sadder, as her daughter doesn’t remember her, and unsurprisingly she has a new mother now.

They have no time for what will have surely been awkward conversations, because the First Nations attack them. While it has been hinted for a while now that the First Nations people are also awoken, Maeve’s dormant memories of her old loop prevent her from trusting them.

The biggest plot twist of the show comes with Bernard and Ford in the end, when Ford reveals he has actually uploaded his consciousness to the Cradle, where all the hosts’ loops are backed.  But with their conversation ending abruptly at the end of the episode, we will have to wait another week to hear what he has to say.

New episodes of Westworld arrive weekly on HBO in the US. Sky Atlantic simultaneously airs Westworld for UK audiences every Sunday at 2am, with repeat airings on Mondays from 9pm, and episodes available on NOW TV.

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