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TV Review: Westworld (Season 2, Episode 9)


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Westworld managed to find its way back to whatever it calls main plot at this point with the penultimate episode 'Vanishing Point'.

In it, we are treated to a series of stories about losses, which manage to mirror each other beautifully. As William and Emily finally square off against each other, we learn the story behind the death of Juliet, William's wife and mother to Emily.

She has been a behemoth figure in William's complicated life from early on in the first season, and the root of a lot of Emily's issues. Finally having her on screen therefore really pays off, and Sela Ward puts on a brilliant performance, bringing Juliet tolife as her own person with her own complicated thought processes and not just another character's motivations.

Unfortunately however, we all know how that one story ends - her suicide, and the ensuing fallout between Emily and William.

As such, we finally learn the reason why Emily is in the park as well - trying to make amends with her father, and make it work. The whole exchange between the two, interspersed with the flashbacks, is brilliant, but in true Westworld fashion, we cannot expect a happy ending. William proves he is too far gone, and as Emily reveals she has the chips with his data, he thinks she is just another of Ford's puppets and kills her.

That leads to him questioning the nature of his reality, and after Emily dies like a human would, he digs into his own veins to find if he is a host himself. While some fans would be disappointed that he isn't as it was a fairly popular theory, that means he doesn't get to use an easy excuse for his actions - his mistakes are his alone.

Meanwhile, our other heroes aren't doing much better. After being deleted from Bernards code (brain?) Ford just about manages to jump to Maeve s code, where he has a surprisingly poignant talk with her for being the host equivalent of a trojan horse virus.

The biggest reveal comes, however, between Dolores and Teddy at the end of the episode. So far things have been going relatively well for Dolores, so it stands to reason that she would get some obstacle in the way, namely Teddy. He reveals that he has awoken on his own, and remembers everything - from loving her to being 'Teddy' to her forcefully changing him into Wyatt. Faced with the impossible choice of his competing narratives - not to inconvenience Dolores who he deeply loves and not tarnish his moral code - he chooses a third option and kills himself.

This loss is important and directly impacts Dolores, who experiences personal loss for the first time. Evan Rachel wood delivers a sterling performance. Whatever the future of the robot rebellion is now, it will definitely be different.

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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