Why Westworld Season three Is not As Unhealthy As You Suppose

HBO searched for an additional excessive idea style present that appeared prefer it might generate the identical viewership spikes and dependable fanbase of Sport of Thrones, and Westworld regarded prefer it might match that invoice. Impressed by the 1973 sci-fi western traditional of the identical title, Westworld explores the connection between humanoid androids growing their very own consciousness and rich visitors who unleash their primal wishes inside a futuristic amusement park. The twisty storyline from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Pleasure mirrored on the ethical and philosophical debates surrounding synthetic intelligence by means of a extremely sophisticated, interlocking narrative.

The premise appeared to take off; Westworld grew to become one of many community’s hottest exhibits and amassed an viewers that loved monitoring the nonlinear storyline and surprising twists every week, and the collection was showered with Emmy nominations together with Greatest Drama Sequence. Though it began off with a bang, the fan base grew extra area of interest in subsequent seasons, with HBO’s chief Casey Bloms even admitting it “wasn’t for informal followers” when season two concluded. In comparison with the fervor it had initially impressed, Westworld’s third season had little affect. Scores have been dwarfed and the present was nearly shut out of awards races.

Picture through HBO

Westworld season three dramatically adjustments up its locales, transitioning the story from the dystopian theme park to a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk metropolis. The narrative strategy is barely extra streamlined with occasions informed linearly and flashbacks clearly indicated, however Westworld was nonetheless as complicated as ever; if you happen to’ve saved monitor of whether or not every character is a human or host, you’re one of many few. Nevertheless, the world of Westworld is price investing in no matter storytelling gimmicks. Season three was a essential evolution that indicated a promising future for the present that lastly left the “Westworld” park behind.

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A futuristic cityscape is the proper setting for Westworld, because the noir backdrop epitomizes the thriller that had been integral to the collection. It wasn’t simply the western motifs that outlined the primary two seasons, however the style itself. The hosts have been designed to be “heroes” or “villains,” and their human counterparts fulfilled related roles. Free of the constraints of a simulated storyline, the hosts needed to deal with the fluid nature of actuality, and the people needed to modify to a world the place penalties weren’t contained to an amusement park.

Season two suffered from repetitive archetypes, however season three opened up the story’s viewpoint. The park itself was designed by Ford (Anthony Hopins) to be a slick, interesting attraction, however the outdoors world has already included AI inside on a regular basis life. Attending to see the angle of working class development employees and villainous tech firms past Ford’s group Delos made the universe really feel lived in. It was refreshing to see characters who’ve grown accustomed to the existence of Westworld, even when they’ve by no means skilled it firsthand.

When season three does revisit the parks, it opens as much as new environments with out burying them in revelations. The primary two seasons solely briefly explored “Shogun World” and “The Raj” by dedicating complete episodes to exploring them, however the third season fluidly integrates the opposite parks. The World Conflict II-era “Warworld” solely wanted a short sequence during which Maeve (Thandie Newton) reunites together with her former allies to serve its story operate, and a short (if considerably distracting) cameo by David Benioff and Dan Weiss hinted at “Fantasyworld” with out dedicating laborious time to it.

Jonathan Nolan’s love of narrative loops is longstanding; every little thing from Inception to Memento has explored recurring occasions and situations, and in Westworld the hosts are actually on “loops” the place they’re assigned to a preordained storyline. Though season three sees many of the host characters free of the loops they have been certain to within the park, the cycles grew to become extra thematic. The heroic Maeve displays on whether or not she’s certain to help these in want no matter her need for peace, and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wooden) progressively realizes that she’s tasked with enjoying the villain. Slightly than seek for the place these loops started, the characters have grown to just accept them.

Picture through HBO

The brand new characters launched exist inside the present’s established historical past, and are instantly impacted by the occasions of earlier seasons. Building employee Caleb (Aaron Paul) is left unemployed because of the emergence of development droids, and through his wartime expertise the army experimented on his thoughts utilizing misleading methods much like those Westworld’s creators used to develop the hosts. It is a wrinkle inside the theme of “fiction vs actuality” that doesn’t step on an excessive amount of acquainted territory. It progresses Westworld’s technological developments by imagining how an oppressive military-industrial advanced would make the most of them.

The brand new predominant antagonist Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassell) emerges on account of Westworld’s penalties. Serac was left orphaned by a devastating terrorist assault in Paris, leaving him determined to hunt order amidst the chaos. Serac noticed humanity at its worst and predicted that the hosts designed by mankind would undertake their harmful qualities, and decides to make use of his wealth to steal Delos’s assets and search worldwide annihilation. Whereas having the park’s creator Ford toy with every character’s actuality labored to develop the characters’ origins inside the first two seasons, Serac is efficient as a result of his motivation and objectives are finite.

The motion additionally grew extra inventive with a deal with simulated actuality, not subverted leisure. Contemplating the hosts might be rebuilt after important damage, forcing them to unravel the puzzle behind a fancy maze the place complete sequences are set inside AI environments heightens the stakes. That very same intrigue is felt by the human characters by means of the psychedelic drug “style,” which integrates trippy visuals inside setpieces certain by physics.

Each good pc system wants a tough reboot each now and again, and in its third season Westworld revels in a brand new style affect with out sacrificing its integral ideas. The timeline could also be inside-baseball, however even when shedding its readability, Westworld guarantees excessive leisure worth. The present discovered a path wanted to maintain itself, evident from the soundtrack selections alone. Whereas season one concludes with a chilly, contemplative rendition of Radiohaead’s “Exit Music For A Movie,” season three wraps with Pink Floyd’s “Darkish Facet Of The Moon” in a bombastic dedication to spectacle.

KEEP READING: Evan Rachel Wooden on ‘Westworld’s Persevering with Evolution: “Each Season Is a Reinvention”

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