‘Westworld’ Recap: Enchantment Under the Sea

Variety | 4/22/2018 | Daniel Holloway
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Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Journey Into Night,” the first episode of the second season of HBO’s “Westworld.”

The very first shot of “Westworld” reminds us of what worked best about the HBO drama’s first season. All television shows should open up with a tight shot of Jeffrey Wright. But then that shot moves back, and Wright starts talking, and it becomes clear that, like so many episodes last season, “Journey Into Night” will begin with one of Bernard — at least he’s almost certainly Bernard this time — and Dolores’ face-to-face chats. And just like that, we’re reminded of everything that didn’t work about season one.

Asks - Bernard - Dolores - Answer - Minutes

“What is real?” Dolores asks. “That which is irreplaceable,” Bernard says. Dolores doesn’t like the answer, but it’s too late. Fewer than four minutes in, “Westworld,” like a smoker or a nail-biter, has fallen back on bad habits — saddling two great actors with pseudo-philosophical gobbledygook dialog, and Evan Rachel Wood in particular with a bland, one-note character that the finale had promised was gone for good. Any HBO subscriber can be forgiven for giving up and just watching the new episode of “Barry” instead.

10 Works That Influenced 'Westworld'

Journey - Into - Night - Lessons - Creators

But those who stick around are rewarded, eventually. “Journey Into Night” shows that lessons were learned and creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy — the latter having written this premiere with Roberto Patino — have, in the year and a half since season one wrapped, adjusted accordingly. Bernard, we soon see, appears to have been describing not a dream, but events some time after the massacre that ends season one, when he is discovered on a beach by a Delos clean-up team. Because the Golden Age of Television has not exactly been the Golden Age of Linear Storytelling lately, “Journey Into Night” takes place on...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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