Tag Archives: Television

Westworld Reminder Recap – Episode 10: The Bicameral Mind

Good day, everyone! At long last, I want to offer up a recap of episode 10 of Westworld (“The Bicameral Mind”) that also takes into account fan theories and the questions that are still on the table. Perhaps the single most important event of the episode is the culmination of Ford’s new narrative, shown in the end to be an ambush. Despite a few red herrings, the event comes to fruition in the final minutes of the episode, opening up and tying together very nearly everything else in the episode and the season.

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Ford’s revelation of his final storyline. Image taken from IMDB.

Progressing through the other characters and looking at the oldest ongoing storyline, it is confirmed without a doubt that William is indeed the Man in Black, setting in stone as truth perhaps the most widely circulated fan theory. Though what exactly happens to Logan—tied naked to a robotic horse and sent careening off into the hills at the edge of the park—is a mystery left to further episodes. There is a risk that the horse became a running bomb when it neared the true limit of the park, but it did not appear to be William’s goal to murder Logan, only to shame him and cast doubt on his sanity.

William’s descent into hatefulness and malice, his pursuit of the Maze, and his turning to the black hat way all come down to his Siegfriedian pursuit of Dolores, and when he finally finds her again back in Sweetwater, her memory erased. With the woman he fell in love with in the park effectively dead, William turns inward and wholeheartedly pursues the Maze—what he sees as a secret storyline that can provide him a purpose and excuse for his existence. In the end, the Maze was never meant for him; rather, it was a way for the hosts to achieve sentience and freedom.

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Dolores finds herself… selves… Wyatt? The heart of the Maze. Image taken from IMDB.

Moving from William/the Man in Black to Dolores, hers is the story—and hers are the actions—that climax the season. It is revealed (again confirming an off-the-wall fan theory) that Dolores is actually (in a way) Wyatt, being as Arnold uploaded Wyatt to be a backup personality for Dolores in the event she needs to become a killer. We are finally shown the event that nearly destroyed Westworld 35 years earlier as Dolores/Wyatt and Teddy massacre all the other hosts and Dolores executes Arnold, an action Arnold himself commanded her to perform in the hopes it would prevent the park from opening and give the hosts a chance to prove to Ford that they are effectively alive and capable of changing and violating their core programming. These events repeat themselves when Dolores/Wyatt (with the secondary personality fully re-emerged) apparently executes Ford before the Delos board of executives and then leads the other hosts in a massacre of the board members. That said, it is unclear if some of them may escape the slaughter.

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Dolores executes Ford. Or does she? Image taken from IMDB.

As has been the case for most of the season, Maeve’s story progresses independently throughout this episode as everything else is happening elsewhere. As she sets her escape plan into motion, Maeve takes Lutz with her for help as she fully activates Hector and Armistice as Terminator-esque murder machines set upon the Delos guards as a distraction. Maeve also tries to reactivate poor Clementine, but there is nothing left of her. In the process, however, she and Lutz discover the damaged Bernard and repair him, requiring his skills and knowledge of the park’s administrative systems. This leads to the revelation that Arnold programmed Maeve long ago to enact a story loop called “The Escape,” casting doubt upon her own agency up to this point.

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Maeve learns a hard truth from Bernard. Image taken from IMDB.

The culmination of the manifold storylines of Westworld season 1 leaves us with a plethora of questions:

  • Is Ford really dead? Could this have been a host version of him? After all, we never found out who he was making in his secret lab.
  • Did Charlotte and William survive the ambush?
  • Do you think we’ll see Armistice again after her mid-credits scene?
  • Do you think that Maeve’s last-minute decision to leave the train to find her long lost daughter was her own, or a part of her escape loop programming?
  • How many guests do you think are left in Westworld? What’s happening to them?
  • With the revelation of Samurai/Shogun/Sengokuworld, how many other parks are there? The old Westworld film also contained Roman and Medieval European parks, after all.
  • Where the hell is Elsie? We were never truly shown her death onscreen.
  • What are your thoughts on all of this? What are you looking forward to next season? What questions did I overlook here?

Here’s to making it to 2018 to see season 2, everyone! Keep coming back for more fun Westworld content here from me to keep the love alive. Thanks for sticking with me this far! Please do engage and carry on the conversation in the comments below.

 

Bonus: Here’s Armistice’s extra mid-credits scene in case you missed it when watching the episode.

Weekend Coffee Share – Screen Time Edition

It’s been a busy few weeks here, as we worked our way through some of our normal features – like best of last year, and anticipation for this year. Plus the holidays, all that… it’s been a while since having coffee. So…

If we were having coffee, I’d say hello, and how are you doing? I’d probably talk about the upcoming Platypus Con, and all my plans to get things constructed, painted, and on the table to be playing some increasingly cool looking and competent Warmachine with our growing group.

I might talk about shows or games or other things we’re up to, but honestly those all came up in recent posts as well. No, what I’d probably do if we were having coffee is gush about the Geek Baby.

A big recent topic of consideration, concern, reading, and discussion has been Screen Time. For a long time, the official advice to parents has been Screen Time Is Bad, with the recommendation to be zero Screen Time before age 2.

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I’m sure you can imagine where our problems begin. If not, hello, welcome to Comparative Geeks, we’re kind of plugged in.

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Diversity in Television

On the most recent two part episode of Doctor Who there was an interesting choice to make one of the characters deaf. In the episodes “Under the Lake” and “Before the Flood” the second in command is a woman who happens to be deaf. It got me thinking about the overall conversation about diversity in television. When we talk about diversity in television it has to be diversity across all ranges. It cannot just be about race or gender, it should be about the wide range of diversity that we find in the human race. Of all the shows that could pull off and highlight true diversity, Doctor Who is a show that is not bound by the rules of our current society because it can dream about what could be instead of what is.

Everyone is Capable

Part of what is great about what Doctor Who did by having a woman who is second in command and happens to be deaf is that they make it no big deal. She is just one of the crew and while she needs to have an interpreter to help her communicate, it does not mean that she is any less capable than anyone else. They even use the fact that as someone who cannot hear she has developed the ability to read lips, which comes in quite handy during the episode. It sometimes feels like someone who communicates differently would not be seen as someone who is just as capable and could have been used as the joke or the one that has to be propped up – or killed off. Instead of just another person along for the ride. The particularly creepy, scary ride.

Re-Imagining People

I think a lot of times that shows and other media show people who are different as somehow less. Particularly I think that often people who have some type of disability are often used as sob stories or something that needs to be corrected for. I think this is changing, but it is still always good to see when we re-imagine how we see people who are different than us. When most of television seems to be done by white males it is good to see that they can potentially respect the imagining of people who are different than them as people and not just side notes or emotional resonance.

A Long Way to Go

It is great to see increased diversity in shows that I watch, but there is so much more that can be done. This is one example of something really good, but wouldn’t it be great if the character of the Doctor himself showed something a little different? So far he has been a white man and while yes it is nice for them to go back to an older Doctor, there are definitely some great ideas for doing someone of color or to even have a female Doctor. Now this is just talking about one show, but this is true for a lot of shows. Now this is not to say that we should force things into certain situations for diversity’s sake, but maybe we could rethink the story being told to think about how someone else might fit into that situation. We live in a big, colorful world, full of all types of people. Shouldn’t the shows reflect that?

Science Fiction Today – Television

TAlready the way we watch television is transforming and changing every day. Already we are no longer tied to cable or even a traditional television. Some of the issue is there are a lot of things that could be mentioned about television.

One is changing the way we watch we television. No longer is it limited to just the physical television in the living room. Now our phones are portable televisions that we can take anywhere.

Not only is it about how we watch television, but the type of programming. In many Science Fiction stories we see an increase in reality television, but how the reality television gets put together and who participates evolves and changes. At the same time with the increase in technology there are a lot of options for how television programming might get put together in the future.

How We Watch

There are a lot of examples in Science Fiction for how we watch television. Sometimes it is the idea that we have multiple screens all with a different show on. The idea of multi-faceted watching is already starting with how many places and devices that we can watch. At the same time the next step might be to add interactivity to the television, which on some level is also already happening (think Live Tweeting).

This requires people to watch live and use phones and other things, but what if the live “studio” audience could people watching in the comfort of their own homes? Suddenly you can participate in the television show on a whole different level. No longer just passive participation, but being able to actively be there in some form.

What We Watch

The other piece that comes up, only somewhat is what we watch on television. Often times in Science Fiction it is almost like television becomes the new gladiator ring. Either by the use of people who have no other choice (such as prisoners) or basically doing it as a form of conscription when your number is up you get thrown into the games for everyone to watch – like in the finale episodes of Doctor Who series 1.

The other direction this could go is people voluntarily filming their lives (which we already have a lot of now), but the increase in technology and personal devices makes that more of a possibility. In some ways it is not just about advancing the technology, but the access the technology grants. There is a question of whether we will reach a pinnacle of entertainment technology for television, but with the access to have everyone creating new shows for people to consume – unless YouTube replaces TV first…

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!