“The Adversary”

Thus far, HBO’s Westworld and its characters have focused on a maze. One could say the show is a maze in and of itself. But, we are slowly coming towards the center of everything with this weeks episode. For those who have seen the show, I think it’s safe to say we have gradually found out this timeline is all over the place. Normally, that can get messy. Yet, Johnathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have woven this story so brilliantly that whether we are in the past, or in the current moment, it doesn’t matter. This weeks episode “The Adversary”, reinforces that things are becoming clearer by the minute and all is not what it seems in the park. Minor spoilers may be ahead for those who have not seen the show.

There a few main focuses of the episode. Maeve (Thandie Newton) is fully aware of what is happening. Slowly, she has put the pieces together and in a role change, she is in control. We also follow Bernard (Jeffery Wright) and Elsie (Shannon Woodard) and their continued quest to track down the parks anomalies. Briefly we are shown what the Man In Black (Ed Harris) and Teddy (James Marsden) are up to in their own journey to find the aforementioned “maze”. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is also doing curious things.

What I really enjoyed about this episode is the continued dramatic build this series has employed. Each episode proves to one up the previous and “The Adversary” is no different. Like any show’s debut season, it can be hard to get into. Yet, Westworld has been able to top it’s earlier episodes by unraveling more of the story. By far, “The Adversary” is the show’s most cohesive and intriguing episode yet. This is mostly due to the fact we spend most of our time with the behind the scenes crew. And even if all the theories about the Man In Black are true, it seems to be the shows only episode that doesn’t jump around in time period.

Not only are the hosts undergoing changes, the executive management of the park is seemingly transitioning. Lee (Simon Quarterman) is going through a creative stand still and subsequently, we are introduced to a new character. Tessa Thompson’s character, described as a member of the executive board, is overseeing said transitions within the park. With Lee in total meltdown mode, it is likely there is going to be some shake-ups. Will Lee’s creative slump lead to his axing?

The acting is again at the forefront is this weeks episode. Anthony Hopkins plays his character so brilliantly. He embodies the character and only lets on what he wants you to know. He has kept the audience and his in show employees completely in the dark. Ford is menacing, and it has been interesting to see how much trust we have lost in him. Thandie Newton is also excellent in this show. In a sense, Maeve is just one aspect of the virus that continues to be spreading the anomalies all over the park.

Westworld remains painfully addictive and thrillingly engaging. The acting from its supremely talented cast is top notch and the visuals of the scenes within the park are stunning. In the weeks ahead, I think we can all expect this show to continue to top itself week after week. There are many questions still to be answered. With four episodes to go, the shows evolution from good to great continues be the most impressive thing about it.

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