“Trompe L’Oeil”

As we near the end of a breathtaking debut season for HBO’s Westworld, questions are getting answered at an alarming rate. In tonight’s episode, Bernard is the star. There are some characters missing in the episode but there is enough going on here be able to forget about them. I’m not one to spoil things for people who haven’t seen the show so this recap is going to be brief. This episode is very difficult to review without major spoilers. So let’s dive into this weeks episode of Westworld. Minor spoilers may be ahead.

We open with Bernard (Jeffery Wright) reading to his son until we find ourselves back into the office setting of the show. We also get to see where it is exactly that the parks operations are based out of. William and Dolores are back and we see them taking another step in their complicated relationship. Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) confirms our suspicion from last week. Major changes are coming to the park. Who gets to stay and who won’t be sticking around?

Each episode of this show is so unique and different. As mentioned last week, each episode tops the previous. We have drifted away from the narrative within the park and the hosts to see the shake up happening behind the scenes. That is where we see most of the episodes big moments happen. And if the title of this episode is any indication, things are definitely not what they seem (I’ll let you do the Googling).

William and Dolores’s narrative in this episode isn’t nearly as compelling as it has been in previous ones. In a way, their appearance in “Trompe L’Oeil” seemed more of a check in than a way of advancing their story. Missing in this episode were the Man in Black and Teddy. Elsie is also missing.

But as mentioned, Bernard, Teresa and the park staff are the focus. One of the more interesting dynamics the show has set up is between Maeve and the two technicians Felix and Sylvester. Westworld has been able to balance so many complex serialized narratives with perfection. There are seemingly endless stories to tell in this universe. Credit is due to the writing as well. Anthony Hopkins is perfectly cast as Dr. Ford and is one of the best written characters on television in recent memory. Layer upon layer is peeled away and we continue to delve into Ford’s gradual descent into being a mad scientist.

This episode is full of intrigue. What is to become of the rapidly declining sanity of the hosts and the humans as we go forward? Each week, the show continues to evolve to entire new level of quality. I firmly believe we are witnessing the next great television phenomon. Westworld continues to skillfully manage several complicated stories while retaining the freshness of its groundbreaking serialized narrative.