Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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"The Adversary" shifts its focus to Maeve with one of Westworld's most haunting and moving sequences -- and an episode that balances character development against the continual advancement of numerous storylines.
I have more than a few questions, and "The Adversary" answered approximately negative fourteen of them. Actually, this seemed like the first Westworld episode that was less concerned with building a mystery and more actively trying to be annoying.
There are some great sequences in this episode, and if we weren't already pulling for Thandie Newton in the Best Supporting Actress category at next year's Emmys, we sure as hell are now.
If we didn't know Westworld was a horror story already, we know the moment we see it through Maeve's eyes, as she walks through the cold, calculated nuts and bots of what it means to turn other people into objects, into profit, into parts.
Maeve witnesses the creation and processing of synthetic beings, having come to realize she is one of them; the steady diet of "white lies," as it were, is over. It's the most haunting and affecting sequence the show has yet produced.
The thing about this week's episode is that, suddenly, the robot revolution could come from anywhere.
Westworld can roll out player-piano versions of as many canonical alt-rock songs as it wants. Unless it starts to shore up its programming bugs, those notes are never going to ring true.
When the characters and their dynamics are as strong as they were on this episode, it's fun to have some mysteries in the mix as well.
Maeve's story line is, for the most part, blissfully linear and mystery-free, which means we can focus almost entirely on Newton's astonishing performance.
When Maeve was strutting around HQ, "The Adversary" came to life. A lot of the hour, though, was focused on people and storylines that still feel underfed, often involving actors who seem wildly overqualified for what they've been asked to do so far.
It's amazing how steadily Westworld builds this sequence to the ultimate horror of learning that your life has been commodified to sell something... But what makes it even better is how Maeve cannot react to what's happening.
It's getting good, people.
"The Adversary" was high-quality television as a whole, and there is undoubtedly plenty of fun (and answers) to be had in the first season's final four episodes to come.