‘Westworld’ Season 4, Episode 2: This Show Is Actually Good Again????

Hallelujah, baby! Dolores in the highest! *Fireworks crackle and paint the New York City skyline, children weep tears of joy, and every last living creature, right down to the squirrels in Central Park, run wild in a fit of sun-kissed euphoria.* Jeeves, gather my brain orbs. I’m going to need every last copy of my consciousness for this. For the first time in years, I’m prepared to rave about a Westworld episode. Season Four, Episode Two, “Well Enough Alone,” is a shockingly fun, coherent joy ride through the show’s past, present, and future—matching the highs of its first season. Frankly, this episode would’ve made for a better season premiere, which now looks like one long wind-up in comparison.

Episode Two sees Maeve and Caleb officially begin an espionage mission with major buddy comedy vibes, one that leads them right back to a Delos theme park. The Man in Black (Robot’s Version) finally becomes a compelling villain, via a golf scene that proves more bizarro than anything this side of a LIV press conference. Above all else, though, Westworld gets out of its own way and delivers the stakes of the season up front. After years of counting brain orbs, succumbing to every single one of Dolores’s whims, and chatting with a drunk supercomputer? It’s a relief.

In the spirit of what we watched on the Home Box Office this immaculate Sunday night, I’d like to keep it breezy and simply point out what I enjoyed this episode, for once in my Westworld recapping life. Mainly? Tonight, Westworld seemed in on the joke. The writers decided to give a robot (Maeve) an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Campy lines like, “I’ve never been much of a hat guy,” and, “I’ve always wondered, why do they call you the Secret Service? Aren’t… you… a little… obvious?”. The Vice President of the United States finding out that William is no longer a human, only because the guy sunk three straight holes in one. It’s fun! That’s what we need. Westworld, to borrow a theme from this episode, actually did seem to relish in its past. After a lackluster Season Three, the show genuinely seemed to run diagnostics on itself.

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Think back to Season One. Where did we fall in love with Westworld? At Westworld. Like the guests at Delos parks, we dig Westworld the most when we’re at a spot like Shōgunworld or The Raj, not trolling around an alternate version of our mundane world. That said, Maeve and Caleb’s adventure to the center of Delos ending with a glass of sherry and a train ride to a brand-new park? It’s brilliant. By the way, the new spot, according to William, calls back to “the golden age.” He doesn’t exactly specify which golden age. But by the looks of it, Delos based its first secret park from the POV of Hollywood in the 1930s, which saw an explosion of noir and gangster films. Perfect setting for some Westworld hijinks, isn’t it?

Now, I’m still not quite sure where Definitely-Not-Dolores’s journey is hurtling toward, though I do have some major stock in those Futureworld theories. But I’m much more willing to ride out the fuss about the mysterious tower, now that Episode Two served up the deliciously Westworldian stakes of the season. Plain and simple: Hale and The Man in Black plan to turn humans into robots and create a new world order. (I think.) Flies will be involved. Mave and Caleb will try to stop them. Probably our man Bernard, too. Fun will be had by all. Westworld? Don’t reveal that I’m on a train back to reliving Season Three’s brand of madness. It feels like we’re just getting started.

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