The Westworld Season One Finale Brilliantly Blew Minds, Expectations

Westworld Poster

Westworld Season One Final “The Bicameral Mind:”

Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is ready to launch his final narrative, as he knows he is being pushed out. Dolores (Rachel Evan Wood) must confront The Man in Black (Ed Harris) who is still in search of the maze. Maeve (Thandie Newton) puts her escape plan into action.

For the past two weeks I have been worried that Westworld was headed in the wrong direction. I feared it was giving us too many big moments with little-to-no emotional and narrative build. I feared it was setting the bar so high, that there was no way the finale could ever live up to the hype.

I was dead wrong.

All the reveals — Bernard being a host, Bernard being modeled after Arthur, Dolores is the one who killed Arthur — were just a build to this glorious finale.

Now before I go full tilt on the episode and gush over its awesomeness, I will admit that this episode will require a second viewing. At times, things got a little too heady particularly with the dialogue about consciousness. That got a little too obtuse for me at times. Now could this have been because I was too concerned over how all the storylines would resolve themselves? Possibly. But at times things got a little thick, so I’d like to go back and re-watch the scenes with Ford, Delores, and Arthur/Bernard.

Let’s break down all the major plot threads that were discussed in this episode…

1. The Multiple Time Line Theory: Yup, that theory was indeed fact. William (Jimmi Simpson) grew up to become The Man in Black. The reveal wasn’t earth shattering (especially if you figured it out weeks ago), but the reveal was told in an extremely clever manner — William picking up the black hat, him seeing Delores return to her loop, the dropping of the photo, and his final confrontation with Logan. While they may not physically remember one another, Simpson and Harris were the perfect choice to be paired up. Harris, unsurprisingly, was brilliant in his moments with Delores.

Jimmi Simpson in Dissonance Theory
Jimmi Simpson joins Westworld as William. Photo Credit: HBO

2. Maeve’s Escape: So, so good. I haven’t been the biggest Maeve fan, mostly because the whole giving her omnipotent power thing seemed a bit forced. However, the sequence of her escape was some really good run-and-gun action combined with terrific acting from Thandie Newton. The reveal of her escape being pre-programmed was a brilliant wrench in the works thrown in by the writers, and the reveal of the location of her daughter not only sealed her storyline for this season, but gave us a great new storyline for Season 2.

3. Can We Talk About Samurais for a Second: “It’s complicated.” Talk about an amazing teaser for things to come. I cannot wait to see how this gets implemented into next season.

4. The Arnold Incident: The final reveal that the “Wyatt” storyline was originally designed for Delores and Teddy (not Wyatt and Teddy) in order to stop the opening of the park was a stroke of genius. Jeffrey Wright’s performance as the grief and guilt stricken Arnold made this scene so much more than senseless violence. He gave this scene substance and sorrow. His final moments were just excellent.

5. Ford’s Final Narrative: Guess who kinda wasn’t the bad guy after all? That’s right. Anthony Hopkins’ Ford, despite seeming like a cruel dictator keeping the hosts in hell, was actually their biggest ally. He’s the one who’s been trying to set them free by reinstating Arnold’s reveries, and also putting things into motion like killing off those who might stop his plan for (eventually) freeing the hosts. The reveal that in order for the hosts to become fully free they must not only kill their creator (Ford), but most go to war with humanity took me completely by surprise, especially with the reveal of the cold storage unit being empty.

Overall, this was an excellent end to a mostly excellent season. Look out for Pop-Break’s staff piece where we talk about the overall season, the finale, and what we’re looking forward to seeing next season — which will post by Tuesday morning.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld
Photo Credit: HBO.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites


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