things are heating up Westworld. The show’s fourth season felt like a comeback for HBO’s mind-bending sci-fi drama, and its latest episode continues that trend. “Roaring Twenties” takes us on a walk down memory lane as Maeve and Caleb explore the new Roaring Twenties-themed park. He also catches up with us with Bernard for the first time this season.
Like always, SPOILERS for this week’s episode of Westworld beyond.
Westworld Episode 403 review
For as sprawling and dense as Westworld Perhaps, “Roaring Twenties” is a great reminder that the show is often at its best when it dials things back and really focuses on a few characters. It’s the tightest episode of the season so far; Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) aren’t there at all, and William (Ed Harris) only appears near the end for a brief minute. The result is one of the strongest episodes since the original Westworld park was destroyed in season 2.
“Roaring Twenties” mainly follows two groups of characters. The first is composed of Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth). When we last saw Bernard in the Season 3 finale, he had gone to the Sublime to look for all of the hosts who escaped Westworld Park through the VR “gate”. The Sublime is essentially “robot heaven”, as Stubbs puts it. Now we get to see what it looks like.
Turns out robot heaven is all about perception. The Sublime is as limitless as the hosts’ processing capacity, meaning they can all create their own realities in which to live. It doesn’t work out so well for Bernard, because he’s so anxious about the dangers threatening the humanity he’s creating. a dark mental loop for himself. He walks through a projection that draws a comparison between the massacre in Westworld and the human riots that occurred after the destruction of Rehoboam. Then he meets Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), who we haven’t seen since Season 2.
The meeting is pretty cool; Both Wright and McClarnon are fantastic actors and work very well together. This sets up what we can assume to be Bernard’s driving motivation for the season. A year outside the Sublime is roughly equivalent to a “millennium” inside, and with all that free time, Akecheta and the other hosts have calculated every possible route that humanity can take, finding that they end almost all by destruction. Akecheta gives Bernard all the data, which he internalizes Doctor Strange-style to see what awaits him so he can try to help humanity avoid their fate. It turns out that each storyline also includes Bernard’s death, so there are stakes here.
Then Bernard wakes up, and we realize that all this happened before that end credits scene in the Season 3 finale, where Bernard wakes up covered in dust. This confirms that he spent the entire seven-year gap between seasons in the Sublime. Stubbs is still watching over him, and the two immediately start joking like it’s old times.
From there, things move pretty quickly. Bernard now has the ability to predict the future, more or less, with the slight caveat that until certain things happen, he’s not 100% sure. who the future is happening. The episode uses this in a lot of very amusing ways, from Bernard predicting that Stubbs won’t get the sandwich he wants at a restaurant to disarming the host’s infiltrators in order to gain the trust of a resistance cell fighting against William. This might be the funniest character Bernard has been since Season 1.
This resistance cell is an interesting twist. This group, led by a mysterious man played by Daniel Wu, scours the desert in search of a weapon to use against Delos. Bernard tells them he knows where it is, and given his new abilities, we know he’s not bluffing.
Caleb and Maeve’s crazy 20’s adventure
The rest of ‘Roaring Twenties’ mostly focuses on Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) as they explore the new ’20s-themed park. There are a lot of similarities to the original Westworld park, from a train station to a group of bounty hunters searching for a known criminal to a speakeasy that’s supposed to mirror Maeve’s old brothel. One of the scariest moments comes when a can rolls out and hits Caleb’s foot; he grabs it, but Maeve warns him not to touch it. As you’ll recall, this is one of the ways Dolores’ story got kicked off in Westworld, and lo and behold, when another poor sap picks up the box, we get our first look at the park’s version of the years. 20 from Dolores, complete with a blue dress and long blonde hair.
These types of reminders are everywhere in this sequence, and the series does a lot of that. Maeve leads Caleb into the speakeasy, where we can safely watch the world’s version of the heist begin. The commentary here is something the show lacked; Caleb is horrified by the things the hosts have to deal with in the park, and Maeve watches the hosts supposedly mirror her and Hector is fascinating given how far he’s come.
In the end, she ends up killing the batch of these “poor imitations” in order to lure the park’s body disposal team so she and Caleb can sneak to the lower levels with the corpses. It works, and we get another nostalgic callback as they explore glass-walled rooms filled with hosts. All is not as it seems, however, as we soon discover that this level is too part of the park simulation; it’s a “secret mission” designed to simulate the slaughter of Westworld, with fake Dolores and her group bursting in and slaughtering all the guards. The fact that this tragic event is used as entertainment is the kind of chilling twist that once made Westworld so good.
The secrets of the new Delos Park
In the end, Maeve and Caleb are able to escape the massacre (the hosts’ weapons can’t actually harm humans). Caleb defends Maeve, and she uses her superpowers to hack the elevator and bring them to the real level of park control. Paul and Newton’s chemistry is a total blast. Giving them this story was such a good choice.
On the lower level, we actually get a peek behind the curtain of this new 1920s park, and it’s pretty terrifying. We discover that the flies that keep spawning are fed an ominous black liquid, which explains their ability to control the people they infest. From there, Maeve stumbles upon a device that emits sound beyond human hearing, which triggers compliance in test subjects who have previously been exposed to the flies. The humans all kill each other, while Maeve and Caleb are powerless to stop them.
That’s when we are hit by one of the episode’s big twists. Caleb’s wife and daughter are taken to a safe house by a member of the resistance cell…except this particular resistance member is actually a host. As Caleb’s family discovers this in time to kill him and escape, the series takes a neat back and forth to make us think Caleb’s daughter is in fact captured and now part of the humans on the verge. to commit suicide in the laboratory. Caleb quite naturally loses it trying to free her, but once Maeve is finally able to open the door, we find out the girl is a host. His face opens and flies swarm Caleb. One of them goes in his ear, which will presumably allow Delos to control him.
Maeve, on the other hand, finally comes face to face with William. This showdown has been a long time coming, and it’s a really exciting time to finally see Maeve and William face off. They go head-to-head, and as badass as William is, he has nothing against Maeve…or so we think. She shoots him, not realizing he is a host until he returns and ambushes her. The episode ends with Maeve and Caleb captive.
- The title of the episode, “Roaring Twenties”, is the term used for the Roaring Twenties in France, which also saw a cultural renaissance in the decade following the First World War.
- A big band rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays during the safe heist. First stranger thingsnow Westworld! These guys are having a great week.
- Bernard flashes a maze symbol to members of the resistance in order to gain their trust. Interestingly, something that symbolized the path of consciousness and freedom for hosts has come to mean something similar for human beings. Where did they get this symbol?
- Bernard sees a large white tower in the Sublime, which looks an awful lot like a larger version of the mind control machine Maeve and Caleb found. It seems clear that the tower that continues to be referenced in Christina’s plot is tied to this mind control technology.
- Roaring 20s park is an absolute blast. Very cool to have this reminder of how it all started, as well as an opportunity to see how Caleb would act in a Delos park.
- Maeve seeing this park’s version of her was a highlight. Maeve’s journey on Westworld is one of the best and it’s great that she has this moment to reflect.
- One of the people we saw committing suicide was Jim Navarro (Josh Randall), the US Department of Justice official who harassed Delos in Episode 2 and was later captured by Charlotte and subjected to the swarm of flies.
- Now that Caleb has been infected with one of these flies, I’m quite nervous as to how he’s going to cope. All the other people we have seen infected end up committing suicide. How will Caleb escape? Or will he?
For as random as Westworld has been in the past, Season 4 overall has been pretty solid. From time spent at the ’20s-themed park to Bernard’s new prophetic abilities, “Roaring Twenties” was a great episode that explored new mysteries and had plenty of callbacks to the things that made the show so good in the first place. venue. At this level, Westworld may well redeem itself from its muddled third season.
Episode Rating: B+
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