Review: Westworld Season 1 Episode 10 “The Bicameral Mind”

Regardless of a few unanswered questions and clichéd moments, the ‘Westworld’ finale is a stunning achievement, as it is able to be incredibly satisfying and amazingly thought-provoking. ‘Westworld’ has always excelled in its ideological discussions, but this episode raises the bar once again, in a fascinating exploration of what it means to be human and the reality of destiny. Whether it be Maeve being held back by very human tendencies of love, or Dolores growing to defy her role, this show proposes a poignant argument about humanity and its fate.

By the end, each character has a clear and well-defined position within the show’s sprawling narrative. Their arcs have been marvellously constructed and seeing the character’s actions in this episode comes with an incredible amount of gratification, due to the complexity and unpredictable nature of such plot lines. The sequences involving Maeve are superbly directed as her character is presented with stunning dominance and power (with a bold new costume), yet, due to Thandie Newton’s performance, also with an obvious vulnerability. William’s arc also comes full circle, with a twisted, sometimes menacing, sometimes heartbreaking performance from Jimmi Simpson, and an insightful examination of the Man in Black’s vision and motivations. He believes it is his destiny to find the centre of the maze, when in truth it was another’s.

The final twist however, is the most shocking. It transcends the show’s  individual stories and showcases a wider intellectual debate. It is the defining moment that highlights that while the actions of the host’s may be largely constructed, they are able to break these restraints to usurp power. Dolores, led by a formidable turn from Evan Rachel Wood,  is compelling, not just because of how unpredictable her actions are, but because they allow her liberty. While brought upon by Ford’s final decision, they in fact free herself of that narrative. This allows Dolores to free herself from the constraints of destiny, and begin her own narrative. 9.8/10

 

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