There comes a point when a show tries to be too mysteries and too suspenseful that it ends up becoming painful to watch. The Westworld finale – and the first season in general – was just that. Much of the extended finale felt repetitive and unnecessary to a point that it became boring. The show took almost half of its hour and a half finale to explain that William and The Man in Black were one in the same, something most people had already concluded, and left us hanging on the real action we wanted to see. The first season of Westworld was really a prologue to the thrilling story we want to see and it now just seems the writers did this to ensure the show’s longevity.
I know I’ll be in the minority here, but I couldn’t help but be bored with everything that didn’t involve Maeve this week. Maybe it was the unnecessary suspense or the repetitiveness finally sinking in, but it just didn’t feel important. If this show goes three or four seasons, how much from season one will have felt necessary? Season one told a ten-hour story that should have only taken three to five hours. Much of the second half of the season focused on the evolution of William only so his real identity would appear more meaningful. A pure and innocent man who enters a situation that brings out his true self. His story was so cliché, up to the point where he changes forever by eliminating his true threat (Logan) and donning a black hat for the first time. Yawn!
It’s a shame too because this season was really about Ford and who he really was, and Dolores and her eventual ascent to self-awareness. However, neither of their stories could have peaked until the finale so we were given unnecessary loops and distractions. How many times throughout the season did we see Dolores’s brain turning, her so close to breaking through, only to be rolled back in the next episode? It was nice to see Delores breakthrough in the end, and it was even surprising to find out she had been in her head the whole time and was Wyatt, but it still wasn’t satisfying. It was surprising to see that Ford really wasn’t as evil as it appeared. However, like I’ve said before, a show that relies on building suspense and holding out on crucial points of the story like this one only works if it is justified at the end. The end of Westworld’s first season just didn’t do this.
On the other hand, Maeve, and her assault on the Westworld lab was the intense, action-packed part of the finale I was hoping for. Her relentlessness and determination was on full display, yet she still had some compassion. I fully expected her to kill Felix and Sylvester but was pleased when she didn’t. You could also tell she wasn’t purely a robot by her reaction towards Clementine’s cold, lifeless body. Between this and her decision to stay in the park because of her daughter, there is clearly more to her than we thought. Her character will be interesting come season two because we won’t know what to expect from her. Will she be cold-hearted, still looking to escape, or something much different?
I also loved that she recruited Hector and Armistice for her escape. Watching them come to life and massacre the lab technicians was exciting. Even better was their amused reactions when they picked up a modern gun for the first time. It looked like Armistice was gone for sure when her arm got pinned between the door, but seeing her cut it off was thrilling and made me anxious for season two. This was the kind of stuff I was waiting for all season and I’m glad we at least got a taste in the final episode. The robots could turn out to be more ruthless than imagined. Also, I really hope we get samurai guys in season two!
Overall, though, when you look back on it the show took too long to really get going in the beginning, and when it did we were only given enough to keep us coming back for a little bit more. The creators of Westworld know people are going to come back for season two because they teased us with what everyone wanted to see throughout the finale. However, it still didn’t justify the slow ascend that was season one. The finale was a perfect representation of the season as a whole. A bunch of repetitive and slow moving character revelations with a little bit of action and revolt.