Westworld is not a show that can be properly enjoyed merely as background noise while doing laundry. Its themes, plots, characters and visuals are all as layered and complex as those of any TV show in existence, and sometimes not even a fully devoted attention span can ease the confusion. The Man in Black himself, Ed Harris, admits that not even he has an iron grip on everything that's happening, though he seems to be fully comfortable knowing that he's not going to understand everything that Westworld shows him. In his words:
Ed Harris had a pretty appropriate comparison point when talking about Westworld's "blink and you'll need something explained to you" method of relaying plot information. HBO's current flagship drama, Game of Thrones, is equally capable of stumping viewers who are more accustomed to having character motivations and timeline shenanigans all explained away in straightforward manners. These kinds of shows are always better to watch with others, since everyone views and interprets media differently and can offer a variety of outlooks and insight. At least Harris has a dependable daughter to keep him in line with everything happening in the Seven Kingdoms, while things are a little murkier over on Westworld.
That said, it has at least helped Ed Harris' performance that Season 2 has turned the Man in Black from a confident and determined outlaw into a dour husk who -- SPOILER WARNING for anyone who hasn't watched the penultimate episode -- isn't even sure if he's a real human being or not. (And he probably wishes he wasn't, considering William confusedly murdered his own daughter.) And while Harris obviously knows what happens to his character in the upcoming season finale, "The Passenger," that doesn't mean he knows what it means or what's going to happen next. Or if he'll even be involved. Here's what he told Huffington Post about playing Man in Black in his current state.
The Man in Black still needs to finish his big Season 2 mission, which involves not only reaching The Forge (or Valley Beyond) to destroy the mysterious humanity-studying project he started all those years ago, but also reaching Robert Ford's metaphorical "Door." (Likely at the same location, just with different behavioral guidelines.) And to do it, he'll likely have to face down Delores, Maeve and Akecheta, among others. Just maybe don't ask Ed Harris what any of it meant, or what any of the other characters were up to.
Westworld has just one episode left to go before Season 2 is a distant memory (in this current narrative loop), so be sure to watch it on HBO on Sunday, July 1, at 9:00 p.m. ET. The wait for Season 3 will be a really long one. And to see what other new and returning shows will be around when it's gone, head to our summer premiere schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.