Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Westworld Season 4’s second episode, so be warned!
After making its long-awaited return with a surprisingly straightforward premiere (at least when compared to some of its more confounding installments), HBO’s Westworld delivered more enjoyably low-impact progression with the second episode of Season 4. Which isn’t to imply the sci-fi thriller is moving slowly or has become boring, but rather to celebrate the showrunners for introducing mysteries that spark legibly formed questions instead of flat-out confusion.
“Well Enough Alone” featured some major character/actor returns that no doubt delighted viewers, while also putting its main stars into various interesting and troublesome situations that will no doubt get increasingly more complicated as the season goes forward. So let’s take a look at the four biggest takeaways from Westworld’s latest, starting with a brand new Delos Destination!
Westworld Introduced Its Newest Park: The Golden Age
Westworld co-creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are no doubt keen on knowing just how obsessed viewers are with the idea of new parks being introduced. As fans will remember, Season 2 brought in Shōgunworld and The Raj, while Season 3 brought audiences inside Warworld (and also hinted at a medieval, dragon-filled Game of Thrones-esque park, as well as a Jurassic Park-inspired dino area). Even though viewers still aren’t quite clear on the current state of Delos after the seven-year jump, it appears things are going quite well, given the opening of the company’s newest Destination: The Golden Age.
This newest attraction was stumbled upon by Maeve and Caleb, who were assisted just by returning actress Lili Simmons, and it’s assumed that her character Sofia is as much as host as her prior character New Clementine was. The Golden Age appears to be recreating the U.S. in the 1920s, give or take a few years, with jazzy tunes and golden light bulbs aplenty, from marquee signs to street lamps to the headlights of classic cars. Though none of the other first-time visitors were showcased, I can’t help but feel like there were some very important people on that train.
The Golden Age was partly bankrolled by the U.S. government, with the Vice President now a host puppet for Man in Black and others, and that’s presumably not the extent of such professional relationships. Perhaps most interestingly so far, the location depicted in The Golden Age is “Temperance,” which either suggests that it’ll be an alcohol-free establishment fitting for the time period, or that the town will feature a variety of speakeasies for its guests to get liquored up in. Either way, depraved sex and violence are likely the end results.
Christine’s Peter Mystery Is Somehow More Complicated Than Expected
To be expected, Christine has something of an epiphany after watching “Peter” throw himself off a building to his death, and remembers having crafted a game story similar to his. (Not exactly the same as the presumed-dead Dolores having memory flashes from earlier loops, but not entirely dissimilar, either.) While on her way to the mental facility namechecked in Peter’s obituary, she listens back to her notes on the story, which basically matched up with the “real life” character. Since that reveal was already telegraphed, it served as window dressing for the actual twist, for lack of a better word, that came shortly after.
When Christine arrived at the facility, she found it to not only be empty — I’m curious about that group of possible contractors and buyers in hard hats — but more or less abandoned. It’s hard to tell exactly how long the building would have been sitting empty, but all the leaves and whatnot implied many months, if not years. Coupled with the discovery of the “Peter Myers Wing” dedication plaque, the Hope center hinted at some major timeline fuckery happening.
Even if Christine was correct in guessing there were two different Peter Myers at play, it still wouldn’t explain how a fund was started there in Peter’s name after his death, unless that obit detail was falsified. But it definitely looked like the place that Peter would have spent a lot of time, given the room that Christine looked into with all those drawings of what’s assumedly the Tower that keeps getting mentioned. And it’s the same design that’s featured in the opening sequence as composer Ramin Djawadi’s credit comes up.
Charlotte Hale Returned, And She Apparently Doesn’t Just Want To Kill All Humans
As frightening as Ed Harris’ Man in Black is without any human morals, he’s still just a worker bee following the orders of a higher power, and Charlotte Hale made her Season 4 debut in true Westworld fashion: through a host’s remotely accessed memory bank. Maeve discovered that Charlotte spearheaded hosts replacing a U.S. senator and his wife (as portrayed by guest stars Jack Coleman and Saffron Burrows, respectively). It appears her efforts to take over the world hadn’t exactly faded away over time, which wasn’t too shocking to learn.
But Charlotte doesn’t appear to be your everyday TV big bad, and not only due to her synthetic origins. While many plot-minded villains don’t give a second thought to the body count required to reach their overall goals, Charlotte’s plan doesn’t hinge on killing all humans and populating the planet with hosts, at least not at this point in the process. As a being who doesn’t age, she naturally has more patience than those with blood flowing through their veins. One of her motivations, as discussed below, revolves around an “eye for an eye” sense of revenge, but that doesn’t seem to be her only exception.
Charlotte made good on not killing the Senator’s wife, and it can be assumed that Anastasia was useful for the research Charlotte alluded to. It can also be assumed that Charlotte’s research-acquiring methods completely broke Anastasia’s brain. At least, that’s what I gathered from her being covered in blood and slicing up a dead horse’s stomach when Maeve and Caleb discovered her in the barn. But we won’t be finding out what happened to her, since Maeve shot her in the head during her attempt to stab Caleb.
William Confirmed To Be Still Alive, Though Imprisoned
One of the Season 3 finale’s post-credit scenes finally addressed one of Westworld’s biggest ongoing questions, with the Man in Black host slitting the throat of his human counterpart William. It was unclear what happened in the aftermath, since we didn’t technically see William die, and the series surprisingly didn’t keep us guessing for very long, as “Well Enough Alone” revealed Charlotte is keeping the still-living William in cryogenic stasis. And as she explained it, she’s keeping him alive so that he can be the ever-present “loser” in the hosts’ and humans’ battle for supremacy. She said it with the same disgusted tone she used in comparing Anastasia to “other livestock” earlier on.
On the one hand, I loved the scene, as it showcased how intimidating Tessa Thompson can be without ever raising her voice or appearing directly threatening. And to me at least, it also sort of extends the initial purpose of flies within Westworld to indicate a host going off the scripted path. Charlotte keeping William around just to witness humanity’s downfall is the epitome of hubris, which is a human foible that properly functioning hosts likely wouldn’t adhere to. Perhaps she should have been remembering the saying “pride goeth before the fall” instead of whatever William used to say.
On the other hand, though, I don’t wholly understand why that scene happened at this particular point in the series’ timeline, considering their conversation implied they haven’t talked much (if at all) since he was replaced in the real world all those years ago by the Man in Black. Perhaps she was just waiting until they reached a certain level of success, such as replacing the Vice President with a host. Still, since William probably didn’t know what year it was, it was odd for Charlotte to be speaking to the present while his questions were presumably still based on what was happening when his throat was slit.
Other Delos-Approved Thoughts About "Well Enough Alone”
- Are we to assume that the Man in Black has been hunting/repurposing all the hosts in the real world who weren’t under Charlotte’s rule? Will that have anything to do with James Marsden’s Teddy showing up in the Season 4 premiere?
- So we now have to keep up with 250 different emissaries of the New World Order?
- What’s up with all the dead birds that Christine saw? And I can’t tell if it’s a good or a bad sign that I have no firm assumptions regarding that moment’s legitimacy, as far as why she was seemingly the only person who noticed them. That’s so Westworld.
- In a similar vein as the above point, it’s also not entirely clear if any of what Dolo…Christine witnessed inside the Hope
- Christine only gets 4 paid days off for sick leave in a year? Can’t tell if it’s a sign of the company being shitty, or that people just don’t get sick as often in this COVID-free timeline.
- I get that The Man in Black’s multiple holes in one were meant to impress and then disturb the Vice President, but was that entire scene just artifice? Because if his programming allows for that sort of perfection each time, what’s the point? I guess I can believe that the Man in Black is so full of himself that even the host version needs daily reminders like that.
- “I’ve always wondered, why do they call you the secret service? Aren’t you a little…obvious?” This line made up for having to watch the Man in Black shooting and slicing Clementine in the cold open. Welcome back, Angela Sarafyan!
- I may never be comfortable by how clear and visible people are in their cars on Westworld. Do people not go get fast food while wearing their shittiest pants in this universe?
- I love how many buildings in Westworld (and similar fare) feature massive, high-ceiling rooms whose central purpose is to store something that requires 1/20th the space.
Westworld airs new episodes every Sunday night on HBO at 10:00 p.m. ET, and are also available to stream with an HBO Max subscription. While waiting for the next episode, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other less-confusing shows will be arriving soon.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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