Episode three of the new season of Westworld is arguably one of the show’s most revealing and exhilarating.
Despite season one offering jaw-dropping moments, such as when we learn Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is a host and that we are, in fact, watching two different timelines 30 years apart, the third instalment of the current season offered plenty in terms of a wider, more expansive vision of what we know about the theme parks and their history.
The hour duration of Virtù e Fortuna is a busy one, kicking off with our first ever glimpse into another functioning park. By the looks of it, The Raj is a place guests can go to hunt in the wild during a time when the British Empire was ruling over India. In due course we see that it’s another immersive park situated beyond the river of Westworld; learning how that rogue Bengal tiger from episode two winds on the shores of the Great American West.
It’s also indicative that the revolt happening in Westworld is far greater than Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton): it’s happening all over, in every single park. The question is just how many parks are there and what exactly will happen when colliding worlds clash? Will they join forces or maintain a hellbent instinct for survival and self-preservation?
Episode three giving us fascinating insight into another world is wonderful to see, and only expands our perception on just how wide the business spans.
There’s also a renewed emphasis on how dangerous and menacing hosts are now they’re unrestricted in their actions. But with said rule breaks comes Bernard and Charlotte’s (Tessa Thompson) ability to re-programme and, when it comes to Delores’ vigilante plans, reanimated fallen characters.
Peter Abernathy (played by Louis Herthum, who is Delores’ father in the show) appears to be a significant ‘key’ in the surreal chaos of Westworld. One of the most touching scenes (perhaps in the show’s history) is when she’s randomly reunited with her old man, as his glitching plays out as a heartbreaking real-life parallel to how Alzheimer’s affects people. Both actor serve up fine performances of emotion that makes the scene stand out; adding a whole new dimension to these characters feeling as real as possible.
The big question is this: what is Abernathy’s value? What is his purpose to the outside world, and why do they need him so dearly to move forward? Presumably, like Delores, he is an age-old host model but the information his parts hold will reveal themselves in time.
Elsewhere, we see the first big battle – as was hinted prior to the new season how audiences were about to experience something much more epic in scale and action-packed. And the first battle between a human spec ops group and a Delores-led army of hosts is exhilarating. With hosts out-firing and out-thinking their opponents proving how formidable their uprising is for an unsuspecting humanity.
And that final shot of a charging Japanese warrior? Spine-tingling. Presumably from what I can only assume is Samuraiworld – a place I cannot wait to explore later in the series.
Catch the new series of Westworld each Monday, at 9pm, on Sky Atlantic.