has the series lost its bearings? 🧭

Westworld is reopening for a fourth round of episodes. On HBO, the series intends to reinvent itself after a rather disappointing season 3. Critical.

In the realm of modern science fiction series, Westworld holds a prominent place. The HBO production has quickly established itself as a reference for those who love convoluted plots and brain knots. However, despite its exciting bias and its effective narrative construction, the route taken by Westworld did not go without a hitch. At a time when season 4 lands on our screens, we are therefore entitled to wonder if the series has not been lost along the way.

We find our heroes 7 years after the events of season 3. Caleb has started a family while Maeve lives far from the radar to ensure her survival and also that of the character played by Aaron Paul. For her part, Charlotte Hale intends to come to the end of her plan to satisfy humans and record the supremacy of robots. Bernard Lowe is for his part absent subscribers, at least at the beginning of this new salvo.

Change of direction

We said above, Westworld is a storytelling monster that now spans four seasons. Developed by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, the HBO production happily draws on the side of science fiction, to hatch a completely free adaptation of the film Worldwest. After two seasons located in the heart of the park, the series had made the bold choice to free itself from its closed-door status to explore new horizons.

A wise decision after twenty episodes locked in the immense desert expanses of the theme park. Nevertheless, despite its best efforts to move away from its Western SF image, the series seemed to go a bit in circles.

Credits: HBO

The emancipation of robots, as attractive as it was on paper, was struggling to find a second wind. Season 4 therefore has the heavy task of raising the bar to rush towards success. Fortunately, many spectators are still won over to his cause. This time, it is less the emancipation of the robots than the submission of the humans which is at the epicenter of the story. The cohabitation of the two species seems impossible, the oppressed become the oppressors.

If we could fear that all this does not feel a little warmed up, the writing talent of the duo makes it possible to erase our a priori in a few minutes. The plot takes unexpected turns, plays with time to deceive the viewer. Fortunately, the creators have a real sense of tempo, at least enough to keep the course throughout the four episodes that we were able to discover.

The mystery is everywhere, the series manages to bring it to life brilliantly. Westworld generates a lot of subplots and finally manages to manage its change of main character. Without Dolores, Westworld even manages to reinvent itself. Each of the protagonists evolves with ease in this immense scenario labyrinth.

New Horizons

Visually, Westworld has always been a good faction product. If we can regret a few misses in the action in previous seasons, its aesthetics are enough to make it memorable.

Its credits, which are reinvented each season, and its grandiose decor, undoubtedly contribute to the influence of the series. Westworld, it’s a story of atmosphere, she is pampered on the crook of the directors who follow one another behind the camera. So when the series promises to explore a new park, we couldn’t help but be thrilled. This time, she takes us to the heart of the Roaring Twenties, but beware of feelings of deja vu.

westworld season 4 review
Credits: HBP

Unfortunately for us, this exploration will be short-lived, it’s not really the purpose of the trip. We would have liked to visit this city a little longer, just to rediscover the experience Westworld beginnings. It should also be noted that the futuristic real-world aesthetic has been scaled down a bit, for the better. Here, the series is now content to suggest the futuristic dimension of the story, except when exploring the maze of Delos buildings.

The bewildered viewer

Since season 3, Westworld doesn’t really look like Westworld. Outside the park, the series had lost some of its luster. If the spectator is obviously disoriented at first, the series manages to captivate him with the help of screenplay sleight of hand. This is precisely what was wrong in the previous season, the writers doing too much in the retention of information.

This feeling of disorientation is reinforced when the series revives characters that we thought were dead. Dolores is gone, but a version of her continues to exist through the character played by Tessa Thompson. For her part, actress Evan Rachel Wood portrays a brand new element that is still quite mysterious.

His character, though faded in the first half of the season, could nonetheless play a central role in the continuation of the series; especially since a ghost from his past resurfaces. Mystery and gumdrop.

Confused and confusing characters

With characters from Westworld, you never know on which foot to dance. This is undoubtedly the strength of the series, to make us love a character and then make him public enemy number 1. We were almost relieved when Dolores finally left this world.

This new season continues with this fool’s game, making us feel a whole range of emotions that we would have thought unattainable for some of them. In addition to being a questioning of new technologies and free will, Westworld is above all a story of characters.

westworld dolores
Credits: HBO

These figures are sometimes improvised heroes, sometimes antagonists, the narration never gives them a summary treatment. It is always a question of advancing the story alongside them, of offering them moments of grace and disgrace. So much so that we really end up rallying completely to the cause of one, as well as to its opposite.

The casting is obviously no stranger to this frank success. Each of the actors and actresses leads his boat and has no difficulty in doing so. Nevertheless, in this season, it is still Thandiwe Newton who steals the show. The actress who plays Maeve is irreproachable, touching with sincerity and also a bit too “badass”.

Evan Rachel Wood also perfectly masters his change of register, while Jeffrey Wright imposes himself again and again as obvious in the skin of Bernard Lowe. Finally, how not to mention the incredible performance of Ed Harris, appalling man in black.

Almost at the end ?

From the start, the creators had announced that they had imagined their plot in five parts. At a time when the apocalypse is approaching for our heroes, it is hard to see them playing extra time. Concluding such an epic will not be easy, however, we will have to hang on to complete all the plots and sub-plots of the series. To arrive safely, the series will have to stay the course, and make sure not to lose the north. Now that she seems on the right track, it would be a shame to see her fail so close to the goal.

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