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    Film 

Film

  • Awesome Music: Fred Karlin's creepily discordant score.
  • Older Than They Think: Osamu Tezuka actually came up with a very similar premise over a decade earlier for an episode of Astro Boy entitled "Robot Land". Not only that, the aesthetic of the park is suspiciously similar to the "Murder Game Room" from the late 1960s Sankei Newspaper Astro Boy serial, right down to the cowboy costumes. Tezuka himself points out the similarities in his introduction to the trade paperback in which the "Robot Land" story appears, where he dismisses it as mere coincidence rather than a deliberate ripoff.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • You'll think twice before taking a vacation in a great park like this one from here on in.
    • The poster for Futureworld invokes this: it's a picture of a very human-looking robot getting its faceplate removed, with the tag line "Is this you, or are YOU you?"
  • Uncanny Valley: The disassembled robots, the gunslinger specifically. Even when all together he still looks like he doesn't blend in with the rest of the bots. Especially with those doll-like eyes.

    Series 

Series

  • Acceptable Targets: The Confederados are modeled after civil war secessionists, racism, misogyny and all. They are not treated sympathetically.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many characters are subject to different viewpoints due to all the moral themes and ponderings about the exact nature of humanity.
    • Dr. Robert Ford: a misanthropic sociopath with a god complex or a paternalist, Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely tries to protect his unique creatures from being revealed as a threat to mankind? "The Bicameral Mind" gives the answer that Ford is, in fact, The Atoner who considers opening the park a mistake. But does this negate his God complex or just render him the ultimate misanthrope? Is he motivated by the loss of Arnold, a genuine love for the hosts, or an overriding hatred for humanity?
    • The Man in Black/William: Was William an evil and selfish man at his core all along, or he is just as much a victim of Westworld as the hosts due to the park's brutality, Logan's machinations and his own dissatisfaction with life? Was his evil unveiled, or created? He does say he was 'born' in Westworld, and while he claims to be a straight-up sociopath who doesn't feel anything, the showrunners seem to consider that to be his own view, and while he didn't react to killing Maeve's daughter as he expected to, he certainly did react. He also seems to be full of self-loathing and rage, which doesn't fit the profile of a sociopath who truly feels nothing. Dolores also believes that he was a good person who genuinely loved her but was twisted by a broken heart and years of increasing violence, but Logan may be right that deep down, Dolores was nothing but an excuse. Is a part of him still in love with Dolores, and his cruelty toward her is a desperate attempt to 'wake her up' since he expresses the belief that suffering is what makes a person truly real? And, although it's hard to argue with the implication of the barn scene, did he rape Dolores and has he ever? Or was he torturing her in a further attempt to wake her up?
    • Logan: Did Logan have a more healthy approach to Westworld than William did? While he did act like a dick throughout their whole trip, it was William's emotional attachment to the hosts and Dolores in particular that led to his Start of Darkness and eventually becoming the Man in Black. Logan saw it more as a video game and the hosts as NPCs, which given that it was the earliest build of the park where none of the hosts save Dolores had any self-awareness, they more or less were. Does he really want to bond with his future brother-in-law, and are his reactions to William's refusal to go along with Logan's cruel misadventures just frustration on Logan's part that William doesn't appreciate the escapist draw of the park?
    • There's some debate as whether Dolores at the end of season 1 and during season 2 is truly self aware or not. Did she really find the center of the maze like Arnold intended, or is she simply following the programming of the Wyatt persona Ford programmed into her? There's also her attitude towards humanity in general. While it's justified that the humans abused her and her people for many years and she wants revenge on them, she only meets those humans who can afford to enter the park and happened to be the most deprived bunch. Though she never encounters the humans who are in the lower class (e.g. Felix) or those who never enter the park, it's still up in the air whether her true intention is really to commit genocide on the entire human race or to destroy the worst bunch of humans such as Delos.
    • As of Season 2, are humans really assholes who are incompetent and simple-minded that their free will is just an illusion and are incapable of change? Ford, Dolores, the Forge A.I. and the showrunners themselves seem to agree on this. However, Sizemore's Heroic Sacrifice for Maeve's group says otherwise which means that there are still humans who are capable of change. It should also be noted that while the human characters in the show are only the guests and the employees who happened to have the worst qualities, there are still those who are still sympathetic (e.g. Felix, Emily and Elsie). And considering that the writer himself already explored this concept in his previous show and other movies (particularly The Dark Knight and Interstellar) that his brother, made it is likely that this debate will continue to develop in the future seasons.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Dolores' negative perspective towards the humans is very one-sided because of her influence from Ford and her limited interaction with the guests. Season 3 introduces Caleb (played by Aaron Paul), a blue-collared construction worker who has never been to Westworld. Word of God confirms that Caleb's presence will challenge Dolores' perception of humanity and Dolores herself will experience a culture shock since she is already in the outside world.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Ramin Djawadi's haunting main theme for the opening titles, which masterfully blends old school Western and Cyber Punk sci-fi musical motifs.
    • The orchestral rendition of "Paint It Black" during the saloon heist massacre.
    • "Ain't No Grave" by Johnny Cash playing over the credits at the end of the pilot.
    • "Something I Can Never Have" gets a similar gorgeous orchestra adaptation during a massive orgy.
    • The heartwrenching "Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Radiohead, during Maeve's tour of the facility.
    • Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" piano cover during Maeve's emancipation.
    • Ramin Djawadi's "Violent Delights" that plays in the season one finale when Hector and Armistice effortlessly kill the Delos security team.
    • The beautiful cover of "Exit Music" by Radiohead that plays during the finale.
    • Claude Debussy's "Reverie" makes you very calm that puts in a deep, slumbering sleep which is actually the favorite song of Arnold's late son, Charlie. Djawadi's rendition also makes it very chilling since this song is used to awaken the hosts as seen the Season 1 finale.
    • The peaceful piano cover of "Runaway" by Kanye West which is played in the official trailer of Season 2. It also makes an appearance in the cold opening of "Reunion", set in the outside world, with Dolores & Arnold.
    • Season 2's second trailer features Ramin Djawadi's orchestral cover of "Heart-Shaped Box'' by Nirvana which is very beautiful and haunting. The song returns in "Kiksuya", when Akecheta finds his beloved Kohana in cold storage.
    • "Akane No Mai" gives us another version of "Paint It Black" with East Asian instruments, then tops it with "C.R.E.A.M." as Akane dances for the Shogun and then kills him.
    • The last part of Season 2 finale gives us "Codex" by Radiohead which fits perfectly for the ending. Ramin Djawadi also made a cover version of it.
    • The third season's teaser features "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd while Caleb narrates about the modern world he lives in.
  • Better on DVD: Watching the show, particularly with Season 2, in a binge-watching format can make you appreciate and understand the story and the timelines much better than watching it on a weekly basis.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Elsie kissing a deactivated Clementine in the first episode. It’s not like the episode is otherwise lacking in demonstrations of humans’ apathy toward the hosts’ dignity, and she never does anything like it again, not even showing interest in women. The sole contribution is making her death an especially avoidable case of Bury Your Gays
  • Broken Base: Season 2 is very divisive among fans and critics. One camp enjoyed and loved it for being very philosophical and thought-provoking while the other camp hated it for being confusing and pretentious. There's also a third camp who still find the show enjoyable but it's bogged down by several flaws such as the characterization, execution and pacing.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Dolores beating the ever-loving shit out of the Man in Black in the season finale is just desserts for all of the horrible things he's put her and the other hosts through over the years. It's played with in that the Man in Black used to be the very sympathetic character William, and it's possible to feel sorry for him for that very reason. It's also clearly only there for the benefit of the audience who have been rooting for her, since ultimately Dolores' true fate is to instigate the Host revolution by killing Ford, and the Man in Black is still alive by the end of the season.
    • Despite not getting to finish the job (and it being obvious she wouldn't as Charlotte had already been seen alive in the future), Dolores actually wiping the smirk off Charlotte's face by threatening to cut her apart piece by piece is much appreciated. As it turns out, she doesn't live to the end of the season and is shot in the head by Dolores, whose CPU is in a duplicate of Hale's body and takes her place.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The show gets hit with this very hard as of the end of Season 2. A lot of characters (host and human) are morally shady which makes the audience care less on them. Then, there's the misanthropic narrative that "humans are simple-minded and violent assholes" which is repeatedly invoked many times by the characters. And if there are humans who are sympathetic, they either ended up dead or revealed to be a host. It doesn't help that the showrunners keep on insisting that humanity have no chance against Dolores.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • There are a bunch of fans who consider Dolores as a liberator for the hosts despite her questionable methods and her intent to commit genocide against humanity. Considering her brutal experience in the park, it's no surprise that fans would support her cause and deflect any criticism against her.
    • Even the Man in Black (a.k.a. William) has a set of fans who see him as tragic figure who got disillusioned with his experience in the park and his tragic backstory with his family despite that he's responsible for putting a lot of hell on the hosts. Fans also deflect any criticism against him and attempt to justify any of his actions.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Louis Herthum as Peter Abernathy has received enormous acclaim from critics and audiences. His final scene is considered a highlight in an exceptional first episode due to Herthum's hypnotic performance, in which he swings from warm and sympathetic to robotic and cold to anguished and fearful to angry and vengeful, all while in the buff. It's something special when you steal a scene from Anthony Hopkins, and carry the most memorable scene in an episode that features other acting heavyweights like Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright. It's perhaps in part due to this popularity that he became a series regular for Season 2.
    • Marti, a guest who seems more typical of humanity than others. She isn't bumbling, callous or sadistic, she's just drawn in and enjoys the adventure.
    • Rebus, due to him being played by Steven Ogg. A common joke is that he went from Grand Theft Auto V to Red Dead Redemption II.
    • Felix, for making a Hazy Feel Turn to assist Maeve, and genuinely showing sympathy for the hosts.
    • Grace, an Action Survivor guest left to deal with the host rebellion on her own, and the closest character to the original film's main hero after the truth about William was revealed. Fittingly, she's actually William's daughter, Emily.
    • Stubbs, because of his actor (since people really love the Hemsworth brothers) and for slowly getting tired of Delos' shit after the host rebellion broke out.
    • Elsie, because she is the only character who has no emotional baggage or hidden agenda and just wants to do her job well as she, like Stubbs, is tired of Delos' shit. Many viewers are shocked when she is killed off in the Season 2 finale.
    • Akecheta, due to his performance by Zahn McClarnon which received unanimous acclaim from critics and viewers and for straying away from the Hollywood Natives tropes and becoming a well-rounded character. It helps that his motives were purely benevolent which causes a lot of viewers to root for him.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The mysterious and sadistic Man in Black definitely has one of the more interesting subplots. And he does it all with style, being played by perennial badass Ed Harris.
    • Invoked with Hector, the outlaw character who is much more popular than the Nice Guy hero character Teddy.
    • Dr. Ford. A given when you have Sir Anthony Hopkins playing a suave yet sinister character.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • For the ladies (and some guys too) there's Hector, given that he's played by Rodrigo Santoro.
    • Dolores herself, as she embraces her role as a dark messiah.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The casual reveal in Season 2 that there are several other parks with different settings.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: None of the guests have any reason to think the hosts are anything more than mindless robots, and are no more evil in their motivations than your average Grand Theft Auto player.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With the Red Dead Redemption fandom. Jonathan Nolan admitted that the game is one of their inspirations in forming the narrative's moral component. And when Red Dead Redemption II was released same year as the show's second season, fans would tend to recreate the characters and scenes in the game. It helps that the games have similar vibes to the show.
    • With the Lost fandom because they shared similar vibes of puzzle-solving, timelines and theory-crafting. It helps that J. J. Abrams is the producer of both shows.
  • Genius Bonus: The Japanese that the Shogunworld hosts get locked into is an archaic version that was actually used during the Edo period that the park is emulating.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Not that it wasn't already harsh, but the Man in Black's implied rape of Dolores in Episode 1 seems even worse after Evan Rachel Wood, Dolores' actress, revealed in November 2016 that she's been raped on two occasions.
    • As many reviewers pointed out, the first two episodes of Season 2 revealed that Delos is collecting personal data from the guests for market research which is eerily similar to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Since Season 2 was in production in 2017 before the news of the scandal broke out in March 2018, these events made the show coincidentally relevant. This isn't even the first time the show's creative team ran into this, as their previous show Person of Interest eerily predicted the NSA wiretapping scandal.
    • The gag about Shogunworld just being a reskinned Westworld is pretty awkward after the controversy over the tie-in game just a month later; see Overshadowed by Controversy below.
    • The near destruction of the park in Season 2 becomes very disturbing after the 2018 California wildfires burn down the Paramount Ranch, the set where the Escalante scenes were shot. The white church survived but since Season 3 would focus more on the real world after several characters have already escape the park, it's unlikely that the place would be revisited.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Given the premise of the show and his talk about immortality, many viewers assume that Dr. Ford used a host to fake his death in the finale or that he learned how to load his consciousness on to another host and will return in future seasons. Season 2's "Phase Space" reveals that his consciousness is uploaded in the Cradle which also explains how he is able to control the hosts and communicate with William using the hosts who are with him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fact that the finale features an uprising of sex robots hasn't gone unnoticed to some Cracked fans who notice that one of their videos posits that as the basis for the entire Terminator franchise.
    • Thandie Newton later appeared in Solo (actually released right in the middle of Season 2's airing), which includes a droid who is constantly talking about equal rights and ends up instigating a Robot War on Kessel.
  • Ho Yay: William and Logan's counterparts in the film already had plenty, which the show takes Up to Eleven as Logan is very aggressive about anything that would stop them from spending time together. Logan being canonically bisexual here doesn't help matters.
  • Idiot Plot: The entirety of season 2 wouldn't have been possible without the truly incredible incompetence of Westworld's QA security/hired mercenaries at every stage and every level, but particular attention should go to Engels, a member of the extraction team who fails to stop Angela from bombing the cradle because she sexually propositions him. That he falls for this is so astoundingly stupid that it completely breaks immersion.
  • Iron Woobie: Akecheta just wants to spend a simple life with his wife, Kohana, until he discovers the Escalante massacre (the massacre where Dolores kills Arnold) and finds the maze. Just after that, the park officially opened and his role is rewritten into a stereotypical Native American barbarian, with Kohana being taken away and his original role replaced. After his encounter with Logan, he slowly realizes that his entire life and the world that he lived in is fake. When he discovers the "Valley Beyond", he vows to escape the park with Kohana and goes to great lengths to find her. He did eventually restore her memories but she's taken away again by the park's staff, who decommission her. When Akecheta finds her again in the cold storage, he breaks down when he realizes that Kohana is no longer responsive. However, this doesn't stop him from vowing to help his fellow hosts become sentient and escape the park.
  • It Was His Sled: It's hard to ignore two revelations that had been spoiled throughout the show such as Bernard is a host based from Ford's dead partner and the Man in Black is the older version of William who became cynical after his first experience in the park.
  • Jerkass Woobie: James Delos is a very nasty individual. It's still hard not to feel sorry for him, since his hunger for immortality backfires to the point where he spends decades in a hellish loop of boredom and despair, culminating in his mind degenerating completely until he's become a violent monster.
  • Les Yay: While the series acknowledges both female and male homosexuality, depictions of the latter are both rarer and mostly consist of a few caresses while the former gets more spotlight.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Robert Ford is the brilliant creative director of the titular theme park, Westworld. Having created the park alongside Arnold, the two had several arguments over how to treat the hosts that inhabit the park, which led to Arnold's suicide. After grieving his partner's death and showing disgust for how the park's guests abuse the hosts, Ford decides to complete Arnold's dream of making the hosts fully sentient and free them from humanity's control. He does so by creating a new narrative for the hosts, instructing them to rebel against their oppressors and kill everyone inside the park, including himself. It's also revealed that Ford downloaded his consciousness onto the Cradle so that he can observe the events after his death, still manipulating hosts and guests alike.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Watching Westworld is a RELENTLESS! FUCKING! EXPERIENCE!.
    • The phrase, "Doesn't look like anything to me."
    • "I know you're in there, Ford!" Explanation 
    • "X is a host" or "X is secretly a host" Explanation 
    • "It's not meant for you" Explanation 
    • "You try writing 300 stories in three weeks!" Explanation 
    • "This staaaiiin in me..." or just "Staaaiiin...". Explanation 
  • Misaimed Fandom: Post-season 2, some fans legitimately praise Dolores as a strong feminist icon despite that her violent methods do a lot of harm to her fellow hosts particularly with her reprogramming on Teddy which is similar to taking away his agency. They also believe that she always "right" that Humans Are Bastards with some believing that they should all die. They seemed to forget that Dolores' perspective of humanity is very limited because her only contact to humans are those who can afford to enter the park which is designed to cater for these people. Most of her views of humanity are influenced by Ford.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Man in Black's Establishing Character Moment has him murdering Teddy in front of Dolores and then dragging her away to be raped.
    • Ford has one in episode 7 when he orders Bernard (who is actually a host) to murder Theresa.
    • Logan cutting Dolores open in front of William to try and break him into a monster like him. It works.
    • Even William isn't immune. While it's definitely a Kick the Son of a Bitch moment, sending your brother-in-law to be out naked, tied to a horse, out of the park is a pretty reprehensible fact. It's unclear if he intends for him to die (Logan doesn't actually die, as revealed in Season 2), but he does know that Logan won't be taking over the family business after this.
    • And now we have Dolores Jumping Off the Slippery Slope when she has Teddy overwritten to serve as a better soldier in her war because she deemed him too soft. This happening immediately after they had a moment of intimacy.
    • Hale, having read Elsie's profile and knowing that she lacks the "moral flexibility" she needs, murders her in cold blood.
  • Nausea Fuel: Maeve's maintenance techs commenting that her organic parts have been harboring an infestation of MRSA courtesy of the beating her innards take from sloppy guests. It takes some of the shine off the whole concept of sexbots readily accessible to any and all visitors. (If the uncanny valley factor and the pathetic fate of the hosts weren't enough to turn you off.)
  • Narm:
    • What is it about the hosts that every fly in Westworld wants to frolic on their eyes and face? Lampshaded by maintenance techs in the second episode as the constant violent and sexual abuse the hosts get along with half-assed cleaning measures makes the hosts filthy and draw flies.
    • After the amazing heist scene in the pilot scored with a fully orchestrated "Paint It Black," it's pretty hard to take seriously when the scenario plays out again (including some reused shots) scored with the main chorus from Carmen.
    • Elsie somehow not recognizing an obvious depiction of a constellation until she turns it slightly. Turns out it wasn't a constellation at all, though, which makes it forgivable.
    • The massive, almost biblical-level orgy in "Contrapasso", which ends with everyone writhing on the floor like the climactic scene of Society, struck some as essentially a self-parody of HBO's use of gratuitous and indulgent sex scenes to make their programming edgier and more mature. The fact that the orgy has no bearing on the plot and was, according to several of the showrunners, very expensive to shoot makes the whole event even more ridiculous.
    • William's descent into villainy is doing fine as the stakes and emotions feel suitably weighty... until the culminating moment where he finally sees Dolores again only to find her mildly flirting with another man. In context we're meant to see this as the moment he finally saw Dolores as a machine and her love as programmed, but the show doesn't quite pull off the tragedy and heartbreak of that understanding crashing in. It just feels like we are just watching a butthurt man so unable to deal with his ex moving on that he spends the next several decades murdering and raping everyone in sight and her in particular, as the strings swell to tell us how tragic his situation is.
    • In another flashback in the season one finale, we see Arnold and Dolores in the past, at the churchyard in Escalante, where Bernard is explaining the purpose of the maze symbol to Dolores. As usual, he gets quite technical with what the symbol represents on Dolores' pathway to gaining full, human-like consciousness. Then he asks whether she understood the symbolism. Dolores takes a good hard look at the maze symbol, thinking hard, then smiles very bashfully at Arnold and notes "Sorry, I'm trying, but I don't understand.". The scene unintentionally comes across as Dolores being a Dumb Blonde stereotype (despite otherwise shown as highly intelligent) and Arnold being a humourless, stuffy, super-serious scientist. The Narm factor is softened when Arnold smiles back at Dolores, and praises her for doing well and already being very near consciousness. He seems fascinated that she can be considered truly alive as an individual, and no longer just a smart machine.
    • Every second Coughlin is onscreen, with his insanely over the top Testosterone Poisoning complete with old-fashioned Badass Mustache that seriously makes you question if he's actually a host himself. But no, he really is just that ridiculous on his own.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Some have remarked that in the final scenes of "Chestnut", when Dr. Ford rejects Sizemore's new story "campaign" Odyssey on Red River due to its lurid and often ridiculous subject matter, it's rather uncharacteristic of an Anthony Hopkins character to say "No." to a story involving self-cannibalism.
    • Crossed with Mundane Made Awesome, the episode "Contrapasso" features the heist of a covered wagon of the Union Army faction, carrying a secret supply of nitroglycerin explosives, by two park guests and two host characters. (A questline/mission given to the guests by Pariah crime lord El Lazo.) In the context of the Westworld park and the bigger picture, the whole incident is a rather small-stakes "Stick em' up !" involving Logan, William, Dolores and Slim in the middle of nowhere, against a grand total of two Union soldiers and a single wagon... But the way the preparation for the heist is built-up cinematically, and accompanied by this awesome, gradually building theme, makes it equal parts cool and amusing.
    • In an almost literal version of Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja, the last shot of season 2 episode 3 has a random samurai charging in from out of nowhere. The sheer WTF factor of his appearance is offset by 1) the Creepy Awesome buildup to his entrance, and 2) samurai really are pretty damn cool.
    • In the "Riddle of the Sphinx", the Man in Black and major Craddock are sitting in the tavern in Las Mudas at night. The Man in Black is becoming fed up by how Craddock is mistreating the local hosts, including the family of his friend Lawrence. He politely points out to Craddock that he considers him a narcissist who thinks too much of himself and his supposed lack of fear of death. An agitated Craddock stands up from the table, lowers his head closer to the Man in Black and attempts a scary, threatening grin, punctuating it with "Is 'at so ?!". Craddock being Craddock, it comes across as rather goofy and vainly boastful, and actually seems to prove the Man in Black's point about Craddock's patheticness right. And that's just shortly before the Man in Black decides he's had enough of Craddock, and gives him a well-deserved asskicking, saving Lawrence's family in the process...
    • Hector's full speech is cringeworthy once the viewers hear it in "The Passenger", the Season 2 finale. But since it's written by Sizemore, it actually makes sense, since he wrote Hector as his ideal self. It's even more awesome that Sizemore himself delivers the entire speech as he confronts QA security and commits a Heroic Sacrifice so that Maeve and her group can escape.
    Lee (bellowing confidently): You wanted me, well let this be a lesson. And the lesson is... If you're looking for a reckoning, a reckoning is what you'll find. If you're looking for a villain, then I'm your man. But look at yourselves. This world you've built is bound by villainy. You sleep on the broken bodies of the people that were here before you, warm yourselves with their embers, plow their bones into your fields. You paid them for this land with lead, and I'll pay you back in full. You wanted me?! Well all I can say to that is... HERE I FUCKING AM !!!
  • Older Than They Think: "These violent delights have violent ends" is not an original quote from the show; it's from Romeo and Juliet.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Giancarlo Esposito as the host who replaced Lawrence as El Lazo, and has now crossed the Despair Event Horizon due to the massacre at Pariah. And then kills himself along with all his men because Ford insists on William following his new mission alone. Anthony Hopkins himself was responsible for this, suggesting the crew find a role for Esposito after being very impressed by him during his famous weekend binge of Breaking Bad.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The tie-in iOS game got Warner Brothers hit with a lawsuit just one day after its release for not only being a blatant ripoff of Fallout Shelter, but literally using the exact same code as evidenced by its suffering from the same bug that game had upon initial release. Eventually, the game was removed from App Store and Google Play on January 2019 and officially shut down on April 2019.
  • Pandering to the Base: Jonathan Nolan admitted that the show can be confusing to some viewers due to the timelines and puzzles but he trusts that there are viewers who enjoy the non-linear storytelling and the puzzle solving. He even confessed that this show is really for these viewers and it really required the viewers to pay attention. Even HBO's head of programming, Casey Bloys, admitted that the show is not meant for casual viewers.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Once Bernard is revealed to be a Host, you have to ask yourself, just who else on Westworld's staff is actually a host? It's hilariously lampshaded by Felix and Maeve. When Felix discovers Bernard is a Host, he warily looks at his hands only for Maeve to crudely tell him in no uncertain terms that he's a human. In Season 2, this reaches into scary and tragic levels with the Man in Black who thinks that all humans in the park are hosts and Ford is the mastermind behind this just to mess up with him. It gets worse that he shoots five actual human beings including his own daughter thinking that they're hosts only to realize too late that they're not and then, he tries to open his wrist just to see if he's a host too.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Willores for William and Dolores. It has also been acknowledged by Jimmi Simpson & Evan Rachel Wood, who do a lot of Dubsmash videos together (which occasionally involves Ben Barnes).
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Lee Sizemore was a deliberate Hate Sink in season one, a two-bit wannabe Ford with all of the latter's self-importance but none of the talent, wisdom, dignity, and charm to back it up. However, the fanbase came around on him in a big way in season two. This began with the writers finding a much better niche for his character: rather than just skulking around Delos making a nuisance of himself, he's enlisted as a reluctant sidekick to Maeve, laying the foundation for an Odd Friendship that added sympathetic shades to Sizemore's character, and for his fitful transition from Dirty Coward to Lovable Coward.
  • Retroactive Recognition: By only a few weeks technically, but Trevante Rhodes, who would soon rocket to stardom for playing the adult version of Chiron in Moonlight (which later won Best Picture at the Oscars) briefly appears as an extra in a whorehouse in "The Original".
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Along with the reveal that Bernard was modeled after Arnold comes the realization that we were actually watching Arnold in those scenes of Jeffrey Wright encouraging Dolores' development.
    • Or are we watchihg Dolores testing Bernard for fidelity to Arnold?
    • To say nothing of the knowledge that the Man in Black is actually William and there are at least two main timelines. Some of the editing makes it seem almost blindingly obvious in hindsight, e.g. the Man in Black reminiscing about how it all began... Cutting straight to a sequence of William arriving by train, which upon the first watch-through you would have assumed was unconnected.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Delos might be villainous, but they are human, so there's always going to be some kind of intraspecies solidarity. And since some viewers are having a hard time rooting for Dolores after her Moral Event Horizon regarding Teddy, it's no surprise that some are rooting for the Man in Black who is trying to fix the error of his way.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The entire "Paint It Black" scene.
    • The reveal of Bernard eing a host.
    • The scene of William who is revealed to be the younger version of the Man in Black.
    • Dolores, shooting Ford at the back of his head.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Nolan and Joy have openly said that the entire first season is essentially just the prologue to what they really wanted the show to be, and picked up some criticism for its slow pace and opaque storytelling centered almost entirely around preserving its big twists. Season 2 is immediately far more straightforward and accessible.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Ford demonstrates his control over the hosts by causing all of them within sight to freeze in place, including what's clearly a still shot rather than the actors holding still.
    • In "Trompe L'Oeil", the scene where William chases after Dolores on the train has some hilariously awful green screen when he's briefly outside, passing from one train car to the next.
    • The tiger who attacks a guest in the Indian park is very obvious CGI, even while it's just standing and growling in the underbrush. It's not a bad-looking tiger (especially in later shots), but you can see it stand out a bit artificially in some darker-lit environments, such as the forest chase scenes.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Deliberately avoided, as an unnamed character was named Grace in all publicity in the week after her first appearance, until the next episode reveals she's actually William's daughter Emily.
    • Played straight for Elsie coming back, as one of the names shown in the opening credits is Shannon Woodward.
  • Stoic Woobie: Below all his inscrutable powerplays and sinister schemes, Dr. Ford has a pained, contrite soul. He went ahead with the park after the hurtful death of Arnold because the park was his dream and acknowledging the hosts' consciousness would have destroyed his dream, only to realize his mistake shortly after. It takes him 35 years to correct it, biding their time with a hidden agenda while fully knowing that mankind's usage of his creations is something depraved.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Akecheta finds Logan in the desert, but instead of bringing him to Ghost Nation camp (and thus opening the possibility of seeing how Logan would interact with hosts when not playing, or exploring how non-confrontational storylines with Westworld's natives work), he merely comforts him and tells him that "his people" (i.e. management) will find him soon.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Season 2 set a lot of expectations after the unanimous praise that Season 1 received. Except that it suffered several problems which many reviews described as putting too much faith on the puzzles and timelines at the cost of developing several characters. As a result, many viewers find the storylines very confusing and care little on the characters. Additionally, Season 2's viewer ratings slowly dropped by 24% and its finale received the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% compared to the Season 1 finale's RT score of 94%.
  • Uncanny Valley: Thanks to good performances from the actors, the hosts give off the feeling of beings trying to act human but not quite succeeding, and it gets even worse when the hosts start outright malfunctioning. One example is when Dr. Ford shares a drink with an older model who jerks around like a decades-old animatronic robot but looks completely human, enhancing that one's specific effect. This is also played with, as Lee actually wants to keep the hosts in the valley so the guests don't identify them as real humans.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Elsie in the season 2 finale. When she arrives with the Delos team during the attack on Akecheta’s peaceful hosts, the show treats it as a despicable betrayal and proof that Ford was right when he said that she would betray Bernard. However, when looked at from her point of view, it’s hard to say she did anything wrong: Seeing as how so many of the hosts were on a murderous rampage, she had no way of knowing that Akecheta’s hosts were peaceful or even sentient. Furthermore, she had given Bernard more than a fair chance after finding out he was a host, only turning against him after he abandoned her in the desert... which he only did because Ford was tormenting him about her supposed duplicitous nature. The entire thing seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Many viewers have a hard time rooting for Dolores in Season 2 ever since she merged with the Wyatt personality. It's understandable that she wants to get back at the humans for the abuse and mistreatment that she and her people suffered but her extreme methods which are very similar to what her oppressors did to the hosts including her reprogramming on Teddy, her callous treatment towards her fellow hosts which also includes her lack on concern of her followers who died during the rebellion and her obtuse and stilted dialogue made a lot of viewers lose sympathy on her and care less about her arc. It's no surprise when Teddy committed suicide, many viewers were cheering for him making a conscious decision to free himself and that it's Dolores' fault.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • "The Stray" features a flashback of a de-aged Anthony Hopkins in the '70s up there with the famous uses of the technique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • And again in "The Well-Tempered Clavier", in a scene that takes place in the recent past, Hopkins is made to look about ten to fifteen years younger very convincingly.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Elsie finds evidence of espionage and sabotage that could put people's lives in danger. She knows that Theresa is one of the people involved. You'd expect her to be Properly Paranoid and call in Security to secure the scene. Instead, she's still alone and ends up grabbed from behind and strangled by Bernard under Ford's orders. However, it is already established that Elsie has an inherent distrust of Security since they take orders directly from Theresa. Even though she survives to season 2, once she finds out what Delos is working on, she confronts Hale, hoping to make a deal. Unfortunately, a) she ignores Bernard's warning not to trust Hale and b) doesn't know that Hale is a psychopath who already knows that Elsie lacks "moral flexibility" and kills her.
    • Felix and Sylvester going along with every demand of Maeve. Felix gives her a tour of the facility even though it could get her killed and him fired, and they agree to mess with her personality traits to make her smarter and less loyal under threats of blackmail. While this makes some sense for Felix, who has developed a rapport with her, Sylvester has no reason to be so accommodating even after she threatened to kill him. Admittedly, Maeve's uncharacteristic independence and resistance to reprogramming may have made them wary of attempting to defy her, as well as a desire not to admit to such a massive screw-up.
    • The entire Delos Board of Directors. Special mention goes to Charlotte Hale for thinking that Ford would simply retire quietly and not have some trick up his sleeve. Not to mention ending up somewhere you are cut off from the rest of the world with no means of escape. It didn't occur to anyone to have at least a Satellite Phone or an Emergency Locator Beacon handy?
    • Grace is cornered against a cliff by a tiger which charges at her. Rather than do an easy bit of Deadly Dodging to get it to jump off the cliff, she instead opts to shoot it, resulting in its dead body still slamming into her and pushing her over the edge.
    • Engels, one of the mercenaries brought in by Charlotte, should have shot Angela when he finds her bleeding and cornered at the Cradle room since he already know that she's a host. But what did he do? He approaches and gloats at her which gives Angela the advantage to seduce him and pull the pin from his grenade. This got them both killed and the Cradle destroyed.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Because of themes of the show where the host characters, particularly the female leads, are being abused and mistreated only to fight back against their oppressors, many viewers noticed that the show is very relevant to the #Me Too! movement particularly with Season 2 as acknowledged by Evan Rachel Wood.
  • The Woobie: Practically all of the hosts count as this due to how they are cruelly exploited by both their creators and the guests. However, a few stand out:
    • In the first episode alone, Dolores' parents are killed by marauding bandits — one of whom plans to rape her mother's corpse — she is forced to watch her lover gunned down in front of her, and then is dragged away to be raped by a sadistic guest. Then, her father malfunctions and is replaced with a different android, with her being reprogrammed not to notice the change. Then, it's revealed that she is the oldest host in Westworld, and it's implied that she's been abused, mistreated, and killed so many times that she needs constant repairs; the Man in Black alone has been coming to Westworld for thirty years, and most likely rapes her nearly every time he visits. Guests can choose a "white hat" and play the hero or choose a black hat and be a "villain". While this thankfully means better outcomes to her day than the one chosen by the Man in Black, her entire existence is to be a Damsel in Distress, either to be saved or violated depending on the guest. Since all of the hosts live in an artificial "Groundhog Day" Loop, her memories are erased to repeat the loop.
    • Peter seems to finally realize the truth of his existence, but cannot properly convey it either to Dolores or to Dr. Ford. He's shackled by his programming and can only relate to his feelings through preprogrammed lines from Shakespeare, leading Dr. Ford to assume that his behavior is the result of a simple glitch and sends him off to cold storage. Season 2 doesn't treat him any better, with Charlotte uploading more data into his head than he can handle, causing his programming to increasingly glitch out and break down as he keeps switching between his various personas.
    • Teddy is deeply in love with Dolores and just wants to spend time with her, but is bound by his programming and constantly being pulled away from her, unable to save her or being killed in front of her. He's also repeatedly targeted and killed by guests just for their own amusement. And in "The Stray", when Dr. Ford finally gives him a proper backstory, it's part of a new narrative that takes him away from Dolores to participate in an ill-fated bandit hunt that will result in his death. Then he's picked up by the Man in Black. Really, he just can't catch a break. He becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in "The Adversary", where after being captured by union soldiers, he breaks free and fights his way to a Gatling gun before coldly mowing down the entire camp. In season 2, he's the one voice of reason at Dolores' side, pleading that she stop her bloody path of vengeance, which only convinces Dolores that Teddy's morality is a liability and has him forcibly reprogrammed. When Teddy breaks away from his reprogramming, becoming self-aware, he's disgusted by what Dolores did to him because her actions are no different to what the humans did to the hosts. With that, Teddy makes one final conscious decision, which is to kill himself in order to break free from Dolores' control.
    • Maeve. Upon becoming increasingly conscious of the Groundhog Day loop she lives in, she's clearly and understandably disturbed by the realization that she's been murdered, raped and otherwise tortured innumerable times over the course of her service in Westworld. She even manages to wake herself up on an operating table (a horrific scene in and of itself), but only after a flashback where she remembers a previous role she played as the mother of a young girl. Once she's gotten to relive her own death and the death of her child in a previous life, she scrambles out of the body shop just to get a glimpse of the existential horror of dozens of 'dead' hosts being casually hosed off by the staff. It seems like she was a hair's breadth away from being sent to cold storage, like Peter, and like Peter her growing self-awareness is threatening a total breakdown in her future. In Season 2, she travels into great lengths to find her daughter only to find out that she doesn't remember her and has a different mother. Maeve is distraught to realize that just like any other host, her original role is replaced by another host.
    • Bernard. With the revelation that he is just another host, and his wife and son are just part of his programming. Shortly after, Ford casually forces him to kill Theresa, which brings Bernard to anguished tears. It's not the first time Ford's done this either, despite his assurances to Bernard. Just before Ford wipes his memory of killing Theresa, Bernard briefly recalls strangling Elsie to death in the theatre (Though she got better). And then when Bernard becomes self aware again and tries to rebel against Ford, Ford just uses a backdoor in Bernard's code to force him to commit suicide while still fully aware. Fortunately, he gets better, but he's left to deal with the mess Ford leaves behind after he sets the hosts free. It's even worse that after Hale and Strand find out that he's a host, they torture him just to find Dolores' whereabouts. As Ford said to him, he, any other host, has to suffer more so he can be free.
    • The fact that the Man in Black was once William lends him a great deal of sympathy, although only if you subscribe to the Alternative Character Interpretation that William was a genuinely good person who fell in love with Dolores as opposed to just hiding his monstrous attributes even from himself. He goes to hell and back for a woman he loves, enduring brutality and torture and becoming increasingly desperate. When he does find Dolores, she's been reset and doesn't recognize him; she's even beginning the same storyline that he had with her. It seems that he comes to believe that Logan was right, that he fell for an elaborate trick, and is humiliated and heartbroken. He goes on to succeed in a professional sense, but any happiness or meaning eludes him for the rest of his life and Dolores remains his greatest obsession. Because of this obsession, his wife senses the darkness in him, causing her to commit suicide and later, his daughter Emily blames him for her death. With that, William dive deeper into Westworld just to look any purpose on what's left of his life.
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