In “Well Enough Alone,” Clementine walks through the streets of Madrid to find William in her home, demanding to know Maeve’s location. Clementine says she’d rather die, a wish William grants. Maeve and Caleb infiltrate a house and encounter two hosts who have recently had contact with William. It’s a struggle, but Maeve eventually defeats them and questions one. The host’s memories show Maeve that they killed the senator and sent his wife to the barn. Clementine talks the Assistant Attorney General out of demanding to see her boss, William. Maeve and Caleb find the senator’s wife cutting up the horses in the barn. They try to help her, but her mind is gone, somehow under William’s control. Maeve kills her.
Christina obsesses over her suicidal stalker. She notices all the birds around her job are dead and decides not to go in after all. The Vice President meets William at a golf course to reject his business plans. This leads to him being replaced with a host. Maeve and Caleb go to a secret Delos party, and she quickly realizes something is very wrong as they’re aboard a train. The Assistant Attorney General isn’t pleased with the Vice President’s apparent acceptance of William’s terms. He, too, is taken by Charlotte and put under Delos’ control. Christina reads over her pitch matching the events which befell her stalker and receives a call from her concerned boss. Maeve and Caleb are welcomed into the game thanks to Maeve’s abilities. Christina goes to the mental health center to which her stalker left his money. It’s out of operation, but a wing is dedicated to him. William turns out to be alive after all, imprisoned and mocked by Charlotte. At least Maeve and Caleb arrive at their destination, a golden age town created by Delos.
At least at first, I was impressed with the fight between Caleb and Maeve and the senator and his wife. Of course, the senator and his wife are really hosts, but it gets tiresome saying “the host of___” every time. Anyway, this felt like season 1 Westworld to me, if for the briefest moment. The hosts, the male in particular, actually put up a fight. They don’t immediately obey Maeve’s commands. This was a welcome shift in power dynamics because Maeve is massively overpowered. I know there are in-story reasons for her extraordinary abilities, but it makes everything seem a little too easy for her. She can’t be killed, she can disarm any technological advantages the humans can build, and other hosts are always under her thumb. It was almost nice to see random hosts get the upper hand against her. This doesn’t last as the encounter culminates in Maeve realizing William has enhanced his hosts and overcoming this, but it was nice while it lasted. I didn’t love that Caleb would have been dead without Maeve’s last-second rescue… again. This guy is useless! I don’t understand why he’s even in the show. All he did last season was follow Dolores like a lost puppy, and now he does the same with Maeve. He says he’s doing this to protect his wife and daughter, a noble goal indeed. But how is he saving them by constantly needing someone else’s protection? This guy is ineffectual in every situation he and Maeve find themselves in. And he has no agency as a character, always taking orders from his female partner. In terms of writing a compelling hero character, these two are quite the pair, as they have opposite but equally crippling problems. This season is far better than season 3 thus far, but some of the characters need to have something a little more interesting going on.
The tables have well and truly turned, with hosts like Charlotte (Dolores?) referring to the humans as “livestock.” She forces the real senator’s wife to dissect her horses and must have also done something to her mind. She cuts absentmindedly at her pets until called by name, at which point she seems to think Maeve and Caleb killed the animals. Then, there’s the chilling revelation that so far, 249 such hosts are replacing the humans that are dead or enslaved. I’m not sure what’s creepier, a fate like the senator’s wife’s or William’s, trapped and tormented. He has to see his host, who he knows is out masquerading as him, without any idea what Charlotte’s plans for him are. By the way, is Charlotte still Dolores? Are all of the evil hosts Dolores? Normally, I would go back and re-watch the previous season to make sure I understand, but this is a case where I truly don’t want to do so. I can’t believe how much the show has picked up this season thus far, and I hope it continues, but season 3 was abysmal and incredibly dull.
It’s a shame we don’t spend more time with Christina in “Well Enough Alone;” in “The Auguries,” hers was the most engaging subplot and the one which produced the most questions. It could be because of what a powerful actress Evan Rachel Wood is. This character is unlike Dolores in every way, but Wood perfectly embodies the timid, self-conscious young woman. Along with the lack of time with Christina, we don’t see Teddy this week. I can’t wait to see what Teddy’s play is here and how these two interact. Is he the “happy ending” she wishes for? Is Christina looking like Dolores enough for Teddy, or does he think she too possesses that fire within her? My boy was done dirty in season 3, and I want some justice here! I’m of two minds regarding William being alive. He’s always been one of my favorite characters, so “killing” and replacing him at all made me angry. Bringing him back like this cheapens that scene and lowers the stakes, if that’s even possible for Westworld. Overall, depending on where this thread goes, I would rather have William alive than not. I’m not sure I see the point in replacing a man with a cold, unfeeling robot when he already was one. William’s host has some dynamite dialogue this week! I loved it when he called F. Scott Fitzgerald an “effete (redacted);” I would never have thought of that exact wording, but I hate that man’s books and opinions. It was also great when he explained how his power was illusory in the past and claimed to be neurodivergent. I never expected this character to claim to be autistic to explain his behavior, but here we are.
The scenes that do feature Christina display her inability to let go of what she experienced the night prior, understandably so. Being accused of ruining someone’s life by writing a video game and watching that person die would be traumatic to anyone. Christina’s job is also shown to cross boundaries in her personal life, questioning what she’s doing and why she’s in Jersey. This would be understandable if she didn’t call in; we’re not sure if she did, but her boss says she’s not in trouble and is allowed to take a sick day. So, what’s the deal? I also briefly wondered if Maya, Christina’s roommate, is a host. Honestly, I’m not convinced Christina isn’t a host.
In the final scenes of “Well Enough Alone,” I thought Maeve’s arguing with the train host was ridiculous. It’s like she wants to get caught, saying she’s died multiple times and being argumentative about every last detail. Her god-like powers seem to be making her arrogant and over-confident, which would be interesting if the show wasn’t so clearly on her side about it. Call her out! Make her suffer! Good protagonists require some adversity, and with Dolores gone(?), she is the protagonist, as far as I can tell.
Overall, Westworld still feels like a completely different show from season 1. Back then, it was an engaging exploration of the human psyche in a Western sci-fi shell. Now, the Western novelty is gone, and it’s all doom and gloom, all the time. But season 4 remains a solid step up from season 3, and I loved Ramin Djawadi’s music in “Well Enough Alone.” The jazzy rendition of the show’s theme that plays as Caleb and Maeve enter Delos Destinations is particularly charming and feels like the early show.