Being Skeptical about whether or not Westworld’s 4th season is entirely understandable. After a fantastic initial season, creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan didn’t do the series any favors with a lackluster 2nd and 3rd season. Gone was their ability to build up the tension in their narrative, and it was as if they teased a payoff that never came. It seems they’ve learned from their mistakes, and Westworld has made a return to being appointment television. The show in the previous two seasons went away from the suspense and mystery of this world to what seemed to be endless sequences of fighting, robots, and explosions. Those, of course, have their place, but the joy of Westworld is solving the picture, which in season four, as it was in the first season, is a complex puzzle.
Aaron Paul’s character Caleb is front and center for most of the first four episodes we were provided to review. Joining Paul are cast mates Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, and Tessa Thompson. Joining the cast in season four is Oscar winner Ariana DeBose and making his triumphant return from the great beyond is James Marsden (remember, he suffered an awful death). Marsden’s return is yet another reminder that what is dead is never truly gone on Westworld. Even though Paul’s character Caleb is front center for most of the first four episodes, everyone in the cast is a crucial puzzle piece in understanding the show’s current reality.
Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) are significant pieces of the mystery surrounding season four. Once their intentions are clear, understanding the big picture is almost instant. The show is at its with Maeve (Newton) and Caleb (Paul) together in a scene. We have seen them blow up buildings and computers and engage in many lengthy gun battles, but what they face is far more complex than dodging gunfire. To elaborate further would ruin the show for someone.
I selfishly hoped we’d see Newton and Harris kick some ass this season, which they did. There’s something about Maeve (Newton) stabbing someone with a sword that’s so cool. Delores (Thompson) is so damn evil, and let’s just say she’s far worse this season. My only concern is they seem to be dragging Christina (Evan Rachel Wood’s new character) storyline out. Perhaps their waiting for some big twist to be revealed to the world. Maybe it’s because it involves her roommate Mya (Ariana Debose). I will say that it’s starting to appear that more people of who Christina once was. How is that possible? Could it be part of the overall mystery of season 4? All I can say at this point is, Yes.
My best advice is to pay attention to everything in those episodes because there are clues galore about what’s occurring. Also, do not dismiss any initial storyline because they are all a part of a greater picture. The ensemble’s performances and the writing this season are so stellar that they brought back memories of how we all felt after season one. Let’s hope it continues during the second half of season four.