“Sometimes the things that feel the most real are stories.”
Season 4 of Westworld isn’t interested in the big riot that was the finale of season 3. Instead, we get a reset. It’s now years later and the riot apparently didn’t change anything.
Prohibition Town has replaced West World, but as Maeve tells us, it’s the same story, just like in Shogun World. Wouldn’t people want something new? Would you play a video game sequel if it was exactly the same as the original? Call-back culture has gone too far into the realm of toxic nostalgia. I know it’s easier to keep repeating the same thing over and over, but please try a little harder and give us something new.
It is interesting that they’re reversing the robot/human dynamic. Humans appear to be the ones who are programmable this time around with their stories being written by others, while the robots amuse themselves by mistreating the humans. Robots are now all too human, struggling with boredom, becoming what they hate. The moral of the story for season 4 seems to be that two wrongs don’t make a right, which you’d think the robots would be advanced enough to figure out without the world coming to an end yet again.
Apparently when a human mind is put in a robot body, the robot body dies soon, except when it doesn’t. The robot version of The Man in Black doesn’t have this limitation. There’s no doubt some hand-wavey explanation for why. He’s a copy of a human mind instead of an actual human mind or something. The Man in Black claims every man for himself is survival of the fittest, but that’s not how evolution works in social species. Survival of the fittest includes strength in numbers and groups working together. He seems to have confused humans with racoons or something.
I did like a lot about season 4. They do another surprise reveal that was similar to the Man in Black reveal in the first season, but even though it was done before, it felt new to me. Bernard has spent years running countless simulations and has realized, much like Dr. Strange in Infinity War, there’s only a slight chance of saving humans. It’s fun that he knows what’s going to happen before it happens.
The hero of season 3 is the villain of season 4. We get another reversal with outliers now being the saviors of humanity rather than the destroyers. It’s interesting that Dolores grows as a character by reverting to her original character. Giving us another riot at the end felt like a repeat of season 3’s finale, though.
It looks like they’re planning at least one more season. Many characters seem to permanently die during the season, but that’s never stopped them from coming back to life before, so who will be in the cast is still wide open. Roman World was featured as an easter egg, so maybe we’ll see that? Hopefully it won’t just have the same plot as Westworld, Shogun World, and Prohibition Town.