Westworld Season 4

“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.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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I’ve recently finished watching Deep Space Nine. The last time I left off in my irregular series of reviews was season three, so I’m picking up again with the season four opener, Way of the Warrior.

This is the point where Worf joins the cast. I’ve got to say this episode doesn’t feel like Star Trek with violence ultimately winning the day. The spaceship and hand-to-hand battles felt more like a Star Wars thing. Sisko not checking for survivors after a space battle because it might give away their position was particularly callous. I did like Garak saying that while the Klingons beat him up, he got in a couple of cutting remarks sure to cause emotional damage for years to come. Despite its reputation for being dark, Deep Space Nine is actually the funniest Trek series to come out before Lower Decks.

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Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop

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The live-action Cowboy Bebop is finally here. Overall, I think it’s okay. I enjoyed some episodes more than others. It’s more R-rated than the original with lots of cussing, nudity, and violence. The original anime was quite violent at times, of course, so maybe the new series just felt more violent due to being live-action. There’s a scene in one episode in which lots of naked people are gunned down which added nothing to the plot, so I can only assume it was done purely for shock value.

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Titans

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Back in 2003, Teen Titans debuted. It was a fun animated show featuring Batman’s sidekick Robin, as well as other teen superheroes Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg. I recently rewatched it and it’s still a lot of fun, although season five dragged for me. They spent so much time introducing new characters you didn’t really get a chance to know any of them. It was also disappointing that they never revealed who Slade really was or what his big plan was.

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Evil

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I love this show! Evil is somewhat reminiscent of The X-Files with a believer and a skeptic partnering up to solve supernatural mysteries, however, instead of aliens, the focus is on demons and instead of working for the government, they work for the Catholic church.

David, the believer, is in training to become a Catholic priest, while Kristen, the skeptic, is a professional psychologist who is married with four daughters. However, despite David being celibate and Kristen being married, there’s still a will-they-or-won’t-they sexual tension between the two that works better than the will-they-or-won’t-they between Scully and Mulder.

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Cowboy Bebop Conclusion

So, does Cowboy Bebop still hold up twenty years later? In some ways, it does and in other ways, it doesn’t.

The cool factor for Cowboy Bebop is still high. The music and animation style do a lot to contribute to this, particularly the effortless manner in which Spike fights. Interestingly, the music was produced before the rest of the show, but it fits the action really well.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 25 and 26

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 25: The Real Folk Blues, Part 1

On Mars, the blonde woman gets a message telling her the elders are ready to make their move. Vicious and his men shoot up a room, but the elders were warned by a fortune teller and are able to capture him. However, his bird flies from his shoulder and perches in the chamber.

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Cowboy Bebop Sessions 23 and 24

After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.

Session 23: Brain Scratch

We open on a television announcement from a group called Scratch who believe the body is evil. The way forward is to abandon the body and upload your consciousness to a computer using a gaming console. All the TV channels are talking about Scratch whose members are killing themselves. ISSP is searching for the leader, Dr. Londes.

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