TV: Westworld S1 E3 - The Stray - Reviewed

HBO has a verifiable sci-fi hit on their hands right now. The Stray is the best episode so far that lets viewers see where this might be headed. As the 'hosts' start to become self aware, the inner workings of Westworld may unwind into a fury of bullets and synthetic madness. 

In just three episodes, the creators behind the show have already developed a brand new world with an epic storyline that blends themes of the original movie into a much larger scale that's fresh and alluring. Westworld is pure escapist programming that dives headlong into future technology while questioning man's scientific ethics and how far we'd go to abandon the world around us. Episode 3 makes a hard push to give us much more character development, more background on the creation of the park, and still builds upon the mysterious ambiguity of the creator, Dr. Robert Ford. 

Considering how little time we've had to spend with the main characters, the plot is already picking up steam as the lines between reality and alternate universe begin to cross and the man made beings of Westworld become more aware that something is off.  Using repeated tropes from various other science fiction properties and stories, the show still maintains an edge that gives the 'hosts' of Westworld a vulnerability and emotive quality at an early stage of the game. The Stray picks right up where episode 2 left off and continues to suck us into the new mythology that's unraveling on a weekly basis.  

Honestly, it's hard to find anything wrong with this series yet. The pacing is phenomenal. The writing is cinematic. The visual elements are beautiful to look at. And the acting is borderline perfect. Not much can go wrong when you have a cast that features the greatness of Anthony Hopkins. And the CGI recreation of a youthful Hopkins is hands down the best looking de-aging we've ever seen. Unlike the weirdness of Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy, their presentation of a 40 year old version of Sir Hopkins is simply astounding. 

Don't you question me, bitch. I'll eat your face with a side of fava beans
and a nice chianti. 

If you're a fan of science fiction and western storytelling, Westworld cannot be beat. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the show. Now that I'm three episodes in, I just want more. Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have sparked a fiery new televised creation that may become a legendary series. If they don't write themselves into a corner, there are endless ways to keep going with this thing. It's easy to see how they could spin this off into other series or how they could end up in Futureworld or other destinations. God damn, I love this show. You should be watching it too.