Westworld season 4: HBO series returns to peak form

Noisy and complex, Westworld returns with an enhanced fourth season.

Westworld is one of those shows that came out so strong, noisy and convincing that it had the effect of Icarus.

Once the literal puzzle at the center of the story was solved, fans fell back, fed up and unwilling to get involved in any further ambitious, engaging, and intellectual narratives. It didn’t help that he fell into a hole in the third season.

But if you’ve given up and don’t want to go back, you can simply skip some of the best offerings in this series, like motherlandwho had some really hot seasons in the back half, but the disappointed fans couldn’t be coaxed, and that was their loss.

Western world returns for his fourth season this week on Binge* and he’s in peak form. The production values ​​are extraordinary, as is its performance, but it’s never been in doubt, the series always lives up to these demands.

It’s easier to do this when you have talented actors like Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandieu Newton, Tessa Thompson, Ed Harris and Aaron Paul. This is an absolute smorgasbord of theatrical delights. Even in the most opaque Western world always worth watching just for the sake of these performances.

Western worlda company’s broader success depends more on how it implements the core ideas of its DNA—free will, control, and power. When the show was in the park, these ideas fueled its obsessive action, but when it expanded into the so-called real world, the show lost some of that drive.

The fourth season is a rebalance. It returns to some of the elements that made it a must-watch series, while fully acknowledging the cyclical nature of its storytelling while teasing enough of the off-park world of glass, steel and menace.

After the time jump, Dolores (Wood) is now a woman named Cristina who does not seem to remember her past self, rebellious tendencies, or vengeance.

All of these characteristics are now shared by Charlotte (Thompson), who is a version of Dolores – she’s hell-bent on dominating humanity for what they did to robots by releasing a plague that gives her control over humans.

Maeve (Newton), after seven years in hiding, is on the run after being found by William’s (Harris) henchmen. So did Caleb (Paul), who moved on to a “normal” life with a wife and child.

And, as teased at the end of the previous season, Bernard has woken up after years in the digital world.

They are the starting points for another deadly reckoning, a convoluted story that seems hazy at first, but that’s the way it is. Western world‘s wont – surprises with its playful manifestations. It has the same intellectual rhythmic gymnastics as in the first season, a tango with audience expectations.

Western world, created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, enjoys not talking down to his viewers. He pushes complex ideas through his demanding narratives, but the end result is worth it.

And this season, the free will issue that was centered around its robot characters is now turned back to humanity.

It has chilling resonance in the context of current events (the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) as it argues that no one can ever take for granted the sometimes illusory nature of free will. .

Just when you think you are in charge of your life or destiny, something – or someone – comes along and takes it. But as Maeve tells Caleb, it’s not about fighting, it’s about having something worth fighting for.

And that’s something to think about.

The fourth season of Westworld will begin streaming on Binge on Monday, June 27th.

* Binge is owned by News Corp, the publisher of this website.

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