Author Archives: Wyrd Smythe

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts.

Westworld: S1E7

These are my notes for Trompe L’Oeil, episode six of Westworld, season one. As with all these “notes” posts: Serious Series Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen season one.

Still trying to get these posts done before the season two premiere on Sunday, but it’s not looking good. At least not for a careful look as I’d planned. On the other hand, it’s becoming apparent to me that one could spend a lot more time analyzing each episode and writing about it. These notes posts are longer than my usual limit (about 1500 or so words), and even the longer ones only seem to scratch the surface. Part of what’s working against me here is a bit of despair over doing this series real justice.

But whatever. Even these bare bones notes have been helpful in getting to me really think about the series, so on we go!

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Westworld: S1E6

These are my notes for The Adversary, episode six of Westworld, season one. As with all these “notes” posts: Serious Series Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen season one.

I’m faced with the prospect of rushing through the second half of the season in order to post all these episode notes before the new season airs this Sunday. Watching, thinking about, and writing about, an episode per day doesn’t sound like fun (mostly on account of all the writing), and I have no intention of turning this into work. (And I’m getting tired of writing about Westworld so much.) On the other hand, I do need to at least see the remaining episodes before the new season starts, so I might do these in a far more bare-bones fashion (and then maybe later come back and flesh them out).

I’ll see how it goes. For now, here’s episode six:

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Westworld: Looping Dolores

The Australians have Waltzing Matilda; Westworld has Looping Dolores… and a whole host of looping hosts. (Is there a collective noun for robots, yet? A mechanation of robots? A clank of robots? An Asimov of robots? How about an uprising of robots?)

Halfway through season one, it’s possible to get a sense of the script Dolores follows. We can also get a sense of the path Teddy follows, although we haven’t seen as much of it.

Obviously, and as always in this series of posts: Serious Season Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen all of season one.

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Westworld: S1E5

These are my notes for Contrapasso, episode five of Westworld, season one. As with all these “notes” posts: Serious Series Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen season one.

Unfortunately, the rest of this series of posts may be a bit rushed and, perhaps, more scant than I would like. I’ve waited too long to start this trip through the series; season two starts in just a week! Fitting in the rest of the season one episodes requires doing one per day (with two days to spare). But the later episodes demand as much attention, if not more, as the earlier ones.

On top of all that, either I’ve got a bad Blu-Ray or my player doesn’t like all the back and forth and freeze-framing. The best scene of the episode wasn’t watchable…

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Westworld: S1E4

These are my notes for Dissonance Theory, episode four of Westworld, season one. As with all these “notes” posts: Serious Series Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen season one (they won’t make sense, anyway)!

Several plot threads are in motion now: The MiB is pursuing the maze; William and Logan are having an adventure (a Dolores just joined them); Ford is up to… something (with Bernard’s help); Arnold and a Dolores are chatting; Elsie is worried about — and looking into — the hosts; Maeve is going off the rails; so is another Dolores; and Theresa has corporate concerns.

Plus there’s Lee, Teddy, Hector and Armistice, Lawrence (El Lazo), Stubbs, various others (and we haven’t even met Charlotte Hale, yet).

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Westworld: S1E3

These are my notes for episode three, season one, of Westworld. As with all these “notes” posts: Serious Series Spoilers! Do not read unless you’ve seen season one!

The first two episodes (The Original and Chestnut) introduced the main characters — the Delos park personnel (led by Ford), various hosts (most importantly Dolores and Maeve), and a few key guests (the Man in Black and William White-hat). Those episodes also introduced the idea that something weird is happening with the hosts, as well as the idea that Delos is up to something more than just an entertainment park.

Now, in The Stray, the story starts to take off.

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Westworld: S1E2

Here are my notes for episode two, season one, of Westworld. As with the previous notes, these are longer posts than I usually allow, but they’re intended as something useful for me, so they are what they are.

The first episode was linear, seeming to cover five days while it introduced the idea of the host loops, the main Delos people, and the Man in Black. The second episode (along with those after) isn’t linear at all — yet it is deliberately constructed to appear linear (especially at key points). This episode also introduces a key idea: that of suffering.

Note that in all these posts: Serious Series Spoilers!

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Westworld: S1E1

To prepare for season two of HBO’s Westworld (by husband and wife team Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy), I’m very thoroughly watching the first season again… and taking careful notes!

By “thoroughly” I mean that I plan to watch each episode multiple times. I’ve just watched the first episode three times (twice in a row last night, once the night before), and I plan to watch it again so my buddy can see how absolutely stunning it looks on my new LG 65″ OLED TV in 4K HDR off the Blu-Rays I bought. (And it is truly stunning that way! I gasped when I first started watching.)

I’m transcribing my notes from last night here, in part, because my handwriting is so bad I just have to type them up, but also to share them for whatever they may be worth. Obviously: Serious Series Spoilers!

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NCIS: Spin-off Spin-out

Some of you may know that NCIS (the one with Mark Harmon) is one of my favorite TV shows. And, absent the occasional clunker, they still are turning out very good episodes in their 15th season. It’s quite an accomplishment to remain a top, and high quality, show for 347 episodes.

Some of you may also know that I forsook the first spin-off, NCIS: Los Angeles, because it is — in my view — a silly-ass, lame-ass, stupid show (with too much gun play). I haven’t watched it in quite some time, and I haven’t missed it one iota.

And now it looks like I’m going to forsake their second spin-off, NCIS: New Orleans, because it also has gotten too stupid for me to enjoy anymore.

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Surreal Science Fiction

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a Sci-Fi Saturday post. (I didn’t post at all in 2017, so it’s been a long time since I’ve written a lot of things.) But last night I watched Mr. Nobody (2009), a slightly surreal science fiction film that I found hugely engaging and affecting, and it inspired me to write about it.

The truth is that Mr. Nobody isn’t actually surrealism — it does have a concrete narrative, but it’s a jumbled, imaginary, and fantastic one. That can sometimes be the case with really good science fiction. A common trick SF authors play is keeping you guessing until they reveal their mysteries.

Mr. Nobody isn’t particularly mysterious, but it does require that you pay close attention!

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