‘Westworld’ 1.02 “Chestnut” Review: Be Whoever The F*** You Want

  • Old-timer Logan and newbie William visit Westworld

Chestnut

William is a Westworld newbie brought by his work friend Logan. Everything from the train they ride to the mountain facility they arrive at reminds me of the past/future contrast in Assassin’s Creed, especially when we get to see them take another train into the park itself, which is a literal Open-World Sandbox a la Skyrim. And, like that RPG and so many others, there’s a near-infinite amount of “quests” to do. Even Logan, for all his visits, hasn’t explored everything or reached the “end” of the park.

On a guest scale of 1 to the Man in Black, Logan is a 5, a slave to the hedonistic desires and remorseless action he can take in the virtual reality. William on the other hand is shyer and more reserved. Notably, he chooses to wear a white hat, a visual cue for the good guy that William is or wants to be. Westworld the show and the fictional place are arenas to act out storytelling. It’s a constant reminder how much stories play in our lives, whether we call them truths or lies, non-fiction or fiction, they are the template by which we shape our own realities. Westworld is a physical manifestation of that most human perception.

The episode plays the two’s contrasts to the hilt, making one wonder why these two are friends in the first place. Indeed, when William is alone with Clementine (Angela Sarafyan), he says he wouldn’t even call them that. Still, Barnes and Simpson are great actors (though tough to see as anything other than Prince Caspian and Liam McPoyle) and they do a great job for what are essentially expository roles in this particular episode and I hope we dig deeper into this “friendship” in the future, if only to keep the actors around.

I will admit fear for Simpson’s character, who ends the episode taking a shine to Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) in a cute, clean way. The interaction is in direct contrast to a similar one with the Man in Black. My guess is naive, helpful William will help her on her way to full consciousness. But that will put him in the Man in Black’s crosshairs, since he views Dolores as “his” after 30 odd years of rape and torture? As for what will happen to Logan? I hope something poetically just (i.e. nothing good).

Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn

Sam is a writer and journalist whose passion for pop culture burns with the fire of a thousand suns and at least three LED lamps.