“I make my own decisions, and I’m gonna destroy this whole fuckin’ place!”
I don’t think there’s any coming back from this one. William is well and truly too far gone, and the murder of his daughter just cements it. Funny thing about Ed Harris’ William is that he’s just like the viewers (especially those folks over at /r/Westworld). He see’s hosts everywhere – to him, every single person in the park could be a host wrapped up in Ford’s specially created narrative. He’s an angry, obsessed conspiracy theorist but for some reason we like him. Well, that’s about to change…
I’m getting real Stanis Baratheon vibes from my reaction to William this season. As with Stannis, I vehemently defended him and justified him right up until he killed his own daughter. After that, I dropped a lot of the ‘one true king’ rhetoric. It becomes pretty hard to defend someone once you add filicide to the mix (although, being real about it, Stannis still has the most legit claim to the Iron Throne). But William has always been on the cusp of likability and I think his latest actions might just push many viewers over the edge. As for the question as to whether he’s a host or not – I’m not sure. I think he’s not and it’s just his paranoia speaking, but for a good portion of ‘Vanishing Point’, I was convinced we’d get a host reveal. At the end of the day though, the question doesn’t even really matter. William’s done so much unredeemable shit that it doesn’t matter whether he’s human or not. Harris is fantastic in the role as always. It’s entirely down to him that William retains even the smallest slither of sympathy. It will be a shame to see him go; the show will be losing one of its heavy hitters. Unfortunately, and thinking back to GoT MVP Stannis Baratheon, these sort of heinous acts tend to take place at the end a character’s arc. So don’t expect to see Ed Harris in season 3.
Katja Herbers gives a great performance too, as the Man in Black’s vengeful daughter Emily. She might be a relative newcomer to the show but she more than holds her own against the legendary Harris. And I’m sad to see her go, assuming she is really dead. Her final moments of shock as horror as her father guns down a group of humans was a wonderfully morbid moment. Across the rest of the park, there is sadness for our other groups as they also suffer a loss of some sort. Bernard leaves Elsie behind while Teddy and Dolores have perhaps the episode’s most heart-wrenching scene as Teddy commits suicide to escape Dolores/Wyatt. He knew what Dolores had done to him but he loved her still, which made his final goodbye all the sadder. Now we know he’s not gone, as Bernard saw him floating in the water in the not-so-distant future. But without the techs on standby, I don’t know he’s gonna recover from a gunshot wound to the head. Evan Rachel Wood and James Marston both turn in brilliant performances that really highlight the pain of the characters. Rachel Wood especially, who has the very hard job of playing two sides of one very mixed up character and also putting up with abuse from misogynistic trolls. Sure Dolores isn’t a different character now but boy do some fans hate her. Her story might have been slower this season but it looks as if now, in the rush to the finale, Dolores is gonna come back to the forefront.
Next week’s episode looks very interesting. Clementine bot is out and infecting every host she comes into contact too – a sort of Westworld take on a zombie apocalypse. Not to mention what looks like an uber powerful Maeve and weird hologram/rip in reality. Safe to say; I’m excited. Whether the season finale will deliver on everything the season so far has promised will remain to be seen. Either way, I think we can say goodbye to Haris as William, however much I wish I was wrong. 😦
Reviewed by Tom