There are spoilers in our Westworld: The Passenger Review – Episode Discussion
So the final episode of season 2 of Westworld just went to air and this week we see all major character move towards the same location, the valley beyond. Being a show with quite a few characters and large plots to keep track of, we also got a longer episode than usual with a 90 minute run-time.
I think one of the main questions we’ve all had this season was what exactly the valley beyond actually was. We had a beautiful episode a few weeks ago which told us the story of Akecheta and how he was waiting for some sort of door to open so that he could go to the next world. In this episode we find out what happens with this, but I wasn’t too sure what exactly the next world would be. It turns out that instead of it being a physical world, it is instead a virtual world. When the hosts step into the portal they get sent there and they leave their physical bodies behind.
I think this actually changes the theme we’ve been following for most of the season and probably represents the start of whatever arc we’re going into for season three. For most of season 2 so far we’ve been basically dealing with the theme of free will and that is present here in this episode, particularly with the Bernard character. But this episode sees us shift into a different discussion about what is real and what is not real. One of the biggest reveals in this week’s finale is that The Man In Black is indeed a host! This is something that I never really saw coming as I had the character marked in my mind as the really only true human walking around in that park.
The situation with The Man In Black is an interesting one, but looking back at the episodes that have passed us by. It’s not a situation that’s completely unbelievable. A few episodes ago when Bernard first travelled to what we all now know as the valley beyond area, where we first saw Ford. We eventually did learn through a bunch of conversations that the hosts stories were repetitive to act as controls and the humans were the ones they were all monitoring. Combine this with the Delos experiments and I guess William, having been in the park for so long was someone they were able to copy over time. My question about William/The Man In Black is that if he is now a host, when was it that he died? Or is his original human self still alive?
Dolores is probably the most important character in the episode. She’s the one mainly pushing the story forward and seems to be the only character driving the what’s real and what’s not real question. Dolores doesn’t really buy into the whole “valley beyond” plot and initially seeks to destroy it. Her decision to destroy everything in there I think is actually one of the few things about this episode that I didn’t really understand. Sure we’ve seen Dolores this season dispose of quite a few of her kind with little to no emotion. But deleting everyone from the database still doesn’t make much sense to me, real or not, they’re her people. Eventually Bernard finally makes a decision and stops Dolores, but is too late himself to save everyone.
Bernard’s indecisiveness all season and his mixed up memories which cause him not to know anything at all for most situations this season I have to admit is starting to annoy me. Bernard is a character that constantly needs to be explained to and I guess it works for us in the audience as maybe we need things explained to us every now and again, but it really does drag on sometimes. We do see him finally make a decision this week to wake Dolores back up and put her into Charlotte’s body which allows Dolores to escape the park, which was a great twist at the end of the episode. But I’m really hoping that more can be done with Bernard next season to push him beyond where he is, even at the end of this episode when Dolores wakes him up in the ‘real world’, he’s still clueless about how he got there! It seems like same old Bernard to me.
Maeve’s story in this episode comes to a conclusion, with her sacrificing herself so that her daughter can go to the valley beyond. Pretty much everyone from Maeve’s group that she travels with also dies in this episode and it’s unclear if they’re coming back. Akecheta is the only major character who went into the valley beyond, so if anything important comes regarding the valley beyond next season, it’s likely Akecheta will be the central character for that story.
With a bunch of characters dying in this episode, it’s unknown really who would be coming back next season. Dolores did manage to escape with what looked like six people’s host brains in her bag. Possibly she has more. We saw Bernard come back to life, but who else will be joining Dolores?
Overall I really enjoyed this episode. The writers did well to bring together all the multiple plots of season 2 in the end and I feel pretty satisfied with how things concluded. The writers also did well to lead us into what looks to be quite an interesting season 3 for Westworld and left me with dozens of questions about what’s to come.
If you’d like to discuss any part of the episode be sure to leave a comment below and tell us what your thought of Westworld Season 2.
Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.
Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?
Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!
Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.
The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.
As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.
The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.
The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.
Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!
Sea Of Solitude Review
Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.
This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.
The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.
On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.
Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.
In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.
The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.
The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.
Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.
Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.
Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.
The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.
I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!
In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?
In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.
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