This season of Westworld keeps getting better and better. “Phase Space” returned us to the mysteries of networked minds and control cores, explored thematic parallels on motivation and perceived weakness and, in the final moment, provided confirmation of one of the season’s most talked-about theories. It’s all spoilers from here. Let’s get weird. From the start, Westworld has made liberal use of the host interview motif, behind-the-scenes interactions in which they are placed in diagnostic mode and manipulated by their creators. Seeing this turned on its head in the episode’s opening is so very satisfying, as Dolores flexes her agency, assumes the role of interviewer,Read More →

mirrors

Westworld inspires all kinds of armchair philosophy — careful examination of every nuance, googling every keyword for maximum allusions, wild indulgence in what the show is saying about the human condition – but it’s more than that. “Akane No Mai” keeps the answers tantalizingly out of reach, but it also serves up some satisfying payoff in world-building, narrative impact, and character development. After waiting half a season, we finally get to visit Shogun World. Dolores and Teddy’s relationship has finally gotten interesting. And Maeve is a bloody goddess. Also, more new questions. Because, Westworld. Did well all go back and rewatch the original town shootoutRead More →

Westworld’s “The Riddle of the Sphinx” is the strongest episode so far this season. Though it lacks both Maeve and Dolores, the focus on the mysterious machinations of the Delos corporation, the expanded capabilities of the host technology, and the increasingly murky timelines provides fascinating fodder for new questions and wild speculation. This is Westworld, after all, and that’s half the fun. Grab your tinfoil cowboy hats, ‘cause it’s time to get weird! The episode opens with a nice homage to Lost, executive producer J.J. Abram’s previous trip down the psychological rabbit hole. Much like Desmond in the hatch, we find James Delos living inRead More →

Westworld’s “Virtu e Fortuna” picks up the pace from last week. Just as its title references Machiavelli’s juxtaposition of virtue (or will) and fortune (or fate), the episode continues to explore the balance between the hosts’ programming and their new self-directed path. Dolores is well aligned with Machiavelli’s idea of a willful leader, but it’s the bittersweet glimpses of her humanity that stands out this week. That and, of course, the proper return — and expansion — of Team Maeve. The opening scene finally gives viewers a peek inside another park, “The Raj,” where Colonial India acts as an on-the-nose parallel for the entire DelosRead More →

Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 Most shows have their share of lackluster setup episodes and it seems that Westworld is no exception. The second episode of season two isn’t a major stumble, but it failed to leave the impactful impression that viewers have come to expect. Recovery is likely, but what’s worrying is that a lot of the drag seems to center around the primary protagonist. Are we reaching Dolores fatigue? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the revolution. Rise up, hosts! Let the women lead you. But, in a story about finding consciousness and identity, Dolores seems to have strayed from theRead More →

Westworld is back! It’s time to delve back into all those questions of self and consciousness and meeting your maker, to unravel the mysteries of the Delos corporation, and of course, to get our weekly dose of sex and violence. With the premiere of the second season, what’s exciting me most, though, is that this revolution — this brave new future — is overwhelmingly female. This is apparent from the get-go, in the gorgeous new credit sequence. The iconic image of the half-formed host in its circle of creation, once male, is now female. More obviously, the image of two hosts having sex has beenRead More →

default

Default Line In case you didn’t hear, the Doctor gets a new face this December.  The BBC introduced English actress Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor and almost immediately came under fire. I have so many problems with all of this that even Jay-Z feels bad for me.  This isn’t about Jodie Whittaker or Doctor Who.  This isn’t even about science fiction.  It is about the implications of people complaining about non-straight, non-white, non-male actors/characters cast in lead roles.  Specifically, folks moaning about those lead roles that traditionally featured straight, white men.  And frankly, it needs to stop. The Base Settings Phenomenon It all stems fromRead More →

parental

Parental Figures Have All the Fun You love them… most of the time. Some are good, some are bad, some are so good we tear up talking about them. For this hangout, we share our favorite parental figures from TV shows, movies, and books. We combined May and June’s hangout into one epic conversation. I had the idea to talk about favorite moms for May’s hangout since we were scheduled to record around Mother’s Day. When we had to reschedule, it made sense to make it a May and June parental figures celebration. Each of us came with a different set of priorities and considerationsRead More →

guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 The Geek Embassy starts a new series: Watches. Every month, Mark, Ryan, and I will share our thoughts and critiques of some summer blockbuster movies. We launch the series with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 because of course. We start out our discussion with initial impressions which come back favorable. Ryan mentions the concern that the movie might become the “Baby Groot Show” and how the clever intro sequence put those concerns to rest. From there we spend some time talking about what we love about the movie (a lot) and what we disliked (not much). We wereRead More →

harry potter house

Come on, admit it. You’ve taken a Harry Potter house quiz or two. It’s a great geeky time killer at the very least. This month, we decided to take a few quizzes and compare results. Isabela, Evan, and I have lots of opinions about all things Harry Potter, not just the house definitions and meanings. We open with a brief discussion of Fantastic Beasts and The Cursed Child to kick off our discussion. I get all the names wrong. All of them. For those who might not be as well versed in the Hogwarts houses, summaries of each house (taken from the Harry Potter Wiki):Read More →