Episode 1 of Westworld Season 4 starts with a meeting, takin place seven years after the events at the end of season 3. William has been buying up most of the outlying area, and he’s shown a massive dam that’s being used to power numerous mainframes. William wants to reserve the entirety of this for himself, even threatening the cartel if they don’t play ball. They refuse to sell, leading William to enact Plan B.
That plan presents itself when this businessman heads back home, noticing a whole swarm of flies up on the ceiling. The man passes out, but when he regains consciousness, he’s somehow under William’s control. He takes a knife, stabs the other men at the meeting and heads outside, bloodstained, staggering toward William and quite literally handing the deeds to this area to him. “You can rest now.” William says, as the man takes a knife and slits his own throat.
Meanwhile, Dolores – having died at the end of season 3 – awakens to the name of Christina. She has a whole new narrative and appears to be in the dark over the events that transpired last season.
She’s been receiving numerous calls from an unknown number too, leading her to believe she’s being watched. For now though, Christina is just trying to live a normal life. This involves an uneventful cocktail of work and hanging out at her apartment.
Christina’s job involves working as a writer at Olympiad Entertainment. Her work performance is suffering though, as she’s called in by her boss for a meeting. He’s concerned that the innocent stories she’s concocting don’t have any “melodrama, sex or violence” which is what sells nowadays. Her boss warns that he may need to get a new writer if she doesn’t get her head in the game.
Meanwhile, Maeve happens to be living off the grid. She’s alone, isolated and making sure she doesn’t arouse any suspicions from the authorities. Interestingly, we do see some of what happened in the past through flickers of flashbacks, involving her ties with Caleb. Together, the pair took out Rehoboam, the AI sphere from last season.
As for Caleb, he seems to have moved past this and he’s currently in a relationship – and they have a kid too! Caleb works as an electrical engineer, although the ghosts from riot’s past still weigh heavily on him.
Part of this stems from Maeve, who soon learns that several “friends” have stopped by 20 minutes back asking for her. This, unfortunately, happens as a result of an earlier shockwave she accidentally caused, as a blackout plunged the surrounding area into darkness. She soon realizes she’s being hunted.
Well, hunter becomes the hunted; Maeve fools the guards and kills the men effortlessly. The thing is, it would appear that more people are coming so for now, she’s forced to flee. After hijacking one of the men’s brains (who happens to be a host), she checks their memories and soon realizes that William is the ringleader here.
Christina continues to believe she’s being watched, struggling to concentrate at a date that night and believing there should be more to life than what she’s been given. When she heads into the bathroom, Christina receives a call from that strange man, who eventually presents himself out. The guy’s name is Peter and he pleads with Christina to stop ruining his life. He wants her to leave him alone, claiming he’s lost everything and believes Christina is responsible. She is understandably dumbfounded.
When Peter pulls a knife and threatens her, a shadowy figure races in and saves Christina’s life. In the morning, Christina rings Peter again, who happens to be up on the roof. He claims she’s written all of this, and he eventually tumbles from the rooftop down to the ground. Could her stories at Olympaid Entertainment be in some way tied to what’s happening with Peter? Is she taking away his free will? We shall see.
Meanwhile, Caleb is attacked in the middle of the street by a similar shadowy man, who shows up to hurt the family. Thankfully, Maeve is there with her samurai sword and stops him. After disposing of this guard, Caleb breathes a sigh of relief as his daughter, Frankie, is still alive. When his partner heads back inside, Maeve warns Caleb that William is the one responsible for the attack. The war is far from over and Caleb realizes he needs to try and stop this, protecting the family in the process by leaving and bringing the fight to them.
While Caleb and Maeve leave, Christina narrates to herself, wanting to start a new story with a purposeful narrative. While she ponders this on her balcony, the camera smoothly tracks down to show… Teddy! Teddy is the one who saved her from Henry and appears to be her knight in shining armour. What does this mean for the future? We’ll have to wait for next week’s episode to find out!
The Episode Review
Seven years have passed since the events of Westworld Season 3 which careered completely off track and failed to capitalize on what had preceded it. This show has always been at its strongest when debating ideas of purpose and mixing that in with the theme park world of Westworld. Since that masterful first season, the show has been straying further away from the park and its mysteries to play out as more of a futuristic sci-fi in our world. Or at least a future version of it.
Season 4 though, feels like a bit of a hard reset in many ways, attempting to build a new mystery by distancing itself from season 3 as much as possible. Maeve is still an uber-strong Host but hopefully the writers will remedy this further down the line to try and balance out the scales a little.
Aesthetically, Westworld looks fantastic and there’s some really nice set design in this too. Not only that, but the visual design of the show on the whole continues to deliver the goods. The real mystery here stems from exactly what William is doing and why he’s buying up all this land and gaining control of these mainframes. Hopefully we find out soon. Whatever it is, it’s not going to be good.
The first episode eases into further mysteries to come but for now, this seasons gets off to a decent start.