Westworld: the epilogue without an ending
My thoughts on one of the best sci-fi series in the last 10 years
In the past, I happened to talk about the TV series “Westworld” on FantascientifiCast (the link will take you to an English translation on my blog). However, the podcast episode and article only focused on the first season, as it was the only one that had been produced to that point.
It was followed by three more seasons.
If you have not seen the second and third seasons, stop reading, as you may find some spoilers. On the fourth, however, I limit myself to making some considerations, but which only really make sense to those who know what I’m talking about. In short, this article is mainly aimed at those who have seen the entire series.
The second season represented a true continuation of the first, since the story still took place within the park. At the time, I found its ending exciting, because it would have satisfied me even if they hadn’t renewed the series for more seasons. What I wanted was for the story to continue outside the park, in the real world of the future. An open ending like this, with the escape of Dolores (or rather her artificial intelligence), was at least a promise of this continuation.
One of the reasons I love open endings in stories where there’s a lot that is left unresolved is that I can always imagine for myself what happens next.
But then the third season actually arrived, and it was even better than expected.
What I appreciated is precisely the way in which it represents an extreme take on our reality, in which everything we do could be influenced by the data (information, advertising, etc.) that is shown to us based on our browsing habits and on what we interact with when we are online. If whatever manages what we are continuously exposed to was not an algorithm whose final aim is only to induce us to buy products, but an artificial super-intelligence, its ability to condition our vision of reality to push us to become what it wants (or what someone else has decided) does not seem like something impossible at all.
I must admit that while watching the third season, I looked several times with suspicion at the cookie banner that appears…