Westworld Episode 10 Playback: rating the performances in the final episode

December 6, 2016

Which characters were top class in last night's episode, and which fell short of the mark? 


This season was littered with memorable  performances from all of the mainstay characters, and bolstered by some surprise cameos. And wherever you looked last night, someone was lining up for a revelatory final act, but did they all live up to the hype?


Here is a look at the top performances from last night's episode, especially in consideration of the episode nine power rankings, with a mark out of ten for each of them. 


Clementine -- 5/10 


After being brain-hacked by Arnold, Ford, and subsequently Maeve, the young starlet (harlot) didn't have much left to muster in last night's episode except for straight posture and an expression that can only be categorized as "dumb-face." In her defense, she was never really a mainstay from the start, but we were beginning to think she had a chance to rise out of the ranks in the finale. 


Rapey Lab Tech aka Destin -- 5/10 


Caught with his pants down and a barely visible outline of a boner ready to plunder badboy Hector's spur-hole, Destin got his comeuppance at the hands of the wicked Armistice (later on this list) before he could even penetrate. Hey, Destin, being offline does not imply consent! 


Stubbs -- 5/10 


The whole place is getting shot up and you're nowhere to be found. I guess you died last week and they didn't think about giving your story-line any real closure. Thanks for letting us make jokes about your name all season, Ashley Stubbs. PS you are Chris Hemsworth's brother. 


Charlotte -- 6/10 


After basically being told to "fuck off" by the Man in Black last week, Charlotte Hale seems to have done just that. I might have been drinking a lot of boxwine during last night's episode, but I definitely don't remember this lady doing anything memorable. 


Logan -- 6.5/10 


This cowboy got his ride-into-the-sunset in the full nude as we saw William turning from white hat to blackman in this anti-buddy-story. Will the second season open with Logan pony-prancing into whatever new park the showrunners decide on? Doubtful. But half a point goes to Ben Barnes sexy hide as he gives bareback a new meaning at the half hour mark last night. 


Asian Lab Tech -- 7/10 


Okay, so this guy was a doofus all season, but last night he either took his incompetence to a new level or... OR... in a crazy twist, he has been hired as host to Maeve's storyline. Could this be the premace of future seasons? Instead of the humans being guided through the world by cyborg hosts, the cyborgs are guided through an alternate world by human hosts? What world would that be? And would that mean that this guy was in on the ruse all along? As Lutz (that's his character's real name) might say, "It's complicated." 


Teddy Flood -- 8/10 


"Maybe it's just the beginning after all," Teddy proclaims in his last waking moment in Sunday's episode before being frozen under the moonlight as an expensive fixture in Dr. Ford's magnum opus. Yeah, Teddy, and maybe you'll just get stabbed again and again for eternity and never figure it the fuck out. But there's hope for you yet, you young gunslinger. I saw you shoot that dummy in the middle of town then dip back onto the train that brought you in... was it your programming, or is your love for the series' most confused heroine really a force big enough to bring you to life? 


Arnold/Bernard -- 8/10 


We knew this character would not be retired after last week's semi-cliffhanger ending (which was actually more of a commentary of cliffhanger endings than a cliffhanger itself, so ironic, so meta, so post, so neo) but after the huge reveal last week, Arnold didn't make much ground in terms of character development in the finale. His self-sacrifice at Sweetwater was chilling, but nothing that the showrunners can't retract in future episodes. Top marks for him bringing the series slogan back into the frame as Delores capped his ass, and a top character all season long. 


Armistice and Hector -- 8.5/10 


This badass duo, spearheaded by the Maeve in Black, carried us through an action sequence reminiscent of the original Matrix lobby scene, complete with sick weaponry, a behind-the-pillar pop-out, and an elevator escape, all set to Ramin Djawadi's original score, Violent Delights. Both of them meet their makers at the end, but with impeccable style. 


The Man in Black/William -- 9/10


The surprise would have been sweeter if it hadn't been beat to shit by internet pundits the entire season, but the long foreshadowed reveal of W = MIB came alongside a great interchange between Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood, culminating in a Dolores smackdown and gut-check. When we leave William in the episode, a shitstorm is coming upon the park's ritzy visitors, and the whiskey-drunk black hat can do nothing but smile at his own maker-meeting. 


Maeve -- 9/10 


I might catch some shit for this one, as she nearly single-handedly set all things in motion for this episode... NEARLY... the twist to this one is that someone is still pulling her strings. Could her awakening be more than happenstance, but a carefully constructed, increasingly complicated loop set down by Ford and Arnold, or is her decision to go back into the park a real signal of her free will? Regardless, I still think it would have been entertaining to see her dumped into the real world and have to start out with a job at Starbucks. "Lady, you're 40 and have no work experience and references. Go pour some cold brews and try not to stab anyone." 



Dr. Ford -- 10/10 


Firstly, his masterminded magnum opus is a complete mindfuck, as he breaks down the fourth wall on the viewer then constructs a FIFTH wall where we are looking through the eyes of the visitors, who are watching the play unfold, then pause, then unfold again. Then he unlocks Michelangelo's secrets and references the classical composer geniuses of the millennium, all before being assassinated by his own design. And that's the best part of it all, he designed the assassination sequence. This viewer is not fooled, we know that was a body double, Dr. Ford. The real Dr. Ford is back in that weird house somewhere petting your old dog and watching your dad drink his life away. See you next season, Anthony Hopkins. Maybe you can be a little less robotic with your line delivery the next time around. 


Dolores -- 10/10 


From can-dropping blue-dress cowgirl, to a gunslinger with a mean right-hook, Evan Rachel Wood's heroine ran the gamut this season, with the final episode a microcosm of her growth. Along the way, she helps reveal to us that the park is meant for the hosts, not the humans, and that her computerized construction is the basis of the entire park's intellectual property -- her awakening is so valuable that Ford and Arnold are both willing to sacrifice their lives (sort of) and the safety of Westworld to see her pass their doped-up version of the Turing Test. 35 years in the making, Dolores is teaching the viewer that cognition and humanity do not come from a singular event or hierarchy of algorithmic functions, but from a lifetime narrative of misplaced and re-constructed memories, each with their own pains and sorrows. The sum of the mind is greater than each of its parts, and of infinite value. 






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