The Adversary (Westworld)

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"The Adversary"
Westworld episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 6
Directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
Written by
Featured music Ramin Djawadi
Cinematography by
Editing by Tanya Swerling
Production code 4X6156
Original air date November 6, 2016 (2016-11-06)
Running time 57 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Contrapasso"
Next →
"Trompe L'Oeil"

"The Adversary" is the sixth episode of the HBO science fiction thriller television series Westworld. The episode aired on November 6, 2016.

The episode received positive reviews from critics, with Thandie Newton's performance being praised as a particular highlight of the episode.

Plot[edit]

The Man in Black and Teddy continue their journey to find Wyatt, by heading to Pariah for answers. Along the way, Teddy explains that the Maze is part of native folklore, where the Maze represents a man's life. At the very center of Maze lies a powerful and immortal man who built the Maze to protect himself. However, they learn that the Union Army has closed the border, preventing them from proceeding further. Determined to reach Pariah, the Man in Black and Teddy disguise themselves as Union soldiers in an attempt to slip past the blockade. One of the soldiers then recognizes Teddy and accuses him of being an accomplice to Wyatt's massacre of his unit. The Man in Black and Teddy are subsequently captured, with the Union soldiers planning to brand Teddy with a symbol of the Maze to mark him as a traitor. Teddy has a flashback confirming that he indeed was complicit in Wyatt's massacre and breaks free of his bonds. He then commandeers a Gatling gun and kills all of the Union soldiers at the camp, much to the Man in Black's surprise. The two then continue their journey.

Lee, distraught over Ford rejecting his narrative, resigns himself to lounging at the company pool and getting drunk, complaining to Theresa how his work is unappreciated. He then spies an unfamiliar woman with whom he tries to flirt, but she instead asks piercing questions about the nature of his narratives and his desire to stay in control at all times. Later, inebriated, Lee disrupts park operations by publicly urinating in the control room. He is then confronted by Theresa, who introduces the woman from before as Charlotte Hale, a representative of the park's supervising Board sent to observe the park.

Theresa, now aware of Dr. Ford's knowledge of her affair with Bernard, informs Bernard that she wants to end their relationship. She fears that since it is QA's job to oversee all of the other departments, the revelation that she is sleeping with the head of the Behavior department could create a conflict of interest and hurt her credibility in the eyes of the Board. Bernard reluctantly agrees.

Bernard continues his investigations into the stray host by tracking its recorded movements. However, in the process, he discovers a number of unregistered hosts operating in Sector 17, an abandoned section of the park. Bernard travels to Sector 17 where he finds a small family of hosts. Dr. Ford reveals that this particular host family is based on his own family, and are first generation hosts that Arnold designed for him. Dr. Ford keeps them operational in secret as a way to preserve their memory. Bernard then returns to the control center, now troubled about Dr. Ford's motives.

Elsie continues to investigate the glitches by accessing an old data relay capable of remotely transmitting data to first generation hosts. She discovers evidence that Theresa is the person responsible for trying to smuggle data out of Westworld through the stray host. In addition, she discovers that another person, most likely Arnold, has been using the relay to remotely reprogram the first generation hosts, potentially allowing them to disregard their core directives such as to not harm humans. After warning Bernard about her discoveries, Elsie is grabbed from behind by an unknown assailant.

While surveying land for his new narrative, Dr. Ford comes across the symbol of the Maze carved on a table and is intrigued by it. He goes through Arnold's old notebooks and finds a sketch of the symbol. He then checks in on his host family and finds the family dog dead. He interrogates young Robert, the child host, who lies that the dog died naturally. Dr. Ford catches the lie and figures out that Robert killed the dog. On further interrogation, Robert admits that he was told to "put the dog out of its misery" by Arnold.

Maeve begins deliberately getting herself killed so she can continue her chats with Felix. Felix reveals the entire truth to her, showing her how all of her personality and responses are programmed and giving her a tour through the labs and entrance lobby of the park, showing that all of Westworld is fake. Sylvester discovers what Felix has done and threatens to inform QA, but Maeve, through a combination of threats and business savvy, convinces Sylvester to help her as well. She asks them to modify some of her programming to her advantage, such as making her smarter and increasing her pain tolerance. When they check her program, the duo realize that somebody with very high system access has already covertly modified Maeve's program. Regardless, at Maeve's request, they set her intelligence to the maximum level.

Production[edit]

"The Adversary" was written by Halley Gross and series co-creator Jonathan Nolan, and was directed by Frederick E.O. Toye,[1] who worked with Nolan on his previous TV series, Person of Interest.

This episode features a strings-only cover of "Motion Picture Soundtrack" not by usual composer Ramin Djawadi, but rather by Vitamin String Quartet, which plays as Felix gives Maeve a tour through the Westworld facilites.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

"The Adversary" was viewed by 1.64 million American households on its initial viewing.[2] The episode also acquired a 0.7 rating in the 18–49 demographic.[2] In the United Kingdom, the episode was seen by 1.07 million viewers on Sky Atlantic.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Thandie Newton received praise for her performance as Maeve

"The Adversary" received positive reviews from critics. The episode currently has a 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has an average rating of 8.6 out of 10, based on 23 reviews. The site's consensus reads "'The Adversary' shifts its focus to Maeve with one of Westworld's most haunting and moving sequences — and an episode that balances character development against the continual advancement of numerous storylines."[4]

Eric Goldman of IGN reviewed the episode positively, saying, "Thandie Newton has done fantastic work all season, but this episode was a true standout for her, as she expertly played Maeve going through so much and processing so much."[5] He gave it a score of 8.8 out of 10.[5] Scott Tobias of The New York Times wrote in his review of the episode; "Westworld has been tossed into the same TV-MA basket as HBO shows like Game of Thrones, True Detective and Rome, which have brought the network some criticism for appealing heavily to libidinous men. The difference is that Westworld has been, from the very first image of the show, studiously anti-erotic, despite a premise whose human subjects indulge a lust for consequence-free sex and violence. If you were bored by the orgy, that's not a mistake on the part of the filmmakers."[6] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club wrote in his review, "'The Adversary' goes a long way towards rebuilding the faith I lost in previous weeks. And it does this by focusing on character need as much as on mystery."[7] He gave the episode an A-.[7]

Liz Shannon Miller of IndieWire wrote in her review, "There are some great sequences in this episode, and if we weren't already pulling for Thandie Newton in the Best Supporting Actress category at next year's Emmys, we sure as hell are now."[8] She gave the episode a B+.[8] James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly wrote in his review, "This is a reason I'm loving Westworld. We think this show is about AI. And it is, to some degree. But what's surprising is how the plight of the hosts can give us a fresh perspective on what it means to be human."[9] He gave the episode an A-.[9] Rebecca Hawkes of The Daily Telegraph wrote in her review, "At times during this week's episode, 'The Adversary', it felt as if we were inching nearer to a few of the answers we're so desperately craving. At others, we felt hopelessly lost — but in the best possible way."[10] David Crow of Den of Geek said in his review, "while the episode as a whole was quite powerful, it is stained just enough to cost it that fifth star. Nonetheless, 'The Adversary' was high-quality television as a whole, and there is undoubtedly plenty of fun (and answers) to be had in the first season's final four episodes to come."[11] He gave the episode a four out of five.[11] Erik Kain of Forbes also reviewed the episode, saying, "this feels very much like the calm before the storm. That moment right before the wave comes crashing down, casting everything in its wake against the rocky shore. Then again, we're just six episodes deep. Judging by the restraint shown so far, we may have another episode or two of growing mystery, rising tension, and random acts of crazy disturbing violence before everything implodes."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Westworld 06: The Adversary". HBO. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 8, 2016). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Walking Dead' down but stays on top, 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' returns lower". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Top 30 Ratings (7 - 13 November 2016)". BARB. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Adversary - Westworld: Season 1, Episode 6 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Westworld: "The Adversary" Review". IGN. November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Tobias, Scott (November 6, 2016). "'Westworld' Season 1, Episode 6: The Tipping Point". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Maeve goes through the looking glass on a strong Westworld". The A.V. Club. November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Miller, Liz Shannon (November 6, 2016). "'Westworld' Review: 'The Adversary' Makes Us Question Who the Real Bad Guys Are". IndieWire. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Westworld recap: 'The Adversary'". Entertainment Weekly. November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "Westworld episode 6 recap: is Arnold somehow still 'alive' in the park?". The Daily Telegraph. November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Westworld Episode 6 Review: The Adversary". Den of Geek. November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  12. ^ Kain, Erik (November 6, 2016). "'Westworld' Review: In 'The Adversary' We See The God In The Machine". Forbes. Retrieved November 7, 2016.

External links[edit]