Having just wrapped up the second season finale of Westworld, HBO’s killer hit about robots populating a Wild West theme park that slowly come to some semblance of consciousness, I can’t help but sit here and just…
Stare blankly at the wall. Because holy shit.
I’ll be honest. After the absolutely wonderful first season and everything the show did to subvert any and all ideas about what was happening through unreliable narrators and timeline fuckery, I figured the second season would be way more straight-forward and focused on the repercussions of the first.
Also on samurai. Because all of the promotional material leading into the second season featured glimpses of Shogun World, a feudal Japanese-themed park adjacent to West World.
Those portions of the season set in Shogun World were just as amazing as advertised, by the way.
But that’s beside the point. What I’m getting at is the fact that the second season of the show wound up once again subverting my expectations by creating an absolutely beautiful loop of events through multiple timelines and a twisted web of character actions and motivations.
The writing in the show is absolutely beautifully well-done and leaves no thread unresolved. Except for those that are clearly setting up events for season three, but that’s a more spoiler-ridden discussion that I’m not planning on going into since we’re so fresh off the episode’s release.
If you are interested in marinating in the world of spoilers and mind-blowing writing loops, I do have some solace for you. That’s a world that is adjacent to what I’m looking to chat about today.
See right after the Marvel-esque post-credit scene, my dad decided to try to look up some answers as to what the hell just happened. He came across this very timely article by The Wrap where some questions were answered in strikingly specific detail by one of the show’s co-creators.
I would imagine they might want the crazy speculation trade to run rampant for a few days to drudge up more interest, but I can’t argue about having tangible answers.
Reading through the small interview got me thinking about the fascinating dynamic that’s created between an artist or creator of any kind and those who take in the created work.
After essentially melting into a pile of my own brain goo after watching the constantly evolving and ramping finale to the show, it was almost jarring to watch one of the co-creators treat the exact same content with such a casual, omnipotent attitude.
But then it occurred to me. Of COURSE she’d be almost unreasonably casual about it. She’s known what was going to happen since before the physical show itself had a single frame recorded. All creators know what their works look like well before it’s observed by the public at large.
As someone who creates stories himself, both non-fiction stories and fictional ones (in my head at the very least), I suppose I’ve experienced the exact same thing. Seeing people come to see an article I’ve written is something that has made me feel really proud, even excited.
Despite the fact that it’s at a much smaller scale than a HBO hit series.
That scale is hard to imagine, but must be incredibly satisfying to experience. Thousands of people, hundreds of thousands even, all in the same place I currently am as a fan, all flooding the internet with messages of bewilderment and craving the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the content we just absorbed.
It must be insanely gratifying to not only watch those people come in, but to be able to provide them answers that have been in-the-works for not just all the weeks leading up to the show’s finale, but the months of production before that.
For a show like Westworld, that level of gratification is certainly warranted. I wish nothing but the best upon those who brought such a beautiful creation into the world for everyone to experience.
Especially one based on a cheese-y 70’s flick. Because the way that original idea became this new phenomenon is an incredible transformation in its own right.
The whole idea of bringing something into the world for others to experience that’s full of hopefully surprising developments has gotten me thinking more about my own personal works as well. Over the next few weeks I’m likely going to be working more on the proposal for the novel I’m going to write as my senior honors project, and I might just be posting things around here about that to gauge interest, acquire feedback or simply store my ideas for the future.
So stay tuned for that, if you’re interested in seeing what I’ll be cooking up!