Westworld “The Riddle of the Sphinx” Confession

I totally missed it.

My whole bit is supposed to be about how much I loved Lost but I missed it. The director claims it wasn’t on purpose. Does that really matter? It was almost exactly the same, and I missed it.

I’m talking about the opening of last night’s “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” the fourth episode of Westworld season two. A record disk spins an upbeat rhythm, we’re in some kind of apartment. There’s a man on a bike. We aren’t sure who this is. Sound familiar? It should! The man doesn’t do any dishes, and no hatch gets blown open but we saw almost the exact same thing at the beginning of “Man of Science, Man of Faith.”

This didn’t even occur to me as I watched it. My excuse is I was too busy looking for signs of what timeline we’re in because that’s one of my biggest beefs with Westworld to-date. I made an effort to follow it better last night, and my reward was missing such an obvious parallel with Lost.

I’m embarrassed. I can barely show my face on this blog. I resolve to do better.

This brings up an interesting column on Wired by Angela Watercutter (no relation), who writes about her obsession with every Westworldian detail:

I’m going to do what I should’ve done with Lost in the first place: Sit back and watch. Don’t worry about clues. Ignore Twitter and message boards. If there’s something I’m supposed to know, Westworld will tell me.

I agree. Like her, I got so deep into the layers of little mysteries that I missed too much of the larger story the show was trying to tell. If it’s important, the show will make a big deal out of it (Jack’s relationship with his father). If it’s not important, it won’t (why Jack’s number is 23).

Damon says as much:
 “Which in the case of our show is, “The numbers are bad luck, they keep popping up in Hurley’s life, they appear on the island.” … But if you’re watching the show for a detailed explanation of what the numbers mean—and I’m not saying you won’t see more of them—then you will be disappointed by the end of season six.”

You could argue that Lost made too much sometimes of little things it had no intention of answering. That would be a fair point.

I take this laid back approach with most shows now, except for maybe Game of Thrones. I do like to make predictions there. But I try to keep it confined to predictions about the story and support them with things we may have seen in the show. Not find nuggets buried in a scene and extrapolate what they might mean, which is what I think happened too much with Lost.

Last night’s episode was my favourite of the entire series so far. It was easier to follow than others and, like Game of Thrones can sometimes do, it set aside Maeve and Dolores aside to give more time to Bernard and William. I think that made for a better story. It might also mean we’re headed for an overdose of Maeve and Dolores next week. Both characters are a bore in season two, so I hope not.

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