*TV SERIES RECAP: WESTWORLD (Season 3)

We went full Matrix this season; Going beyond Science Fiction and more in-depth into philosophical themes of reality and consciousness. The complete series, seasons 1-3, feel like Cinematic TV at its finest.

Season 1 was excellent — I thought it was pure genius in every single aspect. I still believe that it was one of the most revolutionary, mind-blowing shows ever made. Season 2 was a bit underwhelming for me when compared to the first season, but I still liked it and found it to be pretty entertaining.

WESTWORLD Season 3 reinvents the western vibe of the whole series — following the escape of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) from the park at the end of season 2. Now we have a futuristic “real world” type of setting outside of the Westworld park.

The brilliant thing is that this future world looks and feels believable; it does not feel like a far-fetched version of a futuristic society. It feels like this type of setting, and this way of life is entirely possible, and like it is something within reach for all of us who live under our current timeline. All the little futuristic details worked well for me.

However, there is way too much exposition — lots and lots of exposition. Every single episode is full of drawn-out exposition. Things do not get going until the very end of almost every episode. This is not necessarily a bad thing — I just wasn’t in the best of moods when I binged through it.

I cannot get enough of Dolores; she is one awesome character. She has gone from this farm girl — always a victim type of character to a tough, take no prisoners approach, driven by revenge. There is so much room to keep growing and developing this character beyond this season….. If there is a season 4, then by all means, Dolores has got to be the central character.

Maeve (Thandie Newton) was very compelling in every single season; however, now, in season 3, she seems stuck and not really going anywhere. She is still trying to reunite with her fictional daughter, who has escaped into “The Valley Beyond.” Maeve’s character doesn’t seem to be developing further, and she is essentially repeating the same twists from previous seasons.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is suffering from similar issues as the Maeve character. He spends most of this season Prophesizing the end of times. Plus, Bernard now has Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) as a sidekick. I really don’t know how I feel about this — and besides escaping into the human world, these two characters did not really do much.

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) has been consistently excellent ever since she showed up on season 2, but towards the end of this season, it felt like they were running out of ideas on what to do with this character.

William (Ed Harris) was always believed to be the real villain behind everything (believed by me, that is). Season 1 and season 2 established William as this sadistic, evil overlord, and Season 3 was all about redemption for William…. I am not sure William’s redemption was accomplished.

New Character Caleb (Aaron Paul) is a former soldier dealing with PTSD and struggling to readjust to life after his military service. I could not get into this character as much as I tried. Anyhow, he is supposed to be a john Connor type of character, leading the revolution — leading both humans and hosts.

The addition of Serac (Vincent Cassell) was a great idea. I am a big fan of Cassell’s work (everybody should watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, 2001). This Serac character is fascinating — his backstory was one of the highlights of this season.

…and what about the rest of the Hosts barely used this season like Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr), Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker), and so on…. I wanted to see them more involved in season 3. I also wonder if Teddy (James Marsden) will return in season 4. His absence was felt; Teddy was needed this season.

Hard to say if this series will go on; I sense the opportunity to move this series forward has been missed. I must admit that for me, there was an apparent drop-off from the first two seasons in terms of engagement. Nevertheless, I did enjoy all the profound philosophical and existential aspects of this season; however, sadly, I am no longer as invested or excited about future seasons as I once was.

Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿

Streaming on HBO MAX

*NFL WEEK 5 (2020 Season)

Dwayne Haskins got benched and demoted a few days before this game. He now finds himself behind Kyle Allen and Alex Smith in the starting rotation. This move was supposed to give the offense a spark heading into some winnable divisional games in the upcoming weeks (Cowboys and Giants twice). If Haskins was supposed to be the scapegoat for all the recent losses—and the reason behind all the anemic offensive play, well, then this move did the complete opposite, and it showed that they have more significant and more profound issues beyond Dwayne Haskins.

Kyle Allen did not play bad; he even ran for our one and only touchdown; however, the offense did not seem to be any better or more dynamic under Allen as a quarterback. On the contrary, they actually seemed to regress. The one bright-shining spot in this god-awful game was seeing Alex Smith return to the field. It felt like a Hollywood scene watching him getting back under center and handle his first NFL snap since that horrific leg injury that almost cost him his life. But Alex did not seem like himself; he was not effective moving the offense, he looked rusty, his mobility wasn’t there, and he even took a bunch of hits and sacks. I wasn’t surprised that Alex struggled this much, I mean, the man almost died, and less than a year later, he is back on the field. The question to me is whether or not he will be able to get back to form and play as well as he was playing before getting hurt last year. 

The defense was the biggest disappointment in this game, they had their butts handed to them, and it was by far their worst performance this season. Our defense was supposed to be our strength —the Rams were able to move the ball up and down the field and score on them almost at will. This game wasn’t even close. Unlike previous games, this game was not very encouraging to watch, and it is a cause for concern; and if we lose to the Giants next week, we should press the panic button immediately. 

WFT 10 — RAMS 30:

And for the rest of the league….

STEELERS 38 — EAGLES 29:

The Steelers are 4-0, and nobody outside of Pittsburgh is making a big deal about this. Big Ben is healthy and playing well, their defense is solid, and this AFC North division is much more competitive than I imagined. Carson Wentz continues to struggle and throwing multiple interceptions per game. It doesn’t get any easier for Philly; they have Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to contend with next week.

COWBOYS 37 — GIANTS 34:

Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome injury and is now out for the rest of the year. Andy Dalton came in and played well, putting Dallas in excellent field position for a Zuerlein game-winning kick. Curious to see how Dallas will respond with Andy Dalton as quarterback going forward. The Giants are 0-5, and they have a date with my Washington Football Team next Sunday.

RAIDERS 40 — CHIEFS 32:

Huge victory by this Vegas team — The AFC West division will be a three-team race, and the Raiders took a big step towards making the playoffs by dominating the defending Super Bowl champions. This Raiders team is built for the long haul, and come December; they will be in the middle of it all. Kansas City lost their first game this season, and it seems like teams are beginning to figure out how to slow down Patrick Mahomes. 

TEXANS 30 — JAGUARS 14:

In their first game after firing Bill O’Brien, the Texans came out to make a statement and win their first game this season. It doesn’t get any easier for Houston; they play Tennessee and Green Bay in the next two weeks. I’m sure Romeo Crennel as the oldest active coach in the NFL, will have this Houston team well prepared and ready to start winning some games. The Jaguars are just bad this year.

RAVENS 27 — BENGALS 3:

Baltimore made Joe Burrow look like the rookie that he is. But Lamar Jackson also struggled for most of the game. The Bengals’ upside is that they are a young team on the rise, and the Ravens have another winnable game against the Eagles next Sunday. 

SEAHAWKS 27 — VIKINGS 26:

This game was excellent. Kirk Cousins brought Minnesota to the brink of victory, but a highly questionable call by head coach Zimmer, deciding to go for 2 points instead of an extra point, cost them dearly at the end of the game. Russell Wilson is officially the most clutch quarterback in the NFL…PERIOD!

PANTHERS 23 — FALCONS 16:

Dan Quinn became the 2nd Head coach fired this season, and his termination came almost immediately after another frustrating loss for Atlanta. The Falcons have massive changes to make next season, from new Head Coach to new General manager and potentially a new franchise quarterback. Carolina started the season slow at 0-2 and now find themselves at 3-2 with solid quarterback play from Terry Bridgewater.

BROWNS 32 — COLTS 23:

Cleveland is looking like the team we were promised by all the media hype last season, and Baker Mayfield is playing better than last year. However, next week they have another tough test against the 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts got away from the winning formula that had them winning 3 games in a row. Indianapolis could not get their running game going and relied on Phillip Rivers’s air game. 

BEARS 20 — BUCCANEERS 19:

Nick Foles owns Tom Brady, simple as that. This was a fun game to watch. Brady made a costly mistake at the end of the game by forgetting which down it was, and sports media is making a huge deal out of it. 

DOLPHINS 43 — 49ERS 17:

FitzMagic and the Dolphins embarrassed San Francisco. Kyle Shanahan has seen enough of Jimmy G and benched him. The 49ers are struggling this season, and Jimmy G might be done in San Francisco. 

CARDINALS 30 — JETS 10:

Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins are fire together. Sam Darnold is probably regretting being drafted by such a mess of an organization. I find it interesting how the Jets always find themselves in the head coaching market every couple of years. Maybe ownership might be the root of the problem here.

SAINTS 30 — CHARGERS 27:

The Chargers are playing way better than what their 1-4 record suggests. Their rookie quarterback Justin Herbert is impressive, and it is beyond evident that their focus should be to build around him. Drew Bress is still ‘Da Man’ in New Orleans. His play is still elite, and this game proved it once again — Any talk of replacing him is just crazy talk at this time. 

TITANS 42 — BILLS 16:

Extremely surprised at how dominant Tennesee was in this game. The Bills and Titans were both undefeated coming into this game, and of the two, I expected Buffalo to be the more physical and dynamic.