After over a year away, and with no Game of Thrones in 2018, there was added pressure on Westworld to deliver as HBO's big-budget, tentpole series this year. Unfortunately, it didn't quite achieve it.
While the production values were once again stunning and it had the performances to match, there's something so frustrating in the way Westworld cannot reach its full potential. It's quite telling that the best episode of Season 2, Kiksuya, was something of a standalone. It was able to really focus on character, allowing us to fully understand his motivations and arc, and layering in emotion through that.
For the rest of the show, while it still offers up some thrilling entertainment, it's bogged down in Jonathan Nolan's apparent obsession with baiting Reddit. The majority of the season, like with the first, feels designed to obfuscate viewers from the truth so that they can shock with a plot twist. However, that means most of the twists don't feel organic or earned, and the show's insistence on playing around with multiple timelines are again more designed to generate theories than they aid the plot. The tools for a great show are there, but rather than complex characters and tackling the bigger ideas, it too-often seems like it's made up along the way to keep people guessing.