'Westworld' Must-See Moment: It's Time to Talk About Maeve

Westworld Still 2 - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of HBO

Someone's causing a whole lot of trouble in Westworld.

Really, apply that idea to virtually every single character, and it works. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is on the warpath, aiming to find "the Maze," an enigmatic location (or is it more an idea, not a physical place?) that's on several other people's radars: Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), to name a few. Ford's causing mischief of his own, creating a new narrative that has tough-as-nails operations director Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) all but pulling out her hair. Dolores is running all over creation with William (Jimmi Simpson), while William's pal Logan (Ben Barnes) embarks on a full-scale black hat mission. Then there's the whole question about the mole, and who is working against Westworld from the inside. 

Again, the list of dramatic players is pretty much endless at this point — which is why it's important not to lose sight of one of the biggest players of them all, Maeve (Thandie Newton).

Both the fourth and fifth episodes of the series, "Dissonance Theory" and "Contrapasso," end with major Maeve reveals. In the fourth episode, Maeve correctly concludes that the surreal nature of her existence isn't just in her head; when she envisions "the Shade," she's envisioning reality, not some sort of nightmare plane. In the fifth episode, Maeve quietly follows that rabbit further down the hole, consistently arriving in front of the same livestock technician with the same need for repairs. Finally, just as the tech successfully reanimates a robot bird (don't ask), Maeve springs to life, calm and collected, with complete control over her functions.

"Hello, Felix," she tells the man as the bird lands on her finger, like a scene out of a fairy tale. "It's time you and I had a chat." The expression on Newton's face sends shivers down the spines of those who are closely following the Westworld narrative, and there's a good reason why.

There's a promise at the heart of Westworld, based on its origins as a 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton. At some point, the mechanical hosts will become aware of their nature, and the results will not be pleasant for the humans in power. This idea has been steady from the very beginning of the series, mostly focused on Dolores. Between her esoteric conversations with Bernard and Ford, and her quest to Pariah and beyond with William, Dolores' journey toward consciousness has been one of the show's great centerpieces. But don't discount Maeve. The tough-as-nails madame of the Sweetwater brothel has lived at least one past life that we already know a little bit about, and right now, she seems primed for an all-new existence she never could have anticipated.

Ahead of the series premiere, THR spoke with Evan Rachel Wood about what to expect from Westworld, and she said something that's worth bringing up again now: "The roles for the women on this show are going to be very revolutionary." This has certainly been the case for Dolores, after five episodes of watching the park's oldest host travel toward an epiphany. Based on where things are set up now, it's a smart bet that Maeve's revolutionary status will only heat up further starting with Sunday's episode, "The Adversary."

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