‘Westworld’ season 4 reviews can’t decide if it’s a return to form or not

Westworld
Image via HBO

Westworld season four promises another mind-bending journey into the human mind and the nature of consciousness, the reality as we perceive it. But it seems that Jonathan Nolan’s small screens return is once again dividing critics as season three did two years ago.

Starring Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, and Aaron Paul, this forthcoming run of Westworld will pick up the narrative where the previous season left, though you may have a hard time recollecting what really happened the last time we saw these characters, as do we.

The early reaction isn’t amenable, either, since most critics think season four is either a very successful attempt by the show to find its footing again or yet another terrible misfire that turns the whole thing into an even more middling piece of television.

Collider heaped praise on Westworld‘s return, with an “A-” rating that cheers its return to form. “Ultimately, Westworld hasn’t gone back to the place where it all started, and continues to expand its scope far beyond the borders of the park, but rather than this resulting in more disarray, what plays out are the exciting twists, turns, and surprises through time that will make anyone sit up and take notice.”

Vanity Fair and Empire also shared these sentiments, with the former commenting that season four has a “few new tweaks that approximate the thrill of innovation,” while the latter called it “beautiful, baffling, and bonkers.”

Daniel D’Addario of Variety was more critical in his overview, noting that Westworld might finally be getting lost in a maze of its own complexity.

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, didn’t hold back on the barrage of censure, writing: “The fourth season of Westworld is business as usual. It’s two episodes of comically elongated resetting of the pieces on this futuristic chessboard, followed by two episodes in which some of the ideas are provocative or at least amusing.”

Not that that clears anything up for you, but it seems that you’ll either really enjoy Westworld season four or hate it for mishandling what the first two seasons built up. All in all, if you’re a diehard fan of the series, you might find it easier to bear through Nolan’s natural propensity for mind-numbing complexity. And who knows? You might actually find yourself enjoying it, as you have for the past six years.

Either way, the first episode of season 4 will premiere Sunday night on HBO and HBO Max.