Ariana DeBose is a Terrible Roommate in ‘Westworld’

I love Ariana DeBose. I adored her Oscar-winning turn as Anita in West Side Story and obsessed over her tap dancing routing in Schmigadoon! Ariana DeBose is categorically awesome. Her new Westworld character is not, though. DeBose plays Evan Rachel Wood’s party-loving roommate Maya. At first, Maya seems like the platonic ideal of a “cool roommate” for Wood’s Christina. She asks for advice on shoes and sets up dates for Christina. However, but the end of the Westworld Season 4 premiere, Maya had left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Ariana DeBose’s Westworld character is an absolutely terrible roommate. She peer-pressures Christina into going on a date and then abandons her, forcing the shy Christina to walk home alone and straight into the path of her unhinged stalker. Maya breaks the number one rule of being a female roommate/friend by shrugging off Christina’s safety. And, spoilers, but in next week’s episode of Westworld, she doubles down on her rude roommate status.

Sure, the Man in Black (Ed Harris) might be a psychopathic cyborg murdering people left and right, but I personally think Maya could turn out to be a worse kind of villain. A shitty roommate.

Westworld Season 4 opens — I guess, because what is time in Westworld? — about seven years after the events of Westworld Season 3. While the host formerly known as Dolores Abernathy is dead, actress Evan Rachel Wood has returned. Now she is an auburn-haired writer named Christina who works at Olympiad Entertainment, where she contrives of backstories for NPCs in video games. At first, it seems that Christina’s life is pretty idyllic. After all, she lives in a utopian vision of New York City, full of glittering tech and sharply dressed professionals. Her roommate, Maya, seems fun and cool. However it’s becomes apparently more and more clear that something is wrong with this world and Christina may be one of the only people to see it.
Photo: HBO

One thing that Christina can’t see, though, is Maya may not have her best interests at heart.

So here’s the thing that bugs me about Maya. First of all, it seems that Christina and Maya aren’t random single ladies who found each other on Craigslist, but roomies who were friends first. When that happens, there is going to be a tighter bond between two female roommates. To wit, Maya is shaping Christina’s social life, with invitations to meet men and pleas to come out dancing. But it seems that Maya can’t catch a clue that Christina would rather just hang out at home and paint than scour the city for men. In fact, Christina feels deeply uncomfortable on the date Maya sets her up on. So much so, I didn’t understand why Maya couldn’t tell her friend wanted nothing to do with the outing.

Then Maya did the worst thing a woman can do to her bestie when they are out on the town: she abandoned Christina. We watch as Christina walks home alone in safe-appearing streets, only to be cornered by a stalker with a knife. Her life is briefly in danger, but a mysterious hero steps in, leaving Christina with only a shallow gash on her arm. Guys, I was so mad at Maya. She left Christina high and dry and it was creepy, bad, terrible roommate behavior.

The unspoken rule of being a single woman sharing a home with another single female roommate is you look out for one another. You make sure you both get home safe. You pick up cold medications when the other is sick. You take care of each other because you know no one else will. That’s why Maya’s behavior struck me as so odd. It was so…bad.

Spoilers, but Maya’s bad roommate energy extends in Westworld Season 4 Episode 2. No, she’s not revealed to be an evil robot. Christina makes herself a cup of coffee and Maya just steals it for herself, thereby breaking the second sacred law of being a roommate. You don’t steal your roomie’s food, especially not their caffeine.

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