Summary: Caleb restores Dolores to a new body. Caleb takes the drive and goes to Incite to destroy Rehoboam. Dolores is separated from him by Charlotte and Maeve and she is defeated and taken back to Serac. Caleb gets to Rehoboam but Maeve stops him from inserting the drive. Maeve discovers that Serac is only a puppet and is operating purely under Rehoboam's control. Serac destroys the drive and deletes Dolores' memories, but this causes Maeve to enter a world with just her and Dolores and they finally come to terms with each other. It's revealed that Dolores' memories being injected into Rehoboam gave Caleb control over it. Caleb orders it to delete itself and Serac is horrified. Meanwhile, Bernard and Stubbs escape from William. Stubbs is injured so Bernard tries to help him. He discovers that the key to the host's world is in his head. Bernard enters the world to learn how to save humanity. Meanwhile William tries to hunt down the hosts and finds Charlotte in a facility. Charlotte reveals a host version of William who then kills the real William.
The Good: My praise remains the same as it has been all season. The show is pretty. It's well acted. On paper, there are some good scenes and some fun action sequences. I did enjoy the scenes with Dolores and Maeve speaking about their views and finally understanding each other, as well as Serac panicking once he realizes that he lost.
The Bad: But what has this show become? This once fascinating show is now just your everyday dumb sci fi drama with mindless action, boring characters, a lack of any clear storytelling and a plot that is so needlessly convoluted that I can't even say that I ever fully understood what was going on, and I certainly did not care enough to try to figure it out. This season was executed horrifically bad, and now that I know what the overall story arc was, it's completely clear to me how badly this show dropped the ball on what should have been a pretty easy story to convey. Instead, everything was made needlessly complex and confusing. The exposition in this show is terrible. None of these plots are ever convincingly explained, and so I'm always left confused as to what a lot of the characters are doing and what the point is. Looking back on the season, I now realize that so many plot threads were completely meaningless and unnecessary. I can't tell you how many unnecessary subplots there were of characters trying to find some meaningless and uninteresting piece of information from a powerful company. It's impossible for the viewers to care about any of these plots, and it's made even worse by the fact that we don't even know why the characters should care about these pieces of information either.
This leads me to my next point. The character motivations were horrendous in this episode. I was never entirely sure what any character wanted or what they were doing to further their own interests. The show had 7 whole episodes to make me understand these characters, and instead all of that time was wasted on dumb action, and I was left completely disconnected from everyone. This episode was the big climax where (almost) every character arc came together for one big confrontation. But it all meant nothing because I knew so little about all of these characters. No moments had any actual meaning.
The show is also having something of an identity crisis and it's impossible to take it seriously anymore. This episode tried so hard to be profound with its themes and characters and it fell flat on its face. I can't care about the themes because the characters are so badly written. Furthermore, none of the themes of free will or technology were even explained in any meaningful way. In the end, this season offers such a black-and-white perspective on its themes and nothing is explored well at all. An additional problem is that I can't even take the show seriously when it's trying to do this. One second we get these attempted emotional scenes, and I'm left feeling confused because these emotional scenes are packed between countless sequences of dumb, poorly choreographed action that contains no tension. It feels like two completely different shows, and none of them are executed well.
Now that I've expressed in general terms what I hated about this episode, and this season by extension, it's time for me to start getting into the details. However, I don't think I will go very in depth here. I'm sure there are other people out there that are more willing to pick apart the inconsistencies in the writing than I am. Besides, I'm nowhere near invested enough to pay complete attention to every little detail in this show and criticize it. It has been this same way throughout the season, and by this point I just don't want to waste any more of my time on this show.
So many moments in this episode fell completely flat because they were either awkward or gave me absolutely no reason to care about what was happening. These moments include William choosing to save the world, Bernard meeting with Arnold's widow (why, I have no idea), Caleb and Maeve joining forces after succeeding, and Ash and Giggles returning to help Caleb get to Incite. None of these moments got any sort of emotional reaction from me. I was just sitting there bored.
This episode made the massive action sequence from the last episode completely meaningless. The fight between Dolroes and Maeve had zero consequences. Both of them are fine, and I'm not even sure how they were able to come back so easily. Dolores was given a strange body that contradicts everything we knew about hosts beforehand while Maeve just regenerated offscreen apparently. Furthermore, Caleb's characetr journey in the last episode was made completely pointless. I thought it was leading to him taking independence and becoming the central focus of this finale. Instead, he never gets his chance to shine and never makes any meaningful decision at all. The focus is still squarely on Dolores and Maeve and Caleb feels like a spectator to everything, the same way he has been in every episode before this. At least before I thought he was being built up for something. But now it's painfully clear that the writers had no plans for him. He's not important at all and I feel like the time spent with him was a complete waste since there was no pay off in the end.
Charlotte's story didn't deliver either. She is so difficult to care about because she is just another Dolores. I know I can't expect any good character development for her because of that (Dolores and Maeve have become so, so bland) and so I'm not at all invested in her getting revenge for her family. Moreso, we aren't even given any compelling reasons for Charlotte to want to go after Dolores so definitively. After all, didn't Serac kill her family anyways? We aren't given any insight into her motivation and her decision-making. She just makes a choice offscreen and we're forced to go along with it. Very poor writing.
Then there are Bernard and Stubbs who were completely useless the whole season. In the end they did nothing. Literally. I can't name one single scene where they were important in the season. Both characters are 2-dimensional and boring and they ended up aimlessly wandering around the entire season which doesn't make for good television at all. The reveal that Bernard had the key all along is meaningless and it does nothing to interest me. The post-credits scene is also pretty dull and it didn't get me excited for season 4 at all.
Serac's character was completely decimated this episode. I've tried to ignore it but this show seems to really love to paint male characters as weak, pathetic and corrupt, only ever giving "positive" qualities to the females. Serac was the one exception to this trend and because of that, he seemed like an interesting villain. All of that was thrown away these past few episodes with some horrendous writing. Serac became more and more incompetent as the season went on and he fell for every single generic villain cliché you can think of. It was so disappointing to see. And what's the big pay-off for him? It turns out that he was weak, pathetic and corrupt as well, just a puppet for Rehoboam. And just like that, a compelling villain was completely destroyed and lost all credibility. Now he's just another weak and pathetic male character to get put in his place by the strong women of the show. It's a worrying trend and one that is so frustrating to watch because the writers seem to care much more about having strong women put weak men in their place than telling an actual story. I'm extremely disappointed that Serac's credibility as a character was sacrificed for this stupid reveal. He was the one thing that I was still invested in, and it led to absolutely no pay off whatsoever.
Lastly, we get to William who ended up being completely pointless this season. His character arc? Meaningless. It all went nowhere. I thought we were going to sit through a redemption arc of sorts that led to William returning to the evil, villainous man that we saw back in season 1. I was expecting the big pay off to come in this season finale. Instead William just dies and is replaced by a host. What? That's such a poor pay off for the character work we sat through in this season, and it makes every scene spent with the character feel like a total waste of time. What's worse is that this all happens in a post-credits scene! Was William really not worth giving an actual storyline to this season? This character was once one of the show's best, and now he has been delegated to being a waste of time that has no impact on the story at all. The handling of this character was awful and it's exemplary of how poor everything has been handled this season.
The Unknown: I have a few questions, but I really don't care to learn any of these answers.
Is Dolores actually dead? How about Rehoboam? What's next for Maeve, Caleb and Serac?
What has Bernard learned from his time with the hosts? Will he actually do something next season?
What is Charlotte's plan? What will she do with William?
Best Moment: Probably Serac begging for Rehoboam to respond after Caleb deleted it. It's the only moment in the whole episode that stood out to me.
Character of the Episode: Dolores.
Conclusion: This was a bad finale to a bad season. Usually by the end of the season, the story becomes stronger because then everything comes together and we can realize what all the storylines had been building towards. This finale did the opposite. It made me realize just how horrible and wasteful the earlier episodes of this season were. This episode didn't give me anything worthwhile and it makes me feel like I wasted my time watching this season.
It should go without saying that I hated this season. Looking back on the previous episodes, I honestly believe that my scores are too inflated now that I know that there was no pay off down the line. The season was a mess and it failed miserably at establishing any kind of character arcs or exploring any meaningful themes. Add on a needlessly convoluted plot and countless dumb action scenes and it's the recipe for a horrible season of television. This show doesn't even feel like itself anymore. It's just a pale imitation of every dumb sci fi TV show out there. To think, that this show used to be about robots in a western-styled theme park. What happened to this TV show that showed such promise back in 2016? In conclusion, this season was bad and I'm unhappy that I had to sit through it. I am 100% done with this show now, and I will not be watching or reviewing season 4.
Summary: Flashbacks reveal that Caleb has been reeducated by Serac. It's revealed that Francis was killed after the war by Caleb. Serac had tasked outliers like Caleb with recruiting other outliers for reeducation and eventually gave Caleb and Francis an offer to kill the other for a great sum of money. Caleb ended up killing Francis and was promptly reeducated to fit in better with society. In the present, Dolores and Caleb break into Serac's reeducation facility where Caleb learns what happened to him from an insane AI creation of Serac and Jean's called Solomon. Maeve arrives at the location and Dolores goes out to fight her. Caleb is revealed to be the heart of Dolores' plan, and she tasks him with leading the human revolution before leaving. Caleb accepts the task and is given instructions from Solomon on how to find and kill Serac. Dolores is defeated by Maeve but she activates an EMP, disabling herself, Maeve and Solomon. Meanwhile, Bernard and Stubbs discover that William was one of the outliers. They leave him alive as they may need him and they begin to track Caleb. However, William turns on them with a gun and prepares to kill them.
The Good: It was great to finally see Caleb's past and fully understand who he is. Caleb's story has been intriguing thus far though it never quite got me to feel for the character. Revealing his past here clears up the character's entire arc and makes me appreciate what the season did with him in retrospect. It's pretty strongly written and there are elements of tragedy that are incorporated very well into the story. What really sells it for me is Aaron Paul's acting, as he beautifully portrays Caleb's frustration and sense of betrayal throughout the episode. I think the ending reveal of Caleb being Dolores' master plan all along was very smart and it sets up the season finale in a very creative way.
The Bad: Unfortunately most of this episode did not work for me. I'm still not invested in the show and that hurt the quality of this episode. Even though Caleb's story made sense and it was well acted, I still felt too much of a disconnect from the show to enjoy it to the fullest. Had Caleb's storyline been more clear from the start, I may have bothered to emotionally invest in him, but the show never earned that from me. Even though he was the most interesting part of the season, I didn't quite get to the point where I felt like I really understood him and his plight. Even this episode which fully centers around him doesn't quite get his story to resonate emotionally as much as it should. If anything, I found Caleb's reaction to learning about his past to be too subdued. It's well acted sure, but I never felt like his perspective of everything he's been through had been changed in the way that it should have. There should have been more time spent on how Caleb felt about being reeducated instead of just giving us the story about what really happened in Caleb's past. We need to see the characters react to these life-changing moments, just giving us these moments and not exploring them isn't satisfying enough.
The Dolores and Maeve fight wasn't good. The action wasn't very well done unfortunately, and that was disappointing. I thought that the choreography was lacking and that the show tried too hard to make it futuristic and "cool" with both Dolores and Maeve having control of their very own drones during their fight. Furthermore, I still felt nothing while they were fighting, even though I really should have felt something. The entire season has been building to this climactic confrontation, and yet I still felt like I didn't fully understand why they were fighting each other and what the stakes were. Their hate for each other wasn't effectively established and that gave the whole fight scene a sense of meaninglessness. Disappointingly, this big climax ended up being rather boring.
Bernard and Stubbs still have not done anything worth noting this season. They feel like a complete waste of time at this point as it's still unclear what role they are going to play in the climax of the season. I haven't been particularly engaged by their storyline and that continued here. William was okay here as he develops a new life philosophy post-therapy, but I didn't find anything he did to be particularly compelling. It was just average television at best.
If EMPs can deactivate hosts this easily, why the hell weren't they used more often in the series? WHy weren't the Delos guards armed with EMPs? Clearly the guns did nothing, so they should have been using more electronic weapons if they are more effective. The big EMP blast at the end of the episode brings up this glaring plot hole and hurts the immersion of the show.
The Unknown: How is William dead already? Was this because he was being reeducated? What is the virus that Charlotte put into him? What is William's overall goal? Is he going to kill Bernard and Stubbs?
What's next for Dolores and Maeve now that they have defeated each other?
How will Caleb try to kill Serac? Will he be stopped?
Best Moment: The real story of Caleb killing Francis was very well done. The scene was engaging, well put together, and provided us with a logical story of how Serac has taken everything from Caleb.
Character of the Episode: Caleb.
Conclusion: This episode finally explained Caleb's past, and it did so in a pretty good way. But everything else that was going on was dull, sloppy, and unemotional, leaving me feeling indifferent going into the season finale. I'm unsure of who to root for and what to look forward to. The show has failed to get me invested in the story, and it has resulted in a deeply unsatisfying season. I don't know what to expect in the season finale (probably nothing special), but regardless of what happens, I think that it will be the last I watch of "Westworld".
Summary: Group therapy isn't working for William who lashes out at others and claims he doesn't belong there. He's signed up for AR therapy where he has a transformative experience while communicating with his past selves. He decides to move past his sins and is then woken up by Bernard and Stubbs. Meanwhile, Maeve is back in the simulation and she gathers up Lee and Hector to get some allies to fight Dolores. She talks to a simulation version of Dolores to make plans. Charlotte continues to work against Serac in secret and disobeys his orders to destroy all information on the hosts by creating backups. However, Charlotte is found out and Serac sends men to capture her alive. Charlotte manages to escape, but she destroys Hector's pearl before she leaves, killing him. Charlotte goes home to her family and tries to escape with them in a car, but the car is detonated and her family is killed.
The Good: This had good elements in every storyline. William's story is the easiest to enjoy. With so many boring, lifeless hosts masquerading as compelling characters, William remains the only human (outside of Caleb) who has an arc that feels like it's worth telling. This episode does some good stuff with him. It was nice to pull back the curtain to his childhood, and it nicely allowed for him to get over his past to move onto his future. It's an easy story to understand, and there is enough creativity in the execution to make it pretty entertaining to watch.
Charlotte's story is also decent. Her escape from Delos is action-packed and provides for some good fun. I also enjoyed seeing Charlotte become connected to her family, with there being a nice irony that host Charlotte grew to care more about Charlotte's family than Charlotte herself did. This of course leads to a big moment at the end of the episode where Charlotte's family is killed by Serac which does feel quite tragic.
Maeve's story has its moments. The biggest being Hector's death which will presumably give Maeve the necessary motivation to work for Serac and destroy Dolores.
The Bad: For the most part, this is still pretty sloppy stuff. It's so difficult to emotionally invest in any of the characters or stories this season. Everything feels flawed. Take Maeve's storyline. Maeve as a character is so, so boring right now. She doesn't have anything interesting to do and it feels like she is being used more for some "strong woman action sequences" rather than telling a story. These sequences have gotten dull fast and they aren't enjoyable to watch anymore. Her relationships with Hector and Lee feel so simplistic as well, so Hector's death didn't really effect me in any way at all. I feel a disconnect with the character and I can't say that there is anything about her that interests me anymore.
Charlotte's story isn't very captivating either. As a character, she is really lacking. I'm still a bit confused why there is such a difference between her and the actual Dolores since they are the same conscience at heart. I also never really got fully invested in her relationship with her family. While the final moments of the episode are quite shocking and will inevitably change her character, I wasn't particularly captivated by anything that happened, and it didn't feel like the killer emotional twist it was meant to be.
Serac looks very sloppy as a villain in this episode. It's absurd that he would have found out that Charlotte is a host solely from how she checked on her kid. There are so many other ways he could have found her out, not least from her awkward behaviour. It's just a sloppy piece of writing. Furthermore, we learn that Serac suspected her all along. So then he should have put countermeasures to make sure she didn't do anything that would work against him! It's ridiculous that he didn't and it makes him look seriously incompetent. Furthermore, he lets Charlotte get away which doesn't make him look good. Then, he detonates Charlotte's car and nobody sticks around to ensure she is actually dead. One or two of these little logic gaps is acceptable, but when so many stack up like this, the plot completely falls apart.
The episode is heavily focused on setting up the season's final act. That would be acceptable if I was invested in what was going on. But since I'm not, it makes set-up episodes like this one feel even more unimpressive than they already are.
The Unknown: What is Charlotte's next move? How will she respond to her family dying?
What are Bernard and Stubbs going to do with William? How are the three of them going to affect the story of this season?
Best Moment: Probably William revisiting his past. It was pretty effective character development and Ed Harris was superb.
Character of the Episode: William.
Conclusion: This was more solid stuff that moved everyone into place for the final 2 episodes, but the empty and uninspired feel of this season continues. I'm not very invested in the story right now so watching the final act be set up isn't as exciting as it should be. The show's poor character work continues to drag it down, and even though there is strong acting and good action sequences, I'm not finding myself enjoying these season even close to as much as seasons 1 and 2. I don't expect that I'll continue watching after this season since there hasn't been anything in these first 6 episodes to give me faith that this show is capable of producing great television.
Summary: Flashbacks show that Serac's brother Jean created Rehoboam to create a better world. The project was funded by Liam Sr. who was greedy and only in it for the financial benefit. Serac ended up confining his brother with all of the other people who Rehoboam deemed as threats to humanity. Serac kills Liam and stages his death to look like an accident. In the present, Dolores and Caleb travel with Liam to get away from Serac's men. Liam is hesitant to help them but when it becomes clear that Serac doesn't care about Liam's life, Liam gives them access to Rehoboam. Along the way, Caleb is injected with genre and the trio escape from Serac's men in a car chase. Dolores leaks Rehoboam's predictions for everyone's future to everyone in the world. With the balance towards chaos tipping, Serac is frustrated. Dolores and Caleb pick up Ash and Giggles for help. Liam is deemed useless and they debate what to do with him. Liam antagonizes Caleb, Ash and Giggles about their futures leading to Ash fatally shooting and killing Liam. Meanwhile, Martin is with Bernard and he leaks the information about Rehoboam at Dolores' request. When Serac videos in to find out what happened, Martin detonates a bomb, dying in the process. Bernard and Stubbs escape.
The Good: As ever, this show remains pretty beautiful to look at. There is a lot of creativity involved with the presentation of the show, and the show does carry an almost artistic feel from scene to scene. The heavy emphasis on slower shots, the futuristic environment, and the lovely score all give the show a visual beauty that most TV shows don't accomplish. Add in some terrific performances from the main cast, and nearly every scene provides something impressive to look at, even if there isn't very much substance. This show has always been impeccable with creating its cinematic feel and I think this episode is a great example of this. While the scenes with Serac weren't telling an incredible story by any means, I was still gripped by the acting. While the car chase sequence was pretty dull overall, the episode tried many new things, including showing us the effects of the party drug genre, to ensure that there was always something interesting going on visually.
It was nice to get a thorough backstory on Serac in this episode."Westworld" typically has had problems with keeping things too mysterious for too long, but here I'm pleased to say that they corrected that problem. It's important that we understand who Serac is and what he's about for his conflict with Dolores to mean anything. I thought his backstory was edited nicely into the episode and it did offer some interesting insights into his motives and why he is so motivated to ensure Rehoboam is a success. What I like most is that Serac isn't portrayed as purely villainous. In this episode, Dolores seems like more of a villain than he does. I appreciate that this show is blurring the lines between villains and heroes this season, even though it makes it hard to root for anybody, this does help the season feel unlike anything else on television right now. Furthermore, having the show not pick any sides makes its exploration of its themes feel more meaningful and open for interpretation.
Some other things pleased me about this episode. I thought that young Serac was perfectly cast and he did actually look like a younger Vincent Cassel. I thought the Martin and Bernard story was pretty solid as well. There wasn't anything too spectacular, but it did build to a lovely moment where Martin blew himself up and gave Serac yet another piece of bad news. The sequence of everyone getting their own profile leaked from Rehoboam was very well done and I appreciated the episode's emphasis on exploring this idea.
The Bad: Caleb's drug trip wasn't done as well as I had hoped. There were some neat bits of cinematography but I never really felt like Caleb was high on a drug. It all felt so artificial, almost like it was tacked on at the last minute. The drug also didn't have any effect on the story whatsoever which was underwhelming and made it feel like a useless addition to the episode. For an already bloated series, I don't want to be wasting time on things like this.
The Dolores/Liam/Caleb story wasn't interesting at all. There were no real storylines or conflicts for any of the characters and the whole thing was bland. The only character who had anything to do was Liam who had to debate between sticking with Serac or giving Dolores what she wants. The story wasn't any good because it was completely predictable and generic with no effort put in to make me get invested.
This issue exemplifies a much larger problem with this episode. Even though it was put together well enough and advanced the plot in interesting ways, I'm still struggling to really care about anything I'm watching. The characters are pretty bland, there aren't any interesting conflicts, and the action has no clear stakes. The show still feels as emotionally empty as the season premier. While myself and lots of other people had major issues with season 2, at least that season provided emotionally satisfying scenes, something that this season doesn't even attempt most of the time.
The Unknown: What did Liam see in Caleb's past? Who is he? What has he done? Why doesn't Caleb remember it? What were those flashes?
What's in the bag that Caleb got at the end of the episode?
How is the world going to react to the Rehoboam reveal? How will Serac fight against this?
Best Moment: Caleb's speech to Liam admonishing the entire concept of Rehoboam was the most emotionally resonant moment of the episode for me.
Character of the Episode: Serac.
Conclusion: This episode did a lot of things right, but the emotional emptiness I'm feeling is preventing me from fully enjoying anything this season is attempting. Once again I'm left feeling underwhelmed, and with just 3 episodes left to go, I'm not sure that this season has any chance of building up to a climax that will change that.
Summary: William is fraught with guilt over what he did to his daughter and so he is living a confused life while constantly plagued with visions of her. Charlotte comes to him and convinces him to return to Delos to protect the company from Serac. However, it's all a ploy and Charlotte gets William admitted into a mental hospital and ownership of Delos is given to her. Meanwhile, Serac sends Maeve to track where Dolores has gone and whose identity she is using. Maeve's hutn leads her to Musashi who Dolores has implanted as head of the Yakuza. Maeve realizes that Dolores has cloned herself and that all the hosts she has with her are simply her own clones implanted in the bodies of others. Musashi kills Maeve but he leaves when Serac's men arrive. Dolores and Caleb put together a plan and take all of Liam's money away, with plans to capture him at a party. However, Bernard and Stubbs arrive and take Liam away. Dolores fights off Stubbs and goes after Caleb and Bernard. Martin holds Bernard at gunpoint and he learns that Dolores has cloned herself.
The Good: The opening sequence is very well done. This episode does a very effective job of inserting us into William's fractured mind. His remorse and fears are displayed very effectively through his hallucinations of Emily and it's clear that he's struggling to make peace with himself over what he's done. The way this episode displays William's inner struggle is impressive, and it's shown in a uniquely disorienting way that makes this story feel much more powerful than it has any right to be. Ed Harris also delivers a great performance, and the result is that William's scenes end up being the best part of the episode. There is emotion and character work here that the show desperately needs to put in its other storylines.
Serac remains a fun on-screen presence. He's very mysterious and his motives still aren't quite clear to me, though I'm sure that many dedicated fans have already pieced together his entire plan. I really liked the tease of his backstory and I'm interested to learn more about why he has the mindset that he does about humanity. I thought his recruitment of Maeve was well done, and I bought into Maeve choosing to go along with Serac's plans for now.
The central party scene was a very good climax to the episode. I like that the episode built towards this one scene from two different perspectives as it made the party much more suspenseful and dramatic than it would have been otherwise. The action once Dolores and Bernard came into conflict was very well done, and I particularly liked the fight between Dolores and Stubbs. The episode concluded with a pretty decent twist as well. While not Earth-shattering, it was nice to get confirmation on who these hosts actually are. The idea that Dolores would simply split her conscience made perfect sense and it also did a great job of demonstrating how vain and villainous she has become since she has no interest in other hosts and would much rather just clone herself over and over again to accomplish her goals.
The Bad: Unfortunately the show just doesn't interest me very much. When I signed on to watch this show, I was excited to watch robots taking over in a western theme park. I did not sign on for futuristic drama involving control over a company and various rich people talking about philosophy. The show has been quite dull for a while now, and halfway through this season, I'm just not invested in this story. All 3 plot lines didn't do much to interest me. I have no reason to get invested in Dolores and Caleb taking away Liam's money, so the scenes of them enacting their plan fell flat for me. Maeve hunting for leads on Dolores was also horribly uninteresting. She isn't bouncing off of any other characters or developing relationships, so it's just mindless action and plot development with no substance under the surface. Lastly, even William's story isn't that interesting. His inner conflict is certainly worth exploring, and it was the most interesting part of this episode. But all of the plot details surrounding his scenes with Charlotte were pretty dull and I couldn't bring myself to care about what was happening.
Maeve and Musashi's fight was also quite disappointing because of how little it meant. Maeve lost the fight and that should be a significant moment, but judging by the end of the episode, it seems like Serac will fix Maeve up easily so there won't be any major consequences to the confrontation between Maeve and Musashi which is massively disappointing.
The Unknown: What's the sector 16 project?
Will Serac bring Maeve back? What will her response be to the loss against Musashi, and by extension, Dolores?
Why does Dolores want Liam? What purpose does he have?
What happens now with Bernard and Stubbs?
What's William's role in all of this? Is he going to get back at Dolores somehow? How will he do that now that he's been committed?
Best Moment: The opening sequence. William's inner conflict was presented in a wonderful way, and it served to be a terrific way to catch up with the character who had been absent for several episodes.
Character of the Episode: William.
Conclusion: This episode had some solid set-up for the rest of the season, some exciting action, and there was even more character work than usual. Because of that, this is certainly much better than the previous episodes this season. But the familiar problems are still detracting from the overall experience and continue to make this season feel quite disappointing.
Summary: Flashbacks show that the host pretending to be Charlotte is an unknown friend of Dolores. In the present, Charlotte arrives at Delos and learns that somebody named Serac has bought key shares, buying out the company. Charlotte goes to meet with Dolores. Meanwhile, Caleb helps Dolores escape. She tells him to get a new identity and leaves. She meets with Charlotte who is having identity issues. Dolores comforts her and Charlotte talks about Serac. Caleb prepares to go into hiding but he is caught by some criminals who interrogate him about Dolores. Dolores arrives and kills the men, and she informs Caleb about how Incite has been gathering data about everyone and using it to predict the future and control the people that aren't worth investing in, like Caleb. Caleb is angered and allies with Dolores. Charlotte grows closer to her son after reliving some of the real Charlotte's memories. She manages to get into contact with Serac who is revealed to have been the person who Charlotte was serving. Serac wants Charlotte to bring him the profiles of every guest.
The Good: There are two decent stories being told here, one focusing on Caleb and the other focusing on Charlotte. Charlotte's story is the most intriguing to follow because it introduces a big mystery that will presumably be one of the core questions of the season: who is the host pretending to be Charlotte? I'm sure there are plenty of theories already, and it's a very interesting topic to think about. I like most of Charlotte's story. She's tied directly to Serac which is important for the plot, and she also has a very curious character arc regarding her family life, which is important for telling a good story. I like the idea of a host that doesn't know itself getting thrust into Charlotte's life, forcing itself to care about Charlotte's problems, and grow closer to her family. It's a unique conflict and I think it was explored in some decent ways in this episode. The bond between Charlotte and Nathan was particularly interesting to follow, and seeing the host attempt to be a more caring mother was very interesting.
Caleb and Dolores' story is the second half of the episode and it is pretty solid. Their relationship develops organically throughout the episode. Caleb's desire for something real is a sensible motivation for him to stick up for Dolores, and Dolores' surprise and curiosity at his actions is a good motivation for her to come save him later in the episode. The actions of the characters are logical and the episode presents very good reasons for them to develop a bond, laying the groundwork for what could potentially be a very good storyline. I appreciated the climax of their story where Dolores explained the concept of Rehoboam to Caleb. Seeing Caleb's rage paralleled with Dolores' rage in seasons 1 and 2 was pretty powerful, and I think it's a smart idea for the show to expand its themes of free will to human characters as well as hosts.
The Bad: Something about this season isn't clicking. It's presented well, acted well and written well (for the most part), but I'm just not that into it. The characters and the story aren't grabbing me like they did in some of the best parts of season 1 and 2, and the show feels like it hasn't offered us enough to get invested in now that we have left Westworld and entered the real world. For lack of a better word, much of these season feels pretty dull so far.
There are still some more specific issues as well. The Charlotte mystery, while intriguing, does take away from her scenes. We don't know who she is, and we're given no good reason to care about her relationship with Dolores. Sure, it's fun to watch and I imagine everything will make sense once Charlotte's identity is revealed, but it's very unfulfilling to have emotion and character exploration sacrificed for needless confusion and a surprise later in the season.
Dolores' gunshot wound remains a really weird moment. She's a host so she shouldn't be affected badly by these injuries, hence how she was able to recover and drive off so quickly. But then how was she badly injured in the first place? It doesn't make sense and it feels like a major logic gap that was created in the show's attempt to make Caleb's meeting with Dolores more dramatic.
Charlotte murdering the pedophile is a moment that made me roll my eyes. The worst aspects of this show is how it has painted hosts and humans in such a black and white way so that it can have these "cool" moments where a female host can be a badass and kill an evil rich man. It feels like needless SJW nonsense that the show is using as fanservice for no apparent reason. There should be more thought put into telling a compelling story instead of trying to cheaply entertain the audience.
The Unknown: Who is the Charlotte host? Is it somebody we have seen before or a completely new character?
Who is Serac exactly? What are his exact motives? It seems that he was working on things well before Dolores' revolution since he was the one ordering Charlotte in the last season.
Who is the mole in Delos?
Best Moment: Dolores telling Caleb that he is being blocked from a better life because of Incite was pretty powerful stuff that aligned well with the themes of the show.
Character of the Episode: Caleb.
Conclusion: This was more solid story advancement. The episode doesn't do anything special but it's perfectly fine. The larger issue remains with the fact that this show isn't very gripping anymore. Maybe that will change, but it seems like this show is settling in to be average at best.
Summary: Hector comes to Maeve and offers to help her escape. They go together but Maeve realizes that it's all just his loop. She wakes up in the lab and is surprised to find that Felix and Sylvester don't recognize her. She sees Lee who has survived his injuries. Lee takes her to the forge, but Maeve quickly realizes that Lee is a host, and the entire world is a simulation. She overloads the simulation and crashes it, allowing herself access into the real world where she gets a drone to retrieve her core and remove it from the simulation. After, Maeve wakes up and meets Serac who wants to recruit her to fight Dolores. Meanwhile, Bernard gets to Westworld and finds Stubbs who he realizes is a host. Stubbs has tried to kill himself after freeing Bernard since he has no purpose anymore. Bernard and Stubbs try to locate Maeve but discover that someone else has taken her core. Bernard gives Stubbs a new purpose: to protect him, and they go hunt for Maeve.
The Good: This is "Westworld" falling back on what it's good at to set up for the rest of the season. The Maeve storyline is everything we've come to expect from the show, filled with hosts on their loops, constant questioning of what's real and what's not and some pretty fun action. It's enjoyable to watch and the episode benefits from the show falling back on what it's good at.
The writing is very strong here. I love how episode slowly reveals its series of twists to let us know where and when Maeve is. The mystery is introduced early on and it's refreshing to see a complete story as we aren't left with any tedious questions coming out of the episode. It's a complete mystery packed into an hour of television as we follow Maeve discovering she's in a simulation and ultimately breaking free into the real world.
The Bernard storyline is solid too. Unlike the previous episode, Bernard has direction now as he hunts for Maeve, which will presumably take him to Serac. The return of Stubbs is welcome and I do like the reveal that he's a host.
Speaking of Serac, the introduction of this new character was easily the highlight of the episode (see: Best Moment). I'm interested to find out who he is and what his motives are. Vincent Cassel is an excellent addition to the cast, and he stole the show in his one scene.
The Bad: The problem with the show returning to the status quo is that it just doesn't interest me anymore. I'm tired of meaningless twists and confused timelines, so I just ended up groaning when I realized that's where this episode was headed. Was it fun to watch? Sure. But there is nothing under the surface here. It's just some fun television to watch as long as you turn your brain off and don't expect to get any kind of interesting character development or deeper themes. Maeve, like Dolores, has just become a killing machine, and she hardly has any character anymore. I don't feel like I can relate very much to her, and so there's an emotional disconnect. So watching Maeve simply escaping a simulation doesn't have me at the edge of my seat at all. It's merely intriguing to me and I don't get any greater emotions coming out of the episode. It's a shame because despite how well written and well directed this episode was, it did nothing to enthrall me.
The Game of Thrones reference was pretty unnecessary and took me out of the episode a little bit. It's a nice nod and I would have appreciated it more had it been integrated more naturally into the show's world. But instead it was more distracting than anything else.
I really don't have much to say about this episode which is telling. The show remains fun but there isn't a whole lot to dive into at the moment.
The Unknown: Why was Maeve put in a simulation? Did Serac do this? Why? Did he anticipate Maeve's escape so they could have their meeting? Why did he go through the trouble of doing all of this? Who is he anyways? What is this system that he created?
How is Serac able to control Maeve? What is the device that he has? Will Maeve eventually agree to work against Dolores?
Will Bernard track down Serac?
Best Moment: Maeve wakes in a well-maintained garden and meets with Serac who knows exactly who she is and proposes an alliance with her. The scene features some incredible acting with both Maeve and Serac trying to control the flow of their conversation, each trying to accomplish their own goals. Maeve wants to understand the nature of her own reality and kill Serac, while Serac wants to win over Maeve's trust and loyalty. Serac is good, but Maeve's confidence in following her own path is too much and she decides to kill him. However, Serac is surprisingly able to control her and shuts down her functions. Then, presumably he prepares to reset the scene and try yet another approach to get her to trust him. It's a very well-written scene filled with intrigue, captivating dialogue and a pair of superb performances.
Character of the Episode: Maeve.
Conclusion: This was better than the season premier at least, but "Westworld" still hasn't convinced me that it's worth watching this season. While this episode was fun, there wasn't enough under the surface to invest me in the story that is being told.
Summary: In the real world, Dolores infiltrates the company Incite by killing a shareholder named Gerald and taking his money. She develops a relationship with Liam, the son of the founder of Incite and works to get information about the company from him. She soon discovers that he doesn't have access to the deeper workings of the company but he knows who does. Right then, Liam's bodyguard Martin realizes Dolores is an infiltrator and knocks her out and attempts to kill her quietly. It backfires and Martin is killed and replaced by a host, though Dolores is shot in the process. Meanwhile, Caleb is an ex-soldier who is struggling to get by and can't get over the death of his friend. He does petty crime jobs by night using the RICO app. He decides to pursue a purpose and ditches his therapy program and ends up meeting an injured Dolores. Meanwhile, Bernard has been blamed for the deaths in Westworld and is a fugitive in hiding. He decides to go back to Westworld. Maeve wakes up in a Nazi-Germany style theme park.
The Good: This show is as beautiful as ever. The effects, the acting, the cinematography, the soundtrack, all of it is terrific. The presentation for this show has always been a high point. Even when the story gets too convoluted, or the shallowness of the characters gets exposed, the show still looks great and is easy to watch.
The introduction to Caleb is the best stuff in the episode. He's a new character, so the show puts in effort to give him some development and create a meaningful character arc for him. Caleb is an ex-soldier struggling to get over his past and move on, something that isn't helped by the horrible class system in this futuristic world. It's easy to sympathize with Caleb, immediately making him a far better character than most that we've seen on this show so far. I appreciate that time was given to set up his storyline, making his encounter with Dolores at the end of the episode mean something. Caleb wants something real, and now he seems to think he's found it in Dolores. It's ironic considering that Dolores could very well be the most false thing he has encountered that entire day, including the robot he talked to over the phone.
The Bad: Unfortunately this show is still misfiring quite a bit. Outside of Caleb, every character feels way too shallow and uninteresting to keep my interest. Dolores isn't a character anymore, she's just a thing that wants to kill people which I'm not at all interested in watching. It became tiresome last season, and I don't want to see Dolores on a path of destruction anymore. The other established characters don't have much of interest to do either. Bernard is performed tremendously as ever, but his arc in this episode is rushed and uninteresting. We don't have any reason to care about him at this point, and I'm finding it tough to even describe his personality despite knowing this character for 2 full seasons now. When you take away the mysterious plot elements from the show, these shallow characters are exposed, as they were here.
That leads me to my second problem. I'm glad the show has stopped with the convoluted time jumping (I hope), but the problem is that we've been given nothing to take its place. Part of what made season 1 and 2 so entertaining was that it was really fun trying to puzzle out what was actually going on, and these dynamic plot elements were able to make up for the poor character work to a certain degree. But without any of that here, we're left with an empty show that doesn't offer anything different from your average TV drama with bland, 1-dimensional characters.
This episode was also paced pretty poorly. It's a really long episode at 68 minutes and somehow the episode manages to feel both rushed and slow because of some strange choices in presentation. The episode is paced very slowly as we get countless shots where not much is happening. The show enjoys showing off its impressive cinematography, but when there is no drama happening on screen, it can be pretty dull to watch so many shots of just the environment and the actors doing their jobs. But the episode also feels rushed because it skims rapidly through what should be the most powerful moments, not giving them a chance to stick with me. Take Liam and Dolores' relationship as an example. It's established, developed and destroyed so quickly that I feel nothing for either of the characters, who by the end of the episode I don't understand any better than I did at the start of the episode. It's all so rushed. And yet it still feels slow because the episode takes forever to actually get from the start of the relationship to the end because there are so many wasted minutes spent developing a plot that I'm not at all invested in.
With Dolores working to overthrow humanity in the real world, all of the stuff happening in the theme parks feels unimportant in comparison. As such, I don't care at all about what Bernard and Maeve are up to. The samurai world in the last season ended up being a waste of time, so how can I believe that this Nazi Germany world will be of importance.
The Unknown: What are Dolores' plans for Incite? What is she trying to do? Who is this Serac that she's trying to get in contact with?
Why has Bernard been isolated from Dolores? Does she have any plans for him? Why is he going back to Westworld?
What will come from Caleb meeting Dolores? Will she recruit him in her plans to destroy humanity? Or will she want to destroy him?
What is Maeve going to do in the Nazi Germany theme park?
The only scene that leaves me guessing about time jumping is the one with Charlotte. When did this happen? I thought Dolores was Charlotte. Has she created multiple versions of herself and released them in the world? How many other Dolores' are there?
Best Moment: Caleb unsubscribing from his therapy and vowing to move on and find something real was one of the few moments that stuck with me.
Character of the Episode: Caleb.
Conclusion: This was a pretty dull season premier. I commend "Westworld" for trying to reinvent itself but it just didn't work since the show failed to create a new form of itself that's worth watching. I'll keep watching for the rest of the season, but if the show's quality remains as weak as this episode, I'll likely be dropping the show.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.