In its closing moments — minus these two post-credits scenes — as Westworld season 3 episode 8 “Disaster Principle” zoomed out to showcase the size of destruction in Los Angeles, former development employee Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul) had assumed a way more central position in the way forward for the futuristic dystopian sci-fi collection. Specifically now that the oldest host Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wooden) may be out of the image, given she has seemingly been wholly erased, although different variations of her are nonetheless round. And that is what Westworld season 3 had got down to do from the start, as co-creator Lisa Pleasure mentioned within the post-episode breakdown: to have a look at how people will be like A.I. and if they’ll actually change. That is the place Caleb got here in.
However that was merely one side of Westworld season 3, which — as was hinted at by its title, “The New World” — arriving after a hiatus of practically two years, felt like a semi-reboot of the HBO collection’ authentic designs, because it introduced us into the human world. Gone had been the sun-kissed Western visuals, in got here desaturated cityscapes. With it, out went with the limitless love for confounding mysteries — season 3 did have a pair, together with who Dolores carried in these tiny management unit orbs — and was changed with the extra easy embrace of high-octane thrills. However in altering its pores and skin, Westworld seemed to have misplaced a few of itself. And it is by no means felt like HBO’s subsequent flagship to take over from Sport of Thrones, even because it obtained the Thrones creators for a cameo.
If Westworld season 3 has seemed like the following something, that may be Pleasure’s husband and fellow co-creator Jonathan Nolan’s personal earlier present, CBS sci-fi crime procedural Person of Interest. Serving to these parallels was the introduction of Rehoboam, the predictive A.I. that sits in that big sphere within the tech large Incite’s Los Angeles workplace, created by season 3’s new data-harvesting wealthy villain Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel). Rehoboam is called after the Israelite king who succeeded Solomon, the title of the sooner predictive A.I. that Dolores kills with an electromagnetic pulse in season 3 episode 7 “Handed Pawn”. Rehoboam is a bit like Particular person of Curiosity’s A.I. Samaritan, which additionally labelled threats to world order as “deviants” and determined the destiny of residents globally.
However each the strands this led to felt unconvincing on Westworld season 3. Let’s deal with Rehoboam first. After Dolores decides to inform everybody what Rehoboam thinks of them, the world is engulfed in chaos as riots erupt globally. However that does not really feel proper. Positive, some folks may genuinely react like that. However most will simply take affront to an algorithm telling them what their lives will appear to be, after which begin to take steps they suppose will affect their Rehoboam-determined “destiny”. The truth that a few of the rioters are paid, as Caleb discovers from Dolores in Westworld season 3 episode 8, makes a bit of extra sense, however the scale of the violence is misplaced. As an alternative of thoughtfully approaching the privateness subject, Westworld season 3 used it to serve its “revolution is coming” plot.
The second and extra compelling thread is about host in-fighting. Serac wanted a weapon in his combat in opposition to Dolores — the variable that was messing up all his plans for humanity — and he selected her host equal, Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton). Maeve is initially pressured into it as her life is held hostage by Serac, who later additionally affords her a reunion together with her daughter, if Maeve manages to extract the important thing to the digital world Chic, which Serac wants for causes unknown — he died earlier than he might inform us. However the ideological variations in Dolores vs. Maeve are by no means critically felt. Maeve sees Dolores bringing copies of herself as a betrayal of their sort, giving her a bit extra ammunition, although she should realise that people (as is Serac) won’t ever actually let hosts be free. The 2 should have secretly teamed up, however Westworld could not — or did not need to — work out how to do this.
It did not assist that Meave appeared to go round in circles for just about all of Westworld season 3. She was the one one who started the season in a theme park simulation, the Nazi-inspired Warworld, earlier than breaking out and assembly Serac. Pressured on a brand new path, Maeve encountered a Dolores clone within the physique of Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada), solely to die and find yourself in Warworld once more. For what purpose? To recruit assist for her impending battle with the precise Dolores. However she’s nonetheless a step behind Dolores, as she finally ends up shedding her love Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro) for good to the Dolores clone within the host duplicate physique of Westworld chief Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). Maeve felt caught in a loop by design, virtually as if she was ready on Dolores to complete her story so hers might start.
In contrast, Dolores-Charlotte fared significantly better than Maeve on Westworld season 3. Dispatched by Dolores to take Delos — the maker of Westworld and different parks — non-public, Dolores-Charlotte needed to cope with three completely different fronts. Probably the most private one was Charlotte’s physique preventing off the Dolores management unit, altering her within the course of. That was helped by the truth that she was the one main character with a household: a husband and a son. Although not hers, Dolores-Charlotte got here to attach with and really feel for them because the season went on. Shedding them modified her massively. And lastly, on the Delos entrance, she needed to deal with new purchaser Serac, for whom the unique Charlotte was working. By the top, within the post-credits scene, she has emerged as the brand new villain.
With the variety of host-building machines at her disposal in Delos’ Dubai workplace, and the societal collapse already in place, it is clear that Westworld season 4 is hinting at a significant battle. Hopefully, the motion shall be higher than season 3 too. You’d suppose hosts would develop a special preventing type than people, one which bends some guidelines we won’t.
And it is clear that Caleb and Maeve shall be on the opposing aspect, making an attempt to fulfil Dolores’ mission of making a brand new equal world for people and hosts. Although Maeve would not want a purpose to cease Dolores-Charlotte, who gave her sufficient purpose earlier in Westworld season 3 when she destroyed Hector’s management unit, thereby killing him for good.
On the identical time, the second post-credits scene with former Westworld programming head Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) raises questions, because it’s apparent quite a lot of time has handed. Will Westworld be break up throughout timelines once more in season 4? Or is that scene nearer to the timeline of the season 2 post-credits scene with William (Ed Harris)? Talking of William, he achieved naught this season, if you consider it. After spending many of the season in his head, he vows to erase the hosts within the Westworld season 3 episode 8 solely to die within the post-credits scene. Hilarious. At the least there was a little bit of poetry in being killed by a bunch duplicate of himself, who’s a part of Dolores-Charlotte’s plans.
Prefer it or not, that is the brand new world, as Maeve says to Caleb within the closing moments. The New World a.okay.a. Westworld season 3. It wasn’t nice. It felt like a seesaw of types by way of high quality, with episodes affected by filler at the same time as they obtained the job executed. That is not good for a present that is meant to be HBO’s subsequent flagship collection substitute for Game of Thrones. Extra so for a season of Westworld that delivered two hours lower than prior ones. Fashion over substance, and setup with out correct payoff have been recurring issues for Westworld. Placing on a brand new pores and skin in season 3 wasn’t going to cowl that. However it may be whoever it needs, as Maeve mentioned. It’s Westworld‘s alternative. Perhaps it may possibly discover the inspiration in a few of Dolores’ final phrases: “Free will does exist. It is simply f—ing onerous.”
Westworld is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in India.