Westworld 3×03: “The Absence of Field”

HBO’s Westworld
3×03: “The Absence of Field”
Directed by Amanda Marsalis
Written by Denise Thé

* For a recap & review of 3×02, “The Winter Line” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×04, “The Mother of Exiles” – click here
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Charlotte Host and MirrorGunshots ring through the air. Charlotte Hale manages to get herself to a host so she can record a message for Nathan. Cut to Hale being brought back as a host herself, unable to remember what’s happened. She’s now with Dolores, who tells her: “Youre a creator of beauty and power.” Things are falling into place for Ms. Hale. At least somewhat. It’s enough for Dolores to help this host Charlotte pretend to be the real one. Who’s the real host behind Charlotte’s new eyes? Eerie to hear Dolores talk about how it “wont take much to bring it all crashing down” re: the human world, particularly when it comes to actual life, in the midst of a genuine pandemic currently showing us how our modern capitalist world is far too delicate.

In Silicon Valley, Charlotte’s getting a look at new riot control robots for the Delos Parks. They’re massive machines capable of incredible damage. Then there’s a “creeping tender” the company’s discovered which has led to an effective buyout— they realise it’s Engerraund Serac behind the takeover. The company won’t be able to go private at this rate. Charlotte is feeling control slip away.
Not as bad as Dolores bleeding out in that alley while she and Caleb wait for paramedics to arrive. The medics get Dolores into the ambulance and Caleb stays with her. Of course the medics are confused when they start seeing anomalies in her system, but Caleb, having been at war, helps stabilise the synthetic woman. This is right when a cop car stops the vehicle. It’s a couple officers from the Rico app, getting paid crime coins to clean up the Dolores situation. Shit goes sideways when Caleb won’t just let the cops take Dolores, whose systems are back online enough for her to help take them out. Caleb quickly discovers that Dolores is no normal human, then she takes off into the night.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Dolores and CharlotteWhen Charlotte gets home she sees her estranged husband Jake (Michael Ealy) waiting for her. They embrace, hungry for one another. Not quite the same Charlotte he probably remembers, though. Or, maybe she’s not so different after all. Jake talks about their son, Nathan, and chastises her for the way she parents. So Charlotte goes in to see young Nathan in bed. The boy tells her angrily: “You dont love me.” She tries to comfort him but the kid wants his “old mommy” back. If he only knew. Problems at home are the least of Charlotte’s worries. There’s a mole inside the company leaking info to Serac.

Charlotte meets with Dolores, asking her: “Who am I?” She reveals a big slice in her forearm. She’s having emotional issues, so Dolores gets in that head and shuts them down. They go together upstairs to a room. Dolores sees more elaborate wounds all over Charlotte and talk about what’s going on. Charlotte mentions Serac’s mole, so Dolores says it’s time to root out the rat and kill it. On top of everything, the board’s going to need some convincing into the next course of corporate action, too. All the while Dolores and Charlotte will need to be discrete. For the most part, Charlotte can do that. Doesn’t mean she’s not going to choke a paedophile to death in the park.

The tables have turned drastically on Caleb, now a target on Rico. He has to go say a quick goodbye to his mother for a while, and she doesn’t even consider him her own boy. Is it Alzheimer’s? Or, as I suspect, is Caleb a synthetic human, too? Either way, he’s caught right now in yet another sticky situation. One of his old criminal buddies is there to cash in on Rico. He and his partner want to find Dolores, but Caleb refuses to say anything about the mysterious woman. Lucky for Caleb he’s being watched by her.
At the construction site, Caleb’s being tortured. He has his soldier implant fucked with, causing not only serious pain but also a visit from his robot work partner. Sadly the robot’s tossed from the side of the building, bringing back a PTSD flashback of when Francis was killed. Caleb’s saved when Dolores drops by to do some killing.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Military ImplantDolores and Caleb sit in a diner for a chat. She tries to explain someone’s keeping their eye on him and shows him secret transcripts revealing the innermost parts of his life, such as the troubled history between him and his mother, who abandoned him due to schizophrenia. Caleb’s deeply troubled by how much Dolores seems to know about him. She starts explaining Rehoboam and how it will “create a mirror world” to make composites of human beings— ensuring the outcome of a docile working class population, ultimately. This is why all this data’s being mined, taking what Delos Parks was doing on a corporate level and making it even more dangerous. Afterwards, Caleb’s taken to the place where the system has calculated he’ll commit suicide in “10 to 12 years.” One of the many grim realities of a world in which Rehoboam is allowed to exist. So he’s going to fight alongside Dolores.

What’s up with the strange signal on Charlotte’s phone?
She tries making contact with whoever’s sending it, telling them she’d like to meet. Her car’s rerouted to an address without her doing. She pulls up to a mansion, its grounds lined with men wielding assault rifles. She goes in and waiting for her is Serac. Apparently they’ve already made an arrangement. He’s seeking the Delos profiles of all those park guests. The encryption key for that data’s located in Dolores’s mind.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Charlotte's Glasses

“It’s not about who you are, Caleb.
It’s about who they’ll let you be”

Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Vincent Cassel as SeracAnother excellent episode for this new season. Things are heating up.
Great to see Dolores and Caleb work together because she’d lost so much faith in human beings yet he restored a small part of that, and they’ll make a great team together. Plus, the mysteries of Charlotte are compelling, too.

“The Mother of Exiles” is next.

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