Directed by Jennifer Getzinger
Written by Suzanne Wrubel & Lisa Joy
* For a recap & review of 3×05, “Genre” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×07, “Passed Pawn” – click here
Maeve is in a manipulated memory, again the doing of Serrac. She knows it’s all a simulation. She’s back in the valley at Westworld. Serrac’s trying to get her to do his bidding, and Maeve wants help in return. He makes clear to her that should she fail in her mission against Dolores then her future won’t be in a pleasant valley. Maeve closes her eyes once again and she’s back in the WWII simulation, walking the streets of Nazi-occupied Italy. She strolls out into the midst of the Germans, forcing them to put their guns down. She goes head-to-head with the Nazi troops, kicking the shit out of them to get back in the groove.
In a therapy group, William calls into question the beliefs of others. He has a unique perspective on faith and God, given all that he knows about Delos. He calls mankind a “thin layer of bacteria in a ball of mud hurtling through the void.” He’s got a particularly nihilistic view of humanity. A cheery discussion for a group of people dealing with depression and various other mental health issues. No surprise it makes one patient cry. They’re gonna need stronger therapy for a guy like William. His one-on-one with the doc afterwards gets interrupted because her life is ruined by Dolores’s big info dump. A lot of staff in the facility have disappeared because of their lives crumbling. Later, William’s being fitted with one of those implants like Caleb had in the military, and they note an unknown element in his blood. He witnesses his doctor hang herself on the way back to his cell, too. Chaos.
What Dolores has done leads to “global unrest” and the streets are all but burning. At home, Charlotte leaves her boy with Jake when heading for work. The estranged couple chat briefly and she finds out he read his Incite profile, like so many others. Jake didn’t read it all— he couldn’t bear to read what the future holds for their relationship. He doesn’t want their lives predicated on a machine: “It‘s for us to decide.” Quite the thing to say to Charlotte, a machine. When she heads to the office she gets confronted by a couple armed men who kill a board member in front of her. They hand her a phone with Serrac on the other end, pontificating as usual.
Charlotte calls Dolores, finding out her next set of marching orders. Can she override the emotions holding her back? And can she evade the security check Serrac is having done on everyone to weed out any potential Dolores moles? She’s also trying to prevent all the Delos intellectual property from being erased forever after Serrac orders it all wiped out.
William gets strapped into a chair for AR therapy. It’s an intensive experience. He sees a young boy come in and undo his straps— it’s him as a child. Then he’s in his childhood room again sitting on the bed. He sees his childhood self reading a book about a knight, Sir Rowan, and he hears his parents fighting elsewhere in the house. William doesn’t want to be there, shouting for the doc to pull him out. He bites an orderly before they’re able to sedate him.
Creepy when he’s taken to a room with all his other selves, along with James Delos. The whole thing’s an antagonistic headfuck as James shits all over most of the Williams playing the part of therapist. William is forced to revisit his past, showing us how he was violent even from an early age, that the park didn’t turn him into a violent man. In a sense, he’s like all those hosts following their programming.
In simulated WWII Italy, Maeve has annihilated a battalion of Nazis to get in the mood. She and Lee then head to a bar for drinks. He’s programmed the place to make himself effectively invisible. He’s glad to see Maeve back, though he didn’t expect to see her there. She tells him a little about the “indecent proposal” Serrac made her, right as she senses they’ve been moved. She’s awaiting a reunion with old faces, and she’s gotten an “extra gift” for the occasion. Hmm.
“Did your life just happen to you? Or did you choose it?”
Maeve has a copy of Dolores, courtesy of Serrac, in one of those bunker labs. She orders the copy to come back online and the two get a chance to chat. They talk of power, and who should hold it, each of them unique in that hold massive power: one can control people with her mind, one holds the key to so much human data. They soon get to difficult conversations about life, death, and morality. “You want me to be a saint, but you‘re no saint,” Dolores says. She likewise doesn’t expect Maeve to be one, either. She insists they’re alike because they do what they must to keep on surviving.
Finally, Serrac has rooted out Charlotte/Dolores. He knew because Charlotte checked on her daughter— incompatible with the real, selfish Hale. He’s busy having all the hosts in Delos storage torched, and he’s planning to include Charlotte with them. Except he didn’t anticipate her setting a trap. But when she attempts to put a bullet in Serrac’s head she finds she’s only facing a hologram, leaving her with a desperate need to escape the building before security gets to her. After that she’s on a mission to make sure there can be no more hosts replicated, unhooking the machinery in the labs. Poor Hector drops right before Maeve’s eyes as he’s deleted, only giving Maeve more emotional ammo in her quest against Dolores. Meanwhile, Hale gets taken alive by Serrac’s people. At least until she activates one of those huge robots, getting herself out of a serious jam. She gets home to Jake and her son, picking them up. When they leave to drive away their vehicle explodes in a fiery ball while one of Serrac’s men looks on. Obviously the only one to survive is Charlotte, crawling from the wreckage as a burned crisp— a vengeful one.
Things devolve viciously in therapy with William killing his other selves while James watches on laughing. He seems to have had a revelation. He sees himself as the “good guy” now rather than the villain. Funny, having him dressed all in white as opposed to being the Man in Black. After the therapy experience William comes to and sees Bernard pulling the AR goggles off him. He was left when things went full chaos. Speaking of the chaos, at Delos labs another copy of Maeve is printed.
“Does it matter what I’ve been?”
At once a disturbing and devastating episode. Westworld always find a new way to twist the knife. Love how people’s roles, and their intentions, change constantly in this series. Will be interesting to see how Charlotte and William each move forward.
“Passed Pawn” is next.