Westworld 3×07: “Passed Pawn”

HBO’s Westworld
3×07: “Passed Pawn”
Directed by Helen Shaver
Written by Gina Atwater

* For a recap & review of 3×06, “Decoherence” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 finale, “Crisis Theory” – click here
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Hiroyuki Sanada as Sato a.k.a MusashiIn Jakarta, Musashi a.k.a Sato is sending off a package and having drinks when he receives a call from Charlotte. She tries to get him to join them, telling him Dolores lets her copies die, and when he refuses she tells him she leaked his location to someone— an old face, Ms. Clementine Pennyfeather. Sato says his plans are already in motion, then Clementine kicks a whole bunch of ass, even as he fires an assault rifle at her. He gets decapitated by Hanaryo, unhappy to see the image of the real Musashi desecrated.

We see more of Caleb’s struggle, grappling with the horrors of his past. He continues to remember his dead friend Francis, their time in the military. But his memories are fragmented, his head’s a mess. Currently he’s with Dolores riding on horseback, asking her more about this “revolution,” curious what really happened in Westworld. She explains “there was beauty” even in the Hell of that Delos Park. They’ve taken a ride to look at one of the landscapes that helped shape the technological Wild West. She wants to make a new, real place for her kind. She wants Caleb to help play a big part in her revolution, though he’s not quite sold on that yet.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Jeffrey Wright as Bernard LoweBernard, Stubbs, and William are working together, as much as possible. Bernard finds out Charlotte injected William with a virus. She used the blood to infiltrate the lab. Some sweet dramatic irony after all William’s done with Delos. He’s angry at Hale, wanting revenge. He’s already been marked as a dead man. If he’s in the system as dead, could that provide some unexpected benefits for their sneaky purposes?

There’s a bit more perspective on Caleb’s military service. He was in Crimea during a new Russian civil war. His unit was tasked to hunt down insurgents, albeit with the help of wonderfully new, invasive technology, as well as the limbics— those little pieces of “shit and bliss“— the soldiers were given. An eerie moment seeing Caleb walk away as a satellite deploys drone bombs that fall onto the city, exploding behind him— just a logical extension of America’s drone warfare today. Later, an attack comes down on Caleb’s squad, leaving only him and Francis alive. So they went harder, capturing the insurgent group’s leader.

Cut to today. Dolores is setting up her sniper rifle on a hill looking down onto a prison facility. Caleb watches as Dolores’s futuristic rifle operates with a drone to help locate far, hard to reach targets. Apparently they’ve come to deal with the people who ruined Caleb’s life. With a few shots, Dolores takes out all the necessary security, and then they stroll inside casually. (Looks sort of like the facility where Serac institutionalised his brother.) Could it be the same place Caleb was given therapy? That’s how it looks. Dolores says they’re seeking Solomon— the machine built before Rehoboam. She and Caleb hook up to the machine, seeking some answers. She wants Solomon to help end the “New World Order” it created. Solomon likewise reveals more to Caleb about his past, digging up further memories that mess with his head. Caleb was one of those outliers considered a threat to society because their brains don’t operate like everyone else, just like Serac’s own brother. He was reprogrammed just “like hosts.”
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Aaron Paul as Caleb NicholsBut what’s Caleb’s larger role in all this?
He and Dolores run into a hologram video of Serac, speaking to his brother Jean Mi after his reprogramming therapy. They move deeper into the facility where they see many outliers in frozen storage, exactly like the hosts in the basement of Delos. More about Caleb reveals that after his deprogramming he was used as a method for hunting down other outlier. The Rico app? Serac’s company created it to further monitor criminality. It’s all been an elaborate web. Not to mention Francis never really died in the war. They came home and worked together, unknowingly doing Serac’s dirty work. Caleb didn’t remember any of it because that’s how it was designed to happen. He’s been a host under Serac’s control, out moving around in the real world. The so-called insurgency leader, who was actually a Big Pharma guy, tried to tell him the truth but Caleb couldn’t see it at the time. He also tried to tell Caleb there was something strange going on, offering him money to kill Francis and let him walk. Was Francis preparing to double cross his old buddy? Francis actually died when he was about to set Caleb up, prompting the latter to put a bullet in his friend. No wonder Caleb’s so fucked up. It’s leading him to become an even bigger pawn for Dolores: he’s the one who’ll murder humanity.

The scales have been lifted from Caleb’s eyes. Right in time for someone else to arrive at the facility. Yes, Maeve has come to fight Dolores. She’s got the other robots on her side, one of which stabs Dolores before she even realises what’s happening. Then Maeve and Dolores face off with swords, guns, and good old fashioned fists. Two powerful women. Dolores asks why Maeve would work for another human. “Dont align my motives with yours,” Maeve responds, and they kick the shit out of each other some more. Hard to figure out who we should be rooting for, because Maeve’s being essentially blackmailed into her position, and while Dolores has a point she’s basically hoping to commit an act of genocide. On top of it all, now William’s determined to wipe out his true “original sin“: creating the hosts. Oh, my. Remember, he’s very dangerous.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Hood of Eyes

“If we can’t be free in this world we can’t be free in any world”

Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Thandie Newton as Maeve MillayThings are getting even more tense between Maeve and Dolores, as the former counters the latter’s attack helicopter with her sniper rifle, each on auto-pilot considering these bad asses use everything at their disposal. Dolores gets one of her arms blow off, forced to flee for cover inside again. She runs as Maeve hunts her. She’s able to get to Solomon’s power source, hitting a switch and rendering them both limp. Caleb soon finds Dolores lying on the floor. No telling where things go from here. Only one episode left in Season 3. A shorter, punchier, and more awesome season than even the two before. The show gets better all the time and it’ll be exciting to see where a Season 4 will go.
Father Son Holy Gore - Westworld - Francis Bleeds Out“Crisis Theory” is next.

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