The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game

06 Apr 2020 (PT)
WESTWORLDTHE GAME

The 'Westworld' Confusion Index is your guide to what we know, what we kind of know, and what we don't know about Westworld, one of television's more confusing shows. We will make mistakes, surely, because we rarely know what is happening or why and whenever we think we've figured it out, they go and change it on us, but we will try to have at least as many jokes as mistakes. This is the best we can offer. Here we go.

What We Know
The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

Everyone is Dolores

The biggest question floating around and through this first chunk of Westworld's third season has been “Which host brains” — pearls, whatever — “did Dolores smuggle out of Delos and put into the bodies of the hosts she built in the real world?” We knew someone was inside Charlotte and Carlos and, as of this episode, Musashi the former samurai warrior who is now a Yakuza boss who does that thing only crime bosses and grandmothers do where they drape their jacket over their shoulders without putting their arms through. Which hosts did she pick? Clementine? My sweet dull boy Teddy? Hector the Handsome Safecracker?

Well, we have our answer. It was Dolores. All of them. Many Doloreses. Dolori. Clones of herself that she plopped into other hosts that she spread around a number of influential positions, from Charlotte as the top banana at Delos to Carlos the handler of Liam the Dummy to... I mean, who knows where else. They're all her, which is a little hilarious to think about and just really the most conceited decision anyone could possibly make. I'm just mad the show didn't give us a scene of her making this decision while saying “the only one I can trust... is me” as she looks dead into the camera and the screen cuts to black. A missed opportunity. Hopefully, the show uses its shifting timelines to address it eventually.

The implications of this stretch all the way around the show. It means she has plans for both Delos and Serac's company. It means, I think, that she's been the mole — as Charlotte — who is feeding him intelligence. It means everything so far is connected to her and through her and it means she's been pulling a lot of strings in a very coordinated manner, like a puppeteer working a marionette. She's in a primo position right now for whatever she has planned, too. She pushed William out of Delos and took his shares so she can take the company private and protect it from Serac. She stole all of Liam's money using Carlos and Caleb and some poor banker's blood. Things are building to a head and her plan seems to be coming together nicely.

My only question right now is, like, who is Bernard? Is Bernard Bernard? Did she put Teddy inside Bernard? It would explain why he's so confused all the time. And it would be really funny, like if she created a dumbass adversary just to make this mildly interesting every now and then. I now hope this is true.

Shopping in the future looks cool

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

This is from when Dolores and Caleb were getting their fancy clothes for the masked prostitute charity ball thing. Dolores didn't need clothes because we've seen her conjure a damn ball gown mid-stride on her way into an event. Caleb did, though. Caleb is not a suit kind of guy. And so, the shopping, kind of like a reverse Pretty Woman but with science.

I like this. This is how shopping should be. The only downside is that it really makes it tougher to do a good “repeatedly emerging from the fitting room in new, usually fancy but sometimes silly outfits” montage. Not as fun if you're just cycling through them with a touchscreen. I'm sure we can figure a way around this. We have to.

Serac is still the biggest supervillain on the show, which is really saying something when you consider that another character has cloned herself five times in different bodies in an attempt to end humanity as we know it through a mixture of corporate subterfuge and murder

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

An incomplete list of supervillain stuff Serac did:

Had a discussion with Maeve about how their interests were actually aligned Delivered a brief monologue about heaven and hell and how the concept of the afterlife is a con humans played on themselves Pressured a hostage into talking by showing him what would happen to his family if he didn't Killed the hostage immediately after

I can't help it, I love this guy. He checks every box of an evil mastermind. I half-expect him to poison a city's water supply next episode, even if it has nothing to do with Dolores and their battle, just because he's itching to do some bad guy stuff. He is somehow my favorite character on the show but my second-favorite rich guy on the show, coming in just behind Liam's almost cartoonishly dipshitty buddy, the one who offered him designer drugs and went on a rant about how “all sex is commerce” and actually said the sentence “Tonight is not about dead girlfriends; it's about unabashed self-gratification” which is really just such a perfect rich asshole friend thing to say that I have no choice but to adore it.

What We Kind Of Know
The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

This is building toward a big Serac vs. Dolores showdown at some point

I mean, yeah. This much is pretty clear, right? We're looking at a coming battle between Serac/Maeve and Dolores/Dolores/Dolores/Dolores/Dolores, which should be a pretty fun fight. Everyone is evil and has bad intentions and is meticulously plotting their strategy while wearing futuristic designer clothes they concocted with the push of a button. There's no good guy, except maybe Bernard, who at present is hopelessly outmatched and outclassed. Serac wants to control Delos to increase his ability to control human behavior through technology again, just classic supervillain stuff; Dolores wants to, I guess, wipe out humans and replace them with robots. I don't know. That one's still a little murky. I dig it, though. This is turning into a fun little ride.

Paris is... gone?

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

I really did enjoy the very casual way the show revealed the fact that Paris was, at some point, apparently decimated by some sort of powerful weapon and no longer exists. I assume this will come up again at some point, if only to explain why it happened or as part of a long speech by Serac about why he became interested in controlling human behavior to protect us from ourselves, but a much bigger part of me hopes they never mention it again. Like if they just introduce the concept of a major city getting vaporized and then never get back to it. I would like that. For the chaos of it all.

What We Don't Know
The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

Is Maeve... okay?

She is. I'm sure she is. Letting Maeve bleed out and die for good in the same episode that Serac talked about getting her back to her daughter would be madness. And she's the only one who can conceivably match skills with Dolores. And Maeve rules, from using her brain powers to make the Yakuza's guns go haywire to gutting goons with samurai swords for the second season in a row to saying all kinds of cool action star stuff as she did it. Maeve will be back. I would bet all of Liam's money on it.

But how will/could this change things? Will Serac get her more help? Will he jack up her settings to make her even more Keanu-y? Will the white goo she's lying in — which looks an awful lot like the goo Delos used to make hosts, and Dolores now appears to have in bulk — mix in with her blood and make her some sort of Super Maeve? I don't know. That's the fun of this show. They might do anything next. I respect a show that can look itself in the mirror and say “Yeah, screw it, let's get wild.” Westworld is that kind of show, very much so, for both better and worse.

Is this the last we'll see of William?

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game HBO

Welllllllllllll things did not go too great for William, the one-time CEO of Delos and one-time Man in Black and current patient in an upscale mental heh facility where his stay is not what you would call voluntary. Just bad all-around, starting with him maybe hallucinating the daughter he killed in a paranoid fit of violence and moving all the way to the thing where Dolores — as Charlotte — duped him into cleaning himself up for a big board meeting that was all a ruse to make him look unhinged and get taken away by big strong men who work for the facility so she could control his shares. Again, not great.

The question I have is this: Is that it? Is that the end of William, a once-powerful businessman who got so deep into a game that he drove himself cuckoo with a couple nudges? I doubt it. Even though Dolores described his current situation as “the end of the game,” I can't believe the show will just leave Ed Harris in an asylum while all of this plays out. Let's have Maeve break him out and give him a black cowboy hat and have him and Serac sit at a table in a gold-plated cocktail lounge for a conversation filled with the most evil sentences you've ever heard. Do it for me. I need this. Come on.

WESTWORLDTHE GAME
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The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Welcome To The End Of The Game
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