REVIEW: Westworld, S3 Ep6 – Decoherence

Westworld, S3 Ep6 - Decoherence

Maeve and Dolores have a decisive confrontation while William undergoes a unique kind of therapy on this week’s Westworld.

After spending half the season setting up and focusing on only a couple characters at a time, Westworld is now accelerating its pace as the major conflict gets underway. Dolores made the first big move last week with the data leak, and this week, Serac tries to wrestle back control. Caught in the crossfire is the Charlotte Hale-Dolores, who has developed feelings for her human family.

Hale’s case is interesting because she proves, and even the Connells clone later confirms, that though they are all versions of Dolores, the divergent paths they’ve taken have also changed them. Hale grows attached to her husband and son and also determined to protect them. She has a touching moment with Jake where he admits that he won’t read his Incite file because he won’t let a machine decide what they become.

But Hale is dutiful to a fault and helps see the big plan through by trying to take over Delos, transferring the host data to Dolores, eliminating the board members, and even trying to assassinate Serac. But the man is always a few steps ahead of everyone (and always a convenient hologram) so he sees through her immediately. Hale shoots her way out of the Delos compound and even gets to use some of the impressive defensive robots.

Maeve is back in the game and now that she knows she is up against multiple versions of Dolores, she asks Serac to bring her some allies. He acquiesces but also threatens her that failure is not an option. The “bucolic” vision of the world beyond can very well turn into a nightmare should she not defeat Dolores.

So Maeve returns to Warworld, perhaps just so the elaborate set and costumes are not wasted on just one episode. She shows her power and still lets the simulation-Lee Sizemore tag along. She manages to bring Hector back to her and they share a touching reunion. For a while, it seems like the team is getting back together. But as this is Westworld, we can’t have nice things.

Westworld, S3 Ep6 - DecoherenceMaeve finds that the Dolores-clone Connells was is also in the facility and she takes the opportunity to have a heart-to-heart, inasmuch as that is possible between hosts. It’s a fascinating moment to watch, two powerful hosts, equals in their own way, trying to understand each other’s motives. This would have been the moment for them to decide to join forces, as champions of their kind, since they were never truly opposed to each other in Westworld, having dealt with separate conflicts.

But then, the lines are drawn when Hale decides to destroy Hector’s pearl, causing Maeve to scream in rage. She may be a host, but she’s going to fight for Serac because Dolores just made it personal.

While I would have preferred that William continue to languish in a prison of his own sins, we do get to see some of him again this week as he undergoes group therapy. At one point, when his blood is tested a result flashes on the screen saying “synthetic markers found” and then “Tracing Data Transmission. Recipient Server Detected” to a location on Sonora, Mexico. So these unknown elements in his blood may just be a result of the tracking device Hale inserted into him but the more intriguing prospect is that William might actually be a host.  But it’s too early to say and in Westworld, this might well be another twist.

Westworld, S3 Ep6 - DecoherenceBut when his therapist receives her Incite data and all hell breaks loose, he is left to suffer through an “AR Therapy” session that consists of facing different versions of his past self including William as a child, young man William, corporate William, and the Man in Black. The discussion is moderated by his father-in-law, the old Delos, who delights in tormenting him.

This continues William’s whole existential crisis over determinism vs. free will and there are some interesting arguments thrown in by each version of himself. Although they all boil down to an inability to take responsibility for his own, deplorable actions. He would like the scapegoat of saying he was programmed to be problematic instead of just admitting that he is just a terrible person who does terrible things. There was even a red herring about his troubled childhood because a flashback seemed to be setting up an abusive household when it turns out his father was just disturbed by the violence of the young boy.

In the end, William finds catharsis by literally killing all his past selves, giving in to his violent tendencies. He comes to a triumphant moment of self-realization and it looks like he’ll be back in the game, wreaking havoc once more. Bernard and Stubbs show up at the opportune moment and it looks like they will be the next unlikely team-up.

The episode ends with a literal bang as Hale’s attempt to escape with her “family” is thwarted by Serac. As the burnt and scarred host emerges from the wreckage, there’s revenge in her eyes and any hesitation she might have had against getting involved in the grand plan has now been obliterated. As with Maeve, now it’s personal, and Serac will have to contend with a version of Dolores who may be even more dangerous.

Westworld is heading towards the season finale at breakneck speed with all the the threads coming together and with the humans already rioting in the streets. Maeve and Dolores have chosen their sides and an epic clash of host titans is about to unfold.

Tags: ,