***Spoiler Warning: This post contains spoilers for Westworld through Season 3, Episode 4. Spoilers***
In one of Westworld‘s most insane, wild rides, “The Mother of Exiles” traversed time and worlds in ways we hadn’t imagined. Friends old and new collided and collaborated; collusion and cons brought about possibly predicted outcomes. A Host’s hidden multiplicity may reach untold numbers and reality changed from one scene to the next. While revisiting the past may prove confusing for Bernard …
and the Man William in Black White, Dolores’ clever manipulations seem to satisfy her all around.
William, it was really nothing (or was it? “You can’t have it both ways, Dad.“) when you shot your daughter, Emily, now being hallucinated until Charlotte, hosted by — we guessed it — Dolores interrupts. Clearly as confused as Delos himself, William likewise smashes and shoots out mirrors as he attempts to sort the nature of his reality as an unsuccessful(?) Hybrid, while Chalores manipulates his madness to gain corporate control and take the company private.Thanks to his handy hacking abilities, Bernard takes Stubbs to a masked sex-auction ball that reminds of the Pariah orgy in “Contrapasso“, where Dolores has it out with the former head of security and tosses him over a balcony, all while in heels. Both pairs (Bernard/Stubbs, Dolores/Caleb) intend to make off with the same target (Liam) after Connells (Conlores?) manages to secure his funds; replacing the Incite cofounder’s son may get Dolores one step closer to Rehoboam and world domination. A little Rico-like mission with stolen biometric data brings unlimited funding.Back online in Singapore, Maeve imbibes her favorite drink while Serac catches her up on Dolores’ activities and the state of his boyhood home. When she agrees to a field trip, meets The Mortician who brokered bodies and sees Host-printing proof, Maeve follows the leads to a Yakuza (Japanese mafia) den full of familiar milky-fluid filled barrels and trigger-happy goons. When finally she meets the boss, Sato, it turns out he’s Shōgunworld’s own Musashi (again, Dolores) and with a flick of his sword, Maeve is dead again.
What a grand hour!
With a little wink to us all (“Is that you in there Teddy?“), the showrunners finally reveal it is Dolores in …just about everybody — Charlotte, Connells, Sato/Musashi. Well-played, friends, and well-guessed, lots of us. Last week I also mentioned the idea of a hive Host mind and Star Trek‘s Borg; this week, the name on the outside of the building Maeve enters is Itaidoshin Distillery; “In Buddhism, the term Itai doshin means to be of the same mind, even though we are many in body.” Sato is a Thai beer.I am compelled to say that now more than ever, I am absolutely convinced that Dolores and Maeve are inside a park (probably Park Number 5, the only open number of 6 Parks). There were so many hints (and the showrunners are notoriously unsubtle) that unless they’re intentionally misdirecting — which is, of course, possible — it’s impossible to not notice:
1. We’re meant to believe Dolores is printing Hosts and among them is Musashi ( (Hiroyuki Sanada), last seen in another Westworld park — it could be that he’s simply been moved to “The New World” park.
2. William dreams of having a red core, set against the backdrop of his wife Juliet’s suicide bath and as far as we know, he is another (like James Delos) unsuccessful Hybrid, who (last we knew, as explained to Bernard by Robert Ford’s virtual avatar) cannot properly exist outside the park. Now, whether he actually was outside the park is another question; whether he was outside his own mind is further up for debate. When Chalores (Charlotte hosted by Dolores) comes to William’s home, it appears as if they are out of the park. And if that’s true, when he purportedly walked out of his house (when/how was he moved from the testing room we saw last season?) he was in the same “Real World” as Chalores (with the waiting futuristic Delos vehicle) — how is that possible?
It’s feasible that William is in a simulation, that because of Delos’ inability to maintain a stable Hybrid (remember those fidelity tests), eventually his consciousness was loaded into a simulation — or one was built around it. The final shots of him in a facility read false to me.
3. Both Dolores and Maeve are on missions that feel very narrative-like to me; they each believe in their stories 100% and have emotional connections to what they’re doing. The bank heist with Caleb read exactly like a guest experience for him, and the woman who was helping with their transaction — and the drama of whether or not his identity was accepted — felt like she was in on an act being played out for Caleb’s mission. Maeve has been put to sleep or killed a couple of times now and we know because of previews she’s going to be back again (to fight Dolores). Their trajectory feels like another narrative.
4. The barrels of milky-fluid in Sato’s warehouse, which read very Futureworld with all that piping, are meant to make us think they’re part of Dolores’ plan — that she’s going to build her own clone army. That warehouse could easily be an area inside the park and the fluid, a clue.
5. Why did Bernard have the memory of Dolores with him in his finished/not home “So your two worlds would be within reach”? Back when we saw that original scene of BernArnold showing Dolores his home, I questioned whether they were actually outside the park (and Dolores still refers to having been out in the “real world” once before now), and I question it again, here. Revisiting that memory may be another clue that they’re still not outside the park complex.
6. So many lines of dialogue:
“What if every choice you made was just written in your code?”
“You’re not real either.”
“Are you with me now? Good, because it’s time to come back to reality.”
“It exists now only in my mind”
“Another simulation? This one’s a bit over the top.”
“I thought your world would be so different from mine, but there isn’t any difference at all.“
“Welcome to the end of the game.”
The episode’s tagline is “The truth doesn’t always set you free.”
Evan Rachel Wood should get an Emmy for her expressions alone, and the ones she causes in others.
Futureworld reference of the week: “Kill and replace, huh? That’s your theory? Gotta hand it to her, it’s a smart way to stage a coup.”
Luke Hemsworth is killing it with his line delivery this season.”I like the new look” (to Dolores).
The “Digital Psychopharma Hybrid” drug Roderick offers to Dempsey is called Genre, which is the name of next week’s episode.
I wonder what Chalores’ pin-prick of William garners as compared to Dolores’ removal of bio-identifiers in Michael’s blood? Presumably, his nature as a Hybrid means his identifiers are contained (and therefore extracted) in a different way, but since she already had him committed and can control his portion of Delos, what did she still need from him and for what purpose?
Bernard creates the same button that Serac used to stop Maeve from hurting him — I’m curious if one begot the other. Did Rehoboam help Serac figure that out? Will Serac always be a step ahead of the Hosts, enough so that he’ll be able to stop Dolores’ grand plan?
Speaking of Serac, I was again reminded of Robert Ford and his boyhood tales when Engerraund flashed back to the scene of himself as a boy with his brother, witnessing the destruction of Paris. Note the dead animal in the foreground of the photo below, and recall Ford’s Hostboy and the dead dog.I loved Musashi asking Maeve, “Did you really give me a choice? Hector, Clementine, or your daughter?” My feeling is that the Hosts are, despite their desire to believe they’re so different from their creators, almost fated to make the same mistakes. It’s like children growing up to be like their parents, despite wanting more than anything not to be like their parents. We’re already seeing that play out, as the Hosts (especially Dolores) become more and more violent and willing to discard humans just as they have been discarded and disregarded.
William put his glove (only one, because one of his hands was so badly damaged last season) back on. I hope this is a callback to the original Westworld movie in which hands were the one part of Hosts that couldn’t be perfected.
Ironic that Dolores chides William: “You still don’t even understand who you are. If any of this was your choice, wouldn’t you already know?”
The Statue of Liberty’s alternate title is The Mother of Exiles in Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus, written to raise money for the statue’s pedestal in which the well-known poem –“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” — resides (memorialized on a plaque). Dolores clearly believes she is the liberating force in The New World.
The vehicle in Serac’s boyhood memory of Paris being destroyed belongs to Risques Technologiques (Technological Risks).
Serac says “Humanity’s biggest threat has always been itself” and I say, correct!
This week’s Divergence: Victorville, USA apparently happened when Dolores began printing Host bodies in what appears to be Bernard’s old home.
I adored so many lines and Maeve always has the wittiest dialogue. Her description of Dolores was perfect: “She’s hard to forget. Golden blonde hair, a little intense.”
I also love that she got back to her beloved sherry.
Connells’ comment to Liam: “Run before I put a hole in your poncy little head” gave me a giggle.