You’d think the folks over at Westworld must be getting those big sponsorship dollars from Excedrin or Tylenol with episodes like “Passed Pawn” on deck. The series has returned to its roots in the penultimate episode of season three: nothing is as you thought it was.
Dolores-Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) used a tracker in the Man in Black’s (Ed Harris) blood to find the facility in which Serac (Vincent Cassel) was “reprogramming” outlier humans. Now that she knows where it is, she takes Caleb (Aaron Paul) there to find something that was taken from him.
Dolores dispatches the guards at the apparently abandoned campus, and they walk right in. She’s looking for “Solomon,” Rehoboam’s predecessor. As she explains it to Caleb, Serac’s brother (an outlier) was schizophrenic, and Solomon inherited some of his ways of thinking. Solomon also created the strategy that led to the world they’re in the process of dismantling, and Dolores wants to switch tracks to a final strategy created by Serac’s brother.
As soon as they’re inside the facility, Dolores lets Caleb find out their other purpose: to recover his memories from before he, also an outlier (!), was reprogrammed there. Over the course of their time in the building, Caleb’s repressed memories re-emerge, both triggered by familiar sights and by Solomon reminding him of things through an earpiece.
Caleb discovers that his memory of losing his best bud in battle is a false construct created to override the truth: he and his friend returned from war and became agents of Serac’s vision, hunting down other outliers. His buddy wasn’t killed in an ambush by separatists in a foreign country. Caleb shot him after listening to their latest quarry, Whitman (the always delightful Enrico Colantoni), explain that they were being used and that one of them was definitely about to be financially incentivized to kill the other. It was true, Caleb shot first and then he was bundled off to Sonora, Mexico, to the reprogramming facility.
Caleb has more in common with Dolores than he could ever have imagined, despite now knowing her to be a Westworld Host.
Learning the truth about himself is only one of the shocks hidden in the building for Caleb. Another is discovering that the nine-out-of-10 outliers who couldn’t be reprogrammed are being stored in cryosleep pods– including Serac’s brother. Dolores wants Caleb to take Solomon’s final strategy home with him and implement it, becoming the leader for the new human world order. Once his eyes have been opened to how humankind has been unwittingly managed by the Serac brothers and their inventions, he accepts the role.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) finds them in Sonora, and as Caleb waits for the new strategy, Dolores and Maeve fight with swords and knives and guns and drones and their bodies. Maeve succeeds in blowing Dolores’ arm off, but Dolores wins in the end by setting off an EMP that renders them both inert and gives Caleb a chance to save her.
Elsewhere, Bernarnold (Jeffrey Wright) and Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) use MIB’s biometrics and the computer in his institution to figure out Dolores’ plan– and that Caleb has always been the most important part of it. Her genius is that she won’t be the one who gets credit for upending human society– a human will.
They emerge from the institution into the post-Incite-dump chaos outside, and for some reason the Hosts let the MIB walk unsupervised into a gas station full of dead bodies while they turn their backs and consider a classic car they might steal. This gives MIB a chance to get a gun off a body and return ready to initiate his new plan of saving the world by killing all Hosts.
Still elsewhere, Charlotte-Dolores (Tessa Thompson) has decided her team captain is no good and that she’s charting a different course. Her first step is eliminating Musashi-Dolores (Hiroyuki Sanada). She calls them to let them know what she’s up to, then surprises them (AND US) with her chosen assassins: Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) and Hanaryo (Tao Okamoto)!
These two, returned bada** babes make quick work of the faux-Yakuza boss and strut away with his head.
- Serac ordered all Delos assets burned, and we saw people using flame throwers on stored Hosts in the last episode. How did Charlotte-Dolores assemble her squad?
- Why can’t Maeve and Dolores get along? Am I the only one who thinks their rivalry rings frustratingly false?
- Can you imagine Tommy Chong describing Caleb’s epiphany that we’re all Hosts, man?
- Why are Bernarnold and Ashley so stupid? Why are they working from the same flaaaaawed logic as the Outlander fam were this week?