In the “Westworld” recap, Dolores and Caleb make their move, Charlotte seeks out the Man in Black and the hosts who escaped the park are finally revealed…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
“Westworld” has always been a mind fuck.
A well executed first season was predicated almost entirely on that principle with stories running over multiple timelines before finally converging in the finale. Unfortunately, season 2 failed to live up to those expectations because creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy tried to duplicate what was done before but ultimately ended up with a muddled mess that was nearly impossible to understand much less explain.
Fast forward to “Westworld” season 3 and the show has returned to the basic yet truly effective mind fuck, except this time around one of the biggest questions has already been answered after the latest episode.
When Dolores escaped Westworld dressed in a host body made to look like Charlotte Hale, she took five pearls — the memory spheres that each contained a host mind — with her. We know at some point, Dolores created another Bernard, who is now serving as her nemesis in the real world but there was still a question about the other pearls that were smuggled out of Westworld.
We’ve already seen that she’s placed at least two of them into new hosts made to look like Charlotte and Incite fixer Martin Connells but we never found out who actually lived inside those pearls. Who did Dolores trust enough to bring with her out of the park much less put inside new hosts bodies with the sole purpose of her completing the mission at hand?
Was it Teddy? How about Dolores’ park father Peter Abernathy? Did she resurrect Clementine or Angela to serve by her side?
It turns out the simplest answer was always the one staring back at us and “Westworld” decided to unravel this latest mind fuck in spectacular fashion with the latest episode. We’ll get to those revelations along with possibly the last appearance of The Man in Black as we recap the latest episode of “Westworld” titled “The Mother of Exiles”…
When “Westworld” season 2 ended, William aka The Man in Black was left questioning his own reality after killing his own daughter when he was convinced that she was actually a host. The murder sent William in a downward spiral as he began to wonder if perhaps he was a host as well.
Catching up with William in the latest episode, he’s back at home but still tortured by the decision he made to kill his own daughter. Now Emily comes back to haunt and torment him but to William she looks as real as anybody else in his life. He sees her bleeding out over and over again as he continues to teeter on the edge between sanity and madness.
His lunacy is interrupted when Charlotte Hale comes to pay him a visit with information that Engerraund Serac has made a power play to take over Delos. Years earlier, William brokered a deal with Serac to sell him guest data from Westworld but now that information is being used to power Rehoboam — the artificial intelligence computer that is strategizing and predicting the outcomes for every human being on Earth.
To make matters worse, Serac taking over Delos and thus Westworld may allow him to find some information on the secretive Sector 16 project that was being carried out deep inside the bowels of the park. It was there that William had authorized experiments in an attempt to map the human mind and place that consciousness inside a host body.
It all started with James Delos, the founder of the company and William’s father-in-law, but time after time the experiments always failed. Still, the research was meticulous and Serac could definitely find use for that with his programming.
Remember, Serac is determined to plot the course for all humanity but that means securing the rest of Delos’ information, which led him to the corporate takeover where he secretly bought enough stock to gain a controlling interest. The Charlotte host that was put in place by Dolores found out last week that the real Charlotte was the mole inside Delos feeding information back to Serac for this corporate espionage.
Now the Charlotte-bot is determined to regain control of the company by taking Delos private, but that’s going to require the person with the largest voting share to side with her. That person is William.
Charlotte helps clean William up as he shaves off his month long old stubble and puts on a suit presumably for the first time since coming home from Westworld. He’s still tortured by what he did to Emily but William’s legacy depends on saving Delos and now he has to regain some semblance of sanity if he hopes to defeat Serac and take back his company.
Kill and Replace
After breaking into Westworld and taking Ashley Stubbs with him, Bernard returns to California with a plan to take down Dolores once and for all. He knows Dolores has the capability of building new host bodies and he believes her goal will be to copy the right people, implant the pearls she stole from the park and stage a takeover of Incite.
He made this discovery after spotting Dolores in the background of a photo at a recent Incite event (from the debut episode) where she was serving as arm candy to Liam Dempsey Jr., the face of the company and the son of the original founder.
Bernard is convinced that Dolores replaced Liam Dempsey with one of her hosts and that will serve the purpose she needs. Now he’s planning on taking Stubbs to the upcoming event where Liam is expected to appear and they will kidnap him and use Bernard’s magic button to freeze all motor functions and force the duplicate to reveal to them the rest of Dolores’ hosts that she’s planted since first arriving from Westworld.
Once they’ve figured out all of Dolores’ co-conspirators, Bernard will be able to stop her from completing her plan, which he still assumes is complete annihilation of the human race.
Meanwhile in Singapore, Serac sits down to dinner and brings Maeve back online after they traveled there together from Westworld. Serac is trying to convince Maeve to serve as his soldier in the war against Dolores and he’s convinced she might be the only weapon capable of stopping her.
Maeve suggests that if Serac wanted to convince her, perhaps he should have taken her to Paris instead. He laughs at the suggestion because Maeve has no knowledge of the real world because in the future, Paris was his birthplace except now it’s nothing more than a pile of charred ruins left in the wake of a nuclear war.
In flashbacks, Serac remembers his childhood alongside his brother as they were rescued by some kind of fallout brigade while seeing a smoldering image of Paris in the distance with a mushroom cloud rising from the ashes. Serac explains that human error led to Paris’ destruction and now he’s doing everything possible to create a better path going forward so these kinds of tragedies never happen again.
As Serac says, humanity’s greatest enemy has always been humanity.
And despite all his best efforts to map out the human mind to its last brain wave, Serac couldn’t crack the code but instead a theme park somehow found a way and now he’s desperate to find that information to plug into Rehoboam and he believes Dolores has it.
While Maeve was hesitant to help at all, Serac promises her that if she helps him to retrieve this information from Dolores. he can give her the one thing she wants most in the world — he will send her consciousness to “the Valley Beyond” where many of the other hosts were sent at the end of last season. The Valley Beyond was made as some kind of host heaven where each individual consciousness is sent to live for the rest of eternity as nothing more than a computer program but a place that is not controlled or tormented by humans.
Maeve sent her daughter there at the end of last season — it’s also where Dolores sent Teddy as well. The entire Valley Beyond program was then exported out of the park and Serac believes it now resides inside Dolores’ mainframe. He tells Maeve to stop Dolores and he will send her home to the Valley Beyond where she can spend forever with her daughter.
Maeve finally relents and Serac helps put her on the right track by first taking her to the house where Dolores first arrived after leaving Westworld. It was the house Arnold was building before he died and the place Dr. Robert Ford set up for Dolores once she finally made her escape. There Dolores made the five host bodies for the pearls she smuggled out of the park.
Serac then reveals a man he’s taken hostage, who helped Dolores secure a new identity after creating these new hosts. The hostage leads them to a woman known as the Mortician, who would have helped Dolores secure the blood she needs to use this new identity.
In this technologically secured new world, biomarkers are used for all types of identification including bank records, which means Dolores needed to find a real person that she could make her own in order to stay under the radar. The Mortician may have helped Dolores get the blood but she wasn’t able to help her move the bodies she required to transport from Singapore to the United States.
That required assistance from the Yakuza.
So Maeve takes a trip to visit the Japanese mafia along with the Mortician to see their leader — a man named Sato, who she will force to tell where those bodies were sent.
After arriving, Maeve uses her power to control electronics to force the Yakuza guards to kill each other with their computerized guns and she uses a katana blade to take out the rest. The only person left standing is Sato but Maeve is stunned when the Yakuza leader walks out of the shadows and it’s none other than Musashi — the samurai warrior she met in Shogun World during “Westworld” season 2.
Now we know that Musashi is one of the hosts that Dolores remade after arriving in the real world but the pearl hiding behind those eyes is no samurai…
Eat the Rich
After convincing Caleb to help her in the war to bring down Rehoboam — the predictive computer that decided he was 10 to 12 years away from suicide and thus so unimportant that there was no use in allowing him to improve his life — Dolores begins outfitting him for the next part of her plan. She helps Caleb pick out a new suit, which will allow him to portray a role she needs later that day.
At the same time, Martin Connells — who is Incite’s fixer and head of security, who Dolores replaced with a host back in the debut episode — goes to Liam Dempsey and asks him for his biomarker key. Connells tells him it’s to help pay off the people who covered up his ex-girlfriend’s death but in reality he’s taking that biomarker for Dolores’ plan that’s being put into action.
Dolores than knocks out an executive from an investment firm, siphons off some of his blood and injects it into Caleb’s arm. She means to use that as a biomarker to help them gain access to a special kind of bank only billionaires would use.
Inside, Caleb is able to use his own finger to serve as the biomarker to not only gain access to the bank but to help secure a transfer. He’s sending all of Liam Dempsey’s fortune to an undisclosed bank that will now be controlled by Dolores.
The final stage of the plan takes Dolores and Caleb to an “Eyes Wide Shut” type party where the elite bid on high-end prostitutes, take elicit drugs and let all the illegal activities wash over them. Dolores plans on taking Liam Dempsey for the next part of her strategy and she’s able to move him into place after he discovers that his bank accounts have been emptied when he attempts to bid on one of the prostitutes on display.
As he exits, Bernard and Stubbs catch him before Dolores can intercept. But there’s a problem — Bernard uses his magic button because he believes Liam must have been replaced by one of Dolores’ hosts but that’s not the case. They quickly try to make an escape but Dolores interrupts them with a hail of gunfire.
Bernard gets away with Liam down the backstairs and Dolores sends Caleb after them while she deals with Stubbs. A host on host fight breaks out but Dolores eventually gets the upper hand when she tosses Stubbs over a balcony down to the floor below.
Outside, Bernard tries to make a getaway with Liam but Connells stops them before they can make it into a car. Connells tells Liam to run and he sends Caleb after him while he stays behind to have a conversation with Bernard. It doesn’t take long for Bernard to figure out that Dolores replaced Connells instead of Liam but he’s not sure why.
That’s when Bernard tries to figure out the host mind that’s living inside the copy of Connells and Dolores’ grand plan starts to come together…
The Clone Wars
All of the various stories converge in these final few scenes with plenty of revelations and theories about what lies ahead.
Let’s start with William, who gets cleaned up and ready for his meeting with the Delos board of directors but not before he comes face to face with Charlotte, who then reveals her true identity to him.
The host living inside Charlotte’s body is none other than Dolores!
She made a copy of herself and put that host pearl into the Charlotte body. That explains why the Charlotte clone was struggling with her own identity last week because when she was brought back online, she was face to face with the real Dolores. After revealing herself to William, he flips out before being restrained by security.
It seems Charlotte/Dolores planned this all along — she gets a prick of his blood for the biomarkers she’ll need to serve as his proxy vote at the shareholders meeting — and then sends William away to a mental health facility where he’ll receive treatment to help with all those ghosts he keeps seeing.
At the end of the episode, William is visited by an apparition of Dolores from the park and he’s struggling to figure out what’s real and what’s not. Now it’s entirely possible that William has just been driven mad and this is where he’s left to rot after all the awful things he’s done.
Another theory is that this version of William is a host replication as hinted during a post credits scene at the end of “Westworld” season 2. It was implied in that scene that William’s consciousness was placed into a host body as a copy much like he tried to do for years with his father-in-law James Delos. Sadly, those James Delos’ clones could never quite replicate the real thing because they could never come to terms with being a host with a human mind.
Perhaps the William clone has finally figured out the key to survival — coming to the realization that he’s a host all on his own rather than being told that he’s not the real thing. Then again, William might just be losing his mind and this is where he’ll spend the rest of his days, tortured by all the terrible things he’s done.
Back in Singapore, Maeve comes to realizes that the host living inside Musashi is another copy of Dolores!
As she notes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. So Dolores just copied her own consciousness and placed each one of those pearls into different bodies to help complete the goal she has in mind. Maeve is obviously angry at Dolores for taking the Valley Beyond with her when she left Westworld and now she’s trying to take over the world with nothing but clones of herself to do it.
Dolores promises Maeve the new world she builds will have a place for all the hosts — including her daughter. The two then engage in a fight that ends with Dolores stabbing Maeve to death with a sword. Just as she tries to cut out the pearl from Maeve’s head, security forces intervene and Dolores is forced to flee with her men before they are captured or killed.
In the end, Maeve lies dead in a pool of blood and white liquid that spilled from one of the containers hidden at the Yakuza lair. The liquid looked just like the white substance that is used to make the hosts. Given that information it would seem Dolores (as the leader of the Yakuza) planned to smuggle out the body making goop to make more hosts.
Finally, Bernard figures out that the host version of Connells contains yet another copy of Dolores. The real Dolores then meets up with Caleb where she’s reunited with Liam, whoo has now been captured.
Also let’s not forget that Dolores smuggled out five host pearls when she left Westworld. We’ve accounted for four of them — Charlotte, Connells, Musashi and the new Bernard she made — but that means there’s still one more host copy still to be discovered.
Now here’s the theory we’ve got about Dolores’ grand plan — she’s figured out that humans are essentially no different from hosts because their control has been taken away by Rehoboam. Dolores even comments when she arrives at that “Eyes Wide Shut” party that she thought the “real world” would be different but it’s just like the one she left behind in the theme park.
It appears Dolores wants to destroy Rehoboam to return full control of humanity to the humans. As Serac noted earlier, humanity’s greatest threat isn’t the robots — it’s humanity itself.
Perhaps, Dolores intends to return free will to humans, knowing that they will eventually destroy each other. At that point, Dolores can begin manufacturing more and more hosts with the body making goop she was smuggling in from Singapore thanks to the Yakuza.
Once those host bodies have been molded, Dolores can then download all of the various minds that were captured in the Valley Beyond at the end of season 2. In other words, Dolores wants to make a world for the hosts and that’s why she uploaded the Valley Beyond to her own mainframe so she’d have them stored to eventually then release them into new bodies after conquering humanity.
Dolores is banking on humans doing what they do best — destroying each other — to put the entire race on an extinction clock. Then and only then can Dolores remake the world in her own image by handing the Earth to the hosts instead.
“Westworld” returns with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9pm ET on HBO.