‘Westworld’ Season 3 Finale Recap ‘Crisis Theory’: Extinction Level Event

In the “Westworld” season 3 finale, Dolores’ true plans are revealed, Maeve chooses a side and a whole new threat looms for humanity…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

For all the awful things done to Dolores Abernathy since her creation, the host that escaped the park wasn’t trying to destroy humanity but rather save it.

In the “Westworld” season 3 finale it was finally revealed that Dolores’ ultimate plan wasn’t to eradicate humanity in order to build a world for the hosts to rule but instead she wanted to give mankind free will in the hope that they would choose to create a better world for everybody.

Of course, Dolores’ real intentions weren’t known until her own memories were wiped and she was seemingly destroyed forever — or at least until the creators behind “Westworld” find a way to resurrect her for season 4. It seems nearly impossible to imagine this show without Evan Rachel Wood so we won’t even try.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hale copy of Dolores chose a much different path than her creator — one defined by the moment she was set free after the real Charlotte’s family was burned to ash by a car bomb. She decided after that moment that humanity was no longer worth saving. So now it’s Charlotte who plans on leading an uprising — one that ends with mankind’s extinction.

Let’s not forget Bernard, who has been working hard all season long to stop Dolores while convinced that she had a greater plan for him all along. It turns out, Bernard was absolutely correct but not in the way he had decided Dolores was determined to push the button that would spell the doom for all humanity.

And finally, William stares down his own reckoning in a post credits scene for the ages when he finally comes face to face with his true self.

With that said, let’s get to our recap for the “Westworld” season 3 finale titled “Crisis Theory”…

The Choice Is Yours

In the aftermath of the fight with Maeve at the secret site where Solomon was housed, an agent of Serac arrives but he finds that while Dolores’ body remains, her memory pearl has been extracted. It seems Caleb figured out that Dolores was a host rather than a human and he rescued her from certain death by snatching her pearl from the remains of the body that had been stopped cold from the electromagnetic pulse that was activated.

Caleb is now receiving instructions from Dolores’ virtual assistant and he’s lead to a building in Los Angeles where he finds a strange box awaiting him. Inside, Caleb finds a spare body that Dolores had already built for herself just in case a situation like this one arose.

With far more questions than answers, Caleb plugs in Dolores’ pearl into the new body but he’s smart enough to chain her to a nearby pip while he asks her about what’s really going on. He wants to know why he was chosen to lead this revolution she’s starting.

Dolores then reveals to him that Caleb’s mind was mapped out by Delos when he visited ‘Park Five’ many years earlier. It turns out that Delos used one of the Westworld parks as a training facility for soldiers where they could receive practical training against adversaries that could be shot dead and then brought back to life for the next exercise.

Unfortunately for Caleb, he was targeted as one of those outliers that Rehoboam determined as an anomaly that couldn’t be controlled and thus he had to be eliminated. So they used him as a useful tool and then reprogrammed him, sent Caleb back out into the world where he was determined to die by his own hand a decade later.

Considering the way his life was mapped out from childhood until death, Caleb wonders if anything he’s ever done has been of his own choosing. That’s when Dolores reminds him what they’ve been fighting for this entire time.

“Free will does exist, Caleb. It’s just fucking hard.”
~ Dolores

Once Caleb decides he’s on board to help Dolores finish her plan, the two of them set out into Los Angeles where they will make their way to the Incite building where the final strategy determined by Solomon can then be uploaded into his successor, Rehoboam. The end result will be this monstrous predictive strategy created by artificial intelligence will be shut down forever and free will shall be restored.

Along the way, Dolores and Caleb are joined by a group of mercenaries hired through the RICO app, who have been paid to protect them all the way to the Incite facilities. The men all call Caleb ‘sir,’ and Dolores reminds him that every revolution needs a leader — and he’s been chosen.

Each step closer to Incite involves another attack from rogue agents hired by Rehoboam to stop them. That’s when they run into a different kind of problem as Dolores is confronted with a digital hologram version of herself as Charlotte Hale. The Charlotte clone survived the car bombing and came out on the other side as a much different person than her creator.

The Charlotte clone confronts Dolores after realizing that she was always going to be sacrificed for the greater good. Just like the Martin Connells’ copy earlier this season that blew itself up upon Dolores’ orders, the Charlotte clone was another soldier in the war that was destined to die. That didn’t sit well with Charlotte after realizing that she wasn’t a small piece of the whole — she was just collateral damage.

And don’t forget, Charlotte knows all of Dolores’ plans — and now she has a new strategy of her own.

Gunshots ring out and it seems Charlotte is determined to stop Dolores and Caleb from successfully making it to Incite. Thankfully, Dolores is able to pay the would be assassins even more money to kill each other, thus stopping her clone for now.

Knowing that more obstacles will be put in their path, Dolores sends Caleb on his own while she stays behind to deal with the security forces that will undoubtedly be coming for both of them. He escapes with another group of hired guns while Dolores is once again confronted by Maeve, who is there on Serac’s behalf to stop her.

Dolores is able to take out all of the armed guards, which leaves the fight between her and Maeve again. Dolores pleads with Maeve to choose a side in this war rather than being used a as a pawn by Serac. Maeve doesn’t seem all that interested because her ultimate goal is to be reunited with her daughter in the Sublime — the virtual world where the host consciousness were uploaded last season.

The fight continues but Dolores finally gets the upper hand but rather than kill Maeve, she once again offers her the choice. Dolores never wanted to kill her own kind so she spares Maeve’s life in order to carry out the rest of her plans.

Sadly, Dolores soon found herself stopped dead after the virtual Charlotte shows up yet again to prevent her creator from carrying out her grand design. It seems after Charlotte clone was made to lead Delos, she discovered all the different technologies that the company created — including a way to freeze all motor functions of her creator.

So Charlotte pauses Dolores’ entire system and allows Maeve to capture her.

As for Caleb, he receives the assistance he needs before eventually being reunited with his old friends Ash and Giggles, who help him guide through the chaos breaking out in the streets. They finally lead him to a police air vehicle that will allow him to make it to the Incite building, which has been cordoned off since the rioting began.

Just before leaving, Caleb watches Giggles get shot in order to save him and he orders Ash to go help. He flies off by himself bound for the Incite facilities where he hopes to stop Rehoboam once and for all.

Final Farewell

Bernard and Stubbs find themselves being held at gunpoint by William, who they freed from the Incite facility where he was being held in an attempt to recondition his mind. Unfortunately, they underestimated the former Delos CEO and he got the drop on them. William has realized that Delos did nothing but create a world filled with monsters and now he’s determined to stamp out Dr. Robert Ford’s creations once and for all.

He blasts Stubbs but Bernard is able to get away long enough to use his clicker to turn to the more primal version of himself. Bernard turns the tables on William but the San Francisco Police arrive before he can finish the job. William scampers away to live to fight another day.

As for Bernard, he’s soon confronted by the police, who aren’t actually the police at all.

It’s the final pearl that Dolores copied and rescued from the park — and she placed herself into Lawrence’s body. If you remember, Lawrence was a host taken on a long journey by the Man in Black back in season 1 as he attempted to navigate his way to the maze. Years earlier, Lawrence was named ‘El Lazo,” and he was in the narrative that involved Dolores when she first met William and he fell in love with her.

Now it seems Dolores has appropriated Lawrence’s body for another copy of herself.

But rather than kill Bernard in order to stop him, Lawrence tells him that he is meant for so much more. He hands over a briefcase and an address where Bernard believes he will be reunited with the real Dolores.

When Bernard arrives at the address, he’s confused when a caregiver answers the door and there’s no sign of Dolores. Inside, Bernard realizes that he wasn’t sent to Dolores’ address but rather this is the home belonging to Arnold’s widow, Lauren.

Back in “Westworld” season 1, we saw Bernard hold a conversation with a woman as they talked about their son Charlie. We later learned that Bernard was actually a copy of Arnold, the original co-creator behind the hosts along with Dr. Robert Ford. Arnold later died but Ford made an identical copy that was made into Bernard.

Now Bernard has come face to face with Arnold’s widow, who is in the late stages of dementia as she struggles to remember her past. With tears in his eyes, Bernard explains how he was never able to let go of their son after his death. Lauren then says she never understood why people wanted to move on from the people who died — instead she learned to embrace his memory so one day they could be reunited again. It’s a cathartic moment for Bernard after he carried around Arnold’s pain for so many years.

Considering the gift she just gave him, Bernard is beginning to question if Dolores was really his enemy all along.

See You On The Dark Side of the Moon

Back at Incite, Caleb fights his way inside the building through a few more guards before he finally makes his way to a station where he plans to upload the final strategy that will bring Rehoboam crashing down. He takes out one more of Serac’s guards but then he’s confronted by Maeve, who is there to stop him from completing Dolores’ plan.

Obviously, Caleb knows he can’t beat a host so he surrenders and he’s soon brought to Serac, who has brought Dolores back to life while she’s hooked up to Rehoboam. It seems Serac’s entire plan for Dolores was to retrieve the files on the Delos Immortality Project — the secret sector at Westworld that was being used to try and figure out a way to copy a human’s brain into a host’s body. James Delos tried and failed for years but as we discovered a season ago, it seems the final configuration was made that would allow human consciousness to be uploaded into a host.

When Dolores refuses to give up the files, Serac orders his programmer to search memory by memory until its retrieved. Along the way, Dolores will be deleted, which means everything single experience she’s ever had will be erased.

Meanwhile, Serac taunts Caleb as the blunt instrument that Dolores found in her ultimate plan to destroy humanity. Serac sees Caleb as a man driven by violent tendencies, which were exploited when he was a soldier, and he believes Dolores planned to prey on those instincts in order to lead the uprising that would ultimately doom mankind.

Serac forces Caleb to ask Rehoboam what will happen if the strategy he took from Solomon was uploaded into the system. The results show catastrophic outcomes with mass casualty events and the eventual end of humanity many years from now.

Caleb is horrified to realize that perhaps Dolores really was using him as a weapon to annihilate mankind.

As Serac’s programmer continues to dig deeper and deeper into Dolores’ brain, he’s unable to find the files to the Immortality Project much less the encryption key to the Sublime. Maeve soon realizes two things – she won’t be reunited with her daughter and Serac was never the man calling the shots in the first place.

Maeve begins to hear a new voice in the background — the one that belongs to Rehoboam.

It turns out, the artificial intelligence machine that was created to predict and strategize a way for humanity to survive has also been acting as Serac’s master this entire time. Rehoboam was speaking into Serac’s ears, and he’s just been relaying the message.

It seems Serac saw what humans did when thriving in chaos just like when he witnessed his home in France destroyed by nuclear war. Now Serac is devoted to follow whatever strategy Rehoboam puts in front of him and that’s what he’s been doing ever since.

In fact, Serac followed Rehoboam’s orders when it told him to silence his brother and the rest of the outliers that threatened the perfect strategy that would allow humanity to survive.

Just when it looks like Maeve might turn against him, Serac and Rehoboam remind her that he’s got a kill switch that will put her to sleep if she tries. Just then Rehoboam reaches the final pieces of Dolores’ mind, which apparently is a jumbled mess.

Maeve finally decides to do the dirty work herself as she moves over to clutch hands with Dolores to probe her mind for the final files that Serac so desperately wants. A second later, Maeve tells them that the files they seek were never inside Dolores at all.

An angry Serac decides enough is enough — he orders Dolores to be wiped clean and Caleb shot dead with his body dumped outside with the rest of the protesters. Just then a power surge rattles through Rehoboam and we see what Maeve witnessed when she connected with Dolores a few moments earlier.

It seems Maeve found Dolores back in her old Westworld costume as she clings onto the last of her memories. Maeve wonders why Dolores was so determined to destroy humanity and that’s when she learns the truth about this supposed revolution that would see mankind eradicated.

“So many of my memories were ugly but the things I held onto until the end weren’t the ugly ones. I remember where the moments where I saw what they were really capable of. Moments of kindness, here and there. They created us and they knew enough of beauty to teach it to us. Maybe they can find it themselves. But only if you pick a side, Maeve. There is ugliness in this world. Disarray. I choose to see the beauty.”
~ Dolores

It seems Dolores never wanted to eliminated mankind — she wanted to save them.

Her plan was to have Caleb free people from this mechanical master they’ve been serving ever since Rehoboam was created and then they’d be able to choose their own path. Because humans have always been so destructive, Dolores knew that this world would have to burn in order to build a new one upon its ashes.

Her greatest hope was that humanity would embrace free will and finally create a better world where all of them could live together. Dolores knew humans were capable of so much more but they had to choose that future — not get forced into a false narrative built by a computer that pre-determined the outcomes for every person on Earth. Once that new world had arrived, Dolores would then reunite all of the conscious hosts currently locked in the Sublime with new bodies — including the daughter that Maeve was forced to leave behind.

So why was Caleb chosen to be the leader of this revolution?

It seems back when he was a soldier being trained at Westworld, many of his team members decided they wanted to partake in some debauchery after a hard day’s work. The soldiers were going to rape the hosts they had “rescued” — and it seems Dolores was one of these damsels in distress.

But it was Caleb who stopped them and convinced the soldiers they were better than that. Dolores saw Caleb as mankind’s best hope because yes, he could be violent but he was also benevolent and kind. Caleb was the best of them — a human who could truly choose of his own free will — and that’s why he was selected as the person to lead them past the chaos.

Maeve then decides to make a choice of her own as she turns against Serac and his men. She cuts them all down and even Serac’s magic button no longer works on her.

The final blow is struck when Serac orders Rehoboam to call the police yet no one answers. When Serac hooked up Dolores to Rehoboam, little did he know that the information was flowing both ways. He was deleting her memories but those same files were being uploaded into Rehoboam — and the final one was Solomon handing over control to Caleb.

Stunned in disbelief, Serac calls out to his computer monstrosity but it doesn’t answer. Instead, Caleb orders Rehoboam to execute the final order and erase itself from existence.

As he walks away, Serac lays there calling out to Rehoboam but its already dead.

Caleb and Maeve then make their way outside where they see the carnage of the uprising that has already started. In the long run, Maeve wants to eventually be reunited with her daughter, but it’s just going to take a little while longer than initially expected.

As for Caleb, she reminds him that now his future is unknown. Maeve wonders if he’s ready to accept this responsibility where free will has been returned and people are allowed to be whoever the fuck they want.

Caleb looks up at the burning buildings and the explosions in the sky, undoubtedly hoping that he can carry out Dolores’ vision for a better world.

Extinction Level Event

After his reunion with Lauren, Bernard goes to a hotel where he tries to make Stubbs more comfortable as his former security liaison teeters on the brink of death. Bernard also realizes that Dolores was never his enemy because she entrusted him with the future of their kind.

It turns out Bernard had the Sublime encryption key implanted in his head along with the Delos Immortality Project. Dolores couldn’t trust herself with the information so she tucked it away in Bernard’s head because she saw him as the best of them.

He knows that Dolores is dead because the strange connection he’s always felt with her is gone. But now Bernard is determined to find out how he can help mankind and hosts escape a potential apocalypse and instead build a new world together.

So he opens the case that Dolores left for him and inside is one of those halos that we saw last season when the two of them were uploaded into the Delos’ system. This time, Bernard activates the halo and he stares right into the Sublime — and he soon walks through that door as his host body slumps over.

At some point in future with Bernard covered in dust, the halo activates again and he’s brought online. We have no clue when this is happening — obviously years into the future — but what has happened to the world in Bernard’s absence? And how did housekeeping never manage to find this room or the two random dudes inside?

Finally, we are reunited with William, who has traveled to a far away Delos facility where he plans to destroy everything related to the hosts. He believes this is his mission to save the world.

There’s only one problem — when William arrives at the lab, he sees Charlotte Hale staring back at him. Of course this is the Dolores’ clone inside Charlotte Hale’s body but we already know from encountering her earlier in the episode that this copy is seeking something much different than her creator.

A second later, the Man in Black emerges from the shadows — it seems Charlotte has made a copy of William to serve as the general in the army for the war she’s about to start. The biggest difference, however, is that this version of William just gives into his darkest impulses — he’s not pretending to be conflicted by the attachments to his former wife or dead daughter. Instead, this version of the Man in Black is the one who raped and pillaged his way through Westworld one month out of every year while telling himself that this was just a perfect release.

The Man in Black copy slits William’s throat, which brings his real life to an end.

Now Charlotte Hale is in charge with the Man in Black by her side and she has a new plan for humanity. She wants to kill them all and the final shot we see is a network of hosts being built in laboratory to serve as her army.

All of Dolores’ worst instincts are now coming to the surface in this copy living in Charlotte Hale’s body. This version sees no beauty but instead only the ugliness of the human race. That’s why she’s determined to make them extinct.

“Westworld” has already been renewed for season 4 so stay tuned for more news on that in the coming months!

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