Sunday, after a two-year break, we return to the strange universe of Westworld. Therefore, a recap is essential. If Raised By Wolves was an almost incomprehensible journey, the plot density of this series is challenging.
The non-linear narrative, theories, murders, virtual reality… the universe in a few decades will be decadent and violent. Showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have created several confusing parallel stories, especially convoluted after such a long hiatus. But let’s try to remember where we left off with the main ones.
Dolores and Maeve: Hostesses on Opposite Sides
In Season 1, we meet Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), the robot hostess who sees the beauty in things but struggles with traumatic images she can’t yet contextualize. Neither do we. In fact, with three timelines happening at the same time, we discover that at some point Dolores was programmed to carry out a massacre at Westworld, a theme park for millionaires to realistically – and with no consequence – live out their fantasies. Founder Arnold Weber (Jeffrey Wright) realized at some point that his host robots were gaining consciousness and decided to change the personality of Dolores, his first host, turned Wyatt, to destroy the other hosts, kill Arnold himself, and then kill himself.
But Arnold’s partner Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) manages to revive Dolores and open the park anyway. Years later, bored, it’s Robert’s turn to manipulate the game. At this point, Dolores plans to leave the park restriction and attack the “real world”.
She finally succeeds, at the end of the second season, in which she gathered a small army and arrived at the “Valley Beyond”, the space in the park where hosts can live freely away from humans, but also the place where the database with the replicas of the minds of all park visitors. Dolores faces persecution from the Man in Black (Ed Harris), Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), and Bernard – the robot version created on top of Arnold, but escapes Westworld alone. In town, the hostess goes to Arnold’s old house, makes a new body for herself and another body for Bernard, and implants an unknown host into Charlotte’s body.
In Season 3, which takes place 3 months later, we know that Dolores has escaped Westworld with some processing cores (“pearls”), including Bernard’s. In Los Angeles in 2053, she approaches and elects the human Caleb (Aaron Paul) to lead a revolution. In the confrontation with Maeve (Thandie Newton), we see Dolores’ body deactivated, but she apparently manages to convince Maeve to choose a side. From the teaser, it looks like Dolores will be recovered.
The only host with the same leadership ability and initiative as Dolores is Maeve, but the two don’t intersect. In Season 1, Maeve was the Madame of Sweetwater but begins to have memories of her daughter from an earlier narrative. That daughter was murdered by the Man in Black at some point and Maeve was never able to get over the trauma. Clever, he discovers that the hosts are undergoing restoration and uses this opportunity to expand his memory and gain power. She comes close to escaping the park but returns with the plan to find her daughter again.
The journey takes up Season 2, where he has the help of Hector (Rodrigo Santoro). Maeve explores her host control powers and passes by the side of the park that ‘Japan in feudal times but when she finally arrives at her old home, she discovers that her “daughter” has been reprogrammed and doesn’t know who she is anymore. As love is greater, she tries to save the child and takes him to the Beyond, sacrificing herself for her.
In Season 3, Maeve pursues Dolores because she still dreams of somehow reuniting with her daughter in the Valley Beyond. After the two fight, she decides to help and frees humanity from their algorithmic chains, supporting Caleb.
The other hosts
As I said, Bernard Lowe is an exact replica of Arnold, created by Ford to help him after the death of his real partner. He’s the only one who can stop – or help – Dolores in her battle for a “prettier” world, albeit a violent one.
William, now the Man in Black, is a traumatized man. In one of the narratives, when still young, he and Dolores fall in love, but being reminded that she is just a machine, triggers a transformation into the sadistic “Man in Black”. In the spiral of self-destruction, in season 2 he kills his own daughter and drives his wife to suicide. We say goodbye to the real William being killed by a replica, but his purpose, to save the world by killing the planet’s last hosts, is on hold to see how it ends.
Executive Charlotte Hale is another who has had a trajectory like William’s and also wants revenge, but it’s not clear what her goals are. She seems to be a pacifist but is now the biggest unknown in history.
To help, see the video below. It is important to follow the 4th season. Shall we theorize?