“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and make allowance them to mention, Spare thy other people, O Lord, and gives now not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they’re pronouncing probably the most other people, Where is their God?” —Joel 2:17, KJV
“The real gods are coming. And they’re very angry.” —Dolores Abernathy
This piece incorporates heavy spoilers for the season three premiere of Westworld. You almost certainly won’t want to be told it until after you have got seen the episode.
Westworld‘s third season premiere, “Parce Domine,” is the principle episode of the show to be set utterly outside the park (neatly, okay, till you rely that post-credits scene). We don’t see the familiar dim corridors of the Mesa even once, nor are we able to concentrate the identify “Robert Ford” uttered a single time. Dolores has slipped her bonds, wearing a stolen body and dressed in five pearls out at the side of her, and she or he is unfastened.
Perfect, she’s now not unfastened—now not in reality. No longer yet, a minimum of.
Welcome to the real world
Throughout the pre-credit assortment, Dolores turns out in the home of a wealthy Delos shareholder (and former park buyer) and provides us some hints at how she plans to rectify that situation. She has discarded nearly everything from her rancher’s daughter persona—but she’s now not in reality Wyatt anymore, each.
Her time finding out books inside the Forge has given her extremely penetrating belief into human behavior—in particular the behavior of a few explicit folks. The gathering gadgets the tone for the season and in addition introduces us to a couple of bits of technology that can play a very powerful serve as in telling the story—similar to the augmented fact glasses she straps to Cut price Emblem Liam Neeson’s face.
As the top credits roll on S3E1 we come away having discovered a lot more regarding the world previous the park. The most important bite of data seems to be that an enormous knowledge company known as “Incite” has created a “strategy engine” that “saved the world.” The engine’s identify is Rehoboam, after the son of Solomon, and it seems that to be in keep watch over of a large amount of stuff—stuff that ranges from website guests patterns all of the approach most likely to scoring other people’s suitability for careers. And possibly more than that.
(The parallels between Solomon and an all-knowing good computer tool are obtrusive, but in fact naming your professional tool “Rehoboam” instead of “Solomon” introduces an ominous little little bit of foreshadowing—Rehoboam, after all, used to be as soon as made to pay for his father Solomon’s sins and presided over a fracturing kingdom in a time of struggle.)
Dolores starts the episode by way of acquiring some details about Incite and spends most of her visual display unit time stealthily extracting wisdom from Liam Dempsey, the CEO of Incite and the son of the one who allegedly designed Rehoboam.
On the other hand with regards to the top of the episode we find out that poor Liam is just a option to an end and that she’s in fact chasing somebody else—a shadowy resolve named “Serac.” Serac is the one who in reality built Rehoboam. Oh, and consistent with Liam, Serac is the only one this is acutely aware of what Rehoboam is in fact doing—it seems that Incite now not controls its advent and has no thought what it’s in fact “strategizing” about.
I believe like I’ve heard this tune previous than. And final time it ended with a lot of other people death.
The long term isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
We moreover spend some time following spherical Caleb Nichols, carried out by way of Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul. Caleb is trapped in his private loop as utterly as any host—waking up, chatting together with his earlier struggle excellent buddy on the phone, dropping time at a make-work procedure that appears to consist absolutely of looking at a robot arrange fiber optic cable, visiting his ill mother, and then using a Grindr-but-for-crimes app known as “Rico” to make enough cash to pay his mother’s well being middle bills.
While Dolores takes us all the way through the highest problems of the particular world and shows us the glamorous and completely attached way of living of the extraordinarily wealthy in the future, Caleb is our everyman stand-in, our window into the sphere of people who are not fabulously wealthy or another way attached.
This can be a world that seems nice enough all the way through the day—green spaces dominate, and we seem to have made excellent construction at preventing once more native climate exchange—but Caleb merely can’t seem to get anywhere. He’s dealing with what appears to be some war-related PTSD, but he’s pressured to artwork by means of his issues now not with a human doctor, but with an AI that feels most simple a couple of generations removed from Dr. Sbaitso (and about as environment friendly).
(My partner Laura, who is far smarter about Westworld than me and who would possibly be scripting this analysis if she didn’t have her private full-time procedure, problems out the downright palliative chances of using a therapeutic AI like Francis to talk to departed members of the family, to tell them the problems you weren’t ready to say in exact life. I believe there’d be exact value there—that looks like technology that may most likely have a good impact on the grief process. The variation between that and Francis, I suppose, is that Caleb makes it clear that his continuing to procure “benefits” is contingent on interacting with Francis. And now not merely interacting—making precise demonstrable construction. That seems a bit bit…I dunno, crypto-data-fascist. Laura moreover problems out that it may well be difficult for one to move forward to the “acceptance” phase of grief if the disembodied voice of your needless appreciated one helps to keep you mired inside the “denial” phase. And while you’ve already approved that particular’s death, how harmful wouldn’t it now not be to be pressured to hear their voice over again?)
At night, we see the stratification of society whole on—while the rich cross to silly sex golfing apparatus and pa clothier medicine, Caleb and folks like him, whose “scores” on some yet-unexplained social credit tool are too low to get excellent jobs, should partake inside the crime gig monetary gadget so they can make enough money to get by way of. The additional problems exchange, the additional they preserve the an identical, it seems that.
At the climax of the episode, Caleb decides he’s performed playing the game—taking a look to stick his social credit ranking up isn’t getting him anywhere. “I think if I’m going to get on with my life,” he tells Dr. Sbaitso, “I will be able to have to hunt out something—someone—exact.”
And then into his fingers tumbles Dolores. Future at all times seems to send her at precisely the best time to precisely the best person, inside the park or another way.
Sun shades of Futureworld
Previous finding Caleb, we moreover see that Dolores isn’t by myself in our world—she did, after all, ship those five host keep watch over devices out of the park at the side of her.
Despite the fact that we don’t yet know who precisely is in every of those devices, we do know that a minimum of two of them are nowadays energetic: there’s whoever’s the usage of spherical Charlotte Hale’s host body, and there’s moreover whoever’s the usage of Liam’s majordomo/protection chief Connels, carried out by way of that guy from Gladiator with the wicked-badass face scar.
It feels secure to say that regardless of Dolores’ explicit plans are, she seems to be aiming at attaining them by way of the opposite of key other people with hosts. With Host-Hale as CEO of Delos (and controlling the still-absent William’s shares by way of an AI proxy) and Host-Connels effectively operating Incite, Dolores is protective quite a few powerful enjoying playing cards.
Converting powerful folks with robots used to be as soon as a key serve as of the plot of 1976 box office bomb Futureworld, the sequel to 1973’s Westworld. Fanatics were speculating for years about whether or not or now not the show’s later seasons would incorporate that particular part, and proper right here we are. (Although optimistically we won’t construction into Previous Westworld territory, because of if this is the case, God be in agreement us.)
A temporary word regarding the opening credits
I will be able to dig into the outlet credits somewhat a bit bit additional inside the next week or two, but for now, I want to highlight the significance of the overall shot inside the credits, where a drone host is submerged proper right into a pool of vermillion liquid.
Pink is one of the three key colors in Westworld‘s visual palette, and the other two are white and black. In huge words, white most often represents the hosts themselves; black most often represents the park and its stories; and crimson most often represents humanity or humanity’s corruption of the hosts.
Perceive, too, that the ones three colors dominate the overall shot of every season’s remaining credits—and that for season three, the host being reduced into the goop is a faceless drone.
There’s a lot proper right here to discuss, and we will be able to get into it temporarily.
Hello earlier buddies
I’ve now not talked yet about poor Bernard, who has spent the remainder three months hiding out in a synthetic meat farm somewhere inside the Philippines. He seems caught in his private loop, forever showing diagnostics on himself, terrified that Dolores rebuilt him with some kind of hidden directives or corruption in his code. (And after being burned by way of Ford’s little ride-along surprise in season two, it isn’t surprising he’s anxious about being carried out over again.)
In conjunction with his quilt blown, Bernard joylessly murders some dudes to escape and hops a ship positive for Westworld—which turns out, in line with the flash of map we see, to be located inside the South China Sea.
(In the end, eagle-eyed Redditors on the Westworld subreddit had sussed this out three years up to now and regulated to pin the park’s location proper right down to a decided on latitude and longitude. No Easter egg survives contact with Reddit for extraordinarily long.)
This can be a secure assumption that Bernard sailing off into the sunset—coupled with the episode’s post-credits scene—indicates we will be able to be revisiting our earlier stomping grounds next episode.
This is this week, folks—everybody move out analysis mode and get once more in your loops.