SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the third episode of “Westworld” Season 3.
After Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) windy Westworld and Warworld antics from last time around, Episode 3 returned to the equally dangerous environment of future Los Angeles.
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The episode began with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) playing her familiar damsel in distress routine in the arms of Caleb (Aaron Paul) — frankly, who could blame her? — before the duo fought off some phony cops and went their separate ways.
Meanwhile, Dolores’s host version of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) struggled under the mental and emotional weight of pretending to be Hale to her partner, the Delos board and her adorable young son. A stern conversation and a relaxing spooning session in a fancy hotel helped her on the right path, before she brutally strangled a sexual predator who was eyeing her son. As host Hale admitted, she seemed to be well on the way to matching the real Hale’s ruthless instincts.
While this was an episode which gave us plenty more insight into Dolores’s plans and Hale’s identity problem, it still left plenty of unanswered questions. Here, Variety presents five of those most burning ones from the episode.
How long can host Hale’s cover last?
For the time being, it seems that host Hale has everybody, including Serac (Vincent Cassel), fooled. However, the cracks began to show as her son sensed that his mother is not really present, and the Delos board began to close the net on a mole at the top of the organization. It’s likely only a matter of time until imposter Hale’s cover is blown, but for the moment it’s a mixture of fun and heart-wrenching to see her piece together Hale’s life and play pretend.
Who’s really inside Hale?
It’s still not entirely clear. Dolores said she belongs to her during a key scene in the episode, but at the very beginning we saw Dolores and Hale interacting with all the other host pearls, including Bernard’s, sitting in front of them. Surely Dolores wouldn’t have trusted any old host with the task of running Delos as a puppet, so who is it? Guess we’ll have to wait a little while longer to find out.
What does Dolores really want with Caleb?
Dolores and Caleb got pretty friendly in Episode 3, but does she really see him as a kindred spirit, someone who, like her, has been controlled and abused by humans? Or does she want to use him herself as some kind of human shield? Their chat at the end of the episode seemed genuine, but then again Dolores and Teddy (James Marsden) had plenty of heartfelt conversations, and look how that relationship ended.
What happened in Caleb’s past in the army that made him so traumatized?
Caleb’s backstory is being built piece-by-piece, fragmented flashback-by-fragmented flashback, but in this episode we learned exactly why his mother is in the hospital and why he is so disillusioned with the system. Instead of committing suicide by jumping off a pier like the all-seeing sphere Rehoboam had predicted, Caleb decided to change his fate and go wherever Dolores would take him. As he pointed out, he’ll likely end up dead pretty soon either way, so why not kick some evil, corporate tech company ass along the way?
What if data collection by tech companies was even more out of control?
Speaking of evil tech companies, arguably the big question that the episode asks us to contemplate is what if all the data that mega-corporations are collecting about us (a storyline which feels incredibly close to home given recent happenings in the United States) is used to determine exactly how we live our lives? You could certainly argue that we’re already well on the way to that outcome in the real world. When Dolores removed the scales from Caleb’s eyes, it felt less like a revelation and more of a warning to the audience of what might come if we let companies run rampant with personal data.
“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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