After last week’s episode “The Mother of Exiles” Westworld shifted into high gear. Dolores has set out to undo Incite’s strategic AI Rehoboam and the man in control of it – Serac. In this week’s episode “Genre” she and Caleb do exactly that. She, Caleb and a kidnapped Liam attempt to steal Incite’s data while trying to keep one step ahead of Serac. What follows is a bloody chase that last for an hour interspersed with flashbacks showing the viewer the backstory of the mysterious Serac. In many ways Dolores is getting the justice she had long sought. For Caleb, undoing Rehoboam’s straight-jacket around his life may have freed him, but it also brings forth all sorts of ethical dilemma’s. Such as, “What if Rehoboam was right about him?”. This is my review of Westworld S03E05 Genre. If you like it please fill out the subscribe widget on the right.
The story of Westworld S03E05 Genre
However the true star of this episode is actor Vincent Cassel and his portrayal of Incite headman Engerraund Serac. Through flashbacks we see how he and his troubled brother created Rehoboam. After the destruction of Paris in a nuclear attack they lamented that the God they wanted did not exist. After numerous failed attempts their backer Liam Dempsey senior decides to pull the plug. Yet the brothers manage to convince Dempsey to keep funding the project by feeding him stock market predictions.
Thus creating a man with an insatiable greed. What happens in these flashbacks is narrated by Serac himself, but his audience remains unknown to the viewer until the end of the episode when it is revealed to be Dolores. As such Serac can be considered an unreliable narrator, but considering he also describes how his brother slipped into madness and how they ensured undesirables such as Caleb would be killed in wars and otherwise dangerous occupations this appears to be not the case. It is a frank admission that reveals Serac is genuinely frightened about Dolores.
Shootouts to the tune of Iggy Pop
This episode of Westworld also tries to introduce some lighthearted moments. Liam Dempsey stabs Caleb with a party drug in an botched escape attempt. The result is that Caleb seriously starts to trip, and so shootouts with Serac’s men occur to tune of Rise of the Valkyries and Nightclubbing by Iggy Pop. Regardless, Dolores along with her double masquerading as Incite security man Martin manage to release the Rehoboam profiles of everybody on the planet. This is not without a serious debate between Caleb and Liam – the latter whom warns our society will tear itself apart. Amongst the first victims is Liam himself. Having outlived his usefulness he has become a liability and is shot by Ash – one of Dolores’s hired guns.
Caleb does not want to be responsible for the killing and appears to consider his Rehoboam profile may contain some truth. However, a dying Liam blames Caleb. What remains of the episode is a conversation between Serac and Dolores, over VR of course. Serac justifies what he tried to accomplish with Rehoboam, and states he will do anything to defend his kind from hers. Dolores responds she has everything she needs to beat him. The episode ends with Caleb contemplating his stay Dolores, before departing with her on an airplane.
My opinion of Genre
Just as with the previous episode “Genre” proceeds at a breakneck speed. The backstory of Serac, his brother and Liam Dempsey Sr. is effectively told. The revelations coincide with everybody receiving their Incite profile Rehoboam made. It concludes a part of Westworld as a show that felt as if it was slowly meandering around a number of plotlines. Important questions such as whom Dolores took with her when she stole the spheres or what secret Bernard carries suddenly feel less important. Westworld season 3 has been about the real world, and who wants to control it. I am sure we will come back to some of the older plotlines in the remaining three episodes of this season.
That said, the fast pace of this episode, while welcome, also provokes fears plotlines are not as meaningful as hoped. Engerraund Serac has been looming large throughout the season so far, and is the principle character of this episode. He has so far been portrayed as omnipotent. Dolores was just chipping away at associates. But in this episode Serac has come almost completely undone. With Rehoboam’s profile sent to every person in the world it is unlikely Serac won’t be swept away as Incite is destroyed as a company. All this reminded me of Person of Interest, which of course has been the other show that Christopher Nolan ran before Westworld.
Westworld S03E05 Genre and Person of Interest
A number of all powerful and secretive men came and went within just a few episodes. Mobster Carl Elias was one of them, but all proved that the power they wielded was brittle. I like the character Serac, Vincent Cassel plays him as being sympathetic. The man is ruthless and has manipulated lives with fatal outcome, but he is more misguided than evil. I would hate for Serac to die at the end of the season without some kind of reprieve – just like with William. As a side note, we see Caleb having flashbacks to a murder he performed while in uniform. The man he kills – Whitman – is played by Enrico Colantoni who played Carl Elias.
A parting thought
And so we have come to the end of my review of one the best episode of Westworld on a while. This comes just after another brilliant episode. For next week I expect a slower plot. Meave, William and Bernard will need to reappear to let the plot develop towards the final showdown this season. This was my review of Westworld S03E05 Genre. I hope you enjoyed. Please hit the subscribe button on the right to keep getting updated.