I must admit, there is a little bit of Westworld fatigue setting in. After seeing the episode “Passed Pawn” of Westworld I am wondering where all this is leading up to? In fact, I am wondering just exactly what this show is all about and what I should expect out of it. That is generally not a good place to be in. The start of season 3 was so promising, a new extended cast featuring Aaron Paul and Vincent Cassel as well an in-depth exploration of the world outside Westworld. Right now, the prevailing opinion is slight disappointment.
The struggle between the AIs is confusing and I am uncertain who did what and for what purpose. Many elements regarding world-dominating AIs such as Rehoboam were also explored on Person of Interest. That was a prior show by Jonathan Nolan, and I think it explored the topic with more clarity. Right now I am starting to feel about season 3 the same as I did about season 2.
Two episodes back we saw Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Caleb leave for a journey. They have now arrived at their destination, the Incite prison in Mexico. There they find Solomon, the flawed A.I. created before Rehoboam. Dolores asks it to break Rehoboam. Meanwhile, we are confronted with more flashbacks from Caleb’s time in the military, if we wanted to or not. After their mission in the Ukraine ends Caleb and Francis are reconditioned at the Incite facility to round-up outliers like themselves.
Due to the pills they take they still think they are working for the military. That is until they detain Whitman, who is not the leader of a terrorist organization but the CEO of the company that makes the pills. Slowly Caleb starts to break his conditioning, which ends when he is forced to kill Francis. Dolores asks Solomon to create a new strategy for Caleb, one that will execute Jean Mi’s vision, instead of his brother’s.
Maeve v Dolores
As Solomon is performing the calculation they are interrupted by Maeve (Thandie Newton). Dressed in a skin tight leather combat outfit and armed with a katana she there to kill Dolores. The fight, while epic, is perhaps not as rewarding as hoped. They argue about which one of them is right. Sad to say, I cannot remember all of their motivations. Maeve wants to save the her daughter living in the Sublime and only Dolores has access, but that sounds more like a reason to make peace. Meanwhile Serac has destroyed what is left of Westworld so Maeve should have incentive to team up with Dolores.
Instead we see two of coolest characters on TV fighting with knife and Katana. That is OK I suppose. Maeve manages to gain the edge over Dolores, but not before Caleb gets the strategy from Solomon. Seeing that her delaying action worked Dolore activates an EMP that was placed at the facility by Incite as an insurance against Solomon. With a flip of the switch Dolores, Maeve and Solomon are gone. As far as I know no backup copies of either three exists. All that is left is Caleb to do his thing.
Ooh and then there is William
And then there is the side plot of “Passed Pawn”. In the previous episode we saw Ashley and Bernard release William from the ‘reconditioning’ he was receiving. This time William is confronted by their continued skepticism through the gun they train on him. What could have been an interesting team-up results in just a little bit of banter back and forth. In fact, it is resoundingly disappointing. There appears little reason for any of the characters to be at the facility, so they just invent a reason. Bernard suggest they look for a list of more outliers, and thus they come upon the name of Caleb Nichols – whom they briefly met before.
This is used as an excuse to start a road trip, together with William, even as the latter expresses a hatred for all hosts. It is not long before William finds a gun in all of the confusion caused by the Incite profile release and manages to turn the table on Bernard and Ashley. That said, I have low expectations that this sub plot will morph into anything meaningful in the last episode of the season. So far I have to agree with the opinion of actor Ed Harris, this season and specifically the William storyline, is more confusing then I had hoped.
A final opinion on Passed Pawn
So with just one episode left there is precious little goodness to look forward to. With both Maeve and Dolores out of action what is there left? Caleb versus Serac? I mean, it is good Caleb will get some justice for the things that have been done to him, but what did it really all mean? Dolores wanted to destroy the real-world for what was done to her in Westworld but I see no connection. That is already a bit of a stretch. Destroying Delos I can understand, but not her animosity towards Incite, Serac and Rehoboam. I can place a question mark on Maeve as well.
Ostensibly she is helping Serac in order to protect her child who now resides in the Sublime. So a confusing an interesting subplot from season 2 is used as the prime motivator for a major plot in season 3. With just one episode left that is a lot of ground to cover to make this interesting. And the producers were doing so well at the start! This was it for my review, opinion, on “Passed Pawn” the seventh episode of Westworld’s third season. If you liked the article then please subscribe using the widget on the right.