Friday, May 8, 2020

What I’m Watching: Westworld (Season Finale)

Westworld: Season 3, Episode 8 “Crisis Theory” (B+)

What this show does better than anything else is to redefine its parameters constantly, recalibrating the scope of what it is that we’re watching. This season has been all about Dolores versus Maeve, each competing with different ideas for humanity, existence, and the future of the world. We didn’t know what role Caleb had to play, and Maeve explained it marvelously – that it wasn’t his capacity for violence but his ability to choose that made him critical. Deconstructing the full extent of what, if anything, might have been real in Caleb’s memories is a task I won’t dare to pursue, but he managed to get it, saving Dolores and then instructing the system to complete its final act and then erase itself. Seeing Dolores as a robot skeleton body putting on skin was eerie since she’s always felt somewhat human because of her physical appearance, and having her hooked up to the machine being drained of all her memories really symbolized the way she was being tortured. Maeve picked a side at the last minute, and now the new enemy is someone that Dolores herself created, the hybrid Charlotte. I underestimated William’s drive to succeed and to kill that which he partially created, but Charlotte learned one thing from Dolores, which was that your greatest enemy can become an ally if you create a host version of them. Bernard still has a role to play, and I’m curious to see where he’ll fall in all of this. I’m eager to see more of this show, though I know it will likely be a while from now. It’s been a superb season, and I hope awards bodies don’t forget all about it.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores

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