Evan Rachel Wood is Dolores Abernathy and Laura in the season three premiere of Westworld.
Warning: This is a recap for the season premiere of season three of Westworld on HBO. This recap contains spoilers for the Parce Domine on March 15, 2020.
What’s going on for Season Three? In essence, Dolores is raging mad now that she has left the park, Bernard is hiding out and scared of what she might do and the human world is not ready for what is about to happen. Dolores has a plan though, and she has help – probably with Charlotte and presumably with the reprogrammed Bernard. This episode also introduced us to to several new characters, including work from Lena Waithe, Aaron Paul and NFL star Marshawn Lynch.
Here we go.
The episode starts off in Behai China, where we know there is a “Divergence” in the technology. The year is unclear, but it’s clearly well into the future. A very rich man, a white man, lives in a glass and metal house on a cliff. His Chinese wife is beautiful. His servants silent. One of them is a hologram. The time period appears to be just when Delos Destinations loses money after the robots inside of Westworld attack and kill the board of directors and their friends.
He is angry and when his wife asks him to come to dinner, he yells at her. She is rebuffed. Sad. His business servant is there, explaining to the guy – Jerry – that it’s impossible to sell the stock in Delos. There was a massacre there. Jerry doesn’t care. He yells at his guy to sell the stock. The guy disappears. Either the guy is a hologram or this future has beam-in technology.
Jerry turns in for the night. Takes a copper-colored chip and places it in his mouth where it dissolves. Then he programs himself a nice rest on the iPad-looking device next to his bed. He tells his wife, Eunice, to stop going to a location, it’s too dangerous. Then he goes to sleep and wakes up in a panic because someone has placed a gas mask over his face and the home’s central computer panel showcases that oxygen levels are dropping because little fires are burning everywhere in the overly landscaped, house.
The system is malfunctioning and someone is swimming in his pool. Guess who it is?
Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) gets out the pool and calmly walks into Jerry’s house. It unlocks for her even though it locked him in. She is wearing glasses.
“Hello,” she says. “Don’t you remember me after everything we’ve shared? Your bachelor party in the park. You wanted to get some things out your system before the wedding to your first wife. My condolences by the way…”
Jerry realizes he raped and killed her. Over and over.
She adds that “You want to be the dominant species but you built your whole world with things like me.
Good point. Dolores informs him that she has his memories because after all, Westworld and Delos were doing more than making simulations. She puts the glasses on him and he sees his history, his first dead wife and how he beat her and how she wound up floating dead in the pool.
Dolores wants information about Incite, the corporate the man left and had promised to delete all files. But of course he did not and Dolores wants those files to add to her “competitive advantage.” She also stole his money while he slept, she adds, because she needs money now that she’s in the real world. She persuades him to offer his double thumbprints to open the access to the locked files. She downloads them and walks away. Jerry, however, decides to try and kill Dolores; always a mistake.
He winds up falling into his pool and busting his head open. Eunice comes down and sees the bloodbath. Dolores congratulates her on being a free woman.
Helluva beginning. Cue the new opener.
Lena Waithe and Marshawn Lynch are exciting new cast additions to Westworld.
After we witness the new opener, we cut to a new scene, an “anomaly” detected in Los Angeles.
We get to meet a new character, a guy named Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul, of Breaking Bad fame), who is talking to his friend Frances (Kid Cudi) in bed on the phone. Or rather it’s Francis, calling on the phone to the ear piece in Caleb’s ear. Caleb is an Army vet with a mom with Alzheimers in an expensive nursing home and therefore, he has money, memory and emotional troubles. He works with robots to build buildings. And at night he plays an app called Make Money Motherfuckers, which pays him for petty and not so petty crime.
That’s when Ash (Lena Waithe) comes into the picture with Giggles (NFL star Marshawn Lynch). Their app-produced crime is to rob an ATM, which they do, and they deliver the money to a driverless car. The whole while, the viewer is introduced to the new world we are living in with driverless cars, people with implants designed to take the edge off their emotions and a world where algorithms make all the decisions.
He has to rob people in order to keep him mom out a state-run nursing home.
The app reminds him: If you love money you must set it free. But Caleb has rules: No blood and no murders, most “redistributive work,” aka theft.
At the end of the night Ash asks him why he doesn’t do more because he isn’t considered a great player on the app. “I’m an underachiever,” he says. The app pays him $1200 and tells him
“you made bank, now get drank.” Plus he has earned 8 crime coins.
Delos Refuses to Back Down
“Robots don’t kill people, people kill people,” host-performing-as-human Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) tells her board after she walks in wearing a fly pink silk suit. She wants to save Delos and thinks the slaying of 113 board members is something they can recover from in time. Plus, she says, they were doing more than making a theme park ad they must protect their assets. The computer agrees with her and they vote to keep it going. The humans at the table are silenced at will. Charlotte is a powerful woman.
Bernard Is On The Run
The next scene cuts to Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) in a field somewhere looking like a farmer as he views a dying calf. His name now is Delmand and he apparently is a butcher. He finds a quiet spot to run a self-diagnostic because he doesn’t trust Dolores. It’s trial 342 and he asks himself if anyone has altered his code in the last 24 hours. No. He asks if the has been in contact with Dolores Abernathy. No. Essentially, Bernard is worried that he has been reprogrammed for nefarious behavior.
Speaking of Dolores, she is in London now, with Jerry’s money. Her new boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.) is the son of the guy who created Incite and she is making her way to getting more information about her brethren. Her boyfriend, a White guy with curly hair, is being feted at a party for running incite even though he says his dad is the one with all the brains. One guest says: “None of this is real. I’m serious. We’re living in a simulation.” The group discussed the Delos park murders. They discuss having a simulation within a simulation.
Boyfriend is told he needs to go to LA immediately to meet with someone because of a problem. He asks Laura/Dolores to come. She feigns being busy and unavailable but eventually decides to go. This is getting her closer to what she wants: his information.
As she travels to LA, Cable is in LA doing more crime and making more cash with Ash and Giggles. We learned he served together with Francis (Scott Mescudi, aka Kid Cudi).
Cut back to Dolores/Lauren in California at what is presumably the headquarters of Incite. She is carefully asking him questions about Incite and he is carefully trying not to answer them. He defers everything to his dad. Once again. She looks at the big mainframe computer that slightly resembers the Death Star from Star Wars. It’s black with red lights. She wants to get closer but she allows him to talk of this thing that took 15 years to build.
“They lost track of how many thoughts it has per second,” he says. “My dad thought the biggest problem in the world was unrealized potential. If you could chart a path for every single person the word would be a better place.”
He gets called into an emergency meeting. Dolores/Lauren follows by stealing a motorcycle and she follows him. He goes to a placed named Indigo, where he meets with an Asian woman who reads him his proverbial rights. She tells him someone has gained access to the computer and he says that’s not possible; at least not on his end. There’s no leak with him. He tells her to look within her own people. She responds with a death threat.
Meanwhile, over at the cattle ranch, some men recognize Bernard as being wanted for murder. He tries to warn them that someone bad is coming and he needs to stop it. They try to corner him and beat him, but Bernard tells himself to turn on his violent programming, and he proceeds to kill them with his bare hands. Then he turns that program off and leaves the premises, worried afresh about what Dolores has awoken in him.
Over in LA, Caleb is depressed. He can’t get a job and yet another job calls to say he didn’t make the cut. He tries ot ask what would he do to improve and discovers he is on the phone with an android that is unprepared to have a real conversation. Even the phone calls are handled by algorithm too.
The same night, Lauren/Dolores is very close to getting her Incite boyfriend to drop a dime on the real truth of the company. He says he wishes he could turn the whole computer off, but he can’t. He divulges that he doesn’t have access to it; after his father died, the partner locked him out of the program. He’s a leader in name only.
“No one knows what the system is doing other than its original architect,” he says, warning her that is he did tell her anything else or even think about telling her anything else, she and he would be dead.
That’s when another guy walks in; a dude with white hair, and he presses something to Lauren/Dolores neck and she passes out. This guy has found out that Dolores is impersonating a dead girl from the Ukraine who died 12 years ago and for some reasons Dolores even has her DNA, but the girl is dead. So who is Dolores? He shows his boss a text that presumably came from Dolores. If true, it would mean she is trying to rob him.
“It could be industrial espionage or she just wanted your money.”
Dolores appears to be incapacitated, but we all know she isn’t.
Across town our guy Caleb is on another crime app spree. He drives an old-model car of the 2000s to a location where a bunch of goons transfer a woman – Dolores – from the backseat of their car into the truck. They know they need an analog car because she is a robot?
And finally our story lines intersect. Caleb walks away, not seeing her face and strolls around a lake for a bit. He decides to stop talking to Francis and to delete him because he needs focus on things that are real. After a mistake in a response, Caleb realizes this program isn’t really his friend. Francis reminds him that in order to delete the program he must say “confirm.” So Caleb says “confirm” and the voice we’ve been hearing all episode suddenly stops talking. He doesn’t see Dolores wake up and kill all the goons, plus the man who advises the curly-haired son of Incite. Still, she takes a bullet to her stomach and she stumbles away.
She runs back into the man who advises Incite’s founder and he shoots her twice. She tells him she recognizes him too. She asks him who is in charge of the system and he says no one, or a guy named Shurock. She asks how to find this guy. And she is informed that the system probably already knows about her and she’ll never get close to William.
Dolores makes one of her fun speeches as the man prepares to die.
“You’re free, you have no god yet you tried to build one. The real gods are coming and they’re very angry.”
Then we meet the robot replacement of the guy who advises Incite and now it’s clear that she plans to bodysnatch her way into Incite. And it might just work. The new-old guy returns to his curly-haired sone of the founder and Dolores continues to walk and bleed and she stops under a vidock. There, Caleb sees a woman, shot, leaning against a wall. He goes over to help her.
But it’s not over. We swing around the world to Bernard, in an Asian country where he speaks English and they respond in their own language. Is this another simulation? Regardless, he asks to be taken to Westworld and a boatman acquiesces. The episode ends with Bernard on a boat speeding into the distance of something that presumably will be Westworld.