‘Westworld’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: Common People

Mar 15, 2020 · 32 comments
cbarber (San Pedro)
Thanks for the recap, I needed it!
Rob D (Rob D NJ)
What's up with Maeve in Nazi World? I assume it is another of Delos's parks, WWII themed.
Julio (Las Vegas)
Count me among those sorely disappointed, and massively confused, by WW Season 2. The Cradle, the Forge, the Valley Beyond, it was all a hot mess. Nevertheless, prepared with Mr. Tobias's Season 2 recap, as well as his Season 3, Episode 1 recap (spoilers be damned), I finally watched "Parce Domine." Ok, I admit I enjoyed it well enough, but I remain wary. So the identity of Liam Dempsey Senior's business partner at Incite wasn't a matter of public record? This mysterious "Serac" shrouded himself in secrecy from the outset, when presumably Incite was busily seeking to raise capital after it acquired the Incite technology? Seems dubious. And now instead of the Forge and the Cradle, we have "Rehoboam," the AI at the core of Incite's technology. Great, a new source for technobabble dialogue. At least there was Marshawn Lynch, though it was Dolores who went into "Beast Mode" on Martin and his henchmen. Finally, I am not sure how much "humanity" Liam Dempsey Jr. displayed towards Dolores, given that after Martin revealed she was an imposter, all Jr. cared about was avoiding any "blowback." Nice.
yl (NJ)
To me, this review missed one important thing: how Bernard will (try to) stop Delores. In the beginning scene when Bernard leave the house, Delores says something about the two of them will be working in opposite purposes. I guess Delores didn't kill Bernard even though she knows Bernard is against her plan because Bernard was the one that saved them in the last season? Also, in the factory, when Bernard was struck down by those two idiots, he said something about "she's going to kill you all". So, it's obvious why Bernard is going back to West World: to find some way to stop Delores.
jackzfun (Detroit, MI)
Agreed with the comment on Delores's make-up. It was flawless and visually striking. It would be interesting to know technically how they do that
Rob D (Rob D NJ)
Look what they did for the old timers in The Irishman
Yab-Yum (San Francisco, CA)
Episode 1=obtuse, high tech headache. Thank the gods there is the far more comprehensible & compelling psychodrama of The Sinner on the USA network.
Cindy Metcalf (Austin, Texas)
I really enjoyed WW with Delores exacting her revenge on her privileged tormenter, watching Aaron Paul struggling with his own trauma induced inner demons and even enjoyed Bernard in hiding and on the run.
HH (Maryland)
Aaron Paul was shot in the head in some past war. Will it be revealed that he has a pearl in his head?
Robert S Johnson (NYC)
Really enjoyed the first episode and, as regards the below comment about just a girl with a gun...? Sorry but you must not have listened to the dialogue or watched the Bernard and Charlotte scenes. By the way...just who is in Charlotte? Dolores 2? Angela?
Anti-Marx (manhattan)
@Robert S Johnson It's just a woman with a gun in that it's about the underclass rising up against the overlords. The hosts felt used and abused by the guests, who, understandably, assumed that the hosts had no feelings or memories. But we learn that robots are people too (and even more powerful). Here, personhood is defined by the capacity for trauma. Laborers vs capitalists. That seems like the basic dynamic. It feels to much like a political metaphor. What do the hosts want? Power? Revenge? I don't watch Succession either. All a mad scramble for power against cartoonish tyrants. WW has become to black & white. Even TWD has more ethical complexity. Alpha is evil, but she makes some sense. Dolores has a right to her rage. She was raped about a thousand times. It makes me think of that Olivia Wilde movie about the female vigilante. The Jennifer Garner movie too. I'm a huge Blade Runner fan. So, I compare WW with BR.
Dunca (Hines)
@Anti-Marx - Interesting perspective and, I must say, I'm a big fan of Blade Runner as well although not the sequel. Season 3 of WW reminds me of Altered Carbon in portraying how various different SES of humans will utilize transponders in the future. Also, the concept of how humans are become more machine like in lacking the foundation of humanity's embrace of nobility during the pinnacle of man's time on Earth. Now the 1% interact like machines, lacking the fundamentals of kindness, compassion and empathy all in the name of supposed "progress." Simultaneously, the programmed robots display more noble characteristics than their "guests" like altruism, enlightenment, sensitivity, etc. Although the robots were programmed and run by algorithms which simulate reality inside WW, Season 3, episode 1, explores how humans also have behavioral algorithms which tend to loop over and over (e.g. rapists, domestic violence, military veterans) The entire concept of an evil tech company (Incite) mining people's data and secretly using it to create algorithms that will seamlessly allow all citizens to follow the perfect path based on the information is very much parallel to what's going on now with FB, Google, IBM. The similarities between robots being programmed & future humans seems to intersect to some degree. The only complaint that I have with WW S3 is that the environment is too sterile whereas Blade Runner seemed to envision a future where technology & climate change collide & decay.
L (CA)
@Robert S Johnson i don't think they have the capability to duplicate their pearls (or at least this was never shown to be possible) so I don't think Hale is Dolores 2. Seems old school really, when you consider the world of Altered Carbon (which is based on an older book series), where people are able to upload themselves remotely--not to mention dulicate themselves, creating clones and traveling space without actually going anywhere on a spaceship and whatnot. In Westworld, they're supposed to have all this advanced tech but the androids are still locked into these pearls and the humans are only just figuring out how to upload themselves (Ford uploaded himself into the system instead of a host because he hasn't figured out how to do it without "degrading").
jrgolden (Memphis,TN)
In WW I see the handwriting on the wall. Contemporary Western civilization, consuming itself. Is it art imitating life, or is it art as prelude?
susan (nyc)
Visually, this episode was beautiful. It was still pretty confusing which was reminescent of the series "Lost." When does Ed Harris return? He makes the series worth watching.
Robert Peak (Fort Worth)
I thought the "reboot" was right on the mark and loved the addition of Aaron Paul. Did anyone notice Marshawn Lynch; loved his embossed shirt that glowed his present feelings.
jackzfun (Detroit, MI)
@Robert Peak Yes!! Talk abut wearing your heart on your sleeve! So many implications/possibilities....
Claire Shaw (Massachusetts)
SO WHAT? He is doing virtually everything wrong and nothing happens. There are no consequences for him, only for us, the US Citizens.
Anna (nyc)
@Claire Shaw huh?
Roberta (Half Moon Bay)
I gave up on WW two years ago. The feeling of being totally confused is not a pleasant one. I wish them well.
Mike B (Ridgewood, NJ)
WW is more about how the story is told through classic and contemporary photoplay storytelling technique than it is about the story. They story is subordinate to film making craft.
Insider (DC)
Yes, I was —as almost always — confused. But it is so beautiful that I watch WW almost in the way I would watch a foreign language movie without subtitles. Most of it will be revealed, and for the rest I will read the Monday morning explanations. No matter what anyone may say it is so very much better than standard television fare, even in this golden age of streaming.
Wanderself (NYC)
@Insider Most of us are not confused by watching a "foreign" movie without subs - get out more, study, travel.
Carol (Fort Worth, TX)
As much as I love Aaron Paul, I just feel like I'm done with this show.
Anti-Marx (manhattan)
Delores walks around in tight dresses shooting people. Not much complexity. It feels more like Death Wish 3 than Blade Runner. Now WW is about guns and money. Any of the cool Slavoj Zizek type speculation on authenticity, self-awareness, and identity has been lost in a hail of bullets. Also, I miss the was WW used to use music. Now it's just an angry woman with a gun.
DL (Remsenburg NY)
The dialog was unbearable...they didn’t actually write, “Please I beg you, make it stop!” did they? So much exposition just added to confusion...”last week,” “last month,” ... and why, with so many characters to keep straight, were so many new ones added in the first 15 minutes? And did I count right or was the word algorithm used 4 times in 15 minutes? Obviously I couldn’t hang in longer that 15 minutes...despite this excellent cast, who I very much want to follow, this over plotted, verbose monstrosity was unbearable. I have greater hopes and much gratitude for two new hours beginning tonight one HBO.
Uscdadnyc (Queens NY)
Q: I watched WW S1. And have WW S2 (on DVD) Unwatched. Should I catch-up b/f viewing WW S3?
nuttylibrarian (Baltimore)
@Uscdadnyc Absolutely.
DanM (San Diego)
@Uscdadnyc Why is that even a question?
FrankM (California)
After what happened to GOT, I ended up unsubscribing from HBO. This was pretty good and I often support reboots when a show jumps the shark. But I'm not 100% convinced it won't fall off the rails like season 2 of WW or the last season of GOT. In particular, the preview of the rest of the season seemed like a spaghetti mess again and I was real worried with the end credits bonus scene for a new story I wasn't interested in. It just didn't grab me.
This episode restored my confidence in the direction of the show. I honestly enjoyed the philosophical musings of the first season, but the second season seemed to lose focus until the end and bordered on incomprehensible. The action in this episode galvanized the show, but I hope that there are more reflective scenes down the line; scenes in which the escaped hosts interact seem promising in that regard.
JediProf (NJ)
Very impressive visual effects: flying cars, self-driving extremely fast motorcycles, cityscapes. Agree with Scott Tobias that there seemed a bit more emphasis on action, though there was still a philosophical reference or two (one about God vs. the real gods--the androids). But it was pretty well done action. Aaron Paul's character seems multi-dimensional; it may be interesting to find out gradually what happened to him & his dead friend (at war?). Also the discovery of the sinister looking computer at Incite that may be in control of everything will, I'm sure, figure into this season, as will whoever controls it. Spoiler alert if you didn't watch beyond the end credits: We see Maeve awaken in a room dressed in a period costume (but not the wild west) & when she looks out the window we see it is Nazi Germany. Thus, she must still be on the island but in a different park. Geez, who would want to take a vacation to Nazi Germany? (OK, I just thought of an answer, but I will politely refrain from bringing up politics.) Maybe it's to have the chance to kill Hitler, or to save a beautiful Jewish woman (or man) from being taken to a concentration camp? Or, is it to play at being a Nazi? Yeesh! One final comment: when the previews finished & I heard the HBO sound bit, it reminded me of Game of Thrones, & that made me realize I miss GOT & how much I looked forward to watching it every week. WW is good enough to keep me watching, but it's no GOT. Winter is here.
See also