Westworld’s ensemble of characters coming to the foreground of this drama continues to revolve this week as both Charlotte and Dolores see their plots interweave. While Caleb and Dolores become closer and more clarity is revealed around what the end-goal is for these two, the future for Charlotte is not so bright. Stuck in the wrong body as the wrong host, Charlotte engages in an endless, seemingly unstoppable war as she juggles a mole inside the company with her fractured family life back home.
Episode 3 of Westworld begins with Charlotte awakening to find herself sat with Dolores, telling her to remember who she is. With a mirror, Charlotte looks in disgust at who she has become but Dolores pushes forward with her plan – using Charlotte to infiltrate Delos and bring it crashing down from the inside out.
Elevated Scrutiny in San Francisco is where we begin our tale, as Charlotte learns that the company’s shares have been bought in tiny, incremental microtransactions that spell serious trouble for Delos’ future. As she walks away, attempting to contact Dolores, we cut back to Dolores herself as she lies with Caleb under the tunnel. As police arrive, a shootout ensues as Caleb wrestles with the officers and tries to save Dolores. Only, she’s ready for them and manages to kill both guards. After calling him a good man, Dolores leaves the scene.
Charlotte meanwhile continues to struggle in her position, between her fractured home life where her son continuously tells her she’s “not my Mummy”, and things at Delos going sour as someone is trying to take control of the company. Someone with the familiar name of Serac. With all of this threatening to consume her, Charlotte begins doubting herself and losing control.
Eventually Dolores does show up but Charlotte struggles to make sense of her new body, especially given she’s the wrong host in the wrong body. Dolores tasks her with visiting “an old friend” in order to convince the board. A frightened Charlotte asks Dolores to stay and they sleep together – a scene reminisce of Charlotte’s earlier encounter with her child as Dolores comforts her.
Caleb is captured and tortured on top of the construction site over information about Dolores but just as things look set to turn sour, Dolores arrives and manages to save him just in the nick of time. Despite Caleb’s questions, Dolores deflects these and instead invites him out to breakfast, where Dolores informs him she knows about him and his past – ordering the same food for him he ate that fateful day his Mother left him.
Despite Caleb’s growing rage, Dolores coolly tells him about the data logs kept long before the digital age where it was public knowledge these things were left. It’s a composite of everyone and even goes so far as to predict when people die – with Caleb’s predicted to be in 12-15 years as a suicide.
This, as it turns out, is why he’s not been given any promotions from prospective jobs as people don’t see him as an investible asset. Dolores gives him a choice – run away with a stack-load of money or stay and help her with the resistance. It looks like Caleb is going to choose the latter.
Charlotte awakens and after meeting her son, chokes out a man with a pet dog who happens to be after her. Reminding him that she’s a predator, she walks away after calling her son sunshine. That evening, she replays the same message from Charlotte again, crying as she listens to the real Charlotte’s last message before she died.
Using the song as a code, Charlotte manages to decipher the fragmented message, using it as a password to unlock the unknown number. As she picks up the phone and asks to meet, she’s re-routed in her car automatically to a private estate where a hologram of Serac happens to be waiting for her. It turns out the key to unlocking the encryption in Westworld is in Dolores – and this is why everyone is after her. Despite asking for more time, Serac scoffs at the idea and tells her it’s something she doesn’t have a lot of left, before fading from view.
With plenty of questions being raised now and lots of interesting tidbits hidden in the crevices of this cyberpunk world, Westworld starts to settle into a consistent rhythm this season. The new locations outside the park injects the series with a really intriguing visual flair and the idea of focusing on one or two storylines each episode rather than trying to shoehorn everyone’s into each is a smart move, helping to keep things fresh and interesting between episodes.
As we approach the halfway point of this season, it remains to be seen how well Dolores’ revolution goes and quite whether there will be another bombshell reveal at the end. Much like in previous seasons, a lot of the foundation work being set early on promises to build toward the end but it’s too early right now to see quite what the end-result looks like.
So far so good though and Westworld is starting to build up a good head of steam in this third season.