Westworld Parce Domine review

Welcome back to Westworld! The third season of HBO’s sci-fi epic kicked-off its premiere episode, “Parce Domine”, with more than a few bangs, in the form of big gunfights. But in between all that action, the series was setting up new storylines – and new characters. But of course, old familiar faces were there, too. But really, what happened this week on Westworld season 3?

There’s A Map That Looks Like the Alien Writing From Arrival

One new addition this season is a giant map-like object that shows us where all the characters are – Los Angeles, London, and so on. For reasons yet to be revealed, this “map” looks awfully similar to the alien language seen in the hit sci-fi film Arrival.

Dolores Goes Full The Girl in the Spider’s Web

In a moment that feels more than a bit similar to the opening scene of the already forgotten The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) gets the upper-hand on a rich, abusive man. His name is Jerry, and when he’s not berating his (second) wife, he’s trying to dump all the stock he owns in Delos in the wake of the park massacre. Enter Dolores, who proceeds to kick the shit out of Jerry, call him out for murdering his first wife, and then rob him of much of his wealth. She also wants Jerry to turn over some files he stole from a company called INCITE. Before the scene ends, Jerry is very dead. Can’t say I’ll miss him.

Hey, There’s Aaron Paul! 

Aaron Paul is a main player this season, playing weary ex-soldier turned construction worker/small-time crook Caleb. Paul can play this type of weary, somber criminal in his sleep, but he’s still very good here. When he’s not having long phone conversations with ex-army buddy Francis, Caleb is using a crime app (!) to land random gigs pulling off various misdemeanors all over Los Angeles. I gotta get me one of those apps, I could use the extra cash.

As the episode progresses, we see more and more of the algorithm-run world Caleb inhabits. A world that keeps him from ever finding a better job, or crawling out of his current crappy social status. And oh yeah, remember his ex-army buddy Francis? Well, he’s long dead – and the “Francis” Caleb has been talking to is a simulation.

The Charlotte Hale Bot Goes Back to Work

Just in case you forgot, the real Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is dead – killed last season. She’s been replaced by a Charlotte Bot – although we still don’t know what “pearl” – or consciousness – Dolores uploaded into her noggin. Assuming the real Charlotte’s life, the new Charlotte goes back to work as the interim CEO of Delos. Time is moving quickly here, and when we check in with Charlotte, three months have passed since the massacre at the park. Charlotte plans on taking Delos private – a move that leaves most of the Delos board befuddled. The only person who can stop such a move is William, aka the Man in Black (Ed Harris), but the MIB is MIA.

Bernard Is A Farmer Now

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is the one being blamed for the park massacre, and as a result, he’s now living in hiding. He’s grown himself a giant beard, and he’s working as a farmer. At night he runs self-diagnostic tests to see if anyone is screwing around with his code. Eventually, some of his co-workers find out who he really is, and attempt to capture him for reward money. The result: Bernard goes into Terminator mode and promptly kills those fools. By the time the episode comes to an end, Bernard is trying to hire a fisherman to take him back to Westworld. So much for leaving the park.

Dolores Has a New Boyfriend

Dolores has a big plan (although what it involves, beyond “making the terrible human race pay for all their bullshit”, is still unclear). At the moment, part of that plan involves dating Liam, a dweeby tech bro who runs INCITE. Liam’s father built a giant system with A.I. that can effectively predict the future. It studies people and can tell exactly what they’re going to do in life. On top of all that, no one knows exactly how the system works, except its original architect. Who might that be? We don’t know. Dolores is trying to glean this info from Liam when she’s incapacitated by Martin (Tommy Flanagan), Liam’s bodyguard.

Martin attempts to bump Dolores off by giving her a drug overdose, but of course, he doesn’t realize she’s a robot. You can guess what happens from here: Dolores gets the upper hand, murders all of Martin’s men, and then replaces Martin with a Martin robot. Okay, you probably didn’t predict that last bit.

During the course of the big battle with Martin and his goons, Dolores is injured. And who should come to her rescue but Caleb. He’s in the area because he’s the one who delivered the drugs to kill Dolores, and while he walks away from the situation at first, he ultimately decides to go back and do the right thing. Lucky for Dolores (and the storyline of the show) that he does.

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