Westworld Season 3 Episode 5 – ‘Genre’
We may have thought that the simple denouement this season would be in the exposing of Serac’s Rehoboam. However, this has been accomplished half-way through its course and the real conflict seems to be ahead of us. Dolores’ plan for this event was laid out perfectly and its fulfilment will bring about fierce retaliation from Serac.
What this episode does really well is following up last episode’s Dolores bombshell with an arguably greater one.
This week’s episode begins with Dolores and Caleb’s kidnapping of Liam Dempsey. As they walk, Liam manages to inject a drug into Caleb which makes him drowsy and hallucinated. Its effects are sustained throughout the remainder of the episode.
Soon, Dolores and Caleb are tracked down as they jump into a driverless vehicle with Dempsey. It’s slow but is hacked into for maximum speed. A chase ensues, and Dolores is equipped with weaponry. She has a rocket launcher which she gives Caleb, still high, who stands up through the sunroof. The car, meanwhile, is manoeuvring rapidly and corners, as Caleb is swung side to side. Nevertheless, he manages to aim and shoot as an opposition vehicle is blown up. A shootout later kicks off as Dolores picks off the opposition with the help of Caleb and her robotic precision.
Now we know of Dolores’ cloning her pearl in the image of different hosts, her plan for the Rehoboam seems simpler. She liaises with her Incite host Connells who is at the site of the machine. He encounters Stubbs and Bernard who invoke a brief fight before it is revealed that the Rehoboam will implode. They are dumbstruck when this commences and escape the facility.
There is a return for Ash (Lena Waithe) and Giggles (Marshawn Lynch) who join Caleb, Dolores and their captive Liam. They only feature for a short amount of time and bail out when the Rehoboam is disembowelled.
The scale of Dolores’ actions are incalculable.
When the Rehoboam is exposed, Caleb is sobered up. He believes that its information has been released to those in their vicinity, but Dolores informs him that in fact it has been sent to everyone in the entire world. The shock on the public is seen in their violent reactions and ecstasies of distress. Dolores has officially “shook the earth” and her inhuman psyche deems it fitting in a cold and emotionless way. This profound release of personal information and most importantly the predicted future is the biggest stunt displayed in the series. Serac and Incite have been caught red handed.
The other half of this episode follows Serac’s backstory.
We see flashbacks of Serac first as a child looking upon his decimated home-town and then as young adult with ambitions to build the Rehoboam along with his brother. He meets Liam Dempsey Sr. who he pitches his ideas too. Eventually, we see them working together to make the machine at Incite. Dempsey is excited at the money the project is bringing in and is selfish to the point where Serac’s brother advises they kill him. We see Dempsey with his son, Liam, in this scene. Eventually, we see the project growing until Serac’s brother seems to lose his mind at Dempsey’s complacency and greed. He is sent away due to his mental illness by his Serac. We see them discussing religion and the blaming of a god whose existence they see as transparent. We do not get to see his brother after this, so his fate is largely unknown. The goal to kill Dempsey is later picked up by Serac himself.
In a later scene, we see Serac in the present as he discusses his machinations with Dempsey Sr. He notes how he knows everything with the Rehoboam at his side but there are certain things which are unaccountable, namely Dolores who sets out to destroy his brain-child. We also see this idea in Dolores’ first encounters with Caleb who she deems among a select few who cannot be predicted.
Dolores’ unpredictability and efficiency
Dolores has succeeded in what is an integral part in beginning her revolution; halting Serac and his pursuit of ‘mapping out the human mind’ and consciousness. The way Dolores assembles the jigsaws to her plans are elegant and so far, unmatched. The outcomes may be down to luck, but her identity as a host with superhuman abilities disproves this and cements her superiority over Serac and all of humanity’s secrets.
Dolores clearly has a connection and fondness with Caleb which is seen when he was about to get shot and she stood in front of him and took the bullets. Her identity is slowly uncovering to Caleb and their relationship will change for sure.
It is very hard to pin down Dolores this season. She is on a clear path of vengeance and is singularly focused on this, but her methods are uncouth and unorthodox. One thing’s for sure, she knows exactly what she is doing and when she is doing it.
Thoughts on Serac’s backstory
This has been teased since the season premiere and has finally been expanded. Serac is the stereotypical ‘Big Bad’ in season three. He needs humanising to grow as a character. In seeing his French home-town burn as a child, his struggle and loss seemed to have sparked a hunger and will applied to a reprisal in the Rehoboam. Unfortunately, he doesn’t cut the mustard for my sympathy.
The name of Serac’s brother is unmentioned in this episode which is mysterious and typical of Westworld. There are a number of theories and conspiracies, some which tie in all three seasons of the show, however, we can never truly know what this symbolises. It will be interesting to see how and if this storyline is affects proceedings.
The creation of the Rehoboam is seen as a form of playing God.
Aaron Paul’s acting was reminiscent of his days in Breaking Bad through the injection of this futuristic drug and its effects similar to the highs of Jesse Pinkman. Vincent Cassels’ work as Engerraund Serac was well done once more as his character grows more and more vulnerable at the hands of Dolores. Evan Rachel Wood portrays Dolores, whose character deepens and progresses every episode, with her accustomed panache and precision facial accents which must garner an Emmy win some time or another.
This episode marked the entertaining culmination to the Rehoboam’s under-the-radar existence. Serac is in a difficult position now, but still has Maeve at his disposal and Hale to a degree, possibly. Caleb is beginning to know Dolores better and I look forward to him realising who and what she really is. Bernard and Stubbs are the least shown characters this episode and seem to be a step or two behind Dolores at every turn.
This is the first blatant move in the battle between Dolores and Serac and is an impactful opener to say the least.