Westworld Season 3 Episode 6 – ‘Decoherence’
Westworld season three has increased in tension and action episode after episode and this week the havoc continues.
Serac’s evil streak is in full effect with his carelessness about the leak as his eyes are set on the Delos takeover. After Musashi killed Maeve in Japan, Serac decides to give her a second chance, but she is sent way back to Warworld to start all over again. Hale is on edge as Serac begins his takeover of Delos, so she attempts to outsmart him with Dolores’ infinite contingencies. William has been integrated into the mental hospital Hale sent him to as he is forced to face his demons through unethical, torturous methods.
Effects of the Rehoboam leak
After Dolores exposed Incite with the Rehoboam leak, society has become impaired with rioting and emotional turmoil rampant worldwide. A direct example of this is when William’s doctor commits suicide when news from the leak strikes her.
This effect neatly ties in all of the characters as the scope of Dolores’ plans have been sharpened. There seems to be no bounds to the utter destruction the show exhibits. I was caught off guard with this and now seeing them I am enthralled and glued to the screen.
Now that Serac has taken over Delos, the Incite leak seems inconsequential to any of his future plans. However, part of Dolores’ plan was to solely expose the human race for what is really is which is majorly accomplished. Therefore, Serac is her sole target now.
Overview of Events
Maeve and Dolores and Warworld
After Musashi (Dolores) kills Maeve, she is transported to The Forge where Serac meets her. She asks for him to reinforce against Dolores, but he refuses, eventually delivering when the episode ends. Serac sends her back to Warworld where she started off this season. She is reunited with Hector once more and soon realises that the simulation has been moved as Serac takes over Delos and it shifts from Incite to Delos. She sees through the simulation for a moment and spots Hector’s pearl. She uses it to rewire his programming, so he is aware that his world isn’t real.
They later meet with a version of Dolores who sits in a room, offline. Maeve notes that she has the upper hand as they in a fake world. Maeve brings Dolores back online who tells her how the real world Dolores planned for every eventuality so even if she gives Maeve advice it will likely not work.
Delos and Serac
We see the graphic of the Rehoboam’s workings as it repairs back to a full circle as Serac moves over to Delos. He arrives and talks to Hale as he orders his men to burn all of the hosts in Westworld and erase all host data. Meanwhile, Hale (Dolores) scrambles to the host control centre for a copy of the data. She is caught by one of Serac’s men and twists his neck when he chooses to check in with his boss.
On her way out of the building she is notified that Serac has called a board meeting. She attends and Serac discusses the mole in Delos. He exposes Hale as the mole by calling her Dolores. She is detained and her bag emptied with the host data drive on the table. It happens to be loaded with gas after Serac notes his victory over her as the board members pass out.
At this point, we find out that Serac was a mere hologram. Serac’s men are sent to close her down as she leaves the room and uses her aiming prowess to kill the majority of assailants. She is shot but manages to activate one of the Westworld maintenance robots to aid her. She escapes and heads home to her family. She plans to take them away for their safety and as they drive a car bomb explodes the car. The fiery scene lingers as one of Serac’s men looks from a distance at the survivor status. Later, we see Hale clamber and crawl from the wreck, with burned, scorched skin – a real gruesome image.
As Hale leaves Delos she goes into the room with the host pearls for Warworld and the like. This is at the same time Maeve converses with Dolores in the simulation with Lee and Hector. Maeve senses a disturbance when Hale enters. Hale sees Hector’s pearl, grabs it and destroys it leaving Hector dead beside the distraught Maeve.
William and the asylum
William has been psychologically subjugated at the mental hospital Hale sent him to. We see him first in a circle meeting with other patients as he notes how pointless their problems are until he is asked to talk. He states his fatalistic, bleak view on humanity and mortality to which one patient cries and another laments him. We see him later in a doctor’s office as he is asked about treatment to unload his feelings. He rejects the treatment as the doctor goes to her desk and checks her phone.
She is drawn to tears and walks out of the room as the news from the Rehoboam hits her and her life is laid out in front of her. William is confused and is next seen strapped to a bed as another doctor fits a metal device in the roof of his mouth (similar to the one Caleb has).
He is delirious after the procedure and sees the woman doctor who left her office hang herself as he taken through the corridor by guards. This is shot in a great way as William is impaired and cannot talk so he is helpless as well as the doctor. We just see a window to one of the rooms that shows her feet as she walks across her desk and steps off.
Another stint of therapy proceeds when William is strapped to a chair and given a pair of glasses which make him hallucinate various memories and circumstances. One in particular is a circle meeting but the people in the chairs are former versions of William: as a child, the young William from Westworld, The Man In Black and the real world businessman William during his ownership of Delos.
James Delos is also present, the person who he murdered last season to take control of the company. William realises that he may never had free will and was destined to become who he is but says that if he cannot tell then it doesn’t matter. He wakes up to find Bernard and Ashley Stubbs who I assume take him out of the facility.
Pathos in ‘Decoherence’
This episode was full of emotional scenes. We see William being tortured mentally as he is thrust into facing his past selves and bad experiences. Maeve is sent back to Warworld in a video game like respawning and is reunited with Hector only for him to be destroyed by Dolores.
Hale’s love for her phoney family seems to have clouded her judgement and their obliteration at the hands of Serac will definitely receive vengeance from her. Also, the Rehoboam leak has the entire world in tatters with everyone affected in deep sadness, hopelessness and frustration. It’s knock on effects being violent rioting, increased crime rates and suicides.
Themes of Mental Health
I also want to mention the heavy themes of mental health this season. The epitome being the mental hospital and William. Here, we see the way the future world deals with mental illness and trauma which is a nice insight into the perceptions of the writers. The thing that stood out to me in the hospital was the cleanness of the pure white rooms, ceilings and glass desks etc. This is clinical but also has positive connotations which is a paradox of the pain William endures.
We also see the struggles Caleb faces in his PTSD and possible depression as well as his mother’s Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. In addition, the device in Caleb’s mouth from episode three is also present when William is fitted with a similar piece. I still do not know the exact purpose of this, maybe a tracker of sorts, but is just shows how the society deals with mental ordeal.
Dolores and Caleb
We didn’t see Caleb or the present Dolores this episode. I think that Dolores and the Rehoboam exposing is her ‘magnum opus’ this season thus far. She has done her part and now the show is rationalising its effect for the other characters in the show. I am excited for the next episode as to what Dolores will do about Serac and his complete power over Delos.
Caleb has been a sort of straggler behind the vicious action and complex history of Westworld and Delos so his role the rest of the season will be interesting to see. I’m guessing big given him being the major edition to the Westworld cast this season. There are even theories that Caleb is the brother of Serac, but it seems much too farfetched for me to believe. Nonetheless, there is a mystery behind Aaron Paul’s character which will certainly be revealed come the season’s end.
There are few television dramas which provoke a verbal awe or something to that effect and this whole episode was a journey of similar proportions. I have really enjoyed the organised mess the producers have set up come episode six and am in the dark as to what future episodes hold.
All in all, ‘Decoherence’ is a great episode like every one this season. The way in which it ties in the season’s storylines even closer as conflict between protagonists is on the horizon puts it among some of the series best editions.