Westworld Season 3 Episode 7 – ‘Passed Pawn’
The penultimate episode of season three is a dramatic and action masterpiece.
Dolores is in the endgame of her plans for a revolution as she immerses Caleb into his complicated past with comrade Francis. Bernard and Stubbs remain with William at the now deserted mental asylum as they discover the purpose of the asylum and Dolores and Serac’s relation to it. Maeve seeks redemption and meets her adversary. Clementine and Akane visit Musashi (Dolores) in Japan on behalf of Maeve. Musashi and Hale question the nature of Dolores’ use of them.
I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode. It exhibited the classic Westworld from season one with the nail biting unravelling of a revelation as multiple characters’ purposes fall in line with the episode narrative. As usual, this revelation was profound as we discover the fate of Serac’s brother and Caleb’s true past via the introduction of Solomon.
Dolores and Caleb travel to Sonora, Mexico to finalise proceedings. Caleb is aware of Dolores being a host from Westworld but besides this has no idea about the politics which have brewed in the series prior to his introduction. They travel on horses as they journey into the Sonoran desert and reach a cliff with an expansive view almost identical to that of the views from Westworld.
Dolores reveals that the Westworld park was based on this area of around fifty square miles if my memory serves me correctly. Dolores tells Caleb that they are in Sonora for his redemption as they go further into the desert. They reach a facility and Dolores uses a drone to infiltrate, so she is able to aim and shoot down the inhabitants. This technological wizardry is another addition to the many which have bamboozled me in season three.
We see Musashi at the start of the episode in Japan as he is with a group of his goons. Hale calls him to notify him of Dolores’ plans for their expendability. After this, we see Clementine and Akane pop up and start a brawl with Musashi and his men. Eventually, after numerous killings and stab wounds Akane cuts Musashi in half with her Katana. This is a foreshadowing of the showdown between Dolores and Maeve because Maeve sent Akane and Clementine to get rid of Musashi as he killed her earlier in the season.
Solomon – “The Original” Rehoboam
The episode escalated drastically when we figured out that Solomon was created by Serac’s brother, who Serac supposedly killed, and adopted similar tendencies to that of its schizophrenic maker. Thusly, the machine was an unstable one shackled in a facility with military grade EMP. It was stunted by outliers who were people who could not be predicted due to their various personalities. To account for these people the machine attempted to gather these outliers and put them through a process called “cognitive reprogramming” which turned their minds docile and like the rest of the accountable population.
Throughout the episode we see flashbacks to Caleb’s time in the military alongside Francis, his deceased friend. We find out that Caleb was working in Russia as part of team to dismantle an insurgency by targeting its members and using a device which sent a missile to the target via a satellite. This is a crazy piece of technology used in a small town, therefore the blast radius however small it may be could have injured/killed anyone. Just to point out its unethical nature.
Caleb notes that the people who they were tracking began tracking them and a similar missile attack took place in a jungle where he and the crew were situated. The result was one murdered and a few injured with Caleb having a nasty gash across the back of the head.
We discover that Caleb and Francis were two of the original outliers whose memory had been wiped and warped. Consequently, the memories of Francis were untrue and fractured. Solomon used a few outliers to track down other outliers by brainwashing them. We realise that Francis was paid off to kill Caleb on one of these missions as Caleb was too forward and curious as to the things he was sent to do. Caleb ended up killing Francis is self-defence.
Caleb was sent to the Sonoran facility after Francis’ death for his PTSD and reprogramming. They made him recall his military experiences aloud telling him to ‘start from the beginning’ each time. This is used as narration for part of Caleb’s flashbacks throughout the episode.
We finally get the last piece to Caleb’s backstory and his friend Francis. We see that Francis’ death, which had plagued and disturbed Caleb mentally, was actually his doing; yet another mind-blowing sequence to add to the series’ collection.
Bernard watches on
Bernard and Stubbs are at the asylum with William as they decipher the reason for the virus in William’s blood. The storyline of Serac and his brother’s cognitive reprogramming scheme ties in here as William is marked an outlier and his blood used for tracking.
Caleb’s past is forcibly uncovered by Dolores in her plan to enlighten him. She has a “poetic sensibility” according to Bernard. Bernard discovers that Caleb is working with Dolores and tells the confused Stubbs and William that she is going to use him to destroy humanity for her.
William is determined to part ways with Bernard and Stubbs and pulls a gun on them after they seize the chance of killing him.
‘Kill me now, or I’ll kill you later’– William
Dolores’ Plan for Revolution
With all of the power that Solomon has with its omnipotence and control the machine is capable of literally destroying humanity or something to that effect. Dolores uses this to initiate her revolution when she gives Caleb the choice of what path the machine take before she leaves to fight Maeve. This is all while Caleb is angry at his past not being real and the truth about Francis. He eventually decides on a course of action which we largely are unaware of leading into the season finale.
Maeve V. Dolores
Maeve arrives at the facility to face Dolores mono a mono. They meet and Dolores attempts to sway Maeve by noting the atrocities that were committed on their race (hosts), but she sticks by her motives of reuniting with her daughter. An epic fight breaks out of the highest quality given their inhuman powers and Maeve ends up chopping off Dolores’ left arm with her badass sword.
Dolores clambers back inside towards Solomon as Maeve meets her and is on the brink of killing her once and for all. Dolores narrowly manages to push a button to instigate Caleb’s plan for Solomon and her revolution. Following this, Maeve and Dolores fall to floor as they are deactivated, and the episode ends.
Maeve and Dolores have been the two most anticipated characters to meet one another in season three. Coincidentally, they are also the most powerful hosts in the Westworld universe. Dolores genuinely believes that she is in the right. To be honest there is no good or bad this season. The actions this season cannot be marked as wholly good or wholly bad, so it’s almost like an open forum for moral transgression.
Next Week’s Finale
Well, well, well. Season three has been a thrilling rollercoaster ride. I can confidently say that Westworld is the most entertaining show in recent memory. An immense finale has been set up and I cannot predict what will happen. However, I can throw in some ball-park projections. With the advent of Dolores’ revolution inducing Solomon I believe that the whole world will be affected yet again. I think or hope that Dolores and Maeve have survived this episode. Caleb seems to be fully conscious of himself and his past and his decisions for Solomon may entail an emancipation of the outliers.