Westworld Season 3 Episode 4 – ‘The Mother of Exiles’
This show is ridiculously entertaining. Riveting at every corner.
Dolores has officially outdone herself and her opposition; Caleb is a mere bystander in an epic melee; Ed Harris gives an outstanding performance as The Man In Black makes his appearance; and Maeve goes to Japan at Serac’s request.
The Man In Black is introduced through a series of hallucinations in his ruined, disordered house. We see him being haunted by his daughter, who he killed last season thinking she was a host. She goads him on his choice to kill her as William is guilt filled and distraught. Charlotte Hale (Dolores’ host) arrives as William is snapped back to reality. She informs him of the Delos takeover and asks for help given his majority shares in the company. William asks if Hale herself is the mole, but she passes this observation. The scene is short but split in two across the episode.
We revisit the host manufacturing place where Dolores recreated Hale. Dolores is with Bernard and shows him around. This is the reimagination of Bernard from his host pearl we saw last episode.
Serac tells Maeve about Dolores and the building where she created her hosts. They visit the site which is vacated; and we find out that Serac tracked down the man who sold/imported the white host elixir for Dolores; he has him tied to a chair. This is the first blatant example of Serac’s evil and ruthless character. The detained man is interrogated about the whereabouts of the product. He is afraid of physical torture by Serac has a calmness about him and opts for psychological trauma. He uses the special glasses which project and transport a person to a certain time and place to lay out the man’s future of despair and tragedy as Maeve watches. The man folds and tells Serac of the Mortician and her destination. Serac has no use for the man and nonchalantly shoots him in the head. Maeve is a weapon to Serac and is sent to Japan to investigate the place.
We meet Dolores with Caleb at a suit fitters. Caleb talks about his style being unsuited to such attire while his measurements are taken. He is looking in a mirror and picks out an outfit which we see projected into the mirror contoured around his measurements, like an augmented suit. Caleb wonders how Dolores pays for the clothes and she tells him how easy it is to steal funds in the human world. We next see them on the way to a bank. Dolores intentionally walks into one of Liam Dempsey’s (owner of Incite, the company which holds the Rehoboam seen in episode 1) bank managers. She apologises then pretends she is an old acquaintance of his while directing him into a sheltered area. She picks him up and slams him against a wall knocking him unconscious. A vial with a needle is inserted into his arm to extract blood with information on his identity via fingerprints and the like. As this takes place, Caleb is shocked and speechless at Dolores slick, unethical methods.
She tells Caleb to take the blood in his arm to assume the man’s biometric identity. She informs him that its effect will last for twenty minutes with the time shortened if nervous/frustrated. They infiltrate the bank successfully until they reach an employee to manage Dempsey’s funds. Dolores poses as a part of Caleb’s entourage and they ask to move the funds out of the account. The sum is very large, and the employee takes her time to process the request. Dolores tells her to approve the transaction and that the bank was chosen for such a purpose as a mode of hurrying her. Caleb gives a fingerprint as a final form of authentication and is denied on first try; his second time frustration tampers with the system and he does the test once more. Tension rises as Dolores readies a gun from her purse, but Caleb passes, and the motion is carried.
A prestigious gala or event or some sorts is attended by Liam Dempsey and his friends while host Martin Connells (Dolores’ Insight mole) watches from the upstairs gallery. It seems to be a charity event but is attended by opulent people who walk around to look at and/or buy live exhibits on platforms. These exhibits are scantily dressed and mostly nude men and women who are payed for, for sex and so on… and for charity, which is clearly corrupt and rather unsettling. The workings of this futuristic Westworld earth gets more and more complicated.
Maeve is in Japan and asks for the Mortician as she manoeuvres her way towards this figure who we discover is a butcher. She tells her to tell her about Dolores’ dealings. A man across the room lines up a shot at Maeve before she adeptly and mechanically beats him to it and shoots swiftly. The Mortician reveals Dolores attained the white elixir from a warehouse. They head over and Maeve uses her power over technology to break into the facility. A group of formidable men are in the warehouse as Maeve strolls in carefree. When threatened, she uses her host ability of killer precision and technological command to disable and shoot the men. We then see Maeve journey further into the warehouse where she meets her old friend from Shogunworld Musashi. He appears to be working for Dolores as Maeve is flummoxed at his presence.
Musashi reveals himself as an embodiment of Dolores’ pearl; Maeve is left dumbfounded. They fight and Maeve is stabbed through the torso. She falls to the floor flat as her blood mixes with the white host fluid – reminiscent of the milk-blood amalgamation in season one.
Arnold and Ashley Stubbs are adjusting to life in the real world and are aware of the Rehoboam and its significance. They begin to prepare to kidnap Liam Dempsey as they arrive at the event. Dolores and Caleb also attend the event in their suits looking for him. Dempsey’s account is denied when he bids on one of the displayed women. We see Dolores encounter Ashley, who tells her he has been programmed by Arnold, as they engage in an epic fight with their inhuman fighting prowess. Dolores has the upper hand at one moment and uses it to throw Ashley off the upstairs balcony. Onlookers, who recognise Dolores from her time with Liam are dumbstruck by what they witness but are high on drugs so dismiss its placement in reality. Arnold manages to get Liam and take him out towards a car at gunpoint. When they get there, we see Caleb and Connells meet him as Arnold tells Liam to run away.
Dolores arrives. Arnold talks to hsr and questions her motives. He is puzzled at her assuredness and asks how she can control so many facets at the same time. She reveals that the only person she can truly trust is herself and that she created Hale, Musashi and Connells with her own host pearl which she cloned. Dolores has complete power and her plan unfolds more and more. To cap off the scene, she joins Caleb who tells chases and detains Liam.
We see The Man In Black and Hale once more as they continue to converse. William scrubs up as Hale tells him of the Delos situation again. She discusses her plans to his bemusement before dropping the massive shocker that she is Dolores in Hale’s form.
Thoughts on the Plot Twist
This is an amazing revelation. I had an inkling about this as I did question last episode who the host thought she was when she was reimagined as Hale. There was a hint that she was a clone of Dolores in her initial use and way of language. This is certainly among one of the biggest shocks of the series. I believe that Serac has been outplayed for the moment. I thought Dolores and crew were cornered and at a great disadvantage last episode after Serac’s power display. But Dolores is armed with clones of herself, the most deadly and intelligent host of them all. This does turn the tables and intrigues me once more. After all, Westworld is one of the greatest shows at shocks and plot twists.
The way this is shot is genius. We have split screens of each storyline: Hale and William, Arnold and Dolores et al, Maeve and Musashi, as the information is revealed flitting between these different shots. This is a classic technique and makes the drama and tension intensify ten-fold. This season has managed to embrace the ambitions it set for itself this episode.
We get to see so many different lines of thought/storylines through the lives of the wealthy in Liam and his group; The Man In Black’s mental turmoil in the aftermath of Westworld; Dolores omnipotence and tactical aplomb; Maeve’s double revelation about Musashi’s appearance and his true identity; and Hale/Dolores in conversations with William.
Serac is on the look-out for mapping the human which The Rehoboam is aiding. However, he tells Maeve that the only place which has done this already is Westworld which he aims to acquire through his hostile takeover.
William was certainly is a very bad way and his life looks like it fell apart after the fall of Westworld which blurred the boundaries of reality and artificiality. There are a couple of shots of him looking into the mirror as he questions his own existence. He is disorientated and emotionally overwhelmed; he has a drinking habit which is the common coping mechanism for hurting adults.
After hearing Hale’s news, William is left shocked as she switches tone and acts as if he is talking nonsense. She declares him insane in his accusations and revealing professions in order to succeed his duties on the Delos board. He is taken away by his own guards and sent to an institution. I guess this is where Dolores meets him as a scruffy and tired man as seen in the season three trailer. This is Dolores’ way of revenge for the damage he dealt her in Westworld so it’s technically justified.
Dolores is at it again, mad at the helm
Caleb asks Dolores what they will do if they are made. She tells him that they will ‘do it the old-fashioned way’ to which Caleb questions her meaning and is answered with the statement she will ‘kill everybody’.
Dolores tells Caleb how she thought that the ‘real world’ would be different and better but it is exactly like Westworld.
Dolores has increased the mayhem and is on track for domination with the elaborate plan she has tucked in her superior host brain.
There are acting masterclasses from every character this episode. The main cast still baffle me at their ability to portray hosts, who are half human, half robot in effect. The nuances which I value in acting are spot on and Luke Hemsworth’s freezing of all motor functions was an example of trademark Westworld acting. The Man In Black’s emotional breakdown is so well shot and Ed Harris acting of this is complimentary. The representation of such a breakdown is aided by his shouting, crying and engagements with his racing thoughts and hallucinations. The action/fighting choreography is brilliant in Stubbs and Dolores’ fight. The acting by Evan Rachel Wood and Luke Hemsworth’s acting captures the robotic motions and perfect executions of moves expertly.