Westworld: Parce Domine
March 15, 2020 8:19 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Dolores, Bernard and Charlotte Hale have adventures in the the real world away from WestWorld.
posted by octothorpe (46 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If they keep throwing in britpop fight scenes, I’ll continue to watch.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:24 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


so if Dolores escaped the park in a Charlotte shaped host, but now is running around looking like herself again, who is in the Charlotte host? are there 2 Deloreses now?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:55 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Teddy is Charlotte? Which egg went where will be part of the episodic reveals and timeline tricks, no doubt.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:39 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Teddy is in the paradise simulation thing after having escaped in season 2. I'm guessing it's somebody who didn't making it there, like Clementine.

I really liked this. A nice change of pace, completely new setting, but still recognizably Westworld. Also I find it impossible to look away from ERW any time she's on screen, and that changing dress thing was so awesome I wish I could wear dresses. I mean, I guess I could wear it...
posted by Justinian at 4:04 AM on March 16 [9 favorites]


We're thinking Clementine is in Charlotte. Not sure who's in the replaced bodyguard/fixer/thug. It was great to see Maeve again. Heck it was great to see everyone again.
posted by jquinby at 7:08 AM on March 16


that changing dress thing was so awesome

Yeah, that effect worked great! Shape-changing dresses always make me think of Ellen May Ngewthu's spacesuit from the Cassini Division.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:19 AM on March 16


Oh man, Todd's asexual dating app ended up falling prey to some serious feature drift.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:21 AM on March 16 [11 favorites]


It's also interesting watching this episode (and presumably the rest of S03) alongside Hulu/FX's Devs, in that both shows are asking some fairly similar questions about causality and free will, as juxtaposed with elite Silicon Valley culture. I'm curious to see what shakes out from both as they continue for the next few weeks.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:29 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Teddy is in the paradise simulation thing after having escaped in season 2.

IIRC, Dolores decommissioned Teddy before heading over to the entrance to the valley beyond.

Loved the AI-POV, I'm also loving how the AI's -- which featured in Person of Interest -- are "false gods" and that the real gods are coming.
posted by mikelieman at 9:24 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


I liked how we were just dropped into the story months after the events of S2.
posted by octothorpe at 9:40 AM on March 16


Did I spot a "Special Circumstances" overlay on the AI's PoV?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:52 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Did everyone catch the post-credits scene with Maeve?

I love the music in this and how this episode had a very cinematic thriller/action vibe. Aaron Paul is very good—I knew he would be, but he's more, uh, solid than I expected.

Bernard's work-around to control himself is a really interesting conceit, both as a mechanic and as metaphor.

I'm on Team Maeve & Bernard—the non-genocidal robots—but I admit that it's fun to watch Dolores. However, she didn't really do any favors for that dude's wife: she left her with a dead, zip-tied husband floating in the pool.

I'm very suspicious of Dolores, her supposed injury, and the subsequent meet-cute. (Well, "cute" isn't the right word.) It takes a lot to actually damage something critical in her and she's not limited to verisimilitude, so how can this not be elaborately orchestrated?

I spent way too much time thinking about how that Rico app could actually work in the real world. I don't see how they could avoid law enforcement infiltration. However, maybe this is just another part of the machine's social optimization—a role for everyone, including crime.

Could someone explain what happened with the security guy and the car that drove up to them? Was it just that Dolores shot them, too, along with the grunts in front of her car? Or did something else happen?

I want that guy's emotive t-shirt.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:02 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Did I spot a "Special Circumstances" overlay on the AI's PoV?

Yes, you did.

Following up on the conversation where Dolores and Martin where they discuss how Rehoboam is controlled by Serac, Dolores says, "You were free. You had no god. But you tried to build one. Only that thing you built isn't God. The real gods are coming. And they're very angry."
posted by mikelieman at 10:14 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


On the car driving up during the shootout. I think that was just an empty cab thing and they were freaking out because who could have hailed it with Delores knocked out.
posted by misterpatrick at 11:09 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


no, Tommy Flanagan’s clone was in it, that’s why he was freaking out.
posted by valkane at 11:33 AM on March 16 [8 favorites]


Could someone explain what happened with the security guy and the car that drove up to them?

I think the cab that drove up had the Host version of the Scottish security guy, when they already knew that said security was back at the landing site.

Emotive shirt guy was Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch! And I wish Lena Waithe was playing Ash for more than a stunt casting thing, but I doubt she's got enough time to be a regular in another series.

I sort of love having absolutely no idea what's happening on Westworld and just really enjoying each scene and the performances. Evan Rachel Wood fighting and mauling the security team with an expressionless face was excellent.
posted by gladly at 11:39 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Any ideas on why Maeve seemed like she had no idea how she got to Nazi World? She seemed very confused and had to look out the window to figure out where she was...
posted by Justinian at 11:40 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


So, multiple shots of Caleb waking up mirroring the shots of Dolores waking up in the series premiere: clues that Cal is a host? Or just demonstrating how humanity is stuck in loops like the hosts?
posted by Gaz Errant at 12:41 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


Did anyone have problems with the sound mix of this and understanding dialog? The effect and music seemed to be mixed way too high.
posted by octothorpe at 3:26 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Octothorpe: yes! And I didn’t even pirate this ep! Usually this happens when I’m watching a video that’s mixed for surround on my non-surround TV.
posted by adrianhon at 4:15 PM on March 16


They had a character posit that they were all in a simulation, and he was totally high. So I hope that is their way of dismissing that particular plot conceit.

Breach-loading semi-auto handguns do seem futuristic for some reason.

Is Common People his murdering song, or did it come up randomly on his murder playlist?
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:25 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Is Common People his murdering song, or did it come up randomly on his murder playlist?

"Common People" is the murdering song, followed by "Don't Look Back in Anger" for the clean up. If it's an unusually messy scene, he'll play "Slide Away" instead because that's nearly seven minutes long.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:53 PM on March 16 [6 favorites]


As usual, ScreenCrush does a great recap and covers the references.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:09 AM on March 17 [5 favorites]


As usual I find that I am All In for Westworld. Whatever they're doing in terms of shenanigans, and I assume they're up to something, it's a good change of pace.

The first season featured a pretty clean timeline fakeout that resolved well in hindsight. The second season more or less followed the jumbled timeline of a robot in psychotic break and was like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together. Having this episode appear to be pretty shenanigan-free storytelling worked great (for me anyway) especially since there's JUST ENOUGH funny business to suspect I'm being played somehow. The ScreenCrush recap saved me a rewatch -- I was pretty sure there was some funny business with Caleb's uniform in the flashbacks.
posted by range at 7:28 AM on March 17 [3 favorites]


Nolan/Joy do seem to love over-complicating things but they are very inventive and I love that I have no idea where things are going.
posted by octothorpe at 7:31 AM on March 17


Caleb's military experience looked pretty War on Terror like. More inescapable human loops there?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:03 AM on March 17


I have to say, this is scratching my cyberpunk itch like nothing since early Gibson.
posted by valkane at 9:40 AM on March 17 [3 favorites]


Honestly, after basically a lifetime of watching scifi shows and movies that were mostly filmed in empty warehouses in Vancouver on unimpressive budgets, I am just enjoying the sheer amount of thought and money and effort they've put into the futuristic setting here.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:44 PM on March 17 [12 favorites]


Is Common People his murdering song, or did it come up randomly on his murder playlist?

When he puts on the song, his screen displays the playlist/station “Midnight Chill,” a good indicator that music has gotten less chill as time has passed. It seemed like a pretty subtle possible joke that the plaza where Aaron Paul let Lena Waithe was playing “99 Luft Ballons” as if it were classical music.

Any ideas on why Maeve seemed like she had no idea how she got to Nazi World?


When she saw the beaten-up guy tied to the chair, she realized her own knuckles were bloody from beating him. Whatever she’s up to, she’s glitching.

so if Dolores escaped the park in a Charlotte shaped host, but now is running around looking like herself again, who is in the Charlotte host? are there 2 Deloreses now?

I think this is the case. Dolores has evolved into sentience, but she’s still a machine intelligence, and there’s no reason there can’t be dupes of her. As for who is in the Tommy Flanagan host, I think that’s a modified Tommy Flanagan—Dolores had access to the copies of every park visitor’s minds, and she says she met him when he was honeymooning there.
posted by ejs at 6:54 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


It doesn't feel like it would be in-character for her to populate her army with (digitized) human minds. What's the point of getting vengeance against your creators if you can't bring your friends along?
posted by Pyry at 11:51 PM on March 17


I'm liking the idea of a hive mind Dolores. Raises interesting wrinkles in the questions they're already asking about consciousness and humanity.
posted by kokaku at 2:50 AM on March 18


The title of this episode, btw, Parce Domine ("Spare Your People, Lord") is a Catholic antiphon (short chant) derived from Joel 2:17.

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis


Spare O Lord, spare your people:
Be not angry with us forever
posted by jquinby at 5:44 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


But double-sleeving is illegal!
posted by valkane at 5:46 AM on March 18 [8 favorites]


Something that tickled my brain: Armand Delgado is an anagram for Damaged Arnold.

Something else that tickled my brain: the English lyrics for 99 Red Balloons.
You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Till one by one they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, "Something's out there"

Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by
99 red balloons floating in the summer sky
Panic bells it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine it springs to life
Opens up one eager eye

Focusing it on the sky as 99 red balloons go by
99 Decision Street, 99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
Call out the troops now in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys this is war

The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by
posted by palomar at 6:40 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


So I gave a halfhearted attempt at looking up Rehoboam but nothing jumped out in the first couple of paragraphs on wikipedia. Anyone have any ideas, or is it just a suitably biblical name for an AI that doesn't carry any big connotations?

I wasn't expecting much given how much the early reviews were panning it (vis me waiting 2 days to watch it), but I enjoyed it and can sort of see the shape of what they're trying to set up for the season, and it interests me. Will they capture the same lightning in a bottle that they did the first season? Probably not. And having watched a _lot_ of timeline untanglers I _sort_ of understand what happened in S2 now? The season didn't have those moments of timeline clarity that S1 did, and I never rewatched it afterwards soooo.
posted by Kyol at 6:41 AM on March 18


Well, Rehoboam was the successor to Solomon, known for his wisdom and insight. Folks expected him to carry on the work of his father and requested some reforms aimed at limiting power. The requests were not granted and a there was eventually a revolt (recapped from here).

So inasmuch as very little in this show is accidental or superfluous, I don't think the name was chosen on a whim.
posted by jquinby at 7:52 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


(Watch the ScreenCrush recap for an exploration of all the new names.)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:42 AM on March 18


Another vote for the ScreenCrush video. They're really good at noticing things that I didn't see at all.
posted by octothorpe at 12:14 PM on March 18


Did they catch London being in the U.R.E.W? I’m gonna guess that’s the United Republic of England and Wales. Incipient AI genocide aside I’m glad an independent Scotland exists in this timeline.

This was a really good opener, and the recap at the start in linear order and with all of the side plots excised was incredibly useful.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:40 PM on March 18 [3 favorites]


Breach-loading semi-auto handguns do seem futuristic for some reason

I'd think a muzzle-loading semi-auto would almost be *more* futuristic, or at least really REALLY steampunk.

I'm pretty sure the technical gunological term for the gun that Dolores had is "flappyhandled." I have a PhD, you know.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:00 PM on March 18 [4 favorites]


It looked like a folding glock to me. imfdb.com hasn't got anything on it (yet), and any search just talks about her colt from seasons 1 and 2.
posted by valkane at 4:08 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


One thing I appreciated was Dolores nudity in the pool. Nudity commonly conveys vulnerability, but sometimes (mostly for men), it conveys power. It's difficult to use female nudity to convey power because of how we're primed to see it. They did a good job with that here.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:37 AM on March 21 [3 favorites]


I really really enjoyed the filming locations. I’m hoping a lot of them were real because those would be buildings I’d love to see in real life, one was I think Aaron Paul’s apartment building that had the shot looking down at a courtyard? ringed by the balconies.

When Dolores drives a car, does that make it a self-driving car?

Looks like the algorithm is an all-powerful magic thing for humans in the future too.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:33 AM on April 1


LizBoBiz: "I really really enjoyed the filming locations. I’m hoping a lot of them were real because those would be buildings I’d love to see in real life, one was I think Aaron Paul’s apartment building that had the shot looking down at a courtyard? ringed by the balconies. "

I believe a lot of it was shot in Singapore, with some CGI enhancements.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:07 AM on April 6


Great episode! They did a fantastic job dropping us into a new story and environment. And holy cow, what an environment, this near-future cyberpunk stuff is terrific. It's amazing to me no one else has done a good TV show like this. (We are all very disappointed in you, Altered Carbon.)

The episode was too long. I'd rather they'd split it into two. Also disorienting, particularly trying to track which mind is in which body. But that's all consistent with how they like to run this show, so I'll go along with it.

Agreed introducing Caleb was pretty clumsy. I like his backstory, but just running into sexy murder bot in a tunnel? Weird. I like the suggestion that Dolores has set that up.

One stylistic thing that bugged me; Dolores' Avenging Angel speeches were a bit much. I was half expecting her to growl out "You have failed this city" as she murdered her victims.

I sound like I'm complaining; I liked this episode! I've been wondering how they'd pull off another season of Westworld without revisiting old themes and ideas, I hope this works. I'm very late to starting this season so will be writing annoying late comments.
posted by Nelson at 8:01 AM on May 14


Late comments are more than welcome! That’s why the threads don’t close
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:19 AM on May 14


« Older Supergirl: Reality Bytes...   |  The X-Files: Shapes... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster