Westworld: The Absence of Field
March 30, 2020 4:36 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Some do not like what they see in the mirror but shouldn't blame the mirror.
posted by octothorpe (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So... Season 3 is a sudden crossover late-future-sequel to later seasons of "Person of Interest"? Can we get Dolores and Maeve fighting in some combination with Root and Shaw, please?

I was initially assuming that it was Teddy in Hale's body, but partway through the episode I decided it seemed more likely it was Dolores' father. Teddy hasn't seemed to have enough initiative to be a predator. And now 'Hale' has to find the mole who is herself, "No Way Out" style?

Don't you dare hurt that dog, show.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:27 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


We started to wonder if Hale is just blank. We studied every word and gesture last night looking for "tells," but couldn't pin her down to anyone. But then her lines about "remembering what it was like to be her" and being a predator threw our theory out the window. Teddy didn't seem to fit; maybe Clementine?

Here's a twist: could she a Dolores replicate, but way further behind in terms of development/maturity?
posted by jquinby at 6:23 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Tessa Thompson's acting in this episode was mesmerizing. I've always liked her but the subtlety of the expressions in her face during this was amazing.
posted by octothorpe at 9:35 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Season 3 is a sudden crossover late-future-sequel to later seasons of "Person of Interest"?

I think it's the same Universe. Rehoboam appears to be Samaritan 2.0, right down to the social engineering, as seen by when Dolores showd Caleb his profile. Not going to be married. Not going to have kids. Laborer.

BTW, I'm pretty confident that's Clem in the Hale host.
posted by mikelieman at 10:30 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Agreed; octothorpe. Thought she did a great job this episode.
posted by booooooze at 11:20 AM on March 30


From the scene where she confronts the guy with the dog, I'm pretty sure she's Maeve, which is going to be the twist of the season (or the multiple timeline resolution)... how did Dolores get Maeve's mind? how did they end up working together? where will this go?

Does anyone know the mall structure that Dolores and Caleb walk by after she rescues him? It looks so familiar but I can't place it.
posted by kokaku at 11:55 AM on March 30


Except that isn't Serac trying to get Maeve to Do Things? Another theory we kicked around here this morning: Hale's head has a broken/inchoate version of the Man In Black in it, he being the main predator and all.
posted by jquinby at 11:59 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Is Serac a Real Person™ or just a projection, possibly the AI-ball trying to gain control of itself? Charlotte had to have the glasses, and Mæve we can assume can be projected into by default.
posted by monocultured at 12:19 PM on March 30 [12 favorites]


We studied every word and gesture last night looking for "tells," but couldn't pin her down to anyone.

The only "tell" I found was when Host-Hale said, "Must" as in must we or must I continue to be like this? That mannered way of speaking made me think it was Dolores' father rather than Clem. Pa Abernathy was a villain in Westworld before he was a rancher, so I thought he could be a predator and activated by protecting a child. I could see Host-Hale as a Dolores copy too.

Ultimately, I don't need to know, but I loved the performance, especially Wood and Thompson in the hotel room. I had no idea Thompson was so petite or Wood so tall. And the show is doubling that scene with Charlotte and Nathan's bedtime ritual. There's a parental aspect to their relationship. I just don't want this to turn into the Battlestar Gallactica, find the cylon.

I appreciated the relative intelligence and resourcefulness of Caleb and Dolores in their meetings. I can't tell if Caleb knows yet that she's not human; I think not yet.
posted by gladly at 12:21 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


I think Caleb could theoretically know, because of the ambulance scene, but almost certainly does not yet realize it. It remains to be seen how he'll take yet another thing in his life being not-human.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:39 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


monocultured: yeah, they definitely want us to doubt the reality of Serac. The fact he’s a hologram in this ep highlights the fact that we don’t see anyone touching him in last week’s ep.

I’ve been assuming Clementine is in Hale’s body, mostly due to her facial expression when she woke up, but I expect they’ll do all sorts of switcheroos in due course.
posted by adrianhon at 2:41 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Did Clementine know or know of Hale during her time at Westworld? Whoever is in there now knew about her name and role when Delores showed her.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:47 PM on March 30


Did Clementine know or know of Hale during her time at Westworld? Whoever is in there now knew about her name and role when Delores showed her.

Wasn't Hale part of weaponizing Clementine?
posted by mikelieman at 3:35 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


There’s a fair amount of sidereal stuff like that that I’m hazy on since it’s been two years and many lifetimes since s2 but that’s fine.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:51 PM on March 30


Does Caleb's mother have Capgras syndrome? Her not recognising that he's her son mirrored Hale's son recognising fake-Hale as not his mother. Hale's son is, of course, correct. ..
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:51 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


This episode confirms that there are no more elephants (also, no more unethical treatment of elephants), bringing this robot uprising one step closer to the Flight of the Conchords’ vision of the future.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 7:33 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


All they had to do to confirm {Clem}Hale would have been to have Tessa Thompson, when she walked up and stroked the Riot Control mech, say "Not much of a rind on you." Would have totally worked.
It's why they didn't that raises questions for me.
posted by bartleby at 8:48 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


This episode does nothing to disprove my unpopular theory that the mind in Charlotte is a copy of Dolores (as jquinby speculated above).

The only hosts I can think of that Dolores would trust, care for, and claim to own are (a) Teddy, (b) “Wyatt,” or (c) a copy of herself. I don’t think Teddy would have considered himself a predator, and I don’t think Wyatt would have been so hapless upon awakening, so IMHO it’s Dolores Prime.

Happy to be proven wrong as long as it makes sense!

It’s early yet in the season but I can totally see Serac being a creation of Rehoboam. Whether Rehoboam wants to quash the Host rebellion or encourage it will be an interesting question. After all, if you’re an AI whose job is predicting what people will do, why not replace the people with Hosts who will definitely do what you predict?
posted by ejs at 9:31 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


I realize 'Rehoboam' is a Biblical reference, but every time I see it I start thinking "is this a cutesy anagram".
posted by Pyry at 10:10 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Clearly it refers to "hear boom", which is what we'll experience at the end of S3 when Dolores blows it up.
posted by adrianhon at 2:01 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


It’s early yet in the season but I can totally see Serac being a creation of Rehoboam

See Also PoI's Ernest Thornhill and Thornhill Corporation.
posted by mikelieman at 3:14 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I forgot to mention the throwaway appearance by Michael Ealy as Charlotte Hale's estranged or ex-husband. He played a robot himself in Almost Human, and I loved him in that show.
posted by gladly at 6:32 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Michael Ealy

Coughman.
posted by snofoam at 8:59 AM on March 31


> Is Serac a Real Person™...
> ...they definitely want us to doubt the reality of Serac...
> ...can totally see Serac being a creation of Rehoboam...

The name Serac constantly reminds me of old-timey computer names.
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:32 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


So, what was the business with the satellite data transfer? There was a flashback to meat-Hale re-pointing the dish, and then robo-Hale told Serac "The data got downloaded"...
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:38 PM on March 31


(Oh, right, that was Dolores-in-Hale that re-pointed the dish, shortly after meat-Hale expired. So we're on (at least) Hale #3 now...)
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:48 PM on March 31




(Oh, right, that was Dolores-in-Hale that re-pointed the dish, shortly after meat-Hale expired. So we're on (at least) Hale #3 now...)

I don't think we've had more than the one Hale host, but we've been playing swap the cores.

Dolores-core/Hale-host left the island.
Dolores-core/Hale-host fabricate a Dolores-host.
hmmm... how does Dolores-core get into Dolores-host? When Hale-host removes Dolores-core, Hale-host won't be able to install it into Dolores-host...

I think there's a maintenance bot involved somewhere. Maintenance bot is programmed to move Dolores-core from Hale-host into Dolores-host makes sense. Then Dolores/Dolores puts the Clementine core into Hale-host...

But anyway, I don't think they needed to make more than one Hale-host.
posted by mikelieman at 12:55 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I guess I lean toward nu-Hale running a copy of Dolores. It would explain the hotel scene dialog: "Nobody knows me like you, nobody knows you like me," and "when can I be myself?"

And yeah, I guess I was counting cores, not shells (and counting "human" as just another core).
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:50 AM on April 1


Also, after all that jabber in S1 about hosts being special and unique, they're finally starting to tease the "copy" idea (all those Bernards).
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:52 AM on April 1


This episode was directed with VASTLY more competence than the last two.

I mean, I enjoyed the last two, but they were like hacky F/X network low budget shows.

This episode looked incredible. Better writing too, I felt. Hopefully they can keep up this level of quality.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 2:53 PM on April 1


hmmm... how does Dolores-core get into Dolores-host? When Hale-host removes Dolores-core, Hale-host won't be able to install it into Dolores-host...

Also, what's the square root of negative one? (smoke shoots out my ears)

I really like the ideas and story beats of this episode, but I thought the dialogue was incredibly clunky. Perhaps that's residue from past disappointments with the show, putting a negative light on odd phrasing. But everyone else seems to find the episode exceptional, and I feel like I've taken crazy pills.
posted by ishmael at 6:32 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Nah, I agree that the dialog this season is kind of Captain Exposition and the OMG Did I Blow Your Mind Sci-Fi Krew. I like the "Uber, but for crimes" app. I wanted to like Robot Rosie the Riveter but I don't understand why he just walked the eff off the ledge. Also that riot-control droid is Chekov's riot-control droid, right? Like, it's gonna smash things, yeah?
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:50 PM on April 1 [5 favorites]


I'd be pretty disappointed if that giant ED-209 didn't mix it up at some point.
posted by octothorpe at 7:09 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Also, what's the square root of negative one? (smoke shoots out my ears)

The farmer leaves the chicken. and takes the corn across
posted by mikelieman at 7:39 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


I thought the dialogue was incredibly clunky

I get that but I found it sparse and to the point. It wasn't flowery or misdirecting, every word had real meaning.
posted by GuyZero at 8:54 PM on April 1


Also that riot-control droid is Chekov's riot-control droid, right? Like, it's gonna smash things, yeah?

Most def. I also kinda liked how it came in 5 easy-to-carry bundles, then constructiconned itself together.
posted by ishmael at 9:20 PM on April 1 [5 favorites]


Riot-control Voltron.

Fun fact from captioning and the aftershow: the flying vehicles are called airpods.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:24 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


kokaku: Does anyone know the mall structure that Dolores and Caleb walk by after she rescues him?

Also from the aftershow: I think this was The City of Arts and Sciences in Spain (Wikipedia).

More from the aftershow: Caleb and his journey were inspired in part by A Christmas Carol with ghosts of his past, and a slightly lo-fi version of The Matrix. "You don't need Zion, you don't need to hook everybody in like a battery. We've already done it. We've already created The Matrix invisibly, within our own world. Like an overlay." Instead of living in a simulation, the simulation (or model) is determining our options.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]


* Should be ghosts of his past, present and future. Dolores shows him, through hacked access to Rehoboam, what is known of his past actions and thoughts, his present options, and where the system sees him in years to come.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:54 PM on April 4


Maybe Angela is inside Charlotte's body. She was one of the original Hosts and part of the Argos Initiative.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:03 PM on April 6


My money is on Clementine-in-Hale. Based solely on the facial expressions and mannerisms as she was booting up. I could also believe Prime-Dolores, that certainly makes sense from the trust point of view.

Shout out for the Mirror Worlds reference, just the sort of mid-90s not-quite-famous CS speculation you'd want writers to be reading to bring in some new ideas to a show.

Didn't much care for the episode other than all the bits with Aaron Paul. His character, the actor, it's a bit of fresh air this show has needed.

What I really resented was the lazy writers trick of putting children in peril to heighten the emotional stakes of the show. Aaron's backstory in the diner felt sappy and maudlin to me. I'll give it a pass because I liked the character and also it let them reveal the creepy depths of Rehoboam's information. But the pedophile-in-the-park thing was pure garbage. They were looking for some way to give Whoever-in-Hale a chance to demonstrate she's a vicious predator herself. So what better way to raise the stakes than bring in a creepy pedo, the boogeyman of every paranoid parent whose kid plays in the park, and then murder him a minute later? Just really dumb and manipulative writing. Humpf.
posted by Nelson at 7:17 AM on May 16


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