Westworld: The Mother of Exiles
April 6, 2020 2:07 PM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The truth doesn't always set you free.

Westworld offers up a party, a sword fight, and a nervous breakdown (Zack Handlen for TV/AV Club; rating: B+)
“Exiles” does continue this season’s trend towards being more “fun” overall—it’s not a chipper outing, but there are plenty of great action scenes and cool moments to hold our attention. The episode even resolves a mystery it introduced last week, casually throwing out an answer to the identity of what’s in fake Charlotte’s brain like it’s no big thing. But “Exiles” also reveals certain problems the show is going to have to manage as it goes forward, flaws that have been inherent from the start but that mattered less when the focus was just on robots going crazy in a theme park. Namely that as much as I appreciate the turn towards a pulpier kind of storytelling, at some point, the writers are going to have to figure out what the stakes are in any of this. Are we supposed to be horrified that Dolores is willing to kill? Are we supposed to be rooting for Bernard, even though he’s kind of terrible at this? Does it even matter that humanity could die? Caleb is nice enough but everything else…
posted by filthy light thief (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
All those who had "They're all Dolores", you can pick up your no-prize at the box office!
posted by mikelieman at 3:54 PM on April 6, 2020 [12 favorites]


I'm not buying it. They all certainly don't act like Dolores.
posted by valkane at 4:00 PM on April 6, 2020


Off course they don't all act like Dolores. Once you set a copy free in another body, they're going to diverge.
posted by Pendragon at 4:12 PM on April 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


I predicted Hale was a copy of Dolores, so in a way I was extra right. I quite enjoyed the triple reveal.

This was my favorite episode so far just for the Maeve badassery. How I’ve missed that! I love the five-minutes-into-the-future touches like the auto-aiming guns. But a system where you can empty a person’s bank account by stealing a small amount of their blood and shooting it up is pretty darn insecure.

Trying to reconcile William’s fate with the season 2 finale post-credit stinger. Is the stinger now revealed to be a delusion? Or will Dolores eventually copy William’s mind into a simulation modeled on his guilt-ridden delusions to torment him endlessly, Black Mirror style?
posted by ejs at 5:30 PM on April 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


I hadn't thought they were all Dolores, particularly not Charlotte - something about her freaking out about her body felt downright gender-dysphoric for me, which is why I was thinking of male host-pearls Dolores might've taken with her. Dolores had Charlotte's form for a while last season without any ill effects that we saw, so I'm not clear why she's freaking out now. (Also, she ... left the park as Charlotte, spun up a new Dolores body at Bernard's house, brought that Dolores online I guess with another pearl, then ... rebooted Charlotte? Killed that one and made another Charlotte host? Did the first Charlotte-Dolores go off the rails somehow and that's why she had to make a new one? I have questions, folks.)

But, if Dolores did fork herself a bunch of times, what is she going to do once she's done? Keep all the extra-hers around? Can she merge all her 'selves' back together? Or will there be a battle for who gets to remain Dolores?

I loved the Maeve badassery. And Maeve being *smart*. As for emptying a person's bank account - you test their blood and don't have a photo on file?

I'm also confused about William and the end of last season.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:19 PM on April 6, 2020 [3 favorites]


Or will Dolores eventually copy William’s mind into a simulation modeled on his guilt-ridden delusions to torment him endlessly, Black Mirror style?

it's like Serac said -- when a human dies they just stop existing, but for a host, eternal Heaven and (more pertinently) Hell are potentially very real

honestly I've been loving this season so far. the storytelling has become much more straightforward and the show seems much less interested in the pontificating that made it such a grim bore particularly in stretches of season 2. the playfulness the show always had in spurts is now the prime highlight. it's much more agile at using the story itself to generate thought-provoking conflicts and situations (the divergence of the other-Doloreses, already teased by CharlotteDolores's issues last episode, are sure to grow) instead of relying on some very good actors to give often-leaden monologues to put in all the weighty bits

it's still westworld and therefore far goofier than it seems to think it is, but that's just part of the robo-DNA
posted by Kybard at 6:21 PM on April 6, 2020 [2 favorites]


I'm not buying it. They all certainly don't act like Dolores.

Off course they don't all act like Dolores. Once you make a copy, they are less than the original, and/or cause more trouble. Have you not paid attention to the lessons of Multiplicity (IMDb), or Calvin and Hobbes (Go Comics)?
posted by filthy light thief at 7:09 PM on April 6, 2020 [3 favorites]


if you say so.
posted by valkane at 7:47 PM on April 6, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Dolores Prime *does* have some sort of restraining bolts on her clones. She's able to order Charlores into analysis mode, and Charlores agrees that she "belongs to" Delores Prime. We've also seen that you can solder a loyalty into a Host by changing their "Core Directive".

Dolores Prime is doing some bad, bad shit to "her" mind. Minds. Whatever.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 8:38 PM on April 6, 2020


My wife and I noticed that nearly the entire Maeve sequence is a direct Blade Runner homage, down to the use of the Ennis house or motifs from it, noodle carts, a dangerous android on the loose, and a visit to an Asian medtech entrepeneur. We judged it meet and good.
posted by mwhybark at 11:28 PM on April 6, 2020 [12 favorites]


Fun ep! I'm mostly withholding judgement on this season until it's all over, but I think we can all agree that revealing the multi-Dolores twist in the first half of the season is a welcome change from the endless guessing games of S1 and S2.
posted by adrianhon at 4:03 AM on April 7, 2020 [6 favorites]


I caught the Blade Runner references too. Fun episode with some great action scenes. I always like it in a plot when all of the threads start meeting in the middle.
posted by octothorpe at 5:29 AM on April 7, 2020


Solid stuff. So what was up with Dolores giving William the gom jabbar there towards the end? Was that so she could visit him in his head? Or was her appearance there hallucinatory?
posted by jquinby at 7:00 AM on April 7, 2020 [2 favorites]


I think we can all agree that revealing the multi-Dolores twist in the first half of the season is a welcome change from the endless guessing games of S1 and S2

Amen to that.

Moreover, the white fluid flowing from the Yakuza barrels looked like host-building goo/bath, whatever that is. So, I suppose we know that Dolores' goal is to reproduce a lot of hosts as an army or new populace. But how do you make new personalities for them? Is that what Bernard would eventually do for her?

I love in the past two situations where an opponent tries to manipulate Maeve she's outsmarted them because her relationship with the original person was more complex. She's forever underestimated.

Aside: If you're watching this show and Devs, the conversation about William killing his daughter is fascinating and practically in direct conversation with the philosophy of that show.
posted by gladly at 7:52 AM on April 7, 2020 [4 favorites]


Devs, right! I was pondering taking a pass on that but now with the promising Tales from the Loop, this much-improved WW (goddamn, the production design alone!) and Devs, could be a fine season for TV SF.
posted by mwhybark at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2020


Delores might want to make any army of herself. She couldn't count on Teddy, Maeve, or Bernard to tow the line so maybe she's tired of politics.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:22 PM on April 7, 2020


Moreover, the white fluid flowing from the Yakuza barrels looked like host-building goo/bath, whatever that is
In addition to this literal interpretation, the scene was also another example of the show's recurring use of spilt-milk in its imagery.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:43 PM on April 7, 2020 [6 favorites]


I hope there is a scene where the local coroner has to examine Stubbs.
posted by Marky at 1:49 AM on April 8, 2020


Delores just got into Bjork, that's all.
posted by Kyol at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


So i dissent from the love-fest here for this episode.

The first half of this episode's clunky expository dialogue in short, emotionally vapid clips felt like fucking video game cutscenes. We were cringing.

However, when the plotlines converged in the eyes wide shut orgy, the 2nd half of bad-assery from Dolores and Maeve and the great visual wit employed more than made up for it.....
posted by lalochezia at 7:14 PM on April 8, 2020 [2 favorites]


Although I'm totally down with the milk imagery, I just wanted to point out for those that might not be super familiar with sake that although it is usually clear, it can absolutely look like milk.
posted by Quonab at 10:14 PM on April 8, 2020 [3 favorites]


I was relieved that as opposed to just planting the seeds of more and more mysteries they just flat out told us some stuff this time.
posted by GuyZero at 9:04 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm still on Team Murderbot and rooting for the destruction of all humanity. This is one of those gross, crapsack fictional universes like Blade Runner where humanity just needs stampin' out.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:33 PM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]


I would have expected that from ROU Xenophobe.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:39 PM on April 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


Six of one, half a dozen of the other
posted by mwhybark at 8:27 PM on April 11, 2020


This is one of those gross, crapsack fictional universes like Blade Runner where humanity just needs stampin' out.

Not all of them. Caleb is nice. Workbot 3000 died falling off a building trying to save him, too.
posted by mikelieman at 5:41 AM on April 12, 2020


Delores opening a can of whoopass definitely felt inspired by William Gibson cyberpunk to me.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:39 PM on April 13, 2020


I'm weirded out by the choreographed martial arts fight scenes in this episode. Did they have those in previous seasons? Did the choreographer from Daredevil need a job so the Westworld folks helped him out? It felt like it didn't belong here.

"They're all Dolores" seems like a strange twist. Why go through all the trouble smuggling out all the other pearls? How hard is it to copy a mind? Why would you trust a clone of yourself?
posted by Nelson at 11:17 AM on May 17, 2020


Why would you trust a clone of yourself?

This is actually really in-line with the previous themes explored in Westworld where the question is whether you can trust reality or whether you have free will.
posted by GuyZero at 2:27 PM on May 19, 2020


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