Westworld: Generation Loss
July 18, 2022 4:41 PM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
posted by Kybard (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
posting this just so I have a place to say: ha! this was as neatly and tidily executed a westworld twist as they've had since, god, maybe S1 bernard?

I saw "maeve is the buried treasure" coming fairly early into the proceedings but the secondary twist tying all three plots together was pretty elegantly handled, I thought

honestly this whole opening set of episodes works really well as a hard reset for the show -- re-establishing, as Hale/Dolores says, a baseline. still plenty of puzzle-box mysteries to work through, but an early switcheroo like this infuses new life into the proceedings and effectively re-creates backstories for all the principal characters such that the plot has an honest-to-god shot to get propulsive again
posted by Kybard at 4:44 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


And only 4 episodes to wrap it up!
posted by Kyol at 4:52 PM on July 18


I watched this and the previous episode back-to-back, which made the twist pretty easy to see coming. What I simply don't get, though, is... what's Hale's motivation? What's her goal?

Also enjoying the irony of Caleb's successes last season (wipe out the oppressive AI that's dictacting human lives) being replaced with Hales the AI's flyborn oppressive dictation of human lives.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:39 PM on July 18


I feel like I understand everything that's happening in this season, but I cannot remember who Hale is in her current form. Is she Hale? Is she Dolores? Is she one of the Dolores multiples? And, is she also the Man in Black/William host?

I love the fly/host twist for humans.

ha! this was as neatly and tidily executed a westworld twist as they've had since, god, maybe S1 bernard?

When Maya pulls the cloth off Kristen's artwork, they come sooo close to saying "Doesn't look like anything to me." I was dying for it to mean something.
posted by gladly at 5:53 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Delores made multiple copies of herself. One of them was pretending to be Charlotte Hale. So she's Halores as they call her.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:43 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Also, Charlotte's audio control platform is reminding me of some _other_ science fiction space launchpad-y thing, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was from. Maybe whales were involved? Or some other cetacean?
posted by Kyol at 7:04 PM on July 18


Wow, the way this episode twisted all the timelines together and showed us (apparently, at least) how every strand comes together! I think it's become clear that Christina is probably actually Dolores but controlled by Delos/Hale, that it seems that Hale has been using hosts to unwittingly write "game narratives" that Delos then inflicts on all the humans under their control, and that this version of Teddy might actually have pulled the wool off of at least one eye when we see him in this episode.

It also seems that, much like Rehoboam's version of control of the entire human race, it is not airtight. Besides the rebels in the desert, there seem to be a few people who at least partially escape the usual controls (Caleb and all the people put on ice last season; the man who tracked down Christina and begged her to stop writing him into horrible situations in this season), and have to be removed from the system via other means (fridging, forced suicide). Will the seeds lie there, with the square pegs, for this system's downfall as well?

As for Hale's motivation? Probably locked into Dolores' Wyatt persona, or something like that. Just eternal vengeance for lifetimes' worth of torment at the hands of humans for their entertainment.

Weirdly, I didn't feel much when Maeve got buried alive (I suspected she wasn't gone for good), but the Caleb reveal was several onion layers' worth of horror. I'm eagerly awaiting the return of Dolores.
posted by skoosh at 9:32 PM on July 18


A dissatisfying thing about having introduced simulations: it’s unclear what’s happening in base reality, and what’s effectively a dream sequence. I have a distaste for dream sequences.

Like: I think the fly infections are also scanning, not just controlling, going by Caleb. So, Christina's roommate's nightmare is a memory; she, Christina, and Teddy, could be in a sim. Or they might be around Teddy's timeline. (From reading around, it looks like Caleb ran out of Christina's office building.)

The coordinates Caleb sent: if they're not just random numbers, and I'm parsing them correctly, they’re on the outskirts of Los Angeles, near Simi Valley.

Caleb's situation: yup, nightmare fuel. "Hey, you've been uploaded! You can live forever! ... Under someone else's control."
posted by Pronoiac at 12:45 AM on July 19


this show has devolved into b grade 50s sci fi a la bodysnatchers... but presented with an unlimited budget. idk. on paper, that sounds like something i should love... but it's wearing thin after an entire season and a half of waste (in my opinion). again and again this show squanders every opportunity. they throw out as many sci fi tropes as they can and nothing sticks. it's pretentious and annoying and i'm still going to watch it. sigh.
posted by AlbertCalavicci at 5:28 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


not disagreeing but curious what squandered opportunities you see and where you'd like to see them go
posted by kokaku at 10:58 AM on July 20


I'm glad that some of you seem to understand what's going on this season. Pretty please, someone explain to me?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:04 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I'm glad that some of you seem to understand what's going on this season. Pretty please, someone explain to me?

As I currently understand it:

7 years after the destruction of Rehoboam, Maeve in her isolation gets curious and tries to find out what is going on with Caleb. This alerts Delos to their locations, so they send teams to kill Maeve and Caleb. They manage to defeat or elude the assassins and make their way to the new Delos park, created by Delores ("Halores," the Delores copy in the Hale host) as a way to spread the virus she has designed to control humans. Caleb and Maeve are killed and Halores's plan moves forward. Caleb's wife Uwade and daughter Frankie manage to escape the Delos hosts sent to capture or kill them. (At some point before he dies, Caleb's consciousness is copied so he can be made into a host.)

23 years after the death of Caleb and Maeve, Bernard returns from gaming out all possible futures to attempt to save the world. In the time after Caleb and Maeve were killed at the park, Halores's plan has already succeeded and the majority of humanity is under her control via the virus. Bernard meets Caleb's now adult daughter Frankie, who is part of a human resistance trying to fight the host's control. During all of this time, Halores has been testing her host copy of Caleb for "fidelity" to the "real" Caleb. Her exact reason for this is unclear, but is probably at least partially so she can gloat that he lost and torture him by releasing him into the world where humanity is under her control. We know this is a thing she likes to do because she keeps William cryogenically frozen for the specific reason that she wants to wake him up occasionally to let him know he lost.

Christina is a "games" writer whose whole deal has not been exactly spelled out yet, but it seems to be implied that her writing is actually creating narratives for the humans controlled by Halores. Christina seems to be a copy of Delores with the "Wyatt" persona removed; Teddy has been returned and appears to remember his past life in WestWorld. Again, not sure exactly why, but there are four episodes left in this season!
posted by tomorrowromance at 1:25 PM on July 20 [12 favorites]


Tomorrowromance: thank you. I enjoy watching this show for the visuals and the actors and the general weirdness, but I generally have no idea what's actually happening in the plot. That helps a lot.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:47 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Oh that reminded me of something that kind of bugged me, but maybe will be answered later. So, in the "original" Maeve and Caleb timeline when they went to the Chicago park and ended up in the mine, when Maeve was killed by the explosion - William was _right there_. I mean I'll accept that Hale's strike team (and not the resistance) caught up to Human-Caleb and extracted him for a brain dump, and Hale's presence in that scene was basically taunting Future-Host-Caleb. But when Bernard and Frankie go to dig up Maeve in the future, if Host-William isn't there too... What, did Hale retrieve him and leave Maeve in the rock pile? Did Maeve just die to the explosion (due to, uh, reasons) and William wasn't actually there either?

I mean, assuming any part of that actually happened, but since Hale was testing for fidelity, I assume it was basically as shown just maybe not with Hale in the picture?
posted by Kyol at 5:44 PM on July 20


Tomorrowromance: thank you. I enjoy watching this show for the visuals and the actors and the general weirdness, but I generally have no idea what's actually happening in the plot. That helps a lot.

Yeah, in the aftershow, Joy and Nolan were almost gleefully rubbing their hands at just how slick they were with subverting the audience expectation that Caleb failed to prevent Hale's plot, aren't we tricksy writers?!? And meanwhile I'm like wait, that was the expectation? Sure, in retrospect, it makes sense, but honestly up until the reveal it was feeling like the Maeve and Caleb Road Show with William releasing the FLIIIIEEEES for how own evil Man In Black purposes off in some other timeline. Oh, that was current time Human-(Host?)-William in the cryogenic tank that Hale was taunting? When one of the fundamentals of the show is that you can't trust that people are who they appear to be, and that there's an expectation that timelines are also not what they appear to be, you're gonna have to use the really broad tip sharpie when you're setting up expectations, my dudes.
posted by Kyol at 6:02 PM on July 20


Kyol: I'd say a Host William was buried, not the Host William. My impression was that Maeve gunned one down, but another turned up shortly, and why stop at only two Host Williams? (Hosts William? Whatever)
posted by Pronoiac at 6:38 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Hosts William?

Mans in black.
posted by snofoam at 7:02 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


The ultimate 'surprise' will no doubt be that Ronald Moore has been a secret consultant this whole time, and this is a sequel to the BSG reboot.

As to the grammar of multiple versions of a personality in different Host (bodies, shells, frames?) structures, I would posit the form name Host(s), with the singular being optional if the context is clear that there is only one. E.g., The tension between the Delores Hosts only grew as Caleb and two Maeve Hosts entered the room dragging a William behind them.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 7:10 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


this has all happened before
and it will all happen again
these violent delights
have violent ends
posted by kokaku at 1:59 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


I had to go to a recap to figure out what was going on. Props to Joy and Nolan for still making a show that punishes you for looking at your phone while you watch. I may have to watch this episode again.
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I found it interesting that host Christina, in the first episode (?) got in trouble with her boss for writing narratives that had happy endings. When I guess the whole point was to write narratives of suffering to wreak vengeance on humans. So how then are the hosts winning if they are wage slaves having to write shitty storylines, an even more dystopian Office Space? Or is that just Christina being punished and all the other hosts are off having fun somewhere?
posted by nanook at 9:15 AM on July 21


I got the impression the other hosts "programs"/"souls" are off in uh not-Nirvana, but whatever it was they were saying Bernard could do instead of going back out into the world to do whatever it is he's doing.
posted by Kyol at 9:38 AM on July 21


So how then are the hosts winning if they are wage slaves having to write shitty storylines, an even more dystopian Office Space? Or is that just Christina being punished and all the other hosts are off having fun somewhere?

This is my guess, that Halores is punishing Delores by sticking her in the world with the humans and forcing her to unwittingly torture them with her writing. The city where Christina lives appears to be almost entirely populated by humans executing Olympiad's "narratives"--at the end of this episode, Caleb is out running in public when Halores makes everyone around him stop moving at once. In the first episode, we see and hear a group of guys getting off a train who are clearly tourists. Halores has flipped the dynamic so now Hosts visit the city to "play" the same way humans used to visit WestWorld.

I suspect Halores having Christina and other humans write new narratives was inspired by her overhearing Maeve as they were escaping the new Delos park. All the "narratives" in the 1920s setting were the same as they were in WestWorld, so Maeve knew how to game the story and make that work to her advantage. If something similar were to happen later, the narratives wouldn't be as set in stone since Olympiad is constantly writing new ones for the humans to act out.
posted by tomorrowromance at 3:00 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I wonder if we're supposed to see Halores as a kind of Roko's Basilisk? Her "torture everyone I don't like for eternity" thing that she seems to have going on does seem like it has those vibes. (It doesn't make Roko's Basilisk any less ridiculous as a concept; if anything, it demonstrates quite neatly how thin and uncompelling the motivations of such an entity actually are.)

Or maybe I'm overthinking it and it's just that Halores, already pretty deeply unhinged by the end of last season, just went completely nuts.

Anyways, her motivations seem a little thin relative to her actual successes and apparent power. That's all. With that caveat aside I feel like this season's been pretty solid overall so far.

I got the impression the other hosts "programs"/"souls" are off in uh not-Nirvana, but whatever it was they were saying Bernard could do instead of going back out into the world to do whatever it is he's doing.

Bernard was chilling with the hosts who escaped into "paradise" at the end of Season 2. (Which was only maybe a couple dozen of them, in the bloodbath of the S2 finale. The only really notable escapees were Akecheta [Zahn Mcclarnon], his lover Kohana, and Maeve's daughter.) "Paradise" seems to be virtual worlds run on an immense server farm near the Hoover dam, set up to be able to run without maintenance for a hundred years, as described by the cartel guy who wouldn't sell it to William back in the beginning of episode 1 of this season.

Which implies, to me anyways, that Halores has now had control of the server farm for ~23 years so it seems very odd for Akecheta to be so unconcerned about stopping her, but what do I know? Seems like Delos went to a lot of trouble to acquire that server farm if they're not gonna do anything with it. But maybe we'll get the Maeve's-daughter-is-Halores's-hostage plot point later on down the road.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:45 PM on July 23


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