The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index is your guide to what we know, what we kind of know, and what we don’t know about Westworld, one of television’s more confusing shows. We will make mistakes, surely, because we rarely know what is happening or why (and whenever we think we’ve figured it out, they go and change it on us), but we will try to have at least as many jokes as mistakes. This is the best we can offer. Here we go.
What We Know
Serac is still a huge supervillain and, quite frankly, we love it
When we first met Serac In last week’s episode, he appeared to be some sort of secretive billionaire who works in the shadows to manipulate people and systems to bend them to his will. That was incorrect. Serac is, in fact, a secretive trillionaire who works in the shadows to manipulate people and systems to bend them to his will. I apologize for this error. It will not happen again.
We learned more about Serac than his four-comma status, too. We learned he’s “a black hole,” a negative space operator who doesn’t so much exist as he inhabits an empty area where something should exist. This is… cool. I’m sorry, it’s cool. This guy is a weirdo who thinks he’s a god, and who acts and behaves like both, and I kind of love him. Everything he does just screams supervillain at the top of its lungs. I’m surprised he doesn’t live in a hollowed-out volcano. I mean, my dude did this out of nowhere.
We have no choice but to respect it.
More relevant to the proceedings, though, we learned that he had real Charlotte working as a mole inside Delos so he could access all the secret information about all the guests who came to fornicate and murder in the parks. And now he kind of has robot Charlotte doing it too, although it’s unclear if he knows robot Charlotte is a robot, even though it seems like something an all-knowing gravity vacuum in the cosmos should know. But I’m just a simple recapper. I couldn’t possibly understand his methods.
He also has another high-ranking mole in Delos, according to him. That’s interesting. The man is a menace and I adore him.
Dolores is basically a Terminator
Well, turns out Dolores survived, thanks to an assist from Caleb, who used real-life medical training to save her when the techno-ambulance’s systems couldn’t, and then used his RICO app to identify the cops that showed up as assassins. This gave Dolores enough time to recover and then do the thing in the GIF above and the thing in this next GIF, too.
She really is basically a Terminator this season. A Terminator with a little Morpheus going on. That’s what I took away from her repeatedly saving Caleb with resurrection scalpel strikes and speeding motorcycle guardian angel maneuvers, as well as her revealing the secrets of Incite to him at the pier where their system thinks he’ll commit suicide in a decade or so. The whole thing creates self-fulfilling prophecies. It only invests resources in people that “deserve” them, which spits out everyone else, who was then proven not to deserve the resources by their resources-lacking failure. Why, it’s almost like a comment on society.
Anyway, Dolores has not, traditionally, been a big fan of humans. Caleb doesn’t know she’s a robot. It’s like we’re in Act I of a rom-com over here.
What We Kind Of Know
Aaron Paul sure does end up in doped-up peril a lot
In Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul played Jesse Pinkman, a small-time criminal and troubled soul who fell under the spell of a ruthless charismatic figure with big dreams and a dangerous mission for the two of them, a mission that occasionally included his character getting kidnapped and threatened by underworld figures who doped him up and used his skills/information to try to thwart his partner’s big plan.
In Westworld, Aaron Paul plays Caleb Nichols, a small-time criminal and troubled soul who falls under the spell of a ruthless charismatic figure with big dreams and a dangerous mission for the two of them, a mission that occasionally includes his character getting kidnapped and threatened by underworld figures who dope him up and use his skills/information to try to thwart his partner’s big plan.
Dolores is Heisenberg. Heisenberg is Dolores. It would be hilarious if her whole big plan to destroy humanity just involves cooking a lot of meth and hoping it tears apart the fabric of society slowly over decades. Get a robot Saul in there. See what I care.
We did it?
In a development that matters to not a single soul on this entire planet besides me, Dolores said the thing in the above screencap to Caleb while they were chatting at the pier. This raises a very important question: Does “you and I are a lot alike” count as a “we’re not so different”? Because if it does, that means Westworld has done the unthinkable and continued its now three-season streak of including this scene in the action. Here it is in season one…
… and here it is in season two.
My gut reaction here is to count it. Same tone, same delivery, same vibe. It really is a remarkable accomplishment. And it only took them three episodes this season. I’m so proud of everyone involved.
What We Don’t Know
Who is Charlotte Hale, actually?
Charlotte is a robot, that much we know. And that much her son, Nathan, appears to know, too, if that’s what we’re meant to imply from the little boy’s statement about wanting his mommy back. He’s the only one who appears suspicious so far, although that could change at any moment if robot Charlotte keeps tearing away at her flesh in an unsettling attempt to do… something. This is unclear. Is the real Charlotte trying to claw the robot out of her? Is it a malfunction? Is she just very mad at her skin? No one knows. I mean, someone knows, probably, and they’re probably in the Westworld writer’s room. But I don’t know. That’s what I’m saying.
Another thing I don’t know: Which robot is inside Charlotte? The scene with her and Dolores seemed to indicate that, whoever it is, they are very close. Is it… no. It can’t be. He went to robot heaven at the end of last season. But it does seem… I mean… the way the personality is so subservient and in love with Dolores… could… could it be my sweet dull boy Teddy? Did Dolores somehow resurrect Teddy Flood and put him inside the body of a high-ranking Delos executive with an ex-husband and a child and a closet filled with stunning pantsuits and cocktail dresses? Dear God, I hope so. I’m going to be mad now if it’s not Teddy. I’m kind of mad already that they’re teasing it like this when they could just tell us and move on. But I’ll be less mad if it’s Teddy.
Whoever it is, they sure did find their mojo in the moment where we all collectively learned that Tommy, the sweet kid at the park who let Nathan play with his dog, was actually Tommy, a fully grown creep who was using his dog to lure children into an area with disabled cameras. That was a twist. As was “Charlotte killed him and stole his dog.”
Did not see a dog theft coming when this episode began. That’s on me, though. Just a failure of imagination on my part.
That “You Are My Sunshine” is actually a very dark and disturbing song
There was a running theme in this episode about real Charlotte recording a message for Nathan as the Westworld massacre was going down. The message was a kind of goodbye that involved her singing their song, “You Are My Sunshine,” as chaos developed behind her. It was sweet and sad and yet another reminder that people do not know what that song is really about.
Everyone knows the chorus. Mothers and fathers around the world sing it to their small children. It’s nice. But did you know that song has verses? And that those verses will ruin the song for you forever once you hear them? Well, it does and they will. Here, look.
The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried
Well, that’s dark. Let’s see if it gets darker!
I’ll always love you and make you happy
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me and love another
You’ll regret it all some day
Is… is this song about a guy whose lover is leaving him and he’s making threats about it all? That’s certainly less cheery than the chorus. Well, at least there’s not a third verse that seems to imply the person telling the story has lost all hope and is teetering on the edge of severe depre-…
You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between
But now you’ve left me and love another
You have shattered all of my dreams
I am sorry for ruining this song for you. I feel like almost as much of a supervillain as Serac. Almost.