TV

The ‘Westworld’ Confusion Index: Some Women Just Want To Watch The World Burn

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

HBO

Really, if you think about it, there is not much of a difference between Dolores and the Joker, philosophically

Or Bane. Or Tyler Durden. Or any chaos-obsessed villain, one who wants to see the world as presently constructed burn down so a new and more just society can rise from its ashes. The show spent most of the season trying to make us think she was doing it to replace the cruel and illogical human race with robots, but then, hey, swerve, plot twist, it turned out she likes humans and sees the beauty and kindness they’re capable of and wants to give them a second chance at building a society. That’s… nice. Her plan this whole time was for everyone to be free — robots, humans, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea, presumably — and she was willing to go to any place necessary to make it happen. Murdering the entire Delos board? Sure, why not? Killing what I assume is hundreds of people personally and thousands or millions indirectly? Yup. Going full-on John Wick about a dozen times this season alone? Well…

HBO

You are welcome to quibble with any and all of this, if you like. It did seem to happen quickly, this retconning of Dolores as a freedom fighter with humanity’s best interest at heart. And it does raise the question — especially after those shots of Maeve and Caleb staring out at a fireball-riddled skyline — of whether her work is now done. It looked done. We’ve been fooled before. The next season could open with her sitting in the Oval Office with a smile on her face and mass chaos unfolding out the window behind her. I don’t know where any of this goes from here. A few years ago, this was a weird little show about billionaires playing cowboy in RobotTown. Now, the whole world is tearing itself apart and Marshawn Lynch is heaving tear gas canisters around downtown Los Angeles.

You can say a lot of things about Westworld but you can’t say it’s not ambitious, you know?

Caleb is a decent guy, I guess

HBO

Two things are true here.

The first thing is that, as we learned, Dolores choose Caleb to lead the revolution not because of his tendency toward and proficiency at violence. She chose him because of his ability to make choices, to stand up for what’s right, to go against a group who is on the wrong course. She knew this about him because it turns out they had crossed paths once before, years earlier, when he was doing his military training at a Delos facility and pushed back against his fellow soldiers who wanted to enjoy the spoils of simulated victory by having their way with the female robots, Dolores included. It seems like a very small thing to base such a big decision on, but I guess it worked out?

Which brings us to the second thing. It says a lot about what a daily hellscape Westworld was for its hosts that, of all the humans Dolores came in contact with over the years, the purest and most worthy person she encountered was some soldier who was like, “Eh, I guess we shouldn’t brutalize these extremely lifelike robots.”

Some of the violence makes sense, when you think about it this way.

Maeve is the best

HBO

Outside of a few scenes where she and Dolores engaged in hand-to-hand combat while explaining their philosophies to each other, you could argue that Maeve did not actually have much to do this season, at least not as it related to advancing the plot. She was just kind of Serac’s goon, until she wasn’t. Her main contributions to this season were:

  • Carrying a samurai sword around
  • Killing Nazis
  • Delivering an absolute motherload of brassy one-liners that often ended with her calling the person “darling”

And do you know what? That’s enough. That is more than enough. I’d be fine if that was the whole show, Maeve in WarWorld slaughtering Nazis and calling Hitler “darling” before slicing him in half vertically right through his stupid little mustache. I don’t know why the show needs to be more complicated than that. Just one man’s opinion.

What We Kind Of Know

HBO

Charlotte is Dolores now

Well hello there, post-credits Charlotte, hanging out in the Delos basement with evil robot William and a few dozen hosts boiling and vengeance in your eyes and soul. I like the idea of Bad Charlotte with her scarred-up arm. I like that we could have a new antagonist. I like that William got his throat slit by his evil robot self because holyyyyyy heck was I getting tired of this William. “I’m going to save the world.” Okay, buddy. Whatever you say.

Barring a crazy time jump or a hard left turn into very new territory, it looks like next season will be Maeve and Caleb vs. Charlotte as the world burns around them. There’s a fun show in there. I hope they find it.

Rehoboam wasn’t that great

HBO

Some all-knowing futuristic science orb this hunk of metal turned out to be. Sucker didn’t even see its own destruction coming. And then it had to erase itself at Caleb’s command. Just a piss-poor showing all around. I’m glad it’s dead.

I am less glad Serac is gone, or at least incapacitated and ruined. He was so much fun, what with his supervillain moves galore, all the way up to and including putting Dolores in a painful torture device and demanding information from her. The man was basically a Bond villain. One of the old Bond villains, too, the fun ones. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him stroking a white cat or pressing a button that opens a trap door to a shark tank under the feet of an underperforming henchman. He was the best. Until he wasn’t. It’s a shame, really.

What We Don’t Know

HBO

What’s up with Bernard?

Bernard had a busy week full of things I did not care about very much. That conversation with the older version of his wife, played by an aged-up Gina Torres, was sweet and nice and did not seem to bring much to the table in an episode filled with street fights and the uncertain future of all of society. I do not particularly care about Stubbs and whether he lives or dies in that ice-filled bathtub. I did think it was funny that Bernard put on that helmet and drifted off into the Sublime while sitting on a bed in a motel room because, if we hadn’t gotten an update, it would have created a very funny “Huell at the end of Breaking Bad” situation. Funny for me, at least.

But there he was, post-credits, covered in dust and waking up at some point in the future. What did he see? Where did he go? What was he doing? At what point in the timeline is he waking up? Is the Caleb/Maeve arc still going? Is he thousands of years in the future, post-anarchy, in some sort of beautiful utopia? Is Charlotte running the world from a throne made of human bones? It’s all on the table, I guess.

Also… is Stubbs still in that tub? I bet he’s pretty rusty.

Is Marshawn Lynch okay?

HBO

This is all I care about, to be honest.

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