Westworld Season 3 Episode 4: The Mother of Exiles | Review
On episode 4, everybody is out to get Dempsey, William is at rock bottom, but might have a shot at a comeback, and Hale holds the key.
Episode 4 continues to explore the trials and turbulences of the fugazía, a subject that has been explored on Westworld several times before. Fugazía is the psychological study into the un-real. In a world like Westworld, how does one differentiate between the real and the un-real? The episode opens with William asking and stating statements about what’s real and what isn’t. Prominently, the concept of reality is once again a centrepiece at Westworld. This episode, once and for all, cements Westworld’s status as a key piece in the Cyberpunk genre. What started as a digital western in modern times progressed to be the all new definition of Cyberpunk in the urban city.
Once more, after the brilliant second episode, we see Lisa Joy-Nolan living up to Her name as a member of the Nolan Monarchy by marriage. It is known for a fact, that the Lord loves the one who loves the Lord. Does the same apply on Lisa Joy? We all know that living in the same house with the omnipotent being that is Jonathan Nolan surely makes an impression on one’s mind, but in this episode, Lisa manoeuvres the twists as a true Nolanist.
Upon reading the episode title, I thought of the title as like “the MOTHER of all exiles”. In reality, much to our disappointment, that wasn’t the case. We did however get the mother of all Nolan twists, at least for the current season. The same omnipotent mind that brought us the paradigm-shifting twist of William = Man in Black in season one brought a magnificent payoff to one of the most burning questions from the ending of last season. In the middle of the episode, I said to my brother “no matter who it is in Dolores’ other pearl it’s going to be anticlimactic. Unless it will be Ford, which will be worthy of the wait only to get Anthony Perkins back on our show”. Nolan managed to surpass even my wildest guess and bring an answer to this question no one could have guessed — we have an Army of Doloreses. Or is it Delorai?
Speaking of Dolores, in this episode she established herself as one of the most lethal Femme Fatals in television history. I can almost hear Billy Porter presenting her in a category in one of the “Pose” balls. This puts us, the viewers, in a peculiar position. Who are we supposed to root for? Are we supposed to root for anyone at all? Or watch all sides involved destroying each other endlessly? We are still not sure if Serac’s intentions are pure- most likely not, though. As for Dolores, she is clearly not a straight-up hero in our story. Is the only pure side of the story remains in the misadventures of Bernard and Robo-Stubbs (with an emphasis on Heart-of-Gold Robo-Stubbs)?
The ball scene, looking like something straight out of The Great Gatsby, puts us in the midst of our first “clash o’ titanus” as they call it in greek mythology. We have Dolores and Jesse planning on kidnapping Millionaire Boy Patrice Dempsey Jr. What they don’t know is: Bernard and Robo-Stubbs are right there to… save him? Take him? Maybe… take him home like one of the prostitutes on the ball? A one on one battle between Dolores and Robo-Stubbs is almost as good as the one we’re going to have at the end of the season. For that, though, we’ll have to see a bit of back story about Bumble.
On the musical aspect, Ramin Djawadi keeps playing on the strings of our should with his beautiful cover version for the Weeknd’s neo-ertoic song “Wicked Games”. Of course, Djawadi did not neglect the electro-clash genre he grooms oh-so-well in the recent three episodes. Things are heating up for an explosive conclusion, even in the score aspect. We totally get the Blade Runner feels every time the Moog synthesiser growls at us from the screen.
Of course one must address our sweet Maeve, that finally come to terms with Sigmund’s mission and went to fetch a bone to him. We even got to witness a one on one battle of Samurai Meave and Yakuza Dolores. In the ending of the episode she found herself in a tough position, though I’m sure Serac will emerge from èh darkness to raise her from the dead, like our boy Lazarus from back in the day. Thandie Newton surely gives an incredible performance, and it will be interesting to see if she’ll repeat her victory at the Emmys this year, after she took a year’s break in the recent ceremony.
So, when we leave William, might be for the very last time this season, we’re left with a question. He asks Delores (the inner-mind version of Dolores) “am I me?”, to which she replies: “welcome to the end of the game”. Does that mean there’s a “final stage” or is it over for him? With what seemed at first like closing circle to his entire arc from the very first season, I’m sure Nolan has some things in store for us and Ed Harris will wear his hat once more in no time. Will we see Robo-William inhibited by Dolores’ consciousness? This seems like the most likely outcome at this point. What havoc will Dolores wreck in Will.i.am’s name? So, Is William Fugazy? Or does he merely challenge the stigmas of Mental Illness in pop culture? Will he overcome the psychosis? Will he ever wear black again?
We cannot wait to see how the story unfolds in the coming episodes. But one thing is certain. Nolanism shall endure this harsh turbulence we find ourselves in. With the help of Jonathan and Lisa, the future of the Nolanism movement seems much brighter than it seemed just two months ago. Westworld is having one of its best seasons yet, and we’re here munching popcorn while rooting for Robo-Stubbs.