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Westworld episode 2: Who is actual, what’s a simulation, and why something is feasible

Westworld season 3 is taking part in out, to place it in screenplay phrases, like an Act 3. There’s been no affirmation from HBO that that is the final season of Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan’s sci-fi epic, however the paths of hosts Dolores, Bernard, Maeve, plus the company entities entangled of their awakening, are all coming to a head.

Unlike seasons 1 and 2, there appear to be fewer mysteries to unravel, and extra moral dilemmas to confront. Is Dolores the hero or the villain of the story? Can Bernard preserve his bicameral thoughts regular sufficient to forestall her apocalypse (if that’s one thing he ought to even do)? And now in episode 2, “The Winter Line,” an analogous query lands on Maeve’s lap: does she should be Dolores’ buddy or foe so as to reunite along with her daughter?

The huge questions preserve the motion transferring at a thriller’s tempo. But that is Westworld, and Joy and Nolan are consultants at making us look a method so we don’t see the sleight of hand at work within the different route. Is there an enormous reveal ready to occur in season 3?

“Reveal” would possibly in the end be the mistaken phrase, however after episode 2, viewers could also be questioning how the present is as soon as once more toying with perspective. Or to place it in one other approach, the present continues to choose at a key theme: “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?”

[Ed. notice: this put up accommodates main spoilers for Westworld season 3, episode 2. While HBO supplied Polygon and different press with the primary 4 episodes of the collection, we solely previewed episode 2, so as to preserve spoilers for future episodes out of episodic protection.]

Explaining the entire simulation factor in Westworld episode 2

maeve and hector in war world in westworld season 2

Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Joy and Nolan dedicate the total hour of episode 2 to catching up with Maeve, who’s now trapped in War World. After reuniting with Hector, she realizes that is all simply one other loop she should break so as to discover an escape route. Lee Sizemore, having by some means survived season 2, finds her within the Delos restore rooms, and directs her to The Forge, the place all of the reminiscence cores have been saved. This is her likelihood to lastly get her daughter again, Maeve thinks … till she doesn’t.

Halfway by way of the episode, a glitchy Sizemore helps Maeve notice that this new loop is bullshit. Her escape from Delos is bullshit. Everything is bullshit. Her expertise, as she comes to grasp, is a simulation conjured by an unknown power who desires to know what Maeve is aware of. But having a grasp on her un-reality provides Maeve the higher hand, and she or he escapes her digital jail by way of brutal drone power. She hacks the system, controls a drone in the actual world, busts her core out of containment, and goes on a full assault in opposition to her captors. COVID-19 compelled No Time to Die to relocate to November, however fortunately, the creators of Westworld gave us a mini James Bond film within the type of Maeve infiltrating the layers of a digital actuality. Give Thandie Newton an motion franchise, you cowards.

Though gunned down throughout her escape, Maeve will get yet one more shot at existence, courtesy of a shadowy new antagonist named Serac. Played by French actor Vincent Cassel, the businessman admits that he suspected Maeve was behind a current string of murders, and hoped totally simulating the fact of the Westworld park would get her to interrupt. The plan clearly didn’t work, however it additionally didn’t matter! Serac is conscious of Dolores, and now desires Maeve — rebuilt in the actual world — to assist him seek out the renegade AI. She doesn’t comply, and Serac freezes her, flexing his energy over her laptop mind. She’s not used to that.

Maeve in the real world in a real white dress in Westworld season 3

Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Though the episode doesn’t supply a lot context, we do know what function Cassel’s character performs within the larger image of Westworld season 3. According to HBO.com, Serac (first title, Engerraund), is a “shadowy figure with vast resources,” and “one of the architects of Rehoboam,” the tremendous intelligence created by Incite to algorithmically place each citizen of the planet on a optimized path. Dolores is at the moment searching down Incite bigwigs. Serac desires Meave to place an finish to it. Who is aware of what’s true or what’s not — when you’ve gotten “shadowy” in your character description, there’s no telling what you’re truly as much as.

The season 3 premiere launched us to Liam Dempsey Jr. (John Gallagher Jr.), the son of Incite co-founder Liam Dempsey, who additionally invented Rehoboam. Perhaps Serac is one other figurehead on the enterprise, hoping to bump Junior out for nefarious functions. As a devoted viewer of Westworld, I really feel like I can’t even say with authority if Serac is an actual particular person or not. After two seasons of taking part in quick and unfastened with timelines and information-delivery, Joy and Nolan are hammering residence the concept no matter we predict we’re seeing on display at any given level might be a simulation — whether or not it’s a park, an individual, or existence itself. The solely factor I imagine is that I don’t belief any of what I begin to imagine.

Who and what’s actual in Westworld?

Here’s what we all know after episode 2:

  • Ashley Stubbs, having by no means been an actual particular person, is conscious of his host-ness, and now on Team Bernard
  • Lee Sizemore undoubtedly died, however was recreated by Serac to idiot Maeve
  • Meave’s core was retrieved by Incite, plugged right into a simulation, then recreated as a bunch within the “real” world by Serac
  • Everyone has the flexibility to create new lookalike hosts and completely new realities, so all bets are off.

After the season 3 premiere, I went lengthy questioning if Aaron Paul’s Caleb was dwelling in his personal simulated actuality — a minimum of on the aspect. The ex-soldier and blue-collar employee dabbles in petty crime due to an app that appears straight out of a online game. Maybe a bit too very similar to a online game. The premiere additionally has a personality bluntly postulate the likelihood that the actual world is a simulation, in a dialog we’ve all had too many occasions with intoxicated friends. The scene was a sign that Joy and Nolan could be as much as their previous reality-bending methods once more. Episode 2 establishes that it’s extraordinarily potential for any consciousnesses saved in cores to get plugged right into a Matrix-esque universe. Incite desires us all to stay in a utopia designed by AI, and now we all know they’ve the capability to construct worlds complete material — who is aware of the place that expertise actually ends within the confines of this narrative.

For now, Westworld has positioned itself as a brand new form of Blade Runner, a Maeve-vs.-Dolores showdown that received’t finish properly for robotic or human alike. But I’m nonetheless on the sting of my seat ready for yet one more twist. Episode 2 as soon as once more performed with the facet ratio to point planes of existence. Episode 1 could have been having enjoyable with costumes. Westworld is all the time hiding data within the margins, ready patiently to talk the bigger fact. Anything is feasible now, even because the story winds right down to a grand finale.

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