It’s been said again and again that Westworld season 3 is an attempt at rebooting the show. An attempt to make up for the disappointing second season while cutting to the chase. The episodes themselves have sort of attempted this, but the latest ep, “Genre,” is the most frustrating entry to date. Because there are some big, bold, fascinating ideas here. But they’re all laid out with no real artistry. The end result is oddly inert, which is weird since there’s a ton of action in this episode, and Dolores literally succeeds at changing the entire world. So what is everything still so…boring? Let’s take a look at what happened this week on Westworld season 3, “Genre.”
Serac and His Brother Built the Big Machine
In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this week makes it abundantly clear that Serac (and his brother) built the giant round machine – Rehoboam – that has been predicting, and altering, everyone’s lives. The idea came as a result of Serac and his brother watching Paris be nuked out of existence. As Serac tells us – or rather, tells Rehoboam, because he’s narrating this entire episode to the machine for some reason – the death and destruction of Paris proved that we were all living in a godless world. And so the Serac Brothers decided to build their own god – one that could save humanity from itself. But there’s a problem: some people defy predictability. Serac’s own brother is one of those people, and as a result, Serac locked his brother –and others – away to run tests on them. This is all good stuff, and great character building. In theory, at least.
Serac Killed Liam’s Dad
The money for Rehoboam came from Liam Dempsy’s very rich father, and for a while, the senior Dempsy was going along with everything. But when he learned about Serac’s plans to alter unpredictable people, he decided enough was enough. And of course, Serac couldn’t have that – because he says that the system predicted that if Dempsy alerts everyone to what’s going on, it would bring about humanity’s extinction. How? Uh…ask again later, I guess, because it’s really not clear. In any case, Serac bumped Dempsy off and made his death look like a plane crash.
Dolores Breaks the World
With Liam in hand, Dolores starts executing her plan. That includes telling everyone – and I mean everyone – the truth about the giant machine running their lives. Liam warns against this, saying it could cause chaos. But Caleb is fine with that – he’d rather live in chaos than in a world where people like Liam call the shots. Once the truth gets out, society does indeed seem like it’s starting to break down. By which I mean everyone looks very upset, people start getting into fights, and someone breaks a window. Anarchy!
Caleb Gets High
During the course of his kidnapping, Liam drugged Caleb in an attempt to get away. It didn’t work – Dolores instantly caught him again. But Caleb felt the effects of the drug, which is called Genre. It makes the user experience hallucinations as if they’re tripping through various film genres, like an action movie, or a romantic movie – this leads Caleb to go gaga over Dolores in slow motion. This is neat, in theory, but the way it unfolds is painfully lackluster. All I could think of as Caleb tripped out was how HBO’s Watchmen had a similar drug-trip episode, and how it was inventive, original, and often jaw-dropping. None of that happens here. Instead, Aaron Paul just stumbles around with his eyes wide.
The Martin Robot Blows Himself Up
While Dolores is out on the road with Caleb and company, Bernard is chilling with Martin, or rather, the robot version of Martin that Dolores created – and put her own copied mind into. Martin rattles off some cryptic exposition to Bernard, and then urges Bernard – and Stubbs, who is still alive – to get the hell out of there. They comply, and several of Serac’s people – including Martel, the role played by Guardians of the Galaxy actress Pom Klementieff. After informing a holographic Serac that he’s up to no good, “Martin” blows himself – and all of Serac’s goons – up. This includes Pom Klementieff’s character, which is kind of a bummer, since she was given absolutely nothing to do on this show before exploding.
Bernard is Part of Dolores’ Plan
Dolores still has more stuff up her sleeve, and it involves Bernard. How do we know this? Well, because first, Martin tells Bernard that he’s the “only one we can’t replace.” And then, just in case you weren’t paying attention, the show hits you over the head by having Bernard say “I think I’m part of Dolores’ plan!”
Liam ends up getting gunned down by Lena Waithe‘s character, and slowly dies. I can’t say I’ll miss Liam, because honestly – who cares about this guy? It looks like Caleb does, actually. Or at the very least he tries to comfort the dying Liam. As Liam lays dying, he croaks, “You did it.” Caleb doesn’t understand what this means, and yells, “Who do you think I am?!”, but before Liam can answer, he shuffles off this mortal coil. And now we have to add yet another thing to the ever-crowded mystery box.
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