HBO's fourth episode of sci-fi action thriller Westworld was a thrilling, satisfying adventure through the "world" of the future. For a series that tends to build questions upon more questions, it was satisfying to finally get some clarity as well as concrete answers. One of the biggest reveals this week was confirmation as to who was in those pearls Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) smuggled out of the park. This means that we're ready to do a deep dive into a look at "The Mother of Exiles," so here's the spoiler break as fair warning.
The twists and storylines came to a head this week in the most exciting fashion, and the only thing this week's episode did was fail to disappoint. Dolores has a hand in everything and we're rooting for her to take down the increasingly evil corporations that run this future world. Everything about this week's episode was a delight to watch and delivered the action, suspense, and stories we love from Westworld. Aah, this is what we came to Westworld for. No more mucking about with mazes and host storylines, just reality, and the choices one has to make. After all, the choices we make define our humanity (or lack thereof), right?
Westworld Reveals the Identity of Dolores' Host Pearls
Humanity aside, we finally found out who is in those host pearls – and it's none other than a handful of Dolores herself. Honestly, I saw it coming from the moment she started comforting Charlotte (aka Halores) last episode. There's nobody else Dolores would be that maternal and comforting with aside from a part of herself. Besides, it's very possible to make host copies as the pearls are just data at the end of the day. Despite that reveal being expected (at least for me), it still felt exciting at the moment. I don't particularly care if twists are predictable as long as they serve the story, and it made sense for this story and its characters.
The big reveal was for the characters who took her skin-suits at face value and didn't even entertain the possibilities of what else could be going on, because what reason would they have to think that anything was amiss in their cozy little worlds? Seeing Caleb (Aaron Paul) out of his element and kicking ass on team Dolores was exactly what I needed from Westworld: it makes sense story-wise and it is so perfectly done. Quality character work on being the "fish out of water" so to speak and scrambling to keep it cool and bring down "the man" who wants everyone to be a slave to his data.
That man happens to be Serac (Vincent Cassel), and he cemented himself this episode as the season's big bad – as if that were really ever in question. The way I see it, while information isn't a bad thing, using it to manipulate people's lives to match your extrapolation is so beyond self-serving and corrupt that there is no question as to the moral and ethical villainy of it. Also, he kind of basically blackmailed Maeve (Thandie Newton) into doing his bidding and hunting Dolores for him, so he's really not a great guy. I also still don't understand Maeve's attachment to her daughter and that whole past narrative storyline, and I had very much hoped we were done with that last season. Unfortunately, it persists, which makes me think that there's still more mystery to unravel there.
Maybe Ford based all the hosts off real people, like Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), and Maeve was based on a human with a daughter? Time will tell, but the one thing we do know is that she won't stay dead, despite meeting the business end of a katana and bleeding out. Thanks, Serac, for resurrecting your slave. I hate you. Long live team Dolores and her revolution. May you burn it all to the ground and make the man himself suffer. Goodness knows you've taken down one villain, and that's Mr. Delos himself, and it was glorious.
Oh yes, we got "The Man in Black" back, but not for long. Watch me as I wave "bye-bye" to the daughter-murdering scum who's now spending his days in isolated insanity. Karma's a bitch, ain't it, Jimmy? I'm sure next week's episode will have more gloriously satisfying karma in it, and I cannot wait. Can we fast forward to Sunday already, HBO? Please? Until we develop the ability to manipulate time, here's a look at next week's episode "Genre," which comes with an ominous episode overview warning to our players to, "just say no."