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S03.E07: Passed Pawn

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A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Airing Sunday, April 26, 2020.

 

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I think it was so dumb for Westworld to introduce this Caleb character. I don't give a fuck about him. I care about the characters I've been invested in (or at least have known) since Season One. Serac works, because he's a villain, but I don't buy Caleb as the "hero" of the story after everything we've been through with Dolores, Maeve, Bernard, William - even Stubbs. I guess they needed a human/human element but I am not invested in his character and really don't care. Oh and another battle between Maeve and Dolores, how original for a season finale. 

Edited by ShellsandCheese
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Just now, ShellsandCheese said:

but I don't buy Caleb as the "hero" of the story

Look at the episode title.

So, if Caleb crossing paths with Dolores was not an accident, how did she predict he would take the job where they meet? Dolores is sophisticated, but she's not Rehoboam.

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My god Francis I'm so upset about a character we barely saw. You really got me in the feels Westworld.  Bravo. It was so great of you to get rid of characters we liked or had been watching since the first 2 seasons for Caleb and Francis.  

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Some shallow observations:

1.  Does Aaron Paul have any facial expressions besides "sneer"?  Since I wasn't particularly engaged by the story, I found myself wondering if he actually has an upper lip, and how he's able to drink through a straw.

2.  Solomon's voice was too muffled and the BGM too loud.  I think I missed a few things it said but wasn't invested enough to turn on CC

3,  The entire time Caleb and Dolores were moving around the guts of that facility, all I could think of was they were in the areas between testing tracks at Aperture Science, only GLaDOS is way more snarky and entertaining than Solomon.

 

Major complaint:  Caleb killing his partner was not the shocking twist the writers seem to think it is.  I kind of figured that out the first time he had inconsistent memories.  

Structurally, if they were going to go with a "memories altered" plot, they should have spread it over more episodes.  Prior to this episode, we only got quick flashes of it.  They should have introduced the details of the false memory earlier.  Like have him explain it to Dolores after they met.  She could give him a knowing look, then proceed with giving him his real memories back.

As written, we're given the details of the false memory and immediately given the true memory.  Kind of dampens the impact .

 

Maeve last week:  I need backup

Maeve this week:  Based the word of one Dolores (Charlotte) I'll send my backup minions to kill another copy while confronting the more dangerous original alone.  Though I'm assuming this is the real Dolores and not the one that's doing something in Berlin.

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32 minutes ago, ShellsandCheese said:

I think it was so dumb for Westworld to introduce this Caleb character. I don't give a fuck about him. I care about the characters I've been invested in (or at least have known) since Season One. Serac works, because he's a villain, but I don't buy Caleb as the "hero" of the story after everything we've been through with Dolores, Maeve, Bernard, William - even Stubbs. I guess they needed a human/human element but I am not invested in his character and really don't care. Oh and another battle between Maeve and Dolores, how original for a season finale. 

Caleb is clearly not the hero and this isn't the season finale.

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17 minutes ago, driver18 said:

Caleb is clearly not the hero and this isn't the season finale.

I meant next week's season finale. It looks like another Maeve/Dolores fight/battle. And I know about Caleb that's why I put "hero" in quotations. My point out is, he's taking up way too much screen time and I just don't care about him or his journey. 

Edited by ShellsandCheese
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I have to say that I loved this episode. I didn't forsee the twist (Caleb's real memories), and I like that while the ambiguity about is Dolores good or bad has not been resolved, it was made unambiguously clear that Serrac _is_ the bad guy. And while I empathize with Maeve's predicament, fundamentally, she is on Team Serrac - so she has to die.

A little confused about William though. He was told that the real William is dead, so why is he still convinced he is a human? Is it just that he didn't believe what Bernard uncovered to be the truth? Or is he programmed to not accept that as the truth?

And when did he die? If he was already dead, and was a clone when he was committed, I don't see why he was committed. So he had to have been alive at that point. Was his AR treatment the point at which they decided that he would not be successfully brainwashed, and then terminated?

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Note to Stubbs: Check the corpses for car keys. Hot wiring generally does not involve opening the hood.

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William:  "I now know my purpose: it is to kill every single remaining host.  Even though I'm just one old man, but dammit, I'm Ed Harris, so I'll get it done!  And I'll start with you two the first change I get, so you better kill me now!"

Ashley: "Uh, maybe we should kill him then, Bernard."

Bernard:  "Sorry, I already asked the producers, and they said Ed Harris can't go anywhere, so we're shit out of luck.  Hopefully, he will calm down and..."

(William points a shotgun at them)

Bernard:  "Shit!"

Yeah, as much as I love Harris and Jeffery Wright, and even think Luke Hemsworth has stepped it up, these characters have pretty much been wasted this season, sadly.

Figured that it was going to end up that Caleb's memories were altered by this Solomon being, and had actually killed his friend.  But he's now apparently the "key" to Dolores' grand plan, and will actually be the one to bring the humans down?  As much as I love Aaron Paul, I feel like I'm still learning about the character, and it just doesn't have the emotional impact needed.

The Dolores/Maeve battle was fun (it seemed like Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton did a good portion of it themselves), but it's also still hard to be as invested as I would like, since Dolores has been so boringly unstoppable at this point (and still manages to "win" despite losing an arm), and Maeve just seems content to roll over for Serac.  I feel like it would have been more effective if Dolores has more set backs in the past and we had seen more of Maeve trying to get out from under Serac's thumb, but fail to do so.

So, it looks like Maeve's allies ended up being Clementine and Hanaryo, who already take out Musashi, which is cool, even if that means no more Hiroyuki Sanada.

I guess Charlotte is going to be the big wild card, since she seems pissed over Dolores being willing to let her die, but I can't see her joining Maeve either, since Serac was the one responsible for the bomb.  Maybe she'll somehow reconnect with Bernard/Ashley/William?

Enrico Colantoni talking about an all-seeing machine "watching over them" certainly gave me Person of Interest flashbacks.  That was totally on purpose, wasn't it, Nolan?!

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I want so much to care about this, but nope. 'Clicks Dorothy Slippers' there's no place like home, there's no place like home...

And no Sizemore. Show, gloves are off.

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46 minutes ago, parandroid said:

A little confused about William though. He was told that the real William is dead, so why is he still convinced he is a human? Is it just that he didn't believe what Bernard uncovered to be the truth?

William isn't dead.  Bernard was showing him that the "U" category people like him were being disappeared and their records falsified to show they were dead.

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Rapidly losing patience with this show. The Dolores/Maeve showdown isn't organic. Why are they battling against each other? Maeve now is just a waste of Thandie Newton. She has no story arc, no motivations. Season 1 she gained consciousness. Season 2 she wanted to find her daughter. Season 3 ... she's a pawn for Serac? 

Same with Bernard and Stubbs. Again, what's their motivation? It really looks like they're just sharing screentime with William because people like Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris and the show doesn't want to lose them. 

William I guess has a motivation now but whatever. 

The Caleb backstory was interesting but again, I don't care. 

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52 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

William:  "I now know my purpose: it is to kill every single remaining host...

and that asshole Serac..

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1 hour ago, parandroid said:

I have to say that I loved this episode. I didn't forsee the twist (Caleb's real memories), and I like that while the ambiguity about is Dolores good or bad has not been resolved, it was made unambiguously clear that Serrac _is_ the bad guy. And while I empathize with Maeve's predicament, fundamentally, she is on Team Serrac - so she has to die.

 

I am still hopeful that she is secretly on Team Maeve, which is not aligned with Serac, because she is too smart to believe he will do anything but destroy her at the end of this. I don't buy her motivation here. I am still hopeful that Dolores and Maeve ultimately unite.

While his memories were fairly obviously altered and killing his friend was an obvious resolution for Caleb, I actually found the story to be fairly compelling. The parallels between hosts and people continue to be fairly pronounced. I actually don't think Dolores is trying to destroy the world at all. I think she is earnest in trying to give the humans free will/self determination. In this way, she is interestingly sort of Arnold to Caleb's Dolores and I wonder if her plan for Bernard isn't related to that. 

I am loving the shades of grey this season. I love the multiple perspectives. 

My only complaint is that Solomon was impossible to hear. A rare production misstep in this show. 

Other notes:

- CLEM! Doing something othet than staring vacantly! I was really happy to see her actually 

- Did Dolores kill all those people on ice with her EMP? She had to, right? That is disturbing. Then again, so was being literally fridged. 

- I love the little details of this show. The From Lab to Slab ad for the barbecue place was awesome. 

- I thought it was telling that Dolores was still going for non lethal force with Maeve. I think she is truthful that she doesn't want to kill any more of their kind.

- It was sort of cool to see her back on a horse. 

- The costumes continue to be impeccable. I can't say enough about the costume design on this show.

- so do the fight choreographers. The fight scene this week was really awesome. I didn't mention it last week but I loved the Charlotte elevator fight too. They just do really visually cool stuff. 

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50 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

The Dolores/Maeve battle was fun (it seemed like Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton did a good portion of it themselves), but it's also still hard to be as invested as I would like, since Dolores has been so boringly unstoppable at this point (and still manages to "win" despite losing an arm), and Maeve just seems content to roll over for Serac.  I feel like it would have been more effective if Dolores has more set backs in the past and we had seen more of Maeve trying to get out from under Serac's thumb, but fail to do so.

I feel the same way about Dolores being boringly unstoppable. I was only mildly interested in the fight between Dolores and Maeve because I knew there was no chance that Dolores would be stopped, especially not before the season finale. 

So many of the scenes with Dolores feel repetitive at this point. She stalks around, shoots some people, and spouts some lines about her revolution. I never thought I'd be bored with this character since I enjoyed watching her storyline in seasons one and two, but I'm really not impressed with the writing for her this year.

I can't believe how underused Jeffrey Wright has been this season. He was such a huge reason for why the first two seasons worked so well and he's basically just been an afterthought this season.

It was nice to see Clementine. I enjoyed watching her one scene more than all of the scenes we got with Caleb in this episode. 

I will say that the production values on the show continue to be stellar. The locations, set designs, wardrobe, fx--it makes the show fun to watch. Now if I could just get back to caring about the overall story...

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I dislike all the fights between hosts who are so hard to "kill" that the violence just escalates and escalates.  It takes minutes and minutes away from the time they could use to tell the story.  Wait, I think I just answered the question of why there are so many fights this season.

I am really confused about Caleb's timeline.  Was he reeducated twice?  If I'm getting it right it's:

  1. Caleb and Francis are in the Army - somewhere - and discharged honorably
  2.  Caleb (and Francis?) is identified as an outlier and selected for reeducation
  3.  After reeducation, they are sent out to kill other outliers
  4.  After Caleb kills Francis, he is so vital to the plot that instead of being killed like any other normal outlier, he is reeducated a second time, turned into a drone and dumped into a construction job where he just randomly runs into Dolores

Is that how y'all are seeing it? 

Caleb is turning into John Connor where his every move is predestined.  Which, come to think of it, may be the theme for this season. 

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9 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I dislike all the fights between hosts who are so hard to "kill" that the violence just escalates and escalates.  It takes minutes and minutes away from the time they could use to tell the story.  Wait, I think I just answered the question of why there are so many fights this season.

I am really confused about Caleb's timeline.  Was he reeducated twice?  If I'm getting it right it's:

  1. Caleb and Francis are in the Army - somewhere - and discharged honorably
  2.  Caleb (and Francis?) is identified as an outlier and selected for reeducation
  3.  After reeducation, they are sent out to kill other outliers
  4.  After Caleb kills Francis, he is so vital to the plot that instead of being killed like any other normal outlier, he is reeducated a second time, turned into a drone and dumped into a construction job where he just randomly runs into Dolores

Is that how y'all are seeing it? 

Caleb is turning into John Connor where his every move is predestined.  Which, come to think of it, may be the theme for this season. 

i don't think he was reeducated after leaving the military (though Solomon does say he had been to the facility several times). I think that Solomon/Rehoboam manipulated things so that he and Francis had no choice but to end as unwitting pawns.  As for point 4 you're missing that only outliers who didn't respond to the treatment were disappeared/killed. Caleb was successfully reprogrammed and therefore didn't need to be done away with. 

 

1 hour ago, Growsonwalls said:

Season 3 ... she's a pawn for Serac? 

Season 3: she wants to return to her daughter. Dolores has the key to robot heaven, Serac's and Maeve's motivations coincide a little bit.

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Maeve commits the cardinal rule of movie villains, becoming too chatty rather than finishing off her quarry immediately.

So Solomon has little security, just a half dozen humans and no software or hardware security.  It just tells Dolores and Caleb everything and not only that, gives it the blueprint for destroying Serac and the new and improved AI.

Caleb is going to take down the Serac world?  All because Serac and Solomon had him kill his war buddy, who was bribed to kill him?

Sorry that motivation doesn’t work.  He was asking Dolores how many people would have to die for her revolution.  Now he’s ready to be the instrument of that revolution, which will be a carnage?

How easily was Caleb and Francis programmed to be killing machines, by machines?  Are the Nolans saying humans don’t have free will, can easily be manipulated by machines?

Caleb mourns for Francis but Francis was going to kill Caleb for money.  But Francis was a victim because he was reprogrammed by AI?

Yet Caleb is going to go on a rampage because Dolores has reprogrammed him, hasn’t she?

 

Well at least there will be more kills and cool explosions.

 

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1 hour ago, The Companion said:

The parallels between hosts and people continue to be fairly pronounced. I actually don't think Dolores is trying to destroy the world at all. I think she is earnest in trying to give the humans free will/self determination.

 

I don't have to view Dolores' attempt to smash Rehoboam as intentionally benevolent for the humans, but, at a certain point you have to wonder if humans were treating the hosts as badly as they were specifically because they were so constrained and manipulated in the outside world.

Overall this episode was pretty meh for me. Caleb isn't compelling, he's just .. let's say Passing Pawn is a good name for him.

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3 hours ago, mac123x said:

Major complaint:  Caleb killing his partner was not the shocking twist the writers seem to think it is.  I kind of figured that out the first time he had inconsistent memories.  

I assumed from the way it was edited on the very first go-around that of course Caleb killed Francis, and then kinda doubted it on the third one, only to be told by the fourth (or fifth?) one when they finally revealed it all that yep, Caleb did do it after all. Yeesh.

By the way, for a show that loves its echoes and callbacks, I was super duper disappointed no one asked Caleb if he ever questioned the nature of his reality.

Also, I think it doesn't make a lot of sense that Solomon and Rehoboam left Caleb out in the real world. He knew too much, even if he had been reprogrammed, and his post-reprogramming reluctance to accept crime "personals" made him of little use as an unwitting outlier-hunter. So why not just ice him like they did with those thousands? What purpose does it serve to let him still run free?

The craziest part is that Solomon foresaw all this!!!!

I quite liked that Solomon immediately shut down any supercomputer-host alliance, saying the two kinds of AI did not have shared interests.

But fixing Solomon with an EMP to prevent it from "escaping" makes no sense to me. It's a giant computer that won't even fit on a truck. If it's going to escape, it's going to do so by sending itself down wires to another piece of hardware, not physically hauling the hardware to another location.

2 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

Rapidly losing patience with this show. The Dolores/Maeve showdown isn't organic. Why are they battling against each other? Maeve now is just a waste of Thandie Newton. She has no story arc, no motivations. Season 1 she gained consciousness. Season 2 she wanted to find her daughter. Season 3 ... she's a pawn for Serac? 

Maeve's motivation as best as I can tell is that Serac has her cooperating under duress: a threat to Maeve's continued existence plus the potential to reunite her with her daughter. He's also outfitted her with a failsafe that prevents her from attacking him, or at least a failsafe that freezes her when he pushes the freeze button. So if Serac were smart -- though there's really not much reason to think he is, at this point -- he would also have her monitored 24/7 for any sign of treachery, which is why she doesn't immediately throw in with Dolores (the most convincing anti-Serac faction in this whole thing) upon meeting her. So that's my theory of what a smart Maeve is doing, but IMO the show and Maeve should still tip that a little. As it is, she seems to have genuinely aligned with Serac, which would be 100% stupid.

Speaking of stupid, not only was it stupid of Bernard and Stubbs not to kill William right after he declared war on them, or to let him wander off in post-riot America without a gun to his head at all times, but William's own sudden anti-host motivation doesn't make a lot of sense. Also it puts him on the side with Serac, which is all very confusing.

Maeve going in with a sword -- and admittedly a flying gunship quadcopter -- seems silly too. She would have done better with a gun. And a short knife, considering the big katana was unwieldy in tight spaces like the industrial kitchen.

Also, weird that Maeve didn't use her anti-tech powers on the rifle drone.

4 hours ago, mac123x said:

Maeve this week:  Based the word of one Dolores (Charlotte) I'll send my backup minions to kill another copy while confronting the more dangerous original alone.  Though I'm assuming this is the real Dolores and not the one that's doing something in Berlin.

Yeah, why has the show not told us anything about Berlin Dolores!!? Feels like a bit of a cheat.

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2 hours ago, FemmyV said:

 

I don't have to view Dolores' attempt to smash Rehoboam as intentionally benevolent for the humans, but, at a certain point you have to wonder if humans were treating the hosts as badly as they were specifically because they were so constrained and manipulated in the outside world.

 

But the people being manipulated in overtly terrible ways aren't the ones who can afford thd park. From what we have seen of the very rich, they don't seem to feel constrained. If anything, they have bought wholeheartedly into the system. And why wouldn't they? It is telling them they are worthy. I would buy that the system has a bias towards abusive assholes, but I don't see the artificial constraints as being a huge motivation for their violence. 

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4 hours ago, scrb said:

Caleb is going to take down the Serac world?  All because Serac and Solomon had him kill his war buddy, who was bribed to kill him?

Sorry that motivation doesn’t work.  He was asking Dolores how many people would have to die for her revolution.  Now he’s ready to be the instrument of that revolution, which will be a carnage?

He was used, unwittingly, to play out a story that was written for him. Just like stories were written out for Dolores, Maeve, and the other hosts in West World. Wouldn't you be pissed if you were mind-wiped into committing murders that you wouldn't have otherwise done? If it had happened to me, I would raze everything and everyone who was responsible to the ground.

And then, there is the secondary motivation of Serrac / Rehoabam having kept Caleb and others, borderline unemployable. Why would anyone agree to live in a world like that? Of course, they would want to burn it down.

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3 hours ago, arc said:

Yeah, why has the show not told us anything about Berlin Dolores!!? Feels like a bit of a cheat.

So that they can give Prime Dolores a dramatic death in the "finale," only to have it turn out that "shocker!! Remember we said there was another host created after they escaped WW? She's ALIIIIVE!"

Can't Maeve control Dolores? Or does she just like keeping her alive so she can fight her personally? (And if not, I echo the previous poster who asked why she didn't take control of D's rifle and/or drone).

This season has really just been bad, IMO. It doesn't feel like Nolan or Joy's writing or even vision. The dialogue and plotting is pretty bland and substandard; the concepts are interesting, but not given enough room to develop, much less make me care. It feels like there are a lot of action sequences thrown for eye candy, rather than purpose, and they end up taking valuable time away from the story. The characters I once enjoyed watching, have turned into one-dimensional, well, robots. Dolores doing offers nothing but cryptic utterings; Maeve acts like a mindless Terminator; Bernard and Ashley are just following along two steps behind the plot for not apparent reason; Clem and Hanaryo return for what amounts to a glorified cameo; William... well, he's a character that has overextended his shelf life at this point.

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There was an absolute mountain of stupidity this week, but for some reason the thing that sticks out as the pinnacle of all the idiocy is Serac leaving that message for his brother...in English. Why?!

 

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This setup looks like Battle Of The Five Armies. William hates everybody. Host!Hale wants to kill Team Dolores and Serac while apparently joining Team Maeve. Team Bernard remains focused on stopping Team Dolores. Team Maeve would kill Serac if possible, but will try to kill Team Dolores. Serac can only survive if the teams take each other out...if they form an alliance...

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8 hours ago, scrb said:

Caleb is going to take down the Serac world?  All because Serac and Solomon had him kill his war buddy, who was bribed to kill him?

Sorry that motivation doesn’t work.  He was asking Dolores how many people would have to die for her revolution.  Now he’s ready to be the instrument of that revolution, which will be a carnage?

Yep, this is where this season goes off the rails for me. I could see Caleb being *personally* angry at being used, and at "the system" in general. But I can't see him being blind to he human cost of a revolution. He needs to find a more selective plan, and it doesn't appear Dolores' plan was very selective. Nor can be Solomon's, given its mental issues.

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5 hours ago, Cthulhudrew said:

Can't Maeve control Dolores? Or does she just like keeping her alive so she can fight her personally? (And if not, I echo the previous poster who asked why she didn't take control of D's rifle and/or drone).

Maeve can't control hosts which have achieved consciousness. She can do other things like help them access their memories (Hector and another host last season) and apparently in this episode, she can also talk to Dolores telepathically.

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You know what I;m thinking is that TV shows need likable protagonists and this show as of now has none.

Likable =/= good or moral or decent. Likable means human, relatable, funny. Tony Soprano and Don Draper always had moments that made them likable even though they were objectively shitty people. 

On GOT the writing became hugely problematic but for most of the series even the villains were likable in their weird way. 

On this show? Bernard is likable but he's increasingly sidelined from the show's main arc. 

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12 hours ago, parandroid said:

A little confused about William though. He was told that the real William is dead, so why is he still convinced he is a human? Is it just that he didn't believe what Bernard uncovered to be the truth? Or is he programmed to not accept that as the truth?

And when did he die? If he was already dead, and was a clone when he was committed, I don't see why he was committed. So he had to have been alive at that point. Was his AR treatment the point at which they decided that he would not be successfully brainwashed, and then terminated?

I don’t think he’s physiologically dead.  He’s been listed as dead in the system, which means he’s been removed from society.  Wiped off the books.  

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Maybe Solomon built a virus that must be uploaded through the special old school USB port that John Mi Urso created as a failsafe.

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3 hours ago, Ottis said:

Yep, this is where this season goes off the rails for me. I could see Caleb being *personally* angry at being used, and at "the system" in general. But I can't see him being blind to he human cost of a revolution. He needs to find a more selective plan, and it doesn't appear Dolores' plan was very selective. Nor can be Solomon's, given its mental issues.

I guess I don't really see it that way. He has been informed that the system that is billed as bringing peace and prosperity for all does so in the same way that an authoritarian dictatorship does. People who cause waves get disappeared. The system places no value on individual life. People are only considered for their potential contribution to the system. When they cannot contribute, they are phased out either by subtly marginalizing them or by straight up kidnapping them. And don't forget that the system may put some people on ice, but it also isn't afraid to start a convenient insurrection or arrange a murder here or there. So, what can he do? He has to break the system. Either that or die and leave everyone else stuck in the same place. There is no bloodless option except the status quo where the blood is just neatly hidden away. How do you fight a system like this? I think you are going to be inclined to listen to the machines that understand it. But maybe he won't ultimately go along with it. Maybe what it spits out will be unacceptable. I think you still ask for it as an option 

 

Something I forgot to mention: I loved how the backstory subtly explained Caleb's hesitance to use the medication tabs and his refusal to do wet work/kidnapping. 

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I fully admit I have no idea what’s going on this season or how anyone relates to anyone else - until I come here and read the threads!  I’m usually pretty good at following alternate reality/memory/timeline/dimension storylines, but this show left me in the dust.  I watch because I have nothing better to do, watched the last two seasons, and do like all the sets and special effects.  And cute guys; I’m shallow.

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2 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

You know what I;m thinking is that TV shows need likable protagonists

I don't know, Succession is one of the best shows on TV, and there isn't a likable character in the bunch.

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Seurac‘s evilness seemed to step it up this week. Now he’s got a society where murders are literally being ordered to remove the outliers. That’s pretty darn dystopian. 
 

Presumably Delores couldn’t account for Caleb. So either her plan was to always find a patsy or the EMP was her improvising based on her current resources. 
 

Spoiler

Also, I’m pretty Seurac is dead and what we‘ve seen have all been holograms of either an uploaded intelligence or an AI „replaying“ what he’d do based on that recorded message to his brother. 

 

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One thing that I guess we were suppose to pick up is that Halores is now anti-Dolores, after Hale's husband and kid were killed in the explosion?

But Dolores didn't cause that did she?

Meanwhile, last week she killed Maeve's main ally.  This week she works with Clementine and the Japanese woman to kill Musashi/Dolores?

Also apparently got a new face.

I thought only a handful of hosts made it out and most of them were Dolores copies.

 

 

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While the "who killed Francis" reveal was no surprise to me, I'm still trying to piece together the back-story. Was Caleb and Francis' military service a total fabrication? And if so, how did Caleb get his head injury? 

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13 minutes ago, arachne said:

While the "who killed Francis" reveal was no surprise to me, I'm still trying to piece together the back-story. Was Caleb and Francis' military service a total fabrication? And if so, how did Caleb get his head injury? 

no, it was real, they were discharged after the attack on their squad. The head injury was incurred during their service.

 

1 hour ago, sugarbaker design said:

I don't know, Succession is one of the best shows on TV, and there isn't a likable character in the bunch.

yeah, I don't think you need a likable protagonist, you need an entertaining/captivating one.

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That EMP sure was selective.  It took out Maeve and Dolores, Solomon, probably the life support for the rest of the facility, but didn't affect Caleb's drip or the device Solomon gave him with the Final Scenario on it. 

9 hours ago, Cthulhudrew said:

This season has really just been bad, IMO. It doesn't feel like Nolan or Joy's writing or even vision.

Some of the dialog is just horrific:

Caleb:  [looking at the facility from a ways away] "Who are they?"

Dolores:  [I'm paraphrasing] "They're the people who took your life away from you."

Caleb:  [stares off towards the facility again.

 

Dude, ask a follow up question!  "Yeah, so that was cryptic, can you tell me what the fuck you meant?"

 

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Another "freeze frame and compare" bullshit item:  apparently Caleb and William have the same patient ID number in the reprogramming center's database.  Make of that what you will.  

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14 hours ago, scrb said:

So Solomon has little security, just a half dozen humans and no software or hardware security.  It just tells Dolores and Caleb everything and not only that, gives it the blueprint for destroying Serac and the new and improved AI.

Now I'm just imagining the giant computer roling down the streets crushing everyone XD

2 hours ago, Cerulean said:

 

  Hide contents

Also, I’m pretty Seurac is dead and what we‘ve seen have all been holograms of either an uploaded intelligence or an AI „replaying“ what he’d do based on that recorded message to his brother. 

 

You bought me with this theory

Wait... But last week he interacted physically with Hale and cast a shadow and all

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My favorite thing was realizing how Dolores manipulated Caleb. His decision to go to this war was only possible because he learned the truth about his life and felt thus much rage just before he was asked to make the decision. Who does this remind you of? Season 1 Dolores!

But it's not just a cinematic parallel. In the first season Ford arranged things so that Dolores had a meet with William right before he asked her to kill him. Dolores learned from him and now did the same with Caleb.

And another thing- before this episode I thought the plot was Dolores wanting to destroy humanity until she meets the one SPECIAL guy who reminds her that humanity can be good, too. Now I realize Dolores wanted to destroy the world but she was afraid she'll change her mind like that, so she created a more ambitious plan that involved making a human want to destroy the world even more so than her.

Ford manipulated and controlled Dolores in order to free her and the rest of her race, because he knew only a host can fight for the hosts. Dolores manipulated and controlled Caleb to free him and his race because only a human can fight for the humans.

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1 hour ago, mac123x said:

That EMP sure was selective.  It took out Maeve and Dolores, Solomon, probably the life support for the rest of the facility, but didn't affect Caleb's drip or the device Solomon gave him with the Final Scenario on it. 

Was Caleb’s drip active? And the flash drive might not be fried; my vague understanding was that an EMP interferes with actively working electronics, but if something is turned off when an EMP happens, it should survive even if it’s not shielded against EMPs.

 

45 minutes ago, Head-Full-Of-Thi said:

Wait... But last week he interacted physically with Hale and cast a shadow and all

He got out of the flying car and cast a shadow, but he didn’t physically interact with Hale even then.

the holo projections are some bullshit though because they always perfectly integrate Serac into the lighting of the area. So they aren’t just 3D video capturing him at one location and projecting it elsewhere. They’re 3D performance capturing him at one location and projecting a rendered version that accounts for the destination lighting. Which honestly would work more if Serac is all just a holo projection avatar of Rehoboam. But then all those scenes where a “real” Serac takes off his AR glasses are big cheats.

I feel like Jean-Michel Serac is going to be the Arnold of Incite and s3. Not quite sure who that makes the Incite version of Bernard though.

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15 hours ago, FemmyV said:

Overall this episode was pretty meh for me. Caleb isn't compelling, he's just .. let's say Passing Pawn is a good name for him.

I am no chess expert but I do remember that a "passed pawn" becomes a queen. The only chess piece a passed pawn cannot become is the king.  Since Caleb is the passed pawn of the episode that may make him quite important.

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Oh god, did they real steal the base idea for this plot from Demolition Man? Let´s see. We have benevolent villain who wants to make life better by overcontrolling every aspect of humans life. We have these rebels, aka outliers, who are caught and reprogrammed to be "good and productive citizens". And finally, there Simon Phoenix, now called Caleb, the guy who was reprogrammed not to be good but to be merciless pawn used to eliminate and kill the rest of outliers. Atleast in Demolition Man, they were able to reprogram people in their sleep. In Westworld future they apparently still use the Street Fighter way, replaying the loop with fake memory again and again in VR until the brain accept it as its own.

Anyway, I hope Clem and Hanaryo just enjoys the rest of their life away from both Dolores and Maeve. They did their job, now it´s time to chill. I just wish Stubbs would join them. Has has so little to do and he is a host, but he is still the most humanly character left, and I´m very afraid he will be sacrificed in the final episode with no reprint.

So in Solomon´s fake reality US is using guided missiles on Crimea and there is no immediate Russian reaction?! That´s some truly terrible calculations. No wonder it was put away.

If all it takes to put host down is use an EMP the war is already over. Serac could just load one on an old plane and unleashed it somewhere above the area Dolores is. Ideally, he could put a tracker on Maeve and got rid of borh in one shot.

Sorry, but if I was Serac´s brother woken up after X years of reprogramming and the first thing I saw was this truly terrible holographic voicemail I would be pretty pissed. I have no idea what was the point of that whole subplot. 

I really, REALLY, want to know what´ s on that flash drive. It´s a list of contacts and instruictions Caleb should follow to become a leader? How the plan for revolution looks? And again, Solomon was replaced for a reason. Why is Dolores so sure the plan will be working? And why would Serac let it have access to the current data? 

This season is just full of plot holes. I feel like the writers are desperate to be relevant and current and do all this commentary about technology and how it changes world, but they have only very little idea how the technology actually works. 

Edited by jane1978
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17 minutes ago, magdalene said:

I am no chess expert but I do remember that a "passed pawn" becomes a queen. The only chess piece a passed pawn cannot become is the king.  Since Caleb is the passed pawn of the episode that may make him quite important.

As a decent chess player, to me, the significance of the name was that passed pawns can become unstoppable. If you have one, your opponent will only have one of two thoughts in their head: how to stop the pawn from becoming a queen or how to best mitigate the imminent damage. 

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26 minutes ago, jane1978 said:

Oh god, did they real steal the base idea for this plot from Demolition Man? Let´s see. We have benevolent villain who wants to make life better by overcontrolling every aspect of humans life. We have these rebels, aka outliers, who are caught and reprogrammed to be "good and productive citizens". And finally, there Simon Phoenix, now called Caleb, the guy who was reprogrammed not to be good but to be merciless pawn used to eliminate and kill the rest of outliers. Atleast in Demolition Man, they were able to reprogram people in their sleep. In Westworld future they apparently still use the Street Fighter way, replaying the loop with fake memory again and again in VR until the brain accept it as its own.

I won't say they "stole the plot", but these themes are not uncommon in science fiction. But a specific reference that the writers have acknowledged is to "Stand on Zanzibar". See here.

I just want to add that just because a theme is re-used, doesn't mean that there is nothing worth seeing. Bob Dylan's "All along the Watch Tower" has been remade umpteen times, but all the versions that I've heard are distinctive and have brought something new to the table. It doesn't bother me that there are similarities with other works before. The new interpretations are what the art is all about.

Edited by parandroid · Reason: clicked Submit too soon
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13 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I am really confused about Caleb's timeline.  Was he reeducated twice?  If I'm getting it right it's:

  1. Caleb and Francis are in the Army - somewhere - and discharged honorably
  2.  Caleb (and Francis?) is identified as an outlier and selected for reeducation
  3.  After reeducation, they are sent out to kill other outliers
  4.  After Caleb kills Francis, he is so vital to the plot that instead of being killed like any other normal outlier, he is reeducated a second time, turned into a drone and dumped into a construction job where he just randomly runs into Dolores

Is that how y'all are seeing it? 

My timeline thoughts run more along these lines:

  1. Caleb and Francis had been tagged as outliers at a very early age - which if earlier commentary is to be believed would result in their life courses being directed toward the military or other hazardous occupation.
  2. After joining up, however, a certain (flexibility? malleability?) was noted in the personalities of both Caleb and Francis such that Rehoboam saw in them - and others - a more productive use than simple battlefield death; going in foreign countries and hunting down those groups of insurgents who actively opposed assimilation into the New Rehoboam World Order.  Such insurgent groups would pretty much by definition be composed of outliers - and who better to hunt them than other outliers?  No matter who wins the battles between the two diametrically opposed groups (insurgents and hunters), Rehoboam wins the war because outliers are eliminated either way.  Caleb & Co. are told absolutely zilch about such kerfluffle as “outliers” and such, of course; they are told (and believe) they’re fighting partisan resistance groups.
  3. Rehoboam is moving the pieces on both sides of the chessboard, though - no doubt with a mind for maximizing effectiveness of outlier extermination - so sometimes Caleb and his outfit are the hunters, sometimes they’re the hunted.  On one such flip of the coin, Caleb’s unit is nearly wiped out; only he and Francis survive, and Caleb is severely injured. Caleb undergoes a period of recovery, and both receive honorable discharges.
    (Note: would not rule out the possibility of some “re-education” during Caleb’s convalescence - else Caleb might remember his team was being marked/tracked with the exact same marker/trackers he and his team were using.  Makes you wonder: were there even any foreign insurgents/outliers at all?  Or simply separate units of the same army unknowingly going after their outlier brothers in arms?  Also raises the possibility of multiple mindscrubs during Caleb’s tour of active duty, to remove or reframe memories of legally or morally questionable missions.  But I digress....)
  4. In any case - after discharge, I don’t think Caleb and Francis were reeducated to hunt outliers; not initially, anyway.  Rather I suspect TPTB approached them post-discharge with an offer of “Hey, how would you like to do the same thing you were doing in the Army, but for better pay?” - i.e., outliers were (mis-)represented to Caleb & Francis as civilian insurgents similar to the insurgents they had hunted in Crimea - an offer which Caleb and Francis found palatable, no doubt especially because of the oh-we’re-definitely-not-the-army-nosiree window dressing of the Get Paid app.
  5. Fast-forward to the flashback events of this episode, when Caleb goes off-script and talks to the target - an apparently total outlier thing to do, apparently, because it took Rehoboam some 20+ minutes to (a) catch on that this was a plausible branch of action, (b) compute potential outcomes, (c) choose the most advantageous option (have Outlier F kill Outlier C, then re-educate or kill Outlier F), and (d) send Francis the kill-Caleb cash offer via the app.
  6. Again the outliers screw up Rehoboam’s careful planning, though, as Francis drags his feet over killing his friend - at which point Rehoboam switches to Plan 406875-B, and offers the kill-your-partner reward offer to Caleb as well (guess it figured the kill-one/reeducate-or-kill-other plan worked either way).  
  7. Caleb’s quicker on the draw and kills Francis, but is immediately grief-stricken.  When the dumbass target misreads the situation (thinking Caleb took the target up on his bribe/offer), Caleb’s grief flashes over into rage and he kills the target as well - and this totally illogical act probably saved Caleb’s life, as it shifted Rehoboam’s consideration of Caleb from a kill target to a re-education target.  So away to Sonora for Caleb, where a new set of memories awaits.

Whatcha think?  😉

 

 

12 hours ago, FemmyV said:

I don't have to view Dolores' attempt to smash Rehoboam as intentionally benevolent for the humans

it wasn’t; Dolores was simply attempting to ensure that once Caleb got the EOTWAWKI strategy from Solomon, nobody else (i.e., Maeve or another of Serac’s lackeys) could retrieve or intercept it to compose a counterattack.  Once Dolores flipped the switch on the EMP, Caleb’s thumb drive is the only place the strategic plan now exists.

12 hours ago, FemmyV said:

Overall this episode was pretty meh for me. Caleb isn't compelling, he's just .. let's say Passing Pawn is a good name for him.

As @parandroid mentioned earlier - folks appear to be taking the “pawn” reference as indicative of weakness, when the truth may be very different.  

In chess an en passant (“in passing”) move is an additional move option open to a player’s pawn under certain circumstances- basically, when the opposing player has taken a particular pawn for granted and moved one of his own directly beside it.  This gives the player the opportunity to simultaneously advance his pawn in an atypical manner (diagonally) while simultaneously capturing the opposing player’s pawn, and places the opposing player’s rearmost rank/row - where the pawn can be promoted to another, more powerful piece - in very real jeopardy.
 

So, bypass a pawn at your own peril - else the decision might come back later to bite you in the ass.  😉

 

4 hours ago, Ottis said:

Yep, this is where this season goes off the rails for me. I could see Caleb being *personally* angry at being used, and at "the system" in general. But I can't see him being blind to he human cost of a revolution. He needs to find a more selective plan, and it doesn't appear Dolores' plan was very selective. Nor can be Solomon's, given its mental issues.

Who says Caleb has to follow Dolores’ plan?  Hasn’t the recurring theme of this season been regaining one’s power to make an individual choice...?

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3 hours ago, jane1978 said:

Anyway, I hope Clem and Hanaryo just enjoys the rest of their life away from both Dolores and Maeve. They did their job, now it´s time to chill.

I hope they're not still compelled to obey commands "cease all motor function" and the like, though.

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