It’s been more than a week since Westworld Season 3 ended. Sadly, it’s safe to say that many viewers were not as impressed with season 3 as HBO would like. Now that the dust has settled, we can now take a look at what really went wrong with Westworld this season. And as we wrote before, a lot of it will have to do with the writing.
Just to be clear, it’s not the actors’ fault
The first thing that we need to clear up is that the actors are not at fault for the failure of season 3. This season the show, in fact, introduced some high profile actors into its cast, namely Aaron Paul as Caleb and Vincent Cassel as Engerraund Serac. Needless to say, Jesse Pinkman did a great job playing the not-so-ordinary ordinary man in Westworld.
Other than them, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Tessa Thompson, and Ed Harris did a splendid job playing their characters. But, all of them had their hands tied behind their backs because of the weak writing. That alone pretty much puts all the hard work done by the cast and cinematographers to waste.
Season 3’s writing was the real culprit
When deciphering the writing, we’ll have to analyze the plot of each of the main characters in Westworld season 3. Understandably, the first character that springs to mind is Dolores, and it can be summed up using these words: dishonest writing.
Dolores’s motivations contradict
Evan Rachel Wood did an amazing job playing a battle-hardened Dolores. However, this twist that Dolores wasn’t evil, but good the entire time wasn’t a twist, it was dishonest writing. Twists occur when viewers wrongly deduce something based on valid information, only to be revealed that their deduction was short-sighted. A plot twist cannot just brazenly change information, because then it just becomes lying. There were some twists in Westworld Season 3, like Dolores making all these copies of herself.
However, Dolores saying in the beginning that “I was taught to see the beauty in this world, I was taught a lie” is in direct contradiction of what she said later “I choose to see the beauty in this world”. The show basically lied to the audience. And her masterplan makes no sense. This is because for her masterplan to go through, how did she compel Serac to bring Maeve back to life? And if Maeve hadn’t scanned her brain before she passed, she would never have sided with Dolores. And then, there’s the massive coincidence of Caleb, the perfect leader for the revolution just stumbling upon her out of thin air.
The many problems with Caleb
We all loved seeing Aaron Paul in Westworld Season 3, but there are many instances where Caleb’s fortunes don’t make much sense. The chances of Caleb coming across Dolores were astronomically low. This is because Caleb wasn’t just an outlier, but one of the few outliers who actually benefitted from the mind recalibration program by Solomon. Moreover, he was also in Westworld as a part of a training program, where he encountered Dolores. How on Earth can such a valuable individual just stumble upon Dolores during that Francis mission at the start?
Moreover, Caleb has been through a lot of action throughout Westworld Season 3. He’s fired missiles on the streets of California, been through the top-secret outliers facility in Mexico, still a fortune worth billions of dollars, kidnapped the man to whom the fortune belonged and what not. Yet, the all-powerful AI Rehoboam, which knows and hears everything, wasn’t able to spot him? He was one of the few outliers that were successfully brought back into the system. Yet, Rehoboam and Serac couldn’t spot him even once until the Season 3’s finale? He and Dolores were constantly using the RICO app, which Rehoboam designed himself. But somehow, they couldn’t spot their biggest success story and enemy once.
And I’m not even going deep into how easily Caleb followed every single order and instruction given to her by Dolores. That’s even wilder. But, that brings us to Rehoboam and Serac and how incompetent they are.
Rehoboam and Serac are really dumb for an all-powerful AI and a trillionaire
Now, Serac was ultimately searching for Dolores in the finale to find the key and access to the data of the Forge. Then, there wasn’t any conflict between Dolores and Serac, since both of them wanted to get to Rehoboam, right? But okay, maybe he wanted to do it for the optics. However, he then plugs in Dolores into his all-powerful AI, directly. I mean, he knows computers and just decides to plug in a sentient host into his computer without any danger of a virus? That’s just astronomically dumb. But then, we get the really dumb plot twist that it’s Rehoboam that’s actually controlling Serac. And that kind of puts the entire Westworld Season 3 into jeopardy.
Think about it, if Rehoboam is so powerful, why didn’t he recognize that Dolores was near her at the start of Season 3? She is a Delos host whose path cannot be predicted and isn’t fed into the AI. That should raise a lot of red flags. Moreover, Rehoboam just let Martin Dolores leak the data of the entirety of humanity and didn’t do anything? Even though it was in control all the time? And then Rehoboam allowed a computer virus to enter itself through Dolores! This has to be one of the worst plot twists of all time, especially for a show like Westworld. And then, Rehoboam is so weak that Solomon is able to take it down by himself. You have to remember that Solomon is an outdated and inferior version of Rehoboam. If that wasn’t enough, Caleb just went on and deleted Rehoboam completely.
It’s easily the worst AI villain ever. AI villains like HAL 9000 must be rolling over in their graves.
Problems with the Man in Black, Bernard, and Charlotte
I’ll just briefly touch this because we have extensively touched these topics before. We have covered almost every episode of Westworld Season 3, after all.
Firstly, the entire scene where Man in Black realizes that he was inherently evil throws his entire season 1 arc into the trash. This is because the whole of season 1 of Westworld was focused on how his story with Dolores turned him into the ruthless man he is.
Secondly, it made no sense that Charlotte Dolores was so conflicted about her family. Charlotte herself didn’t care about them at all, and Dolores was a very ruthless character herself. How do two ruthless characters merging into one make her sympathetic to a family she never cared about?
And thirdly, at the start of season 3, we were told that Dolores had no control over Bernard and the two of them were aloof of each other’s plans. But in the finale, we learn that Bernard and Dolores are connected to each other? I just… give up at this point.
After all this, I can say that I am pretty much done writing about Westworld. That is probably why this season is rated so low. I will still somehow get myself to watch season 4, but it’ll be only to see how spectacularly the show will further fall from grace. But, I dearly hope that I am wrong.