SPOILERS for Westworld Season 3, Episode 6 ‘Decoherence’
Well, one thing Westworld is known for is packing a tonne of content into its episodes, especially when nearing the end of a season. This week, Decoherence has us jumping between the arcs of Maeve, Charlotte Hale and William while integrating a number of surprise appearances from some familiar faces. There’s a couple of clever narrative twists, we get a couple of answers and there’s a couple more questions that arise, setting the stage for what will be two pretty intense final episodes.
Will-I-Am the good guy?
This episode brings us back to William (Ed Harris) who has found himself inside a psychiatric hospital (one of Serac’s institutions for ‘outliers’) thanks to Hale’s manipulation in episode four. It opens with William in a group therapy session with other patients where he begins commenting on the lack of a god and humanity being a bacteria. This is a stellar dialogue sequence from Ed Harris who continues to cement himself as one of the most compelling parts of this series despite only appearing in two episodes so far this season.
William goes off to a one-on-one session where he’s talking about what happened with Emily in season two, and he’s actually talking quite rationally about the whole thing. The therapist assigns him to undergo ‘AR therapy’ before, mid-way through the session, she receives and reads her Incite profile, causing her to leave the room in tears.
No time was wasted getting William ready for AR therapy as in the next scene he’s strapped to an operating table. When his blood is tested, the computer detects an unknown protein in his bloodstream, could this be what Hale pricked him with before he went into the facility? More on this later. William has a drip installed in the roof of his mouth, just like we’ve already seen Caleb has. Could this mean Caleb has also gone through this same treatment? That’s a probability. On his way back to his cell, he sees the therapist kill herself in her office… nice one Dolores.
Next up, William finds himself strapped to a chair where a doctor played by Louis Ferreira puts some goggles on him and throws him right into AR therapy. This sends William back to a memory of himself as a kid, but he definitely didn’t want to be there.
William wakes up in bed and is visited by a worker who goes to take him to a group meeting, however the worker is revealed to be Major Craddock (Jonathan Tucker), who we last saw in season 2. If it’s not clear by now, the next scene makes it very clear that William is still trapped in his AR therapy session. He enters a room where he’s greeted by Man in Black William, Suit William, Jimmy Simpkin’s William, young kid William and James Delos (Peter Mullan)… this should be fun. They’re all chatting and going back and forth, clearly so that William can uncover something about himself. He revisits the traumatic childhood memory from earlier and we get the famous line uttered once again by William; “If you can’t tell, does it matter”. William knows what he must do.
Cutting back to William later in the episode, he has brutally murdered all the versions of William in the room, finally realising his purpose in this world… he’s the good guy. Then he hears the voices of Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) who pull him out of the AR world. Looks like as the world outside went insane as a result of their Incite profiles being released, they forgot about William.
I absolutely loved William’s arc in this episode, especially the scene with the past versions of himself. It was funny, a little intense and gave us one last moment with both Jimmy Simpkin and Peter Mullan… who can argue with that?
Maeve needs friends
The episode opens with Maeve back inside the simulation, this time of the Valley Beyond, where Serac (Vincent Cassel) appears and tells her that this is what she can have is she doesn’t fail him again. She then tells Serac that she requires allies if she’s to take out Dolores. Then she wakes up, once again, in the Warworld simulation where she now has the ability to influence the world as she wishes. She takes this time to start killing the guards, pretty randomly. It seems she’s just buying some time in the simulation while waiting for her body to be rebuilt. Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) shows up for another season three appearance and they go get a drink.
Maeve still has the ability to see outside the simulation and realises that this simulation is being run from a different facility to before. When she says that she’s “home” it’s clear she’s been bought back to Westworld so that Serac can reunite her with some old friends. She then realises that a burnt control unit has just been added to the simulation… who is it??? Meanwhile, in the cold storage facility, some of Serac’s men grab Hector’s (Rodrigo Santoro) control unit and upload it to the simulation, finally giving us the Maeve and Hector reunion we missed in episode two.
Hale: behind enemy lines
Before making her way to the crucial Delos board meeting to stop Serac taking over the company, Hale (Tessa Thompson) drops her son off as her ex’s house. On the way into the building, she’s stopped by Serac’s men who kill one of the Delos board members, thus preventing the board from stopping his takeover of Delos. After informing Dolores of what just happened, Dolores tells Hale to download the host-making data and send it to her. Hale then begins to question whether Dolores actually has her wellbeing in mind… this is surely the beginning of this Dolores clone straying from her path.
Serac then arrives at Delos, locking down the facility and entering a meeting with the board, where within moments he secures ownership of Delos, bringing the entire company under the Incite name. He orders that his men copy over three assets from Delos’ systems and destroy literally everything else the company has. He then orders the testing of every Delos employee against Rehoboam’s predictions as he believes Dolores has a clone in the facility.
Hale acts on behalf of Dolores and goes to download the host-making data before Serac can destroy it. When a guard spots her doing this, she doesn’t hesitate to kill him and finish her download. She then transfers the data to Dolores and tells her that William is located at a facility in Mexico. Turns out that what she pricked him with in episode four was a tracker, so then what’s with the unknown protein found in William’s blood? Another question.
From here, Hale collects a gun and a suspicious-looking bottle before being drawn into a meeting with Serac and the rest of the board. Serac announces that he’s found exactly who the Dolores clone is hiding in, that being Charlotte Hale of course. Hale tells Serac that she sent Dolores the host-building data, but he already knows since he suspected she was the imposter from the moment he arrived. So did Hale really send Dolores the correct data?
Hale anticipated that she’d be caught out, so she used that suspicious-looking bottle to knock out everyone in the room with a powerful gas, giving her the opportunity to shoot Serac. But Serac was two steps ahead, attending the meeting as a hologram. Hale plots her escape, but not before stopping by the facility where Maeve is located.
Maeve is building her army
In the scene where Hale discovered the location of William, she also discovered the location of the facility that’s currently holding Maeve’s control unit and it looks like four host bodies are in the process of being printed, with Maeve and Hector included in the four. She also discovers that the burnt control unit added to the simulation is the clone of Dolores that was inside Martin Connells.
Inside the simulation, Maeve makes her way down to the famous host interviewing room where the Dolores clone is waiting. The two have a discussion about the fact that they’re both survivors in this and Maeve tries to get this Dolores clone to help her. Maeve then catches wind that Hale is in the facility outside the simulation about to put an end to her whole plan. Maeve tries to give herself more access to thwart Hale’s plan, but it’s too late. Hale takes Hector’s pearl and crushes it in her hand, thus killing Maeve’s love for good. Before she can destroy Maeve’s pearl too, she’s chased out by guards, grabbing the Connells clone’s control unit on her war out.
Following this, the host bodies are fully printed and ready to be bought into the real world. Maeve is the first to wake up, then the camera focuses on one of her allies, leaving the mystery of who it is for the next episode. We know she planned on bringing back three allies, one of those being Hector, who is now dead, one of those probably being Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) and the last one remaining a mystery to me.
That explosive finale
On her way out of the Delos facility Hale gets stopped by armed guards, but not for long. She activates the riot control mech that we saw a few episodes ago and it breaks through the wall, wreaking havoc through Delos, allowing her to escape with a few bullet wounds.
She makes her way to her ex’s house where she gets her ex and son in the car with the plan to drive off where no one can find them. Before they can do that, the car suddenly explodes, instantly killing both her ex and her son, leaving Hale to crawl out of the wreckage… burnt to a crips, but alive. She definitely does not look happy and will no doubt try to get revenge against Serac and potentially also against Dolores for putting her new family in danger.
That episode just put the pieces in place for the final two episodes. Where Dolores got a win over Serac in the last episode, Serac bites back and causes some problems for Dolores by taking over Delos. Does his takeover of Delos mean we’ve seen the last of the parks? We did see Serac’s men burning all of the hosts in cold storage with a flamethrower, so whoever would be rebuilding the parks has a lot of work ahead of them. This episode also introduces the mystery of who Maeve’s allies will be, which I’m sure we’ll get some answers to in the penultimate episode. All of content in here with William was fantastic. Having him back in the story is very exciting and it will be interesting to see how he plays alongside Bernard and Stubbs. There’s still more to uncover with William, such as what the mystery protein in his blood means, so hopefully we get come answers in the coming episodes. Is he human? Is he a host? Is he both? In the end, this episode delivered a tonne of information coherently, without falling into the trap of getting messy, and paved the way for an exciting race to the finish.