Westworld Meanders Aimlessly Through Third Season on Blu-ray

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Westworld Season 3 Bluray

WESTWORLD releases its third season on Blu-ray, and once again it's a season where I have no idea what is happening from episode to episode, nor do I know how it all tied together. The intelligence of the hosts -- robots built to look and think like human beings -- flit back and forth from the real world to the cyber-built world to the robot-populated theme-park worlds that you never know which reality you're in -- or, indeed, if anywhere at all is real. One of the character even states that it would be the ultimate mind trip if somehow an artificial reality was built with an artificial reality inside it, so they only thought they were in the real world.

Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) has escaped the confines of Westworld, the theme park where humans go to blow off steam but interacting with robots in an old west setting -- but mostly to kill them or screw them. And Dolores, she advances to the point where she can now remember it all, every iteration. But what is her goal now that she's out of the park? To destroy humanity? Save humanity from itself? You're always kept guessing, even as you try to not get thrown off the plot that spins and bucks like a wild bronco just let out of the gate.

One that that is sort of clear is that there is a larger artificial intelligence at work. Rehoboam is built on the personal data of everyone in the world for the purpose of predictive analysis. It is so precise and so efficient that it has mapped everyone's life to their final moment, provided certain choices are taken -- and it ensures the right steps get taken to make certain that the best possible future is achieved. This gets deep into the old philosophical rabbit hole of predestination versus free will, and it's been done better. What is for certain about Rehoboam, however, is that it has been utilized to make its owner, Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel), the wealthiest man in the world. And Rehoboam is aware of Dolores and her plans, which must be stopped if the ship of fate is to be kept on an even keel.

That's where the pawns come in. Dolores, being a computer program, duplicates herself into multiiple hosts so she can be in more than one place at the same time, including replacing the person of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) within Serac's organization. But this alt-Dolores realizes she's a pawn, and has been copied to die, and starts to get ideas of her own. Dolores has also conscripted a troubled man named Caleb (Aaron Paul), a human who pulls contract thefts, and who has already been an unknowing victim of Rehoboam's mapping.

Serac, for his part, takes charge of Maeve (Thandie Newton), another host from Westworld and one who has developed the singular ability to speak with -- and control -- other machines. All she wants is to reunite with the daughter she had in a life she barely remembers. Serac promises to reunite the mother and daughter, provided Maeve in turn works for him to thwart Dolores.

And somewhere in and out of all of this, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), yet another host who thought he was a human, wanders about trying to figure out what Dolores's ultimate plan is, bringing to his side William, the Man in Black (Ed Harris), who is determined to finally "save the world" by killing every last host that exists.

This is definitely not the end of the WESTWORLD saga, as there are some dangling cliffhangers to be resolved. And oddly enough, those cliffhangers were the most interesting parts of the series. The show has some fantastic, galaxy-brain ideas and one of the most outstanding musical scores in memory. But it loses itself in trying to get too cerebral, and then burying the cerebral in wanton mass violence that occurs for no reason, in repeated cycles. Clearer writing for the main plot, while retaining the attempt of a twist at the end would go a long way in making WESTWORLD a more enjoyable series.

3.0 / 5.0