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Westworld S3, episode 1: O brave new world, that has such hosts in it, Ars Technica

Westworld S3, episode 1: O brave new world, that has such hosts in it, Ars Technica
    

      whatever gods may be –

             

Spoilers: A look at what we learned in the season premiere, and what might be yet to come.

      

                  

SYMBOLISM, YO.

HBO

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, (Spare thy people, O Lord) , and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? —Joel 2: , KJV

“The real gods are coming. And they’re very angry.” —Dolores Abernathy This piece contains heavy spoilers for the season three premiere of Westworld . You probably won’t want to read it until after you’ve seen the episode. Westworld ‘s third season premiere, ” Parce Domine , “is the first episode of the show to be set completely outside the park (well, okay, unless you count that post-credits scene). We don’t see the familiar dim corridors of the Mesa even once, nor do we hear the name “Robert Ford” uttered a single time. Dolores has slipped her bonds, wearing a stolen body and carrying five pearls out with her, and she is free.
Only, she’s not free — not really. Not yet, at least.
Welcome to the real world

In In the pre-credit sequence, Dolores appears in the home of a wealthy Delos shareholder (and former park visitor) and gives us some hints at how she plans to rectify that situation. She has discarded almost everything from her rancher’s daughter persona — but she’s not really Wyatt anymore, either.

Her time reading books in the Forge has given her extremely penetrating insight into human behavior — especially the behavior of a few specific individuals . The sequence sets the tone for the season and also introduces us to some bits of technology that will play an important role in telling the story — like the augmented reality glasses she straps to Discount Brand Liam Neeson’s face.

SYMBOLISM, YO. (Enlarge

/ It’s never a good sign when Dolores zip-ties AR glasses to your face. (HBO) (As the end credits roll on S3E1) we come away having learned a lot more about the world beyond the park. The most important chunk of info seems to be that a big data company called “ Incite “has created a” It's never a good sign when Dolores zip-ties AR glasses to your face.

strategy engine “that” saved the world. ” The engine’s name is Rehoboam , after the son of Solomon, and it appears to be in control of a large amount of stuff — stuff that ranges from traffic patterns all the way potentially to scoring people’s suitability for careers . And maybe more than that. (The parallels between

Solomon and an all-knowing wise computer system are obvious, but actually naming your expert system “Rehoboam” instead of “Solomon” introduces an ominous bit of foreshadowing — Rehoboam, after all, was made to pay for his father Solomon’s sins and presided over a (fracturing kingdom in a time of war .)

Dolores starts the episode by acquiring some data about Incite and spends most of her screen time stealthily extracting information from Liam Dempsey, the CEO of Incite and the son of the man who allegedly designed Rehoboam .       

                   

                              

                                      

                      Presumably this is a representative view of Rehoboam strategizing. This is the first thing we see at the start of the episode before we cut to Gerald’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.                                                                                                        HBO                                   

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                          This one comes before the first time we meet Caleb.                                                                                                        HBO                                   
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                          And we get this one right before we meet up with Dolores and her magical transformer evening gown.                                                                                                        HBO                                   
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    But near the end of the episode we find out that poor Liam is just a means to an end and that she’s actually chasing someone else — a shadowy figure named “Serac.” Serac is the one who really built Rehoboam. Oh, and according to Liam, Serac is the only person who knows what Rehoboam is actually doing — apparently Incite no longer controls its creation and has no idea what it’s actually “strategizing” about.
    I feel like I’ve heard this song before. And last time it ended with a lot of people dying.

    The future isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

    We also spend some time following around Caleb Nichols, played by (Breaking Bad) ‘s Aaron Paul. Caleb is trapped in his own loop as thoroughly as any host — waking up, talking to his old war buddy on the phone, wasting time at a make-work job that appears to consist entirely of watching a robot install fiber optic cable, visiting his sick mother, and then using a Grindr-but-for-crimes app called “Rico” to make enough cash to pay his mother’s hospital bills.
    While Dolores takes us through the high points of the real world and shows us the glamorous and fully connected lifestyle of the ultra wealthy in the future, Caleb is our everyman stand-in, our window into the world of people who aren’t fabulously wealthy or otherwise connected.
    (and about as effective).
    (My wife Laura, who is far smarter about (Westworld) than me and who would probably be writing this review if she did not have her own full-time job, points out the downright palliative possibilities of using a therapeutic AI like Francis to talk to departed loved ones, to tell them the things you weren’t able to say in real life. I think there’d be real value there — that sounds like technology that could potentially have a positive impact on the grief process. The difference between that and Francis, I suppose, is that Caleb makes it clear that his continuing to receive “benefits” is contingent on interacting with Francis. And not just interacting — making actual demonstrable progress. That seems a little … I dunno, (crypto-data-fascist) . Laura also points out that it might be difficult for one to move forward to the “accep tance “phase of grief if the disembodied voice of your dead loved one keeps you mired in the” denial “phase. And if you’ve already accepted that person’s death, how damaging would it be to be forced to hear their voice again?)