Westworld Season 3: 14 Clues You May Have Missed In The Mother Of Exiles
The plot thickens as HBO's Westworld reveals one of its biggest plot twists yet.
This week's Westworld proved that the show doesn't need a complicated, non-linear timeline to pull off some mind-blowing reveals. In Mother Of Exiles, we caught up with William, AKA the Man In Black for the first time in Season 3--and learned some extremely uncomfortable truths regarding the host "pearls" Dolores stole from the parks back in Season 2.
We last left William in sorry shape after he tried to break into The Forge during the host uprising. We knew he survived--sans a few fingers--but his mental state was obviously deteriorating. Season 2's post-credits stinger implied that William may even be a host--or, perhaps more accurately, destined to become a host at some point in the distant future. We may not be any closer to getting those mysteries answered just yet, but we did get a chance to see how he's handling things in the here-and-now. Unsurprisingly, it's not exactly great--and that's something Dolores plans on taking full advantage of.
Meanwhile, the truth of Dolores's stolen pearls turned out to be an absolute doozy, proving a whole slew of our theories from last week's episode completely wrong.
Needless to say, we're getting into full-on spoiler territory from here on out, so please proceed with caution. And, as always, share some of your theories in the comments below!
1. The Man In Black's Meltdown
We left William at the end of Season 2 with a major cliffhanger--the post-credits scene heavily implied that he was, in fact, a host who had been designed to believe he was human. Of course, like much of Season 2, the truth of that implication was left extremely vague--it wasn't even clear when in the piecemeal timeline it was actually occurring.
Now William is back for the first time in Season 3 and it's clear he's just as confused as we are. He has no idea if he's a host or a human, and his life after the massacre at the parks is in complete shambles. And we're still unsure just when that scene from last season took place, relative to this episode--although far future still seems likely.
2. Emily Grace
Emily, William's semi-estranged daughter, came to retrieve him from his insane crusade in the parks back in Season 2, but William was already too far gone. Believing her to be a host who was only pretending to be his daughter and part of Ford's game, he shot and killed her. It wasn't until after her body hit the ground that William realized she was actually real and that he'd murdered her.
3. William's fingers
During William's nightmarish meltdown, both of his hands are fine. But the moment he's snapped back to reality by Host Hale, we can see that his right hand is extremely bandaged. This is because, back at the park, he accidentally shot two of his fingers off when he tried to fire his jammed gun. Our best guess is that the state of William's hands will be a pretty major clue as to what's real and what isn't, especially as his paranoia continues to escalate.
4. "The Data"
Hale tells William that Serac is interested in "the data" Ford had been collecting, a reference to the harvested personal data gathered from every single human attendee of the parks.
5. Hollywood Aerial Tours
Stubbs is blending in with a very silly tourist t-shirt advertising "Hollywood Aerial Tours" where you can apparently board a fancy helicopter and be flown over the homes of your favorite stars. Apparently celebrity culture still exists in the Westworld future, it's just gone from buses driving around Beverly Hills to drone-like choppers.
6. Friston Custom Clothiers
Caleb purchases his extremely high tech suit at a boutique named Friston Custom Clothiers, named after Karl J Friston, a British neuroscientist most famous for postulating something called the "free energy principle." The free energy principle states that all life, from the simplest to the most complex, is driven by the same universal imperative--to "reduce the gulf between your expectations and your sensory inputs." This principle has gone on to inspire and influence the creation of machine learning and AI in the real world.
7. "The Divergence"
Each episode of Season 3 has started with a map of "divergences" around the globe and here we finally start to see why. Serac's program has been tracking aberrant behaviors, people deviating from Rehoboam's narrative, and it all started with Dolores and her revival of Bernard. Serac calls the site "The Divergence" but we've already been there once in a flashback--it's Bernard/Arnold's home.
8. "A wealthy man who drowned in his own swimming pool"
Serac is, of course, referring to Dolores' first victim from back in the season premiere.
9. Wicked Games
Westworld's tradition of orchestral covers of modern pop songs lives on. As Dolores and Caleb infiltrate the masquerade ball, the band is playing a cover of The Weeknd's Wicked Games.
10. Itaidoshin Distillery
The name of the distillery is from the Buddist term "Itai Doshin," which translates to "many in body, one in mind," meaning that many people sharing a common goal are more likely to accomplish it. This takes on a whole added layer of meaning in the context of the episode, given Dolores's copies.
The host Maeve encounters in Itaidoshin Distillery is none other than Musashi, the Shogun world equivalent of Hector--except, he's not actually Musashi anymore, just a copy of his body.
12. Dolores's Army
It turns out all of our guesses about the stolen pearls from the finale of Season 2 were wrong--Teddy hasn't been piloting Hale at all. Dolores didn't spirit anyone out of the park (except, apparently, Bernard, but even that's a little up in the air now), she only made copies of herself. Every human she's replaced has been taken over by a different Dolores backup.
William is institutionalized by Dolores/Hale and then visited by a familiar face: Blue Dress Dolores, who, at first glance seems like a hallucination. But, if you look at William's hand during this scene, it's covered in what looks like a compression glove--whoever took him in likely cleaned and bandaged his wounds before he was committed. Could this classic Dolores actually be real? Did Dolores make another clone of herself to ensure William stays as unhinged as he is now?
14. The Mother Of Exiles
This episode's title, The Mother Of Exiles, is another name for the Statue of Liberty, taken from the sonnet The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, engraved on the statue's base. "A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles."
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