“Decoherence” was a good title for Sunday night’s episode of Westworld, and could in fact be a subtitle for the third season overall. No matter how many Reddit threads I force unto my wild eyes, it’s still largely unclear what is happening, despite the fact that we know exactly where we’re going to end up: With an epic battle between Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Delores (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a few mindfucky twists. (My theory remains that evil tech guy Serac, played evilly by Vincent Cassel, is the next evolution of host—no longer a person at all, but a physical manifestation of the simulation.)
The problem is, the elements of the story have become increasingly scattered over the past few episodes, and the concepts that have made this show fascinating in previous seasons—meditations on the nature of reality, consciousness, and what makes one “human”—have become muddled in an overarching tale of big tech espionage that is both rote and, in a fundamental way, detached from itself. Delores unleashing all of humanity’s Insight profiles was a fascinating bit of chaos that so far has gone virtually nowhere, except for mild character development for people we do not give a shit about, with apologies to William’s therapist.
“Decoherence,” at least, proffered two overarching themes: You are your own worst enemy, and loving anyone makes you weak. The first maxim was weirdly manifested in a fever dream in which William (Ed Harris) must face various iterations of himself in a group therapy session moderated by James Delos (Peter Mullan); because he already hates himself, he decides the only way out is to totally bust some heads with the metal folding chairs from AA meetings, destroying his past and leaving a path for his future.
And loving someone? That means you can lose them, as Maeve finds out when Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) squashes her lover Hector’s brain-pearl like an aging stress ball, and then as Charlotte discovers when one of Serac’s goons rocket-launches her SUV, blasting her hot husband (Michael Ealy) and adorable child (Jaxon Williams) alongside it. Love is a good enough reason as any to start a war, and at least it’s more coherent than Delores’s reason, which ceased making sense maybe five episodes ago. (Seriously, what in the hell is Delores’s motivation?) Watch the video above for decoherent ranting and a couple of conspiracy theories—Clementine!—from this episode.