My disappointment in Westworld this season is entirely predicated on my expectations going in. While the first two seasons were at times opaque, they always delivered and left viewers puzzling over the plotlines’ deeper meanings before ultimately hitting viewers with a payoff.

Season 3 had this same promise, as Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) stormed her way through the human world in what was initially painted as a singular desire to destroy those who had put her kind—humanoid hosts—in a predicament that not only robbed them of free will but used them for humanity’s worst impulses, murdering and raping them ad infinitum, their consciousness of such things erased and reset until they could be sent out to experience the same. It was a motivation that we could all get down with, but Delores’s plan quickly befell the tedium of details and chaotic subplots it did not earn. By season’s end, and “Crisis Theory,” the story was so dense that even after being unraveled it didn’t compute, Delores dead or erased on a proscenium as Maeve explained she wasn’t really seeking revenge and destruction, just hoping to imbue humans with the free will from which they had so easily departed.

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Pardonnez-moi, as Serac might put it, but what the fuck? What a waste of astonishing talent—Wood, Thandie Newton, Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Tessa Thompson, the incomparable Jeffrey Wright. And so I leave you with my final conspiracy theory of Season 3, with the hopes that Season 4 does not succumb to it: I believe Westworld spent too much budget on cool-looking effects and had to truncate the season to eight episodes, leaving the intricacies of the plot untended and foisting upon loyal Westworld viewers a program that was never meant to be solved. Either that, or a 21st Century A.I. wrote this shit. My final wish is that Season 4 does not fall to this trap. Bonne nuit and au, as Serac might say, revoir.

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