Westworld Season 3, Episode 6 review: All hail Charlotte Hale — Tessa Thompson is the MVP of 'Decoherence'

In Westworld S3 E6, the action pivots away from Dolores to three others: Maeve, Charlotte and William. But Charlotte is the one to watch.

Rohini Nair April 20, 2020 19:50:33 IST
Westworld Season 3, Episode 6 review: All hail Charlotte Hale — Tessa Thompson is the MVP of 'Decoherence'

This post contains some spoilers for Westworld season 3 episode 6, 'Decoherence'.

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Now on its sixth episode, Westworld season 3 is heading towards its finale, but 'Decoherence' — which sets up the conclusion — is a tad lacklustre. The action pivots away from Dolores to three others: Maeve, Charlotte and William. While the sequence of events involving each character plays out separately through most of the episode, they're also connected.

Maeve's control unit has been retrieved by Serac after she was killed in Singapore by her old friend Musashi, who turns out to be yet another of Dolores' copies. Serac reiterates his offer to a simulated Maeve: Stop Dolores and win eternal salvation with her daughter, or be stuck in some form of robot purgatory. Simulated Maeve makes the obvious choice, but notes that she needs some help to beat Dolores.

When she next awakes, she is back in Warworld, but this time her power — to control other hosts (or rather the simulations of these other hosts) — is back. Also back is Lee Sizemore. In conversation with Lee, Maeve realises that she has been "gifted" an additional power by Serac: she can now "look" into the room where a few host "pearls" or control units are placed and also access those. One of those pearls is Hector's, whom she brings back into the simulation and grants full cognition and memory.

Maeve, Restored Hector and Lee then head down to a room where another "gift" from Serac awaits: a copy of Dolores — courtesy Connell's pearl, which was retrieved after the explosion at the Incite headquarters. The idea is for Maeve to learn as much as she can about Dolores' plan through the Connell copy, although, as the latter tells her, each of these copies may have been Dolores to begin with, but they've changed based on who they were placed in and the paths those individuals took.

Westworld Season 3 Episode 6 review All hail Charlotte Hale  Tessa Thompson is the MVP of Decoherence

Still from Westworld season 3 episode 6, 'Decoherence' | HBO

Which brings us to the more consequential Dolores copy — Charlotte — whose narrative is the most exciting part of this episode. In the post-Incite leak world, Charlotte is preparing for a board meeting in which she hopes to take Delos Incorporated private. Serac nips those plans in the bud by having her ally on the board murdered, and delivering Charlotte a thinly veiled threat. A spooked Charlotte tries to pull back and calls Dolores, who urges her to move forward.

Serac arrives and puts his plan into motion, taking control of Delos. He also asks for all the asset/host data — all except for three units — to be destroyed. Further, he speculates that someone in Delos is possibly a host and orders screenings for all its employees. Charlotte manages to get a backup of all the data, but is intercepted by Serac who has been tipped off by how much more involved she's been as a parent recently (which would make the robot Charlotte more humane than the human Charlotte!). Of course, Charlotte has prepared for the eventuality of being discovered and shoots her way out of the Delos boardroom (there's a nifty sequence where she uses her cape-jacket as a murder weapon) before heading into the research and development wing below.

Here, she finds and disconnects the Connell pearl — and more importantly, destroys Hector's pearl, leaving Maeve to witness his death. Which, obviously, makes Maeve very, very angry. Charlotte also engages Delos' riot control robot to throw off her pursuers, and makes her back to her partner and son — only to have them blown into smithereens by Serac's men, in one of the only two moments with genuine emotional heft in this entire episode.

The other moment occurs in the William narrative. His therapist is in counselling with him when she receives a series of messages from her spouse: her leaked Incite profile (which predicts the loss of her medical license, an opiod addiction and affairs with her patients) has promoted him to take their children and move out. As William himself is fitted with an oral implant (like Caleb's), given a dose of sedatives and taken back to his room, he sees through the clear glass portion of her office door the top of her desk, her feet walking towards its edge, then dangling limply in mid-air.

William, under the influence of the implant, enters a "group therapy" session with various versions of himself: as a child, as the young man who first visited the park and fell in love with Dolores, as the upright and successful entrepreneur, as the Man in Black. James Delos serves as the moderator/counsellor. By the end of the "session", William has "killed" all his other selves and proclaims: "I finally understand my purpose." It is to be the good guy.

Huh. Bernard and Stubbs find William at just this juncture — apparently everyone has abandoned the facility he was being treated at. Elsewhere, Maeve's body is completed, and her simulated self once again has a corporeal form.

If we didn't have Charlotte's thrilling sequence this episode — filled with oddly cut transitions between the three storylines and requiring one leap too many — would have been a bit of a washout. As things stand, Charlotte saves the day. Will she have her vengeance?

Westworld season 3 is currently streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar. Watch a trailer for episode 7 here —

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