Westworld season 3 has focused heavily on its villains up to now, without actually giving audiences anyone to root for, but is that the point? With each passing event, Westworld’s third season has felt increasingly removed from the rest of the sequence. Aside from a brand-new setting and a vastly slimmed-down cast of characters, the latest installment (“Decoherence”) saw Serac set fire to the saved hosts at the Westworld park and also dissolve all Delos’ resources, ensuring that the format and style of the original season will likely never return. Together with Westworld’s soft reset includes a brand new dynamic for the heroes and villains of the series, and there is undoubtedly a heavier emphasis on the bad guys.
There’s Engerraund Serac. In addition to ticking each box around the bond villain’ checklist, Serac has executed those who so is blackmailing Maeve to do his bidding and slightly annoy him. Via Rehoboam, Serac has a stranglehold on the modern world, reaping the benefits from the shadows and quietly manipulating the mega-powers of Earth into his advantage. On the opposing side sits Dolores. Equipped to manipulate technology to her will and released from captivity, Dolores’ activities are more ethical than Serac’s. By releasing the profiles of everybody on the planet, Dolores has been responsible for rioting, suicides, deaths and more, and shows a startling lack of guilt. Even more concerning, this is only Dolores’ evil iceberg’s hint.
This leaves Westworld season 3 with a villain issue. Serac and Dolores have so far dominated The majority of the storyline butting heads, one plot discriminated against another in a struggle for superiority, with neither able to maintain the moral high ground. Even more problematically, 2 of Westworld’s biggest heroes are embroiled in the villainy.
Maeve is working for Serac, and even with his coercive tactics, Thandie Newton’s character isn’t the kind to be controlled – a portion of her desires to take Dolores down, even if not to the same reasons as her employer. Similarly, Aaron Paul’s Caleb is by far the most”human” personality in the Westworld Season, but his participation in Dolores’ machinations signifies the audience can’t fully get behind him either. The only characters who appear to be truly working for the frequent good are Bernard and Stubbs, that have been duped by the bad guys.
With two villains that are neither entirely evil nor qualified for salvation and 2 heroic characters that are caught up in the insanity, Westworld season 3 finds itself in the curious position of having no one the audience can get behind. Watching Dolores and Serac examine their vast resources is enjoyable but it is difficult to say which you would want to acquire in a scenario. Humanity looks screwed either way.
But, Westworld has ever dabbled in moral ambiguity (if not to such an extreme extent) and the lack of a clear hero and villain is likely intentional. The closing moments of”Decoherence” reveal the former Man in Black begins to find redemption thanks to a life-like virtual reality treatment session, which is confirmed when he’s recruited by Bernard and Stubbs, the authentic (if mostly futile ) heroes of Westworld’s third Season.
This gives a mirroring of Westworld‘s very first season – where Dolores was once the vulnerable hero being dominated by the evil William, Ed Harris’ character is now going to be the underdog within a vastly stronger Dolores.
This would affirm Dolores as Westworld season 3‘s real villain, as well as Maeve already fighting against her, also Caleb going to join in once he discovers the hidden reality of his past, each the protagonists could be lined up against Dolores come the season finale. But what of Serac? In lots of ways, Serac might be only a red herring.
The wealthy European businessman with gadgets and endless henchmen is this a stereotypical villain trope, his existence in Westworld season 3 may be nothing more than a tool to divert audience suspicion away from Dolores and offer a villainous character while Dolores’ treachery remains gradually emerging. Overcoming Serac might be the last step in Dolores’ transformation into the last manager of Westworld’s present run.