So you’re prepping to start another season of? You’ll need a slick new wardrobe, a former military man to befriend, and some bodies you can stick copies of your mind in. But if time doesn’t allow for all of that, this recap of the should suffice.
The first episode of Westworld season 4 premieres Sunday, so it’s time to take a look back at where things on HBO’s complex and fascinating sci-fi series left off. Season 3 took place largely outside of the notorious theme park, revealing more of human society in 2050, and ended on a cliffhanger. There will be eight episodes total, like last season, with more arriving on Sundays. If you’re ready, go ahead and bring yourself back online.
Caleb (Aaron Paul) joined the cast
The third season introduces us to Caleb Nichols (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), a war veteran who’s haunted by a memory of losing his friend, Francis, in combat. In episode 1, we learn he’s a construction worker and low-level criminal who takes jobs through an app. When he meets Dolores, he joins her on her mission.
Eventually, we find out that Caleb is considered to be an “outlier” by a machine called Solomon and its successor, Rehoboam. Because of this status, he underwent reconditioning therapy, a “treatment” that altered his memories. It was “effective,” according to Solomon, and Caleb was allowed to re-enter society. Not everyone was so lucky (more on that in the “pods” section).
It’s revealed that Caleb and Francis (who’s played by rapper Kid Cudi) both survived the war, and in a turn of events, Caleb is the one who killed him. Solomon offered each of them money to take out the other, and Francis turned on Caleb, forcing Caleb to shoot him. Another twist is that the crime app, Rico, was created so that outliers like Caleb would round up other outliers.
Maeve and Caleb are working together
Maeve reluctantly teams up with a new character named Engerraund Serac this season after Serac tells her that the key to the Sublime — where Maeve’s daughter exists — is in Dolores’ mind. Serac is a trillionaire who created Rehoboam with his brother, Jean Mi, and came to serve as a mouthpiece for Rehoboam. Serac/Rehoboam want the trove of guest data collected by Delos Incorporated, and believe the key to it is also in Dolores’ mind.
In the season 3 finale, Maeve switches sides at a crucial moment and helps Dolores and Caleb. She said she realized why Dolores “chose” Caleb to help her — not because of his capacity for violence, but because of his capacity to choose. Dolores leaves it up to Caleb to decide the future. He tells Rehoboam to “execute the final command” — putting a new strategy Solomon gave him into play — and brings about the apocalypse. More details on that big move below.
Dolores is no more-es. Well, maybe
In the season 3 finale, Rehoboam destroys Delores’ memories in an attempt to find the key to the aforementioned Delos data. It’s not there. It sure seems like Delores as we know her may be gone for good, but with this show, I’m not counting any possibility out.
‘Charlotte Hale’ is building hosts
It’s not the end for this Dolores duplicate. Season 3 confirmed that Dolores made copies of herself (her control unit/pearl) and stuck them into the bodies of Charlotte, Musashi, Martin and Lawrence. Pseudo-Charlotte helps Dolores by impersonating Hale, but she eventually gets found out, and it costs her. The last time we see new Charlotte, it’s in the finale’s post-credit scene, when she’s joined by a host version of William and looks to be building more hosts.
Host William has replaced William
Season 3 is a doozy for William. He has hallucinations of his daughter he murdered, gets tricked by the new version of Charlotte and endures some pretty unconventional futuristic therapy. When he emerges from all of that, William declares that his “original sin” was building hosts, and he’s going to wipe out all of them. However, in the finale’s post-credit scene, William is fatally wounded by another version of himself who answers to fake Charlotte.
A bunch of humans are still in those weird pods
Solomon reveals in episode 7 that the treatment given to Caleb only works on one in 10 people. So what happens to everyone else? Apparently, they get put to sleep in pods, where they “aren’t even allowed to live or die,” as Caleb puts it. In episode 7, we see what looks like hundreds of the eerie, gray, human-sized containers.
Caleb ushered in… the apocalypse
So back to that whole apocalypse thing. When Caleb makes his final move in the season 4 finale, he says he’s doing it to give the world a choice, like Dolores did for him. The show shifts to Bernard, who sheds some much needed light on Dolores’ intentions, and the consequences of Caleb’s move: “She wasn’t trying to exterminate the human race. She was trying to save it,” Bernard says. “What’s about to happen was always gonna happen. Serac and his brother were just holding it off. Humanity never reckoned with its own sins.” He adds: “Our world had to burn down before we could be free.”
So the reckoning is now. Stubbs, who’s with Bernard in that scene, calls it the apocalypse, and Bernard doesn’t correct him. At the end of the finale (before the post-credits), we see Caleb and Maeve looking out at some skyscrapers, which are shaken by explosions.
Bernard is headed into the Sublime
Bernard, not Delores, has the key to the Sublime, the place hosts like Maeve’s daughter currently occupy. In the season 3 finale, Bernard uses it, announcing that he’s looking for an answer to what comes after the end of the world.
We may see Engerraund Serac’s brother, Jean Mi in season 4
We saw Jean Mi in season 3 flashbacks, and it’s implied he’s sitting in one of the pods we see in the penultimate episode. In the season 3 finale, Engerraund basically admitted he podded (pod-ded?) his brother, per instructions from Rehoboam. Maybe we’ll see him once more when the show addresses those chilling capsules again?