What Happened This Week on 'Westworld' Season 3: "The Absence of Field"

Westworld season 3 seems to hit its stride with its third episode, “The Absence of Field.” It’s certainly the best episode of the season so far, featuring a killer performance from Tessa Thompson, and more insight into, uh…INCITE. We finally see what it is that draws Delores and Caleb together, and we also learn a bit more about what the hell new big bad  Engerraund Serac is up to. And those are just some of the things that happened this week on Westworld.

Charlotte Hale Has a Son

Charlotte Hale is dead, but very few people know that. And that includes…her son? This episode is big on Charlotte – the real, dead Charlotte, and the new, robot Charlotte. We still don’t know whose robo-brain is rattling around inside Charlotte’s noggin, but we do see that whoever she is, the new Charlotte is struggling. She’s prone to self-harm, and she’s haunted by just who she is. Complicating matters is the reveal that she has a son – something no one saw coming. And it looks like the real Charlotte wasn’t much of a mother. So now the new Charlotte has to grapple with this – slip back into cold and distant mode, or maybe try to grow close to her “son”? It’s not an easy situation. But after a mini-break-down, she seems to compose herself. And she also straight-up murders a suspected pedophile who was paying way too much attention to Charlotte’s son, Nathan. Best of all: She kept the pedophile’s very adorable dog to give to Nathan. And isn’t that what matters most?

Someone Has Secretly Bought out Delos via a Hostile Takeover

One of the things Charlotte has to deal with back at her official duties at Delos is word of a hostile takeover. Someone has been buying up stock behind-the-scenes, and that person more or less owns the company now. And that person is…Engerraund Serac, of course. We learn here that not only is he behind the hostile takeover, he’s also a trillionaire. So he’s got that going for him.

There’s a Mole in Delos

Someone has been feeding info to Serac to help him with this hostile takeover. And that someone is…Charlotte. Well, the real, deceased Charlotte. Unfortunately, Serac thinks the current robot Charlotte is the real deal, and he expects her to keep being his mole. That’s bound to cause problems, since it flies directly in the face of Dolores’ plans.

There Are No More Elephants

This doesn’t really figure into the plot at all, but we learn this week that elephants are now extinct, which is very depressing while also not at all surprising, because humanity’s stupidity is bound to wipe out more than a few species in the future to come.

Delos Has Created a Giant Riot Control Robot

It’s probably a safe bet that the gigantic, imposing riot control robot – one of 300 that were made, we’re told – Charlotte briefly inspects will end up coming back into play before the season ends. Call Chekhov’s Riot Control Robot.

Caleb Saves Dolores, Dolores Saves Caleb

Dolores and Caleb were both MIA last week, but this week catches back up with them. After discovering the badly wounded Dolores at the end of episode 1, this episode finds Caleb helping Dolores first get to an ambulance, then stop some corrupt cops who are gunning for her. Later, Dolores returns the favor, saving Caleb from being bumped-off by two goons who are trying to squeeze Caleb for info on Dolores’ whereabouts. And now these two crazy kids are a team.

Here’s the Deal with INCITE

Dolores takes Caleb out for some breakfast as a spot Caleb finds very familiar. It’s the diner where Caleb’s mentally ill mother abandoned him as a child – an incident Dolores knows all about. When Caleb presses her as to how she knows all this – and more – Dolores gives him the answer: INCITE. Remember that gigantic machine at INCITE – the one that no one really knows how to control anymore? Well, as Dolores tells Caleb, that machine was fed everyone’s raw data back in the days before there were privacy laws. As a result, every aspect of everyone’s life has been logged into the machine, so the machine can then make a composite of everyone – and predict their future. And by predicting a person’s future it also dictates what they become.

Case in point: the system’s predictive algorithm has determined that Caleb is likely to die by suicide in 10 to 12 years. This prediction is precisely why Caleb has never been able to land a better job, or crawl out of his lower-class status. “Before the system, a man like you might’ve had a chance,” Dolores says. “Now, you’ll never be any more than a construction worker or a petty criminal, because that’s all they’ll let you be. They won’t invest in someone who’s gonna kill himself, but by not investing, they ensure the outcome.”

This is haunting stuff, and further cements the bond between Dolores and Caleb: They’ve both spent their entire existences having their lives dictated by others.

the machine then predicts – and therefor dictates – what a person can become. According to the system’s predictive algorithm, the most likely outcome for Caleb is that he takes his life in 10 to 12 years.

Dolores Wants to Start a Revolution

So what’s Dolores’ big plan? Caleb figures it out pretty quick: bring down INCITE. Dolores wants to cut the cord on the system, which would effectively destroy the current world and all its trappings, and give everyone a chance to start over, and not live their lives dictated by some algorithm. Honestly, I don’t see a downside to this plan at the moment.

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