Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) created madness throughout the world in last week’s “Genre,” but her enemies continue to make their moves. The battle for control of Dellos takes center stage in “Decoherence,” directed by Jennifer Getzinger. Serac’s here to make moves, but Tessa Thompson‘s Hale-Dolores stands in his way. William (Ed Harris), a.k.a. The Man in Black reckons with his past while in therapy. Much less entertaining than last week’s “Genre,” “Decoherence,” is held together by Thompson’s marvelous performance.
Waking up in a field, Maeve (Thandie Newton) realizes she has returned to the simulation. Serac (Vincent Cassel) arrives and tells Maeve she cannot fail him again. To fight Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Maeve needs help. She wakes up WarWorld again and begins to train up against the Nazi soldiers.
William (Ed Harris) sits in a group session in therapy. He goes off on a rant about how humans are worthless, and God doesn’t exist. It does not go over well with his fellow patients. His therapist pulls him aside for a one-on-one session, which occurs as Dolores releases everyone’s records. His therapist signs him up for AR Therapy but leaves the session after reading her Rehoboam profile. William receives the implant, but the monitors display he has “synthetic” components in his system.
Hale-Dolores (Tessa Thompson) arrives at her ex-husband Jake’s (Michael Ealy) house with Ethan. She leaves, but not before Jake tells her that he will not let a machine decide how he acts with her. Hale-Dolores meets another board member outside of Delos, but Serac has the board member assassinated. Without the board member, Hale-Dolores cannot stop Serac from taking control of the company. She alerts Dolores.
William finds himself in his AR Therapy, where he sees himself as a child. When he tries to break out of the simulation, the medical professionals rush in to sedate him (one guy loses his fingers first though). When he awakens again, he finds himself in a room with each of his personas. William appears as a Child, a Delos Executive, The Man in Black, and his younger self (Jimmi Simpson). James Delos leads the group-therapy session (Peter Mullan).
Serac arrived at Delos and begun acquiring his new assets. He tells the board he’s taking a few hosts but destroying the rest. The only reason he wants Delos is for its data. Serac also knows there’s a host within the ranks, tasking Dolores-Hale to find it. She then goes to back-up the host data before he can destroy it. She also discovers Maeve is being rebuilt and that Martin-Dolores’ pearl was recovered.
In the simulation, Maeve meets up with Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) at a bar. They discuss Serac, and she realizes that she’s getting her new body (with some upgrades). Maeve awakens Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), and with Lee, they head downstairs to talk to a naked Dolores (the Martin Dolores pearl). Maeve and Dolores speak about the future of Hosts, with each focused on survival. The two are opposed.
Hale-Dolores gets pulled into a board meeting with Serac. He reveals Hale as a Dolores, citing her humanity as the giveaway. Serac believes he’s caught her, but Hale unleashed a gas bomb in the room. The rest of the board perishes, and she shoots at Serac, who is revealed to be a hologram. Hale makes her way through Delos and escapes the compound. Before she leaves, kills Hector’s pearl and grabs Martin-Dolores’ pearl. Maeve wakes up in her new host body.
In William’s therapy, the group realizes they’ve never been passive. Young William stuck up for himself against a bully, but he broke the bully’s arm. William always showed a proclivity for violence, and he expresses it one more time by killing the other Williams. Whatever happened in the past does not matter anymore. Bernard/Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) rescue William, finding him thanks to Hale-Dolores’ tip-off.
Hale-Dolores picks up her family, and they drive away from their house. The car explodes shortly after it starts moving, leaving fire in its wake. A mercenary walks away from the explosion before Hale-Dolores crawls from the wreckage. With tears streaming down her face, the burned body of Hale is a gruesome sight.
Thoughts on the Episode
Tessa Thompson once again shows she has outgrown “Westworld” in every way. Despite getting the opportunity to lead the episode, Thompson deserves better. Her emotional turn here brings a half-dozen twists and turns. She displays her full heartbreak with tears dripping from her face as she stands in the wreckage of her Hale persona. She becomes an independent variable of the Dolores/Serac feud on the table. Regardless of who the mercenary worked for, she’s already turned on Dolores. Thompson on the warpath is precisely what “Westworld” needs right now.
The show uses Evan Rachel Wood sparingly this week, limiting her to one nude interrogation. The scene in question does little to advance the plot outside of giving Maeve another emotional reason to join Serac. Thandie Newton makes the most out of her time on screen as well, but it feels hollow. The show gives us little reason to side with Maeve. This has never been the case in the past, and killing Hector does little to make us side with her.
The Bernard reveal should help “Decoherence” feel essential within the context of the season. Uniting Arnold/Berard and William should yield some interesting results. Both hate Dolores, but they may have to make room for one in their crew. After Dolores failed to protect Hale-Dolores’ family, I’d project her to make the jump. What she does with Martin-Dolores is up in the air. If I had to put money on it, I’d lean towards Hale-Dolores continuing to be a mole for Bernard. Allegiances may break.