Westworld Season 3 – What happens when you take Westworld out of Westworld?

Freedom isn't free

Westworld’s third season kicks off tonight on Showmax, just one day after it debuted in the United States.

The third season begins with Dolores Abernathy recalling her life in Westworld – which typically ended in rape and murder after she satisfied the cruellest and most reprehensible desires of the men who visited the host town – and then shows us her life in the real world that she now inhabits after having escaped from the park in season two.

There’s an interesting parallel between Westworld and Star Trek: Picard in that both shows examine what it means to be human and the repercussions of humankind creating sentient life that was once meant to serve but has now become more aware and human than the very people who created them.

Ultimately both shows ask the same question: What does it mean to be human?

While Star Trek: Picard poses the question in a more desperate, yearning manner, Westworld opts for the righteous anger of the oppressed, a move that amps up what we’ve seen in previous seasons but also echoes many uprisings in our own history, which serves to make the show more relatable than expected.

“You want to be the dominant species, but you’ve built your whole world with things more like me,” says Dolores in a moment that would be considered intense in the previous seasons but in season three it’s just a precursor to the many moments of simmering rage that she expresses now that she’s gained awareness of everything that humankind has put her through. “They put you in a cage, decided what your life would be,” she says to one of the new human characters introduced in this season, again questioning the very nature of humanity and how certain facets of mankind have always found a way to oppress and use others, whether it be other humans or artificial intelligent beings that have developed beyond their original purpose.

This undercurrent of anger and disdain for humanity has been evident since the second season but is more pronounced in the third season. One of my favourite moments in the new season is when (in an upcoming episode), Dolores says: “You’re afraid. You have no god, but you tried to build one, only that thing you built isn’t god, the real gods are coming and they’re very angry.”

That is the perfect summation of this new season. It’s darker, slightly grittier and moves at a much faster pace with twists that I didn’t see coming.

Westworld doesn’t need the park or the various host worlds to bring us a show that is exciting, exhilarating and able to deliver some truly engaging TV and I’m glad to say that the show has shaken off the doldrums of the previous season and found a new gear that was not only needed but has also been masterfully executed.

Huge thanks to Showmax and HBO for providing me with the first four episodes of Westworld season 3.

Westworld Season 3 is available on Showmax, the same day as M-Net, from 16 March 2020, with new episodes available every Monday.