How Did Maeve’s Arc Get Lost in Translation
I won’t pretend I’m not biased but Thandie Newton has been a favorite actress of mine since the movie Flirting and what was what brought me to Westworld and then I feel in love with Maeve. I’m black and I’m a mother and I love me some Syfy so I felt I hit the trifecta and the audience agreed. She won an Emmy and then S3 happened and Maeve’s attachment to her daughter suddenly became dumber than Stubb’s entire continued existence.
Let’s review some facts.
Her arc season 1 was masterminded by Ford to get her out of the park and away from everything; I.E. the exact selfish motivation which would be in line exactly with the programming via the madam. However, even in that role her natural nurturing nature cracked through with Clementine to the point that she was affected severely by her death and replacement despite having even less of built-in familial connection. Was it crappy writing that completely ignored that connection in S2; ya damn right that was! But is not to do with Maeve’s consistency of being at heart a mother, so when she discovered the daughter she had was still in Westworld she choice to accept those feelings to the point that she chooses to die for it (which made her the most humane host we had). The same way CHARLOTTE felt about her child that wasn’t hers (notice no one is saying her revenge arc is “stupid”) those emotional connections aren’t easily discarded despite the logic. Hell, Arnold’s influence on Dolores good and tragic was reflected before and after the fate of his own child.
S2 Maeve gathered a rag-tag loveable group and searched for said child and yes it should have been fleshed out much much, more at least she was actively in control of her destiny and had fun along the way to do what? SAVE HER DAUGHTER and met some really awesome friendly future neighbors but she made a sacrifice and we cried as her daughter looked to finally remember her and we all wanted her back!
S3 it’s fuck Maeve, her daughter is old business, she should have suddenly stopped caring about the only real thing she’s ever been exposed to because since she DIED saving her DAUGHTER Maeve has been a pawn controlled by Serac a point that is CONSISTENTLY OVERLOOKED BY FANS AND EVEN HOLLYWOOD MAGAZINES ALIKE (apparently facts in TV shows can be subjective in print?) and being threatened for all eternity to suffer not to mention Dolores murdering someone important to her after admitting she wasn’t really wanting to kill her and deciding to have a chat in which Dolores who narcissistically made copies of herself and refused to even let her be the keeper of the Sublime (Dolores ASSUMED she’d give it to Serac and considering he is monitoring her she couldn’t blatantly say no I wont!) has all led to this. I am very confused about how she was suddenly supposed to forget about her child in 3 months that feels like 2 days ago? It’s clear why Maeve isn’t on Dolores’ side…Bernard isn’t even on Dolores side nor is he doing anything to find Maeve as he said at the beginning of the season.
All these facts to say, Maeve’s hate seems to be that she’s the anthesis to our favorite new terminator Dolores who isn’t really a hero but America sate fascism so much her actively not stabbing Serac and saying screw her daughter and apparently Hector by joining Dolores is inconceivable. Come on, Westworld. We can be better. While even I am frustrated at Maeve’s lack of agency this season please don’t confuse the writer’s choices of story arc padding with the consistency of her connection to her daughter especially when a great deal of it stems from lack of attention
P.S. I also believe because in the show and tell method….a lot of telling us Maeve cares with only flashbacks of her. It’s hard to maintain that when the child in question is not an actual presence in the show. It probably would have been better if Dolores had somehow gotten Maeve’s daughter as leverage or even Serac so the stakes would be more visible to an audience to digest.
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