Who the Hale is Charlotte? Roger Roeper returns to “Shat on TV” to explore the biggest question presented by Westworld Season 3, Episode 3: “The Absence of Field.”Ashley Schlafly explains the poem behind the episode’s title and reaches back to Ancient Rome to illustrate the predicament Caleb is facing. Gene Lyons celebrates Westworld’s vision of future tech: personal assistants, predictive models, augmented-reality glasses, artificial intelligence, drip implants, and of course that one stupid ambulance. The Shat Crew also looks into Charlotte’s self-mutilation, chunky metal balls, Serac’s identity, and Jamaican riot robots.
If your main question after Season 3, Episode 3, was “who’s in those pearls?” you missed a lot of really good TV. Westworld’s genre-switching was phenomenal; Tessa Thompson’s portrayal of another inside Charlotte Hale’s shell was impeccable, and plausible glimpses of future tech were both astonishing and chilling. In this instant reaction episode, we touch on Rahobo’s mirror reality, Caleb’s augmentation, Charlotte’s predator within, and the very idea of identity. The Shat Crew also announce their new Twitch channel and celebrate pedophile murder. Also, if you miss our opening theme music, blame Apple for not allowing Audacity on Catalina. We’ll have it fixed for the Deep Dive.
Listener mail after “Westworld” Season 3, Episode 2 covers great minds like Lacan, Fromm, Faucault, Sartre, Barthe, Chomsky, and Rahobo.Ashley and Gene compare brain boners. Big D finds a mispronunciation mate, and we celebrate the memory of a Shat listener who is no longer with us.Longtime friend of the pod Thiago writes in with a Biblical “Umm … Actually” while laying on thicc praise for Armand Delgado. Muhip gives us a lesson in adversarial neural networks, and Dick Ebert teaches us about CPU bottlenecks.We discuss whether Dolores ever put a Westworld friend in Charlotte’s body, whether Maeve ever met Serac, and whether hosts other than Dolores already have infiltrated the “real world.”
Shat on TV’s coverage of Westworld Season 3, Episode 2: “The Winter Line” starts off intelligently with discussions of free will vs sentience, the nuance between hero and villain, and Ashley Schlafly’s brilliant overview of Louis Althusser’s views of subjection and the state. Things take a turn as Dick Ebert unveils his latest treatise: “Rahobo, The God Humans Need,” force-feeding Gene enough tinfoil to spark a Divergence. Suddenly, it’s Big D worshipping at the altar of Coconut Guy, Gene Lyons offering to kill Dick to save the world, Ashley classifying Serac’s accouterment as “Bond Villain,” an extended team giggle-fest, and the Shat Boys getting way too specific about Westworld’s timelines.
Was “Westworld” Season 3, Episode 2 a thrilling mind-bender or a “Rick and Morty” ripoff? “The Winter Line” took as back to the park and some familiar faces, including … Drogon? Maeve dropped a math bomb; Big D got on the Aaron Paul Train, and Gene Lyons thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. In this instant reaction episode, we drool over an “assed-up” Stubbs; discuss Bernard’s flashbacks; learn the difference between Greg, Gary, and Jerry; and preview Ashley Schlafly’s upcoming lesson on Althusser.
Lister mail after the “Westworld” Season 3 Premiere covers Caleb’s humanity, the toll of trauma on military veterans, the anime “Psycho-Pass,” livestock lessons in an “umm, actually,” and sucking a butt. Things get steamy as Ashley Schlafly’s husband calls in; Gene bemoans his position as the podcast’s scapegoat; and Big D rebuke’s Mr. Lyons’ arrogance. The Shat Crew also explains why it sometimes uses listeners’ full names, why self-driving cars have driver seats and leaving room for Rehoboam.
Is the “real world” just a simulation? Is Francis a fidelity test? What’s Incite up to, and why is Gene Lyons so happy? We answer these questions and more in Shat on TV’s first “Westworld” Deep Dive of Season 3. Episode 1, “Parce Domine” brought us a Bible lesson, a new face for artificial intelligence, a missing Delos board member, updated opening credits, and a frank examination of personal data. Plus, Big D brings up “Robopocalypse” yet again; Gene laments freedom of choice, and Ashley talks opera.
Westworld Season 3 started off with a bang, literally, as new characters stepped onto the scene, familiar faces got their hands dirty, and HBO reminded us why it’s the king of TV production. The sets were amazing, the vision of the future was painstakingly detailed (if not derivative), and nudity was abundant. In this instant reaction episode, we highlight performances by Lena Waithe, Aaron Paul, and Marshawn Lynch; welcome the new “benevolent dystopian” vision laid out by “Westworld;” and theorize on the significance of Incite and Rehoboam. Also, Big D coins the term “Bernard Reverse Valet Mode,” Ash draws parallels to “Black Mirror,” and Gene drools over the soundtrack.
“Westworld” fans write in and the Shat Crew responds to email about where Season 3 occurs, how to watch Season 2, where we’ve seen Kid Cudi before, who’s in Charles’ magical pearls, and more. We also read reviews (some nice, some not-so-nice) of our newest host, Ashley Schlafly, and Roger learns big words.
Saddle up for Season 3 with a look back at the biggest Westworld moments, a look forward to the fresh setting, and an introduction to the incoming cast and returning characters. Roger Roeper, Gene Lyons, and new host Ashley Schlafly also share their wish lists for the episodes to come, discuss the abbreviated season length, and highlight the big questions on everyone’s minds.