Westie Awards: Season 3

2020 Westie Awards

Shat on TV Westie Awards are back!

“Westworld” Season 3 showed us a slick, dystopian view of the future; introduced us to powerful new characters; and forever changed the way we view our favorite hosts and humans. Now is the time to vote for your favorite Season 3 characters and moments in the Shat on TV Westie Awards. Your Shat on TV hosts have nominated their favorite plot twists, production choices, heroes, villains, and more.

To place your vote, read each category and complete its ballot before moving to the next category. We’ll announce the winners May 12 in a special edition of Shat on TV: Westworld.

Best Future Tech

Neo-Los Angeles and other global destinations introduced us to a “Westworld” we’d never seen in detail, and HBO pulled out all the stops on special effects and set design to make 2052 feel very real. These nominees embody our favorite depictions of future technology.

The RICO app

“Get money, motherfucker.” Using Tinder for hookups seems so 2020 when you could be using RICO for mayhem and moolah. RICO’s user interface and attitude took a few seconds of screen time and turned it into an underground culture viewers immediately understood. Who wouldn’t want video game-style jobs dished out by masked bikini babes listening to Death Grips? Sign us up!

Self-parking attack motorcycle

Gene Lyons loves few things more than motorcycles. You know what’s better than a motorcycle? A self-driving electric motorcycle that can deliver a payload to the soft underbelly of an attacking SUV. Dolores’ self-parking attack motorcycle was minimalist, gorgeous, and realistic. Watching Westworld’s slick vision of future bikes zipping through the near-empty streets at night made us all want to throw on our Dolores heels and jet black helmets for a ride through a thoughtfully crafted Neo-Los Angeles.

Bullet-proof autonomous Uber ride service

If self-parking attack motorcycles are the swords of future transportation, bullet-proof autonomous Uber ride services are the shield. Why are the taxis of 2052 built so damn tough? Are freeway shootouts that common in Neo-L.A.? Is that why the streets are so empty? Gene says future automobiles being impact-proof makes sense, considering cars get safer every year. But Big D still wonders why the plastic panels are so easy to just pop off.

Self-aiming guns

OK, having a drone-assisted .50 caliber sniper rifle would be handy, but a self-targeting sub-machine gun? Why? Just why? You have a lethal weapon that’s literally point-and-shoot strapped to your arm, and you want to AUTOMATE IT? What could possibly go wrong? Gene Lyons and Dick Ebert will start an anti-self aiming gun lobby if this technology ever becomes a real thing. No Using Those Self-Aiming Guns. Someone draw us a logo.

Genre

Move over, mushrooms. Westworld’s designer drugs showed that our current party favors have lots of room to improve. Genre is so good, it got its own episode. A hallucinogen that brings on a sense of euphoria while shifting the user through 5 different film genres set to an amazing soundtrack? Yes, please. Plus, you apparently can gun down henchmen and escape while high AF. Bonus.

AR Therapy

Who needs the power of imagination when augmented-reality therapy can take you right back to the moments that scarred you for life? As a general rule, any therapeutic aid that involves straps probably isn’t going to be a good time. Considering Caleb and William are two products of AR therapy, its track record isn’t fantastic.

AR Contact Lenses

When Google introduced us to Google Glass, the world scoffed. Who wants the entire Internet in the blink of an eye, data overlays of the world around them, and full-time video capture of life’s events when it’s gonna look dorky as hell? If only Larry and Sergey had the foresight to pack the technology into handy contact lenses, you might be looking at an entirely different world. Only downside with the AR Contact Lenses: uncontrollable visits from the Ghost of Charlores Past.

Riot control robots

Delos seemed to think of everything with its riot control robot design. They’re portable, stackable, durable, and brightly painted so you don’t misplace them. They also proved hugely useful in the season finale, dispersing a mob that probably could have been cleared out with a few cans of normal tear gas. And if you’re ever trapped in a hallway with multiple assailants, you can summon your Delos riot robot to go full Kool-Aid man on their asses.

Drips and limbics

Drugs are expensive, hard to synthesize, inconsistent in potency, and limited in their effects. Who wouldn’t want an implant that could control emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and a slew of biological levers? “Westworld” showed us why people would want Drip implants and why you might want yours shut off. That’s some good sci-fi, right there!

Holographic projectors

New Zoom, who dis? Imagine working from home with your boss pacing through your bedroom. OK, maybe that doesn’t sound that great, but think about how much more effectively you could intimidate opponents of your rigid, computerized, authoritarian world order!

Best Dressed

Season 3 wasn’t the best season of Westworld, but many would argue it was the best-dressed. Our favorite characters were released from their 19th century uniforms and free to choose from a wide variety of all-black outfits of the future. We noted our favorites.

Dolores’ gold transformation dress

Dolores cast away her powder-blue prairie dress in favor of jet black leather and trousers this season. But when the time came to get dolled up, the Original host showed impeccable taste. The biggest gasp of the season might have came when she instantly converted her smart LBD to a golden gown with a tug-and-swish that lit up the Neo-Los Angeles night. We still get chills thinking about it.

Serac’s white T-shirt and white suit

When you want your look to say “could be the architect of humanity’s destiny, could be a French coke dealer,” look no further than Serac’s white-on-white-all-night suit and T-shirt combo. It makes normal actions seem menacing and menacing actions seem perverse. If the idea was to make Vincent Cassell look as foreign and strange as possible, mission accomplished.

Maeve’s single-strap white dress

Maeve’s the good guy this season, get it? She’s got a white dress, get it? Maeve’s dramatic change in apparel this season signaled a rebirth in a new world and the end of her days as a madam. Or Serac is just really obsessed with making everyone look like they stepped off the set of a 21st century “Scarface” remake.

Giggles’ light-up mood shirt

If we could sell one item from Westworld Season 3 in the Shat on TV shop, it would be Giggle’s trademark light-up mood shirt. Social media, wearable tech, graphic tees, and an undying need for human self-expression with minimal effort make this piece of apparel an inevitable part of our collective futures.

Bernard’s auction tuxedo

What in the actual hell is going on here? The idea of wearing a disguise while infiltrating an orgy is to be discreet. Bernard’s back mask and protruding beard made him look like the illegitimate result of a manage-a-trois between Batman, James Hardin, and the Phantom of the Opera. Good call on the necktie instead of a bowtie, though.

Bernard’s hipster meat-packing overalls and burly beard

Perhaps you prefer your Bernard a little more rustic, a little less refined. Meat-packing overalls and a burly beard showed us a different side to the normally professorial Bernard. Armand Delgado’s shaved head and sweat-stained clothes were enough to make any cow quiver with fear and any cowgirl weak with lust.

Liam Dempsey Jr.’s “Basic” T-shirt

Sometimes, less is more. Being labeled “basic” is the 2052 equivalent of being socially tarred and feathered. This simple apparel swap took Liam from looking like a billionaire ready to present a TED talk to an entitled slob who lacked the physique or character to make a mark on Season 3’s events.

“The Matrix” black leather Maeve and Dolores

Are duos allowed in the contest? This one is. Maeve’s black leather obi projected power and flexibility as the horizontal stripes paid subtle homage to her patron AI: Rehoboam. Some viewers also noticed touches of red, a poetic remembrance of Hector Escaton’s bandit jacket in Westworld Season 1. Dolores, on the other hand, favored the more urban look of geometrically quilted leather that added an angularity and strength to her features while making it clear she favored Solomon’s world view.


 

Best of the Dolori

In “Crisis Theory,” we learned that all hosts were Dolores at their core, but a few of this season’s characters were literal copies of Dolores she used to carry out her plan for global change. It was the biggest mystery of Season 3, but which copy was best?

Musashi (Sato)

Dolores strategically placed this version of herself within the Yakuza to retain a presence in Asia and create a massive supply of host fluid. Placing a Dolores pearl in a Musashi host body had the added benefit of psychological warfare, as Maeve was forced to face off with the Shogun World equivalent of Hector. This was the second time Maeve and Musashi had met in conflict, and it ended far less amicably.

Martin Connells

Tommy Flanagan was an exciting new addition to the Westworld cast and arguably a highlight of Season 3. Who didn’t love seeing a Dolores-driven Martin Connells school spoiled Liam Dempsey Jr. for his playboy ways? Connells was cunning, merciless, duty-bound, and had a charming menace we’ll miss. Maybe the damaged Dolores pearl Charlores retrieved will be back in Season 4. We can only hope.

Charlotte Hale

Charlotte. Charlores. Charredlores. Obi-Wan Halobi. Call her what you will. This version of Dolores didn’t just deviate from her maker, she turned directly against Dolores Prime. Charlores gave us the best action sequences of Westworld Season 3 while demonstrating a dynamic range from loving mother to frightened operative to vengeful banshee. Also, she’s really hard to kill.

Dolores Prime

Sometimes, you can’t improve on The Original. This is the Dolores we watched suffer for a lifetime, navigate the maze, find her strength, and break Delos’ chains. She was our Buffy, our Daenerys, our … Veronica Mars? Anyway, this single host—the first to actually work correctly—changed with world with nothing more than a dream, an impressive kill streak, a few copies of herself, and of course all of Jerry’s and Liam’s money.

Lawrence

He was the final Dolores, right? But he wasn’t in Berlin, right? He was just cruising with the cops and stopped by to say, “Hi, here’s the Sublime for you”? Did we miss something?


Best Use of Music

Westworld’s crowning achievement this season might have been its masterful use of music. Originals and covers by Ramin Djawadi brought new dimensions to critical scenes, while hits from the modern pop and underground jukeboxes gave the world context. Here are some powerful examples.

The Weeknd: “Wicked Games” instrumental cover

The Weeknd released “Wicked Games” in 2011. It was sensual, gritty, nostalgic, and introduced us to an exciting new voice. All of those characteristics made it a smart choice for Ramin Djawadi to re-introduce as a string instrumental score for the auction scene in “The Mother of Exiles.” We were seeing a charity sex auction that borrowed heavily from “Eyes Wide Shut,” and the music beautifully conveyed the mix of futuristic norms and regressive human trafficking. Whether it was the right soundtrack for a fight scene between Dolores and Stubbs is up to you.

 

Pulp: “Common People”

Gene’s favorite britpop song by Gene’s favorite band, Pulp’s “Common People” is part celebration of mediocrity and part working-class anthem. Rarely does a TV show pair exciting action with thematically relevant sound and lyrics at this level. Potentially the most triumphant moment of Season 3.

 

Death Grips: “Bubbles Buried in The Jungle”

RICO and the criminal underworld of Neo-Los Angeles needed its own distinct sound, and Death Grips is just what the doctor ordered. Clashing beats, distorted vocals, naked aggression, and music for a new era make “Bubbles Buried in The Jungle” a natural choice for Ash, Giggles, and Caleb’s operations.

 

Iggy Pop: “Nightclubbing”

Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing” provided the thumping beat for Caleb’s Genre trip in the subway system. It also happens to be in Trainspotting, as pointed out by Vanity Fair, which has some interesting connections to Westworld. For one, Peter Muller, who plays Daddy Delos in Westworld Season 2, is Ewan McGregor’s heroin dealer in the movie. But more significantly, we get the famous trainspotting speech from McGregor’s character, Renton: “Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. … Choose your future. Choose life … But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons.”

 

David Bowie: “Space Oddity”

The classic rock string quartet brought new life to a song we’ve all heard countless times. Close your eyes, and you can still see the scene from “Genre”: There’s a digital koi pond on the ceiling as Caleb emerges from the subway and things are feeling pretty psychedelic. Of course, we were meant to think of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” But in 2013, “Space Oddity” was featured in a little Ben Stiller movie called “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which basically is a love letter to David Bowie packaged in a pre-World War II short story about a guy leaving his mundane life behind to find adventure. Perhaps this song was meant to illustrate Caleb stepping into a new adventure and breaking free.

 

Fischerspooner: “Emerge”

How pumped were you at the end of Season 3, Episode 5? Dolores and Caleb had pulled off the toughest part of her plan; Serac’s world was in disarray; and suddenly there’s a dance classic from Fischerspooner paving the pay to the next three episodes. From a historical perspective, this song was the first song on Fischerspooner’s debut album, which is a fitting tribute to the start of something new. And Fischerspooner grew from two artists into an entire musical and visual movement, just like Caleb and Dolores launched a revolution.

 

Sevdaliza: “Human”

Finally, a deep cut! Before Caleb was a Passed Pawn, he was doing odd jobs at the behest of RICO. One of those jobs was retrieving a guy who’d lost his marbles on designer drugs at a warehouse party. And the trip hop track in the background was “Human” by Iranian singer-songwriter Sevdaliza. If you didn’t catch the lyrics, the song says, “I breathe in and out / I own a heart / An ear and an eye / I’ve only been here one time / It’s passing me by. I am human.”

 

Massive Attack: “Dissolved Girl”

Massive Attack seemed to be writing songs about HBO’s Westworld 18 years before Westworld debuted. Every Massive Attack track is eerily dusty yet clearly electronic, and “Dissolved Girl” adds an element of pain and longing to the mix. Shifting to a piano cover, Ramin Djawadi was able to filter “Dissolved Girl” through the sanitized, elitist prism of Incite’s new world order. Dolores is a warrior arriving in heels, and this is her anthem. Fun note: A YouTuber set the film “Immortal” to this song. The 2004 French release includes lots of visual elements that seemed to inform artistic choices made in Westworld Season 3: a woman with wearable technology interfacing with a machine, figures meeting on raised walkways, and flying vehicles in an urban dystopia.

 

Pink Floyd: “Brain Damage”

“Fight Club” had its Pixies moment as the world crumbled around The Narrator and Marla. Not too proud to borrow, Westworld went with Maeve and Caleb watching Neo-Los Angeles burn to Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage.” Remember this track also was in the first Season 3 trailer, helping the story come full circle.  Lyrically and sonically, the song reflects a nightmare landscape peppered with hope for a bastion and reunion. It’s a goodnight, not a goodbye.

 

 

Most WTF Moment

Every Westworld season brings its own “what the fuck” moments to the screen, but Season 3 really perfected the art. These were the scenes that led many fans to scratch their heads, write to Shat on TV, or just throw their hands up and scream, “It’s gotta be a simulation!”

The “Game of Thrones” cameo

Talk about decisions that don’t age well! Game of Thrones’ disastrous Season 8 already had aired when filming began on Westworld Season 3. Why didn’t anyone stand up and say, “Hey, y’know, David and D.B., we decided to scrap the whole Westerosworld dragon scene”? With the bizarre Game of Thrones cameo, thousands of Westworld viewers were forced to relive the pain of watching TV’s most powerful franchise crumble to ash.

Messy marksmanship

Why were hosts the only characters capable of hitting anything this season? We had guys with regular guns, guys with self-aiming guns, flying gunships, and even a drone-guided sniper rifle, but hosts largely emerged from shootouts unscathed. Who needs cover when you’ve got plot armor?

Hector’s death

For an entire season, we’ve thought of host pearls like high-tech Ben Wa balls. Turns out they’re more like … ahem .. Gushers. Instead of watching Hector’s consciousness crushed into a fine sand, we watched as Charlores turned Maeve’s lover to goo. That, combined with Hector’s limited Season 3 screen time, made his death anticlimactic and numbing.

Stubbs’ perfectly timed elevator arrival

How did Stubbs know where to be and when? Where was he coming from? Did he really have to drop a line before attacking Connells? We’ll never know the answers to any of these questions, so we accept that things sometimes happen. That doesn’t make it any less weird.

Williams’ WWE therapy session

William facing his past was an inevitable Westworld moment, but the method for showing it on-screen made Westworld veterans sit up and ask, “What the fuck?” It was parts Royal Rumble, parts “Mulitiplicity,” with a pinch of “Fight Club” for good measure. Ashley was confused by the unrealistic portrayal of therapy. Gene was confused by the comedic treatment of the subject. Big D was just upset we didn’t get to see a child killed on screen.

Charlotte surviving the car bomb

OK, so Maeve was undone by a gut stab. Angela was finished off with a grenade. Bernard was killed with a gunshot to the head. But Charlotte is blown up by a car bomb that flips over her SUV, and she crawls away, stands up, and escapes to fight another day? What the fuck?

 

Best Action Sequence

No more six-shooters and lassos! Westworld Season 3 made full use of high-tech weaponry and exciting new environments for elaborate action sequences. These were our favorites.

Dolores vs. Connells’ crew

Dolores showed she’s no damsel as she escaped an entire hit squad with speed, ruthlessness, and pizzazz. This scene showed Dolores utilizing all her advantages over human adversaries: bullet resistance, machine control, and brute strength. It set the standard for all Season 3 fight scenes.

Genre car chase

Self-guided rockets, automatic fire, an exploding motorcycle, party drugs, even a touch of romance—what more do you want from an action sequence? We also were reunited with Giggles and Ash, saw Caleb’s romantic side, and were introduced to bullet-proof Ubers.

Maeve vs. Musashi sword fight

Maeve showcased her talents in “Mother of Exiles” by infiltrating a Yakuza distillery using Bluetooth key panel hacking, redirecting auto-aiming guns, and slashing through anything else that stood in her way. But she met her match as Sato/Musashi/Dolores bested her in swordplay. From a combat choreography standpoint, this fight was impressive.

Dolores Prime vs. Maeve

Dolores Prime and Maeve faced off more than once this season. The first fight—involving a quadcopter gunship and drone-guided sniper rifle at the Sonora, Mexico, Incite facility—ended in a draw: Dolores lost her arm. Maeve failed in her mission. The rematch on the streets of Neo-Los Angeles was much more exciting and ended in a decisive win for Dolores Prime, who showed mercy Danny Russo-style before her AR contacts went haywire.

Charlotte’s escape from Delos

Tessa Thompson might have learned a thing or two playing Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her hand-to-hand skills and gun play kicked the action up a notch as Charlotte fought her way out of Delos headquarters. And summoning the riot robot? We all were dying to see one in action. Genius.

 Maeve vs. Nazis in Warworld

Fans of “The Matrix” and haters of Nazis no doubt loved this scene. Defeated by Musashi and awaiting a new body, Maeve honed her skills against evil fascists in the Warworld simulation. Bones were breaking, bullets were flying, eyes were being stabbed. Fun fun!

Dolores vs. Stubbs at the auction

Ashley Schlafly was fond of this action sequence until we all ruined it for her. The key to fight choreography is to hide the choreography, but we could practically see the marks on the set and hear Evan Rachel Wood and Luke Hemsworth coordinating each move: “OK, now grab my neck here. Now I’m gonna jump over the balcony.” Set it all to a strings-only version of “Wicked Games,” and you’ve got yourself a fight scene that’s unlike anything we’d seen before.

 

 

Wasted Talent

Westworld certainly didn’t lack an incredible cast for Season 3. Most of the heavy hitters from previous seasons were back, plus big names like Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassell and Lena Waithe. Sadly, there just wasn’t enough story or screen time for everyone. Here’s a list of stars who didn’t get a chance to shine.

Jeffrey Wright

Bernard had the spotlight twice this season: once when he returned to Westworld in search of answers and again when he visited Lauren in “Crisis Theory.” As Season 3 closed, Bernard was revealed as the gatekeeper to the Sublime, so we’re hoping for brighter times ahead. But other than that, Jeffrey Wright’s role fluctuated from comic relief to befuddlement to brutalizing others on screen. We couldn’t help but laugh when he popped up in a mask at the auction, and his Back Street Boys look in “Decoherence” was silly at best.

Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe isn’t just a respected actor from her roles on “Master of None” and “Ready Player One,” she freakin’ created “The Chi” and wrote and produced “Queen & Slim.” We expected her character, Ash, to be a powerhouse in Westworld Season 3. But her few minutes of screen time mostly involved sparks of anger, looks of dejection, and an eventual arrest. Not everybody gets to be the star of the show, but ouch.

Marshawn Lynch

To be honest, we didn’t expect much when we heard “Beast Mode” was a key character in Westworld. How many times have we seen NFL players make TV cameos and fall flat? But Marshawn Lynch showed some real Magic as Giggles in Episode 1. Sadly, he was reduced to a gas-canister tosser and bullet catcher in the finale. At least his shirt was cool.

Thandie Newton

Even Thandie Newton was upset about Thandie Newton’s role this season (and last). In an interview with Joanna Robinson, Newton said she missed the uncompromising agency that was central to Maeve as a character. At least the Season 3 finale gave us hope for a better Maeve in Season 4.

Rodrigo Santoro

In Season 1, Hector was the character women wanted and men wanted to be. Rodrigo bought a swarthy swagger and sizzled to the screen that has since fizzled out. He spent most of Season 3 playing an oblivious character in Warworld, then regained consciousness only to be squished out of existence. Despedida, Rodrigo.

Luke Hemsworth

Stubbs was super cool as head of Westworld security. He never trusted the hosts, always remained vigilant, and pushed back on authority without failing to do his duty. When we first saw hints Stubbs could be a host, the audience was thrilled. But nobody saw him becoming the poor man’s version of Fat Thor. Through the ax-fighting scene, the motel beers, and the final ice bath, we saw Stubbs reduced to Chubbs. Pity.

Ed Harris

Love him, hate him, or both, William was a pillar of the Westworld universe. We spent three seasons learning about his past, his relationships, his light side, his dark side, his passions, his sociopathic tendencies, his family, his business empire. He was as real a character as we’ve seen on screen, created through the seamless collaboration of Ed Harris and Jimi Simpson. And HBO took him out in an AFTER CREDITS SCENE? Just a throat slit, and that’s it? We understand that life ends that way sometimes, but this isn’t Ned Stark in Game of Thrones Season 1. People are frail and easily killed, but the entire point of drama is to create an environment when tiny events feel huge in our hearts. Instead, Westworld just robbed us of an electrifying character with mysteries still left to explore. Weird flex.

 

 

Best Plot Twist

Season 3 may have been billed as being more straightforward, but Westworld would not be Westworld without at least a few moments of surprise. From simulations to the birth of the Dolori, the plot twists were aplenty. The nominees in this category left us with minds blown and sparked more than a few Tinfoil rabbit holes we were more than happy to go down.

Warworld simulation

The start of episode two was a roller coaster of emotions and provided an overload of questions. All together we rejoiced upon seeing Maeve, cheered when Hector appeared, and collectively went, “Huh?” when Lee Sizemore made his return.  Well, we should have known that sloppy writing is just not Westworld’s style. Lucky for us, the show runners did not disappoint, revealing it was all a simulation and our heroine would live to fight another day in the real world.

Multiple Dolori

The mystery of the pearls began with the close of season 2, and the question of just who embodied each would be the obsession of every critic, article and podcast (including our own). Well, the joke was on us when we discovered that it was not five hosts, but one little lady from Sweetwater occupying all those chunky metal balls. This reveal gave us the birth of the Dolori and changed the game for the rest of the season and series moving forward.

Bernard has the key

From the season’s start, Bernard kept saying he felt like Dolores put something in his head. Some guessed it was another copy of herself, but the season finale showed us that Bernard is not a member of Dolori but the key to the Valley Beyond. Where that takes Bernard is still up for debate, but in episode eight, we finally understand his purpose and why Dolores kept him around all this time.

Solomon Cold Storage

Dolores takes Caleb into the belly of the beast in episode seven. Together, they discover a literal cold storage of all the outliers that were not as lucky as Caleb to complete their reeducation programming. The rows of humans in boxes were a direct reflection of the hosts in storage in the park, showing that while their species may be different, humans and hosts both are subject to masters who put those that cause them problems on ice.

Maeve switches sides

Maeve had a hard go of it this season, but she ended up making a choice that was finally her own at the close of episode eight. Despite fighting for Serac and the chance to see her daughter for seven straight episodes, Maeve is convinced by Dolores to pick up that beautiful sword and wield it for Caleb and the humans, rather than Serac and his machine.

 

 

Season MVP

This season of Westworld kept many of the heavy hitters we have come to know, but it also introduced a new cast of characters that proved to complicate the future of the human world. From robot oracles to the humans that controlled them, the game was full of strong players, but only one can come out on top as the true MVP of season three.

Dolores

Together, we have watched our Dolores grow from innocent farm girl in season one to bad-ass fighter and total fashion queen. Not only did she populate our world with five copies of her beautiful self, she surprisingly became the savior of mankind we never knew we needed. From walking off losing an arm, to mastering new technology, to kicking Maeve and Stubbs’ ass throughout the season, no one can deny that Dolores is still one of the hosts with the most both in and out of the Delos park.

Caleb

From episode one, many of us became immediately invested in this human’s story line. Caleb goes on a long journey to find himself this season, ending up on the front-lines of his toughest battle yet, the fight for free will. He proved true to the meaning of his name, loyal, almost to a fault, and willing to sacrifice himself for both Dolores and the cause he now finds himself leading. When it came down to it, Caleb was one of the last standing with a mission, a new ally and a purpose all his own.

Serac

He had the name that launched a thousand hate emails at Ashley and Gene, but no one can deny that this French speaking, James Bond villain dressing tech expert was key to season three’s end game. Serac is no stranger to both sacrifice and tough choices. Willing to kill, buy and freeze his way to success, this new character made us think, entertained every time he was on screen and had us guessing until the end as to whether he was real or not. Well, human he proved to be, and, while he lost his great work at the end of episode 8, we are betting his story line will continue into the seasons to come.

Rehoboam

Every season there seems to be one name that is responsible for multiple edits because it proves so hard to pronounce. Well, season three gave us the great and powerful AI, Rehoboam, or Rehobo, as we like to call him. This techno oracle certainly did a lot to earn the title of MVP over these eight episodes, proving to be a means of control of not just the regular humans but its creator, Serac, as well. Episode eight finally gave us a glimpse into his voice, and despite being erased at this season’s close, the impact he had on both the show’s real world and our heroes cannot be overstated.

Solomon

We were only given one episode with Solomon, but this AI sure left an impression. That smooth French voice, the dry wit and the power he wielded made Solomon a character we could not forget despite having little screen time this season. Also, we would be remiss not to remember that without him, Rehobo would never have happened, and thanks to the big brother, little bro, Rehobo, was able to be taken down by our tag team of heroes in episode eight.

Nurserybot

This robot proved to be one of the strongest, hardiest and fastest bots we encountered outside the park this year. All Maeve had to do was see this robot in the real world, and she found her way out of the simulation and into what we are calling Seracbot’s hands. Sure, it was only in one episode. Yes, it wound up dying only a few moments after we were introduced to it, but it sure did go out in a glorious blaze of glory in service of our favorite Madam from Sweetwater.

 

 

Best Villain

What’s a good story without a bad guy we all love to hate? Westworld season three provided villains in droves for us to choose from over the course of eight episodes. From humans to hosts to despised writers from other HBO series, the show runners made sure that being bad was done so so good in season three.

Serac

No one gave us more James Bond vibes this season than the sleek, intelligent and morally ambiguous Serac. Orphaned following a Parisian nuclear attack, Serac and his brother began to work on building a better world and preventing their tragedy from befalling others. That solution came in the form of the all-knowing, electronic oracle, Rehoboam, and its predecessors, including Solomon. With Rehobo on his side, Serac showed that his view on the world was black and white, and, if you are an outlier, watch out. He and his reeducation programming are coming for you.

Dolores

Hero to some. Villain to others. Dolores is a divisive character depending on if you are human or host, and where your thoughts lie on the topics of free will and the future of the real world. No matter if you loved her or hated her, though, no one can deny that Dolores is one bad ass force to be reckoned with both in and out of the parks.

Maeve

Maeve has always been decidedly a white hat until this season and her partnership with Serac. Suddenly, we found ourselves routing against one of our long-time favorites as she worked with other bad guys to free her daughter, secure her species’ future and earn her place in the Valley Beyond. Now, that may not seem like the motivations of a bad guy, but, if this season taught us anything, bad is in the eye of the beholder. And Dolores and others certainly found themselves fighting a more villainous Maeve who brought her sword play and a few friends from the saloon to help her along the way.

William

Sure, he declared himself the good guy following his therapy session from hell, but are we buying it? William has been the literal definition of black hat since the start of the Westworld series, and it would be difficult to change our and the hosts’ perceptions of his motivations and allegiances this far into our story. While he met a bloody end after episode eight’s post-credits, William will always be the black hat we love to hate.

Rehoboam

Westworld’s version of Big Brother, Rehoboam proved to be quite the adversary this season. Thanks to his predictions, you could find yourself, penniless, childless and iced if he labeled you a threat. With that power alone, Rehobo proved to be a new type of villain that was tough to beat, but amazingly fun to watch fight our heroes and humans alike.

Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan

They promised us a more straightforward season, and that is what we got, but is it what we wanted? For some, the greatest villain of all are the showrunners, Joy and Nolan, who not only limited the mystery of Westworld but changed the entire genre of the show.

D&D

Many of us still have not and probably never will forgive Benioff and Weiss of Game of Thrones for ruining the show’s end. To add insult to injury, we found D&D in the lower levels of Westworld working on a dragon that clearly resembled Drogon and getting him ready to ship to Costa Rica. Seeing them again, put a bad taste in our mouth and served as a reminder that the true villain will always be the two people who put Bran on the throne, turned Arya into a pirate and had Jon Snow kill Daenerys while her beautiful dragon burned the Iron Throne and all of our respect and good will to the ground.

 

 

Most Shocking Reveal

While Westworld was decidedly less of a mystery this season, there were still enough shocking reveals to go around and satisfy viewers. Whether we were surprised by who the pearls turned out to be or left scratching our heads at host anatomy, the reveals given to us by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan add to the list of great moments from the series as a whole.

Host pearls are soft and gooey

Pearls have housed our hosts’ brains for three seasons now, but who would have thought that inside those chunky metal exteriors was a bunch of black goo. Finding out our hosts had uber expensive gushers in their head made us all stop and say, “Hmm.” This reveal also began the debate on whether a hosts’ pearls’ destruction is the true death for their kind, and it made for the ultimate motivation for Maeve to get her revenge.

Dolores made copies

The debate over who was in the pearls removed from the park occupied many a Reddit thread throughout the two year wait for season three. Even we had our own ideas, but it turns out all that theorizing was for naught. Instead of five hosts, Dolores made five bodies and filled them with the only person she could trust, herself. This reveal gave birth to the Dolori and changed the possibilities for the rest of the season.

William becomes a White Hat

William had a rough season. He lost his company. He got committed. He had to murder the many versions of himself that came before, and he was forced to accompany our rag tag duo of “Bubbs” for the latter part of the season. Still, even with these challenges, William declared himself a white hat yet again, deciding to kill the hosts, and, as he put it, “save the fucking world.”

Serac is real

An early debate this season was whether the creator of Rehoboam was AI himself. From those simulations, to the hologram versions, we went back and forth over whether Serac was human, host or otherwise. In the end, though, he turned out to be just another man, with the whisper of an AI in his ear. Whether Serac is coming back will be the new debate to keep us occupied until season four.

Caleb is human

When we first met Caleb, he woke up in the same way of the hosts we’ve seen before. Thus, the Internet went all aflutter with questions as to whether or not this meant he was human or not. After eight episodes, we discovered, though, that Caleb not only is human, he’s mankind’s savior, the John Connor of Westworld, if you will. He has been chosen to lead, selected to save and, with Maeve by his side, dedicated to rebuilding the world he just helped burn down.

Caleb killed Francis

Hosts have cornerstones, memories that define their loops and keep them on a path designated by their makers. We found out that humans in the real world are much the same. Outliers like Caleb are given memories to help determine where they will go and how they will act. Francis’ death was that cornerstone for Caleb. We spent much of the season trying to decide how Francis died, though, and, once the truth was revealed, it turned out that one of his greatest tragedies was one of his own making, with Caleb pulling the trigger than ended his best friend’s life.



That’s it! Thanks for listening to Shat on TV and voting for the Westies. We’ll announce the winners May 12 during a very special Season 3 Wrap-up episode.

16 Responses

  1. Diana Artosky says:

    Thanks for helping me understand what I watched in season 3. I usually miss 90% of what is in each episode!

  2. KrispyfromPhilly says:

    This was fun, loved reading each nominee, and it was pleasure listening to you guys this season!!

  3. Down here in Tucson, Joanne says:

    Thanks for another great podcast season of WW and bringing Ash on. I have been with you since Season 1. I loved the show, but saying ‘What the Fuck’ every 5 -10 minutes during episode 1 made me realize I was up to my ass in alligator bots and I needed help and guidance through the mind fuck that was the gloriously beautiful episode 1. God is was so much fun, almost as much fun as your Shat at the Movies vault.
    Kudos for the 3rd Annual Westie Awards. Just one question, what’s next?

    • Ashley Schlafly says:

      Thanks for the welcome :). And we are still deciding on what’s next! Hopefully, it is something good!

  4. CoachMarkus says:

    Great work guys!👍🏾👍🏾

  5. JaneC says:

    Hi y’all! Read through the whole article….. there doesn’t seem to be a link to the actual voting ballot?

  6. Wendy says:

    And Rookie of the Year goes to Ashley!

  7. Jeff Korn says:

    Overall, this was a very good season that is leading up to a phenomenal season 4. I believe that season 4 is going to spend a lot of time back in Westworld. I have no idea what the storyline will be but it will be (hopefully) worth the wait. Thanks for spending so much time rewatching and analyzing each episode. Your podcast helps me fill in the blanks and makes each episode “last” for 3 hours instead of one each week. And i loved your adding Ashley to the podcast!

  8. Erik says:

    Great Texts, Ash!

    “Massive Attack seemed to be writing songs about HBO’s Westworld 18 years before Westworld debuted. Every Massive Attack track is eerily dusty yet clearly electronic […]”

  1. May 13, 2020

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