“What’s about to happen was always going to happen,” Bernard says early on in the Westworld season 3 finale teaser.
Not unlike FX and Hulu’s trippy Devs, this season of Westworld has been all about determinism vs. free will. To what extent is any given human being’s fate in their own control? Or are we all just “passengers” in our own bodies and minds as reality unfolds all around us? This is heady stuff for any sci-fi project to explore, and based on the teaser for Westworld season 3, episode 8 “Crisis Theory,” the show is going to keep on exploring it to the bitter end. Watch the action-packed footage below.
Yes, Westworld season 3 is only eight episodes, making it a little bit different from the previous two seasons’ orders of 10 episodes each. As you can see by that finale footage, however, this season was likely a great deal more expensive. For this season of Westworld has taken things well beyond the confines of Westworld, Shogunworld, or any of the Delos Corporation’s decadent sandboxes for the rich. We’re in the real world now, and in the real world there is no respawning.
Early on in the teaser, it’s evident that Dolores’s plan to sow chaos is well underway. Data produced by Rehoboam and exploited by Incite has now made its way to every human being on Earth. Now everyone knows just how little control they had over their own lives and they are reacting accordingly, with riots seemingly sprouting up all over the place. Dolores and her new computer buddy Solomon, have created a crisis. And you know what they say: never let a crisis go to waste.
This season finale is indeed called “Crisis Theory,” and the (typically vage) description for the episode reads “Time to face the music.” Who knows what Westworld is trying to get at here? Perhaps it really just wants us to pay attention to Ramin Djawadi’s marvelous score. What’s clear, however, is that the title of the episode likely isn’t just referring to the chaos that Dolores has created.
Crisis Theory is a concept generally associated with Marxism that posits that capitalism can’t last because it can’t produce an eternal form of production since the rate of profit tends to fall over time. This seems pretty consistent with Westworld’s mission this season. It’s clear that the economic, political, and social structures of Westworld’s real world are not built to last. All it takes is one agent of chaos to make Crisis Theory a reality.
That agent of chaos has arrived with Dolores, Maeve, and all the other AI now operating outside the safe confines of Delos’ parks. It looks like there is plenty of madness in store for us in this finale, including Serac meeting Caleb, William finding his purpose, and Dolores and Maeve’s ultimate showdown. Either all of this was always supposed to happen, or Dolores has engendered real change in humanity for the first time in a long time. It just depends on which AI you choose to believe.