How Westworld Just Changed The Game For Maeve, Charlotte And The Man In Black

man in black in psych hospital westworld season 3
(Image credit: hbo press)

Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't watched Westworld's "Decoherence."

Once again almost fully separating itself from the Alpha Dolores and Caleb storylines, Westworld pulled its focus back on Thandie Newton's Maeve, Tessa Thompson's Charlotte Hale and Ed Harris's The Man in Black (whose past selves returned). Each one of the characters went through semi-cataclysmic situations that completely altered their headspaces and put them on direct paths to the Season 3 endgame. That's assuming there aren't another three or four left turns sprinkled into the final two episodes, which there probably will be.

Below, I'm going to dig into how Maeve, Hale and William's stories changed up in "Decoherence," complete with my biggest question about each of these hard-to-predict characters' narratives. Now put on your hallucinatory sanitarium-prescribed AR goggles and follow along!

maeve warworld westworld season 3

(Image credit: hbo press)

Maeve's Now On The War(world)path

Maeve kicked the episode off in a pair of familiar places, first within a quasi-memory of the Valley Beyond for a quick and threatening convo with Serac, as portrayed by Vincent Cassel. After that, Maeve woke up back inside the Warworld simulation, where she angrily created some of her own violent delights before reuniting with digital Lee Sizemore. With her pearl having been recovered by Serac's team (following her death at the hands of Dolores' yakuza leader), Maeve was sent back to Warworld for more research, as well as to reconnect with Rodrigo Santoro's Hector. And possibly others...

Maeve once again found full-fledged happiness after she reinstated Hector's self-awareness, but it was sadly short-lived. The powers that be also recovered Martin Connell's damaged Dolo-pearl, which allowed Serac to bring that pearl's version of Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores into the simulation. The point was for Maeve to utilize  subdued Dolores and devise real-world strategies to take her down, all while new host bodies were being printed for Maeve, Hector and others in the real world. However, the tables turned when Hale-ores arrived at the facility and destroyed Hector's pearl, seemingly killing him off for good. (His face couldn't have been creepier in that moment, either.)

Though she also intended to demolish Maeve's pearl, Hale-ores was attacked before she could follow through, which marks the second time a Dolores clone purposefully stopped just short of permanently taking Maeve out. Whatever the deeper motivations were, Maeve is now back in the real world with both a new body and a much deeper sense of vengeance on her mind. If Dolores wasn't worried before, it's definitely a good time to start. Though she probably knows that already.

Question: What Other Bodies Were Being Printed Besides Maeve And Hector?

Similar to the mystery of Dolores' smuggled pearls, Westworld seemed to withhold potentially important information by not identifying the other two Host bodies that were being printed along with Hector and Maeve, especially considering Serac called for all other hosts to be destroyed. Simulation Dolores also hinted at more characters returning when she brought up bringing in friends as backup. Might Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) or (Tao Okamoto) be returning to assist in Maeve's quest, or will Simon Quarterman's Lee Sizemore be returning to the real world as a non-simulated Host?

charlotte hale talking to husband westworld season 3

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Charlotte Wants Revenge

After the events of "Decoherence," Westworld fans should probably flip from calling Tessa Thompson's cloned Host Hale-ores to calling her Scarlotte. For one, Charlotte further drifted from Dolores' original code; it was her emotional side that tipped Serac off that she was the secret Host he was seeking out. Those humanistic instincts also resulted in the shocking deaths of Charlotte's husband and son, who both died without learning the truth about anything.

Perhaps more shocking than the explosion itself, Charlotte wasn't fully killed off the way that Connells was. She burst from her burning vehicle with completely singed skin and a hyper-fierce look in her eyes. Where she might have previously been torn between her two different sides, Charlotte now appears to have all of Dolores' viciousness on tap, with everything from the character's human world going up in flames, or getting gassed in a boardroom.

From this point forward, I don't necessarily think that Charlotte will be keeping Dolores' gameplan at the forefront of her artificial mind. Having digitally smuggled as much data as possible out of Delos, Charlotte will probably now hone in on physically taking Serac out for killing Jake and Nathan.

Question: Will Charlotte Try To Stop Dolores Now?

Having continuously distanced herself from Dolores' anti-human mindset, Charlotte is once again a wildcard at this point, in that she has seemingly nothing to lose except a shot at revenge. It's assumed she's going after Serac now, but will her quest for justice stop at just his head, or will Dolores also eventually bear the brunt of Charlotte's rage?

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(Image credit: hbo press)

The Man In Black Is The Good Guy Again...Maybe?

In the time that Dolores succeeded in spreading her sentience across multiple hosts, The Man in Black's sanity went in the reverse direction as he drunkenly withdrew further from reality. After being (justifiably) transported to the Inner Journeys Recovery facility, William had proven himself a hinderance in group therapy with his warped views of reality. Then, in what was either the best timing in the world, or the worst, his first round of virtual therapy began right as Dolores released Rehoboam's information to the world, making him an afterthought as chaos reigned.

William's extended jaunt through the synapses initially took him back to his youth for the first time, where viewers saw him cower upon hearing his father's angry hollers. It was later revealed that a schoolmate called William's father a drunk, and William beat the shit out of that kid. The scene implied that William's apple didn't fall far from his abusive father's tree, but because William didn't display physical injuries, and because Westworld stopped short of showing that abuse, the overall context may actually be that William's violent tendencies didn't have any direct outside influences.

Current-day William wants to leave all the bad shit he did behind and become the "good guy" again, which was an assumption he came to after his self-reflective therapy session. As led by guest star Peter Mullen as James Delos, the grouping included Ed Harris' park-dwelling Man in Black, the pre-widower William, Jimmi Simpson's young William, and the aforementioned pre-pubescent William (played by Zayd Kiszonak). Of course, in order to reach his good-guy revelation, William bloodily murdered his past selves. So we should assume he'll have Dolores in his sights after being discovered by Bernard and Stubbs, right? Is that what the hero would do?

Question: What Happened To William's Father?

Every era of The Man in Black's life that viewers have witnessed has been stricken with tragedy, usually with some form of betrayal involved. So clearly, the character's childhood needs to have at least one similar touchstone for William to have repressed. Whether or not he was abused, is it possible that William snapped and murdered his own father in a fit of rage?

Let us know in the poll below who you think will be the final victor when the finale is over. Don't forget that Westworld has just two episodes left in Season 3, and fans can find them airing on HBO on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.