WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of Westworld, “Crisis Theory,” which aired Sunday on HBO.
In the first two seasons of Westworld, fans eagerly awaited a partnership between Dolores Prime (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) as both women rose up against the patriarchy in Delos’ park. However, their missions differed towards the end as some hosts like Maeve’s daughter were uploaded to a digital paradise called the Sublime, while Dolores tried to prevent this as she felt it was yet another prison construct.
This is what Serac uses to pit them against each other in Season 3, so much so it seemed like the only alliance seen would be between the angry Halores and Maeve. However, fans finally get Prime and Maeve teaming up in the finale, and while there’s no action involved, they pull off a perfect plan of attack against Serac.
This season turned Dolores and Maeve into warriors and more so, cold, calculated leaders. Both were single-minded in their vision which meant they had no problem being enemies, as seen in that epic fight in the last episode. Maeve cutting a freedom-seeking Dolores up and proving to be Serac’s lackey cemented them at the opposite ends of the spectrum. And as a katana-wielding Maeve is rebuilt as Caleb brings Prime Dolores back online, it seems they’re destined to clash yet again. And while they do for a bit outside Incite, when Maeve restrains Prime and brings her to Serac, the villain doesn’t know he’s inadvertently plotting his downfall.
Maeve grows impatient of Serac’s tedious attempts to extract the Delos data on humans from Dolores as she’s plugged into Rehoboam. When Maeve uses her technopath abilities to unlock Prime’s mind, though, she can’t find that information either; all that’s left is one final memory of Dolores in her iconic field. It seems meaningless and a frustrated Maeve quickly begins to bicker with Serac as she feels he’s reneging on his end of the bargain to bring her daughter back from the Sublime. Serac makes a big mistake, however, by taunting Maeve about being his slave no matter what. When she responds in anger, he condescendingly shuts her down, but shockingly, he can’t keep her frozen. Right then and there, Maeve reveals she’s sided with Prime.
In flashbacks to Prime’s mindscape, it becomes clear that the memory was actually a meeting point for the two ladies Prime set up. She confesses her plan was never to cause mankind’s extinction, but to save humanity from itself. Initially, Prime wanted a purge but she remembered humans could follow the path of the hosts and break away from their old loops. Once uncoupled, they could reclaim their identities and by extension, the world. This was inspired by the beautiful memories from the park, ones even Maeve forget as she was obsessed with her own quest.
“So many of my memories were ugly,” Dolores tells her. “But the things I held onto until the end weren’t the ugly ones. I remember the moments where I saw what they were really capable of. Moments of kindness, here and there. They created us. And they knew enough of beauty to teach it to us. Maybe they can find it themselves. But only if you pick a side, Maeve. There is ugliness in this world. Disarray. I choose to see the beauty.”
It’s why Dolores wanted to free people like Caleb, who had a capacity for good. As Maeve listens to the sales pitch, she gets emotional witnessing Prime’s memories of her family and friends, the young William being kind to her in their romantic days, and most importantly, the love she felt watching Maeve and her daughter skipping stones across a pond. This convinces Maeve to flip with Serac not even realizing his asset was merely buying time for Dolores to infect the A.I. with Solomon’s access key so Caleb could now wield the power to shut it down. Thus, while they didn’t get to kick butt together in the violent manner they’ve been steeped in all season long, Prime — who sacrifices herself for the mission — and Maeve cleverly outwit the Frenchman with their intelligence. This provides the ultimate victory as Caleb gives humanity free will again and sets out with Maeve to chart a new future.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, Westworld stars returning cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman and Rodrigo Santoro, joined by series newcomers Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Lena Waithe, Scott Mescudi, Marshawn Lynch, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Ealy and Tommy Flanagan.
KEEP READING: Westworld Should Have Ended With Season 3
Season 3 of Westworld finally provides a Dolores and Maeve team-up, and while it has no action at all, it's a perfect attack on Serac.