WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 4, of Westworld, “The Mother of Exiles,” which aired Sunday on HBO.
After shelving her for an episode, Westworld Season 3 brought back Maeve this week, as Serac gave her another chance to work for him. Not that she has much choice. Her refusal the first time got her taken offline and put in storage to think about her decision. When Serac returns her to the real world, he made a point of wining and dining her (or at least providing a sherry in the largest glass they’ve got). And this time, it worked.
Notably, Serac’s argument had also changed from his proposal last week. Not that he’d moved on killing Dolores, but he’d found a better case for Maeve to join with him than “it’s for the good of humanity.” Instead, he admits he wants Dolores for more than just the threat she poses to humanity. She holds the pearl that’s the key to the Forge, something he badly wants, as evidenced by his attempt to get Maeve to open it in the simulation. But as he points out to Maeve, Dolores’s pearl is also the key to the Sublime. If she wants to reopen the Door and join her daughter, she needs Dolores as well.
It was enough to send Maeve on the hunt for her rival.
Maeve walked out to track down Dolores. One could argue her badass willingness to walk directly into the lion’s den, first with the Mortician, and then with the Yakuza, is part and parcel with the kind of behavior she exhibited in the park last season. And she certainly has the gun and swordplay skills to support this kind of behavior.
But there’s a difference between crossing swords in the park and the real world. The head of the Yakuza turns out to be someone Dolores replaced with a host. But instead of a one-to-one match like Connells, she brought Musashi, the ronin who was Maeve’s ally in Samurai World. Musashi’s skills with the blade are legendary, no matter which host is inside him driving the bus. It was inevitable that Maeve would lose the fight.
And yet, Maeve fought him anyway, with a fearlessness of someone who had never known death. After all, in the park, death doesn’t exist — or at least not until Dolores’ revolution. Hosts were programmed to be unable to kill patrons. Patrons could kill hosts all day long, but they would just get shipped back to the lab. Technicians like Felix and Sylvester would then repair, reset and pop them back out again to start their loop anew.
But as Maeve lay on the floor bleeding out from her wounds, Felix and Sylvester don’t coming to her rescue. Serac’s people may have tracked her, but they’re more interested in Musashi, with the copy of Dolores’ pearl inside him. But obviously, Maeve can’t stay dead. Viewers have seen her later in the season in the trailers. So how do they repair and reset her?
The answer may lie in what Reddit is calling the “Two Worlds” theory. In Episode 3, Dolores speaks of a “Mirror World,” one created by Rehoboam to model the real one and predict what will happen down the road. Fans are starting to believe that the twist to this season is that half the scenes happen in one world and the other in the Rehoboam reflection of it. Moreover, the theory is Serac doesn’t exist in the real world, only the Mirror one.
If that’s correct, then Maeve is perfectly fine. She may believe herself to be in the real world. But in reality, she’s actually in a virtual recreation, just like the War World park. Serac is leading her on to show him the truth of Dolores’ plans, just like he tried to get her to show him how to open the Forge.
Maeve, if this is the case, will almost certainly find herself brought back online again, though whether she wakes up in a bed or the restaurant remains to be seen. Either way, it’s a good bet none of this is real.
Westworld airs Sunday nights on HBO 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Westworld Season 3, Episode 4, ended on a cliffhanger. But is Maeve really dead? This theory explains why she might still be alive.