“Metanoia” finds Bernard and Maeve storming the Hoover Dam, where the Sublime is housed. The original Bernard and Maeve are in the Sublime, making the ones we’re following copies. This is all revealed to be one of the simulations Akecheta showed Bernard at the beginning of the season. After the flashback ends, we see the pair heading to the Sublime again. Things go better this time, with Maeve asking Bernard to send her to the Sublime after the world is saved. He agrees. Cristina awakens with Teddy waiting for her. He tells her about their true nature, and she doesn’t take it well. Hale informs Caleb of her plan to shut down the cities and put the humans in storage. Host William doesn’t like the sound of that. Bernard warns Stubbs that he won’t survive the mission as the rebels head out on their missions.
Host William goes to see the original again and asks what he would do about Charlotte. Host William kills the real William, fully cementing his transformation into him. Teddy and Cristina go into Olympiad, and she uses her power to destroy the stories as C and Stubbs enter to find Caleb. Cristina compels the security guard to unlock the cells, releasing Caleb. Bernard tells Maeve that they can’t win no matter what and asks her if she’ll still fight. Maeve finds Charlotte and the latter divulges her plan to remove the people from the Sublime and force them to transcend. They fight as Bernard continues his mission. The conflict ends as William shoots Maeve. He also kills Hale and Bernard once he finds him inside the tower. Finally, William sends a signal from the tower ordering everyone to fight to the death. Teddy tells Cristina she is in the Sublime and no longer has any control over this world.
Is anyone else just tired at this point? Every time I try to get invested in the characters and drama, Westworld trips over its desire to be philosophical and high-minded. I think trying to look smart often has the opposite effect, and that’s certainly the case with this show. How can I be drawn in by the touching reunion of father and daughter when the show is busy trying to confuse me with who actually is dead or alive? The scene with the two Williams in the end is GREAT. You read that right; this is an incredible scene. The way the music builds as host William makes his choice almost feels like a big hero moment, even though we all know he’s no good guy. Their exchanges have been a highlight this season, one of humanity’s worst teaching his clone what it means to be human. Like his predecessor, host William doesn’t want to transcend his mortal body. He loves the pain and pleasure of being trapped in a fleshy prison and can’t understand Charlotte’s lofty plans. I also liked his line, “I am me;” it makes little sense seeing as he has little identity apart from Charlotte or the original William. But it made sense for someone still trying to choose their path. I was angry last season when it seemed that the real William had been killed and replaced, which is what happens for real in “Metanoia.” But framing is everything, and this scene is spectacular in its subtlety and character work. The host finally accepts that he is a base animal just like his namesake and kills him in cold blood, plunging a knife into the defenseless, restrained man’s chest. Throughout this scene, I genuinely didn’t know what the host would do. It almost seemed like he might team up with the OG William or send him to deal with Charlotte. But his choice to become William by killing him fits so well, and the original’s grim smile in the end says it all.
I was also shocked when host William killed Charlotte and Maeve. I’m not surprised that he wanted to do this, but if they really are dead (and that’s a big if with this show), next season could look very different. I hope Charlotte is, at least, because she’s a boring villain, and I’m tired of looking at Tessa Thompson weekly. I still like Maeve, for all the flaws in her writing, and her interactions with Bernard in “Metanoia” are almost sweet. The scene where C finds Caleb at last is sweet and well-acted; I wish this storyline wasn’t bogged down by timeline trickery and betrayals. When Westworld gets back to its basics and focuses on the characters, it really shines. The moment the story gets tangled in mystery and subterfuge, I just lose all interest. I can’t help it; season 3 went from a solid opening to a dismal back half. This season has done much of the same. I know there’s a war between humans and androids, but I only care when I feel close to the characters. Another scene I really enjoyed in “Metanoia” was another small character moment when Bernard finally thanked Ashley for watching over him all those years and staying by his side in the war. I hadn’t realized it before, possibly because I never cared much about Stubbs, but this is the first time someone has recognized all the good he has done. But it meant something because it was coming from his friend, and I think Bernard is gone for good after his encounter with William.
We don’t see Maya in this episode, and it feels like the scenes with Teddy and Cristina were fewer and briefer than those with the rebels. This was the storyline I was most interested in at the start of season 4, but I’m just lost now. How can Cristina (Dolores?) be in the Sublime if her body is here? Teddy says that’s why people can’t see or hear her, but they interacted with her just fine until this episode. Cristina also comes off as whiny when she tells Teddy she doesn’t want the war. If the writers are trying to say she’s Dolores, they’re not convincing me. Evan Rachel Wood is amazingly versatile, though. This character behaves nothing like Dolores, but she’s just as convincing.
“Metanoia” has moments of greatness, and I don’t regret watching it, but Westworld needs to stop overthinking. They’re never going to match the season 1 reveals, and frankly, they should stop trying.