Westworld Post Mortem of “Genre”

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Westworld’s “Genre” revealed Serac’s dark backstory and nefarious experiments, hinted that there is more to Caleb than we know, and showed us the beginning of Dolores’ revolution. What will be her next move? Perhaps more of her plan will be revealed on Sunday, but for now let’s take a trip through this week’s interviews and videos!

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In the first of several interviews Vincent Cassel interviews, Deadline asks him if Bernard will ally with Serac. He replies, “I can’t really tell you. I’m sorry about that. Up to that point, it’s not really clear. I think you’ll discover that relationship later on.” Cassel also declines to confirm the status of Serac’s brother, saying, “It’s not quite clear if he is still alive or not. There is something of him that is alive, that’s for sure.” Something of him…interesting choice of words. Could he be cloning people and trying to manipulate their genetics to change their outcomes?

Regarding the differences between Serac and Dolores, he explains, “Dolores wants to reveal the world as it is. People don’t behave, people are low and cruel, and she’s suffered, so she wants to reveal the world how it is, and Serac wants to keep the world in a place with an image that is totally polished, and where people like him don’t appear. He doesn’t appear. It seems like everything is cute and nice, and that there is somebody controlling this whole thing, so it’s all about…it’s two different philosophies, really: She wants freedom and he wants peace.” Yes, but freedom for whom? Peace for whom?

Speaking with SYFY WIRECassel suggests that Serac may not be as bad of a guy as he seems. “I don’t know if you should be scared or eventually charmed by him and his ideas. When you think about it and when you see the determination of killing and destroying that Dolores has, maybe his vision is not a vision of a villain. I mean, that is the interesting thing with this show – you start to judge somebody and then you realize that it is exactly the opposite thing than what you thought it would be. So let’s wait and see before judging Serac and see what are his plans for the world.”

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Lastly, Cassel shares insight into the relationship between Serac and Maeve with Collider. “He’s a philanthropist, he’s a tyrant, he’s a messiah, he is the richest man in the world, and he’s definitely a great match for [Maeve,] the character that Thandie Newton plays. That’s another thing that I really liked about the whole thing. Suddenly, the only match you find on this earth is a fucking robot. I thought there was really such a paradox in there. He’s all of those things and more, I would say. They’re partners right now. They need to be partners. There’s no other way. He’s definitely trying to control her, but as you know, you don’t control Maeve.”

He continues, “At a certain point, it becomes this game of, who’s controlling who. It’s a mind battle. She’s a wonderful match for him, and he’s supposed to be one of the smartest. She’s so enhanced that she can figure out every little thing that he will do. You’ll see how that will develop. She really fights, and there’s this mind battle between those two. You’ll see where it goes. She’s really strong.” Hopefully she’s strong enough to follow her own agenda and break free of Serac’s grasp.

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In the first of two interviews with Insider, showrunner Jonathan Nolan discusses the inspiration for “Genre” and the music chosen for the episode. “One of the things that the episode is really playing on is the idea that cinema is more than 100 years old now, which means everyone in the world – whether they’re movie buffs or not – has a little bit of cinema stuck in their understanding of the world around them. And some of the things that cinema has done over the years with music are indelible.”

“One of the things I love about movie music, and music in general, is how it’s like a secret trapdoor into people’s minds,” he adds. “That’s one of the reasons we use popular music in the show. You get to sneak in there and start pressing buttons, because all these pieces of music have associations for people. With the movie music, it connects you to a shared experience. Something that everyone understands.” For more details on the song selections, check out the entire interview here.

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In the second interview, Nolan reveals why he chose the name Rehoboam for his AI. “It has actually nothing to do with the biblical reference. It’s an homage to a book called Stand on Zanzibar, which is a seminal piece of science fiction. It’s an absolutely terrific and frightening book.” Elements from the book such as “god-like mega computers, mass-marketed psychedelic drugs, and mundane uses of genetic engineering” definitely seem fitting for season three of Westworld. Nolan admits, “That was a period in science fiction when we’d got out of utopian science fiction and into much more frightening imaginings about where the world might take us, and in that book there is an AI owned by the General Technics corporation called Shalmaneser.” Shalmaneser was the name of several ancient kings of Assyria.

“Shalmaneser is literally in the lobby of the General Technics incorporation – an idea that I love – and that’s the reason why Rehoboam is in the lobby of Incite. It has this delicious subversive idea to it – that they would put this thing in full display, that they would put it right there.” Nolan explains, “With the advent of quantum computing…we will come to a moment where you don’t hide the hardware anymore. This is just good PR. You put it front and center and you let school kids literally walk around it, right?” He adds, “You could look at this thing and say, ‘Look, here it is in the lobby of our building. There’s nothing to be afraid of…What it’s doing, however, is something that only a handful of human beings might even understand.”

Finally, we get a bit of news about a possible fourth season from Yahoo Movies UK. During an interview with location manager Mandi Dillin, she says, “I’ve only heard whispers of season four. Typically there’s about a year between when we finish filming one season to when we begin talking about the next season, even though Jonah [Nolan] has five million things happening in his brain at one time. For us it typically is a year apart…if we were to make a season four, which I hope we do, I wouldn’t even imagine starting to talk about it until January of next year.” If season four does get a green light, it looks like another long wait is in store.


Check out the behind the scenes video, “Creating Westworld’s Reality,” for this episode:

In a bonus video, Evan Rachel Wood and Aaron Paul discuss Dolores’ decision to release Incite’s data.

Don’t forget to get a sneak peek at episode six – watch the preview below:

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