Westworld Season 4 Episode 3, “Annees Folles,” may have been the best episode of the season yet. While last week’s episode was definitely fun to watch, this week’s soared by bringing Bernard back into the fold.
Here’s a look at the top explanations about what happened in S4E3.
This review has SPOILERS for Season 4 Episode 3 of Westworld. (Don’t forget to join us on Facebook for more discussions.)
The Definition of ‘Annees Folles’
First, let’s get this out of the way. The title of the episode does have an interesting definition. Annees folles refers to the 1920s, according to Wikipedia. So the title of the episode is a fancy phrase to describe the park that Maeve and Caleb find themselves in, thanks to Charlotte’s invitation last week.
Annees folles literally means “crazy years” in French, and refers more specifically to the 1920s in France, Wikipedia tells me. In the U.S. it was referred to as the Roaring Twenties, but both phrases have similar vibes.
I’m So Glad Bernard & Stubbs Are Back — I Missed Them
I had forgotten how much I loved Bernard and Stubbs’ dynamic until they were back on the screen for Episode 3. If asked whether I liked the Bernard/Stubbs duo better or the Caleb/Maeve duo, I’d be hard-pressed to choose. Both are a delight on the screen.
I enjoyed how Stubbs even tried to fight against Bernard’s new prophecy powers, such as attempting to order the sandwich he wanted rather than listening to Bernard’s pronouncements. It was a lot of fun.
Bernard Is the New Rehoboam
Bernard’s journey started with a brief foray into the Sublime (brief for us, but many years in the life of the show.) He met with Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), whom we last saw in Season 2.
— eloi (@nyxeloi) July 11, 2022
Akecheta was a first-generation host too, and had an amazing story in Season 2. He didn’t die for 10 years, because he was determined not to lose his memories of his love, Kohana. He protected Maeve’s daughter, and Ford referred to him as a “flower growing in the darkness.”
It was great to see him back, even if only for a short time.
Benard’s return also thrust us right back into early Westworld, with images of the wolf and the white horse that viewers used to make so many theories about. His first scenes were packed full of nostalgia and intrigue. But his time in the Sublime was destined to be short.
One thing I thought was especially interesting was how once Bernard returned to the real world, the music that played for some of of his scenes had a distinct Rehoboam feel. It felt like a variation of the Rehoboam theme from last season. Bernard is now a walking-talking version of Rehoboam, but this time created by the Sublime rather than by humans.
Rehoboam used data first compiled directly from Westworld to extrapolate millions of different possible timelines. Serac claimed to have created Rehoboam in an attempt to control humanity so it wouldn’t hurtle into a cataclysmic apocalyptic world. (Why does that hit far too close to home right now?)
It seems that Bernard is fulfilling the same purpose. The Sublime had access to the same data as Rehoboam, and did the same types of calculations. Except now Bernard has to find the one path to avoid cataclysm that’s still available to them after Dolores’ revolution. His story has quite the Dr. Strange feel to it.
— Rando Calrissian (@ItsKurtLockwood) July 11, 2022
In the end, all of his machinations bring him and Stubbs face-to-face with “C” — a mystery woman who is part of a resistance fighting the hosts.
We’re given clues that may indicate Bernard is 15 to 20 years past where Caleb and Maeve are in the timeline. As one Redditor pointed out, the tree growing through the porch roof is a clear clue.
And C might just be Caleb’s daughter. See more theories about that in my story here.
ChicagoWorld Is a Copy of Westworld
One thing I found fascinating was how the stories for ChicagoWorld (or GoldenAgeWorld or ProhibitionWorld, whatever your fancy) were repeated straight from Westworld. It was a really nice touch that drew me quickly into those scenes, feeding my need for some nostalgic Westworld vibes.
Even the music as they were walking in the new world seemed to be a variation of the Westworld theme. And of course, the piano cover choices were superb.
And the moment the can rolled toward Caleb – I laughed out loud when Maeve harshly told him to ignore it. 😆
(And did you pick up on Liza Weil in the role of the guest who talked about the Easter eggs? She’s from How to Get Away with Murder and Gilmore Girls.)
— Emil Sayad (@egeek84) July 11, 2022
At first, I thought that Delos was just lazy in repeating the same storylines. But once it was revealed that the hosts are likely humans controlled by flies, it seems to be more of a mockery of Westworld. This is Charlotte’s payback for Westworld, to the point that she’s making humans go through the exact same things that the hosts did.
My only question is just how this might work. Humans can’t be fixed as easily as hosts — can they? Are they being cloned? Are they just being replaced with other humans waiting on standby? It’s all a bit confusing.
There were some painful moments, such as when Maeve saw the “newer” version of Hector. She had to shake off the sadness that brought to her, but you know it stung. Thandiwe Newton did an amazing job portraying those emotions so flawlessly and subtly. We knew what she was feeling, but she wasn’t overt about it.
Caleb (Aaron Paul) also did a great job in his scenes, where he felt equally compelled and disgusted by the flies and how they responded to him when they were safely locked behind a clear glass box. Then he threw all caution aside when he thought his daughter was about to die.
But as it turns out, it was all a ploy by Charlotte to expose him to the flies and take him over. Poor Caleb – just like Jesse, he has to always suffer.
(This also confirms that Caleb is NOT a host — a theory I had talked about last week.)
Maeve’s fight with William was also interesting, because it looks like there is more than one Host William responding to Charlotte’s orders. I theorized about that here last week.
However, there’s something special about these William hosts.
Maeve didn’t immediately pick up on the fact that William is a host, which points to something unique about this new version.
We’re Seeing 3 or 4 Timelines
— HBO (@HBO) July 5, 2022
I think this episode is revealing that we’re seeing at least three, possibly four timelines. One is Maeve, Caleb, Charlotte and Host William. Next is Bernard and Caleb’s timeline, likely 15 to 20 years past Caleb and Maeve. Then there’s that apocalyptic Future William timeline, which is either in Bernard’s timeline or after.
The main question is Christina’s timeline. I’m willing to bet she’s in Bernard’s timeline, being used to write stories for the human hosts.
Christina and Teddy didn’t make an appearance this episode. And while I missed them, I enjoyed seeing Bernard back on the screen. Overall, this was perhaps the best episode of the season yet.
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