This post contains frank discussion of Westworld season three, episode six “Decoherence.” If you’re not all caught up, now is the time to leave.
Dolores and Caleb largely take the week off as everything descends into chaos for Maeve, Charlotte, and William. On this week’s episode of Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast, Tessa Thompson calls in to give some insight into what’s going on with her character who wound up pretty burned—in more ways than one—this week. You can find all episodes of “Still Watching” here.
For a more visual breakdown of “Decoherence,” you can check out some easter eggs, callbacks, and details you might have missed in the rundown below. Let’s start with the title, shall we?
“Decoherence” While this may be a fun play on incoherence (a word that could easily refer to William in this episode), the title is also no doubt a reference to the concept of “quantum decoherence” which, I confess, I’m too much of an English major to understand fully. But, essentially, quantum decoherence is the breakdown of the relationship between the different quantum states of a system. If kept in isolation, a quantum system will maintain coherence, but otherwise the system will breakdown over time. A breakdown of a quantum system? That is no good.
This concept can be most easily applied to the Dolorii who, when they originated, were of one mind. But as Connells and Bernard discussed last week, differing experiences can change a thing and the Dolores who looks like Charlotte Hale has fundamentally diverged from her maker, Dolores Prime. At one point in the episode, Charlotte pointedly removes the gold bracelet on her wrist—a gesture I interpreted as her unshackling herself. On the latest episode of “Still Watching,” however, Thompson confesses she had to remove the bracelet to account for a continuity issue in the action scenes she filmed. Nonetheless, she says, an uncoupling between Dolores and Charlotte is absolutely an “arc” of both this episode and this season. Dolores may be in trouble with…herself.