So you’re prepping to start another season of? You’ll need a slick new wardrobe, a former military man to befriend, and some bodies you can stick copies of your mind in. But if time doesn’t allow for all of that, this recap of the should suffice.
The first episode of Westworld season 4 premieres Sunday, so it’s time to take a look back at where things on HBO’s complex and fascinating sci-fi series left off. Season 3 took place largely outside of the notorious theme park, revealing more of human society in 2050, and ended on a cliffhanger. There will be eight episodes total, like last season, with more arriving on Sundays. If you’re ready, go ahead and bring yourself back online.
Caleb (Aaron Paul) joined the cast
The third season introduces us to Caleb Nichols (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), a war veteran who’s haunted by a memory of losing his friend, Francis, in combat. In episode 1, we learn he’s a construction worker and low-level criminal who takes jobs through an app. When he meets Dolores, he joins her on her mission.
Eventually, we find out that Caleb is considered to be an “outlier” by a machine called Solomon and its successor, Rehoboam. Because of this status, he underwent reconditioning therapy, a “treatment” that altered his memories. It was “effective,” according to Solomon, and Caleb was allowed to re-enter society. Not everyone was so lucky (more on that in the “pods” section).
It’s revealed that Caleb and Francis (who’s played by rapper Kid Cudi) both survived the war, and in a turn of events, Caleb is the one who killed him. Solomon offered each of them money to take out the other, and Francis turned on Caleb, forcing Caleb to shoot him. Another twist is that the crime app, Rico, was created so that outliers like Caleb would round up other outliers.
Maeve and Caleb are working together
Maeve reluctantly teams up with a new character named Engerraund Serac this season after Serac tells her that the key to the Sublime — where Maeve’s daughter exists — is in Dolores’ mind. Serac is a trillionaire who created Rehoboam with his brother, Jean Mi, and came to serve as a mouthpiece for Rehoboam. Serac/Rehoboam want the trove of guest data collected by Delos Incorporated, and believe the key to it is also in Dolores’ mind.
In the season 3 finale, Maeve switches sides at a crucial moment and helps Dolores and Caleb. She said she realized why Dolores “chose” Caleb to help her — not because of his capacity for violence, but because of his capacity to choose. Dolores leaves it up to Caleb to decide the future. He tells Rehoboam to “execute the final command” — putting a new strategy Solomon gave him into play — and brings about the apocalypse. More details on that big move below.
Dolores is no more-es. Well, maybe
In the season 3 finale, Rehoboam destroys Delores’ memories in an attempt to find the key to the aforementioned Delos data. It’s not there. It sure seems like Delores as we know her may be gone for good, but with this show, I’m not counting any possibility out.
‘Charlotte Hale’ is building hosts
It’s not the end for this Dolores duplicate. Season 3 confirmed that Dolores made copies of herself (her control unit/pearl) and stuck them into the bodies of Charlotte, Musashi, Martin and Lawrence. Pseudo-Charlotte helps Dolores by impersonating Hale, but she eventually gets found out, and it costs her. The last time we see new Charlotte, it’s in the finale’s post-credit scene, when she’s joined by a host version of William and looks to be building more hosts.
Host William has replaced William
Season 3 is a doozy for William. He has hallucinations of his daughter he murdered, gets tricked by the new version of Charlotte and endures some pretty unconventional futuristic therapy. When he emerges from all of that, William declares that his “original sin” was building hosts, and he’s going to wipe out all of them. However, in the finale’s post-credit scene, William is fatally wounded by another version of himself who answers to fake Charlotte.
A bunch of humans are still in those weird pods
Solomon reveals in episode 7 that the treatment given to Caleb only works on one in 10 people. So what happens to everyone else? Apparently, they get put to sleep in pods, where they “aren’t even allowed to live or die,” as Caleb puts it. In episode 7, we see what looks like hundreds of the eerie, gray, human-sized containers.
Caleb ushered in… the apocalypse
So back to that whole apocalypse thing. When Caleb makes his final move in the season 4 finale, he says he’s doing it to give the world a choice, like Dolores did for him. The show shifts to Bernard, who sheds some much needed light on Dolores’ intentions, and the consequences of Caleb’s move: “She wasn’t trying to exterminate the human race. She was trying to save it,” Bernard says. “What’s about to happen was always gonna happen. Serac and his brother were just holding it off. Humanity never reckoned with its own sins.” He adds: “Our world had to burn down before we could be free.”
So the reckoning is now. Stubbs, who’s with Bernard in that scene, calls it the apocalypse, and Bernard doesn’t correct him. At the end of the finale (before the post-credits), we see Caleb and Maeve looking out at some skyscrapers, which are shaken by explosions.
Bernard is headed into the Sublime
Bernard, not Delores, has the key to the Sublime, the place hosts like Maeve’s daughter currently occupy. In the season 3 finale, Bernard uses it, announcing that he’s looking for an answer to what comes after the end of the world.
We may see Engerraund Serac’s brother, Jean Mi in season 4
We saw Jean Mi in season 3 flashbacks, and it’s implied he’s sitting in one of the pods we see in the penultimate episode. In the season 3 finale, Engerraund basically admitted he podded (pod-ded?) his brother, per instructions from Rehoboam. Maybe we’ll see him once more when the show addresses those chilling capsules again?
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As Apple is expected to announce a headset in January and Meta slows VR investment, a look at opportunities for the VR supply chain and competing headset makers (Ming-Chi Kuo/Medium)
Ming-Chi Kuo / Medium:
As Apple is expected to announce a headset in January and Meta slows VR investment, a look at opportunities for the VR supply chain and competing headset makers — (1) One of the keys to the VR industry’s rapid growth in the past 2-3 years is Meta sold VR headsets at a loss and aggressively promoted its VR business.
The Absolute Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix
Netflix has a stunning range of sci-fi series, from, to . It’s also tapped excellent international content, including , one of the best series on Netflix full stop.
Scroll down to hopefully find the best Netflix sci-fi for you, plus excellent international offerings.
Germany’s answer to Stranger Things deliberately takes its time before stepping into completely compelling and original places. A sci-fi noir, Dark folds time travel, conspiracies and estranged families into a generation-spanning story kicked off by a child’s disappearance. If those kinds of meticulously crafted layers are what you’re after in your storytelling, settle in. All three seasons of Dark’s meditative look at time travel and its effect on human nature are waiting to hit you at full force.
Netflix cancellations don’t get more criminal than the axing of The OA. This wildly unique story follows Prairie Johnson, a young blind woman who returns after being missing for years, now with the ability to see. She claims to be the “original angel” and convinces a small group of locals to listen to her impossible story, involving abductions and great escapes. The OA is the kind of grounded sci-fi that catches you and its heroes completely off guard when it introduces its fantastic concepts. Watch the first two impeccable seasons on Netflix and pray the third is picked up elsewhere.
Lost in Space (2018-2021)
The reboot of the 1965 series of the same name propels us forward to 2046, two years after humanity finds itself on the brink of extinction. The talented Robinson family head out with a crew to colonize a new planet. Aside from inescapable family drama, they face strange new environments and an odd alien robot that befriends young Will. Mystery, heart and a memorable villain in Parker Posey’s Dr. Smith give Lost in Space plenty of fuel to lift off (seasons 2 and 3 are markedly improved over season 1).
Yeah, Gong Yoo from Squid Game’s in this. What else do you need to know? This South Korean sci-fi mystery follows a crew of astronauts on a mission to an abandoned research facility on the moon. Their target: a sample of an unknown substance for unclear purposes. Betrayal, government lies and personal secrets send this addictive space journey into a tailspin.
Altered Carbon (2018-2020)
Altered Carbon is set in a cyberpunk world where human consciousnesses can be transferred into different bodies. This sees investigator and ex-soldier Takeshi Kovacs transported into the body of Joel Kinnaman in season 1 and Anthony Mackie in season 2. Initially, Kovacs’ story involves solving a murder, before he goes on a quest to unravel what happened to his own lost love. Altered Carbon can be clunky at times, but its visual candy and entertainment value hoist you through the exposition and heavy-handed social commentary.
From the creators of The Matrix comes another story that plays with reality. Sense8 follows eight strangers from across the world who discover they’re mentally and emotionally linked. Not only do these windows into vastly different lives teach tolerance, but the “sensates” can also tap each other’s skills when facing a sinister organization hunting them down. If you jibe with Sense8’s diverse characters, you’ll fall head over heels for this earnest and sensual sci-fi drama.
COURTESY OF NETFLIX
Love, Death + Robots (2019—)
This adult animated anthology series spans a range of genres, with plenty of episodes hitting the Black Mirror comparison button. Robots in a post-apocalyptic city, farmers piloting mech suits and a space mission gone wrong all pop up in the first season. While the episodes can be hit and miss (some have been criticized for their treatment of women), you’ll find plenty of thought-provoking and impressive animation.
This apocalyptic sci-fi from Belgium will probably turn you off from flying any time soon. Set on a plane, Into the Night sees a red-eye hijacked by a soldier who, along with the rest of the passengers, ends up surviving a deadly global event down on the ground. Can they keep the plane going long enough to take them to safety? That premise alone should be enough to entice you to catch this excellent, tense thriller.
Hilary Swank is the big star at the heart of Away’s space drama. She plays Emma Green, a NASA astronaut and commander of an expedition to Mars. Things get off to a rocky start, and Emma’s international crew fill her with doubt over her ability to command. With time split between Earthbound drama and reliable entertainment above the stratosphere, Away is mostly successful in landing an all-rounded journey.
Enjoy sci-fi series that play with two timelines? Have a special spot for cults and mysteries? Meet Archive 81. The multiple genre-straddling show stars Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner, an archivist who takes a gig restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from the ’90s. He gets far more than he bargained for, drawn into an investigation of a mysterious cult and a young woman who may or may not be dead. A supernatural thriller with horror, mystery, noir and sci-fi seeped into its creepy atmosphere, Archive 81 has it all.
Stranger Things (2016—)
It wouldn’t be a best list without Stranger Things. If somehow you’ve missed the Duffer Brothers’ ode to ’80s horror and Steven Spielberg, things are about to get tubular. We follow El, a near-mute girl who was the subject of scientific experiments. She develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to fend off monsters who invade from a frightening alternative dimension. The world of Indiana, Hawkins, is lovingly detailed for anyone in need of an ’80s nostalgia hit and the misfit characters, played by a stellar young cast, are part of everything that makes this show a tour de force.
Full disclosure: Netflix sadly canceled Travelers after its third season, but this tightly plotted sci-fi out of Canada does manage to end with an ambitious bang. We start with Marcy, a disabled woman who’s beaten up after helping a friend escape thugs. She dies — then comes back to life. This strong character-driven sci-fi reveals its secrets in clever ways, following operatives from the future tasked with preventing the collapse of society but also navigating the tricky territory of living a double life.
While Charlie Brooker’s bleak tech anthology series can be hit and miss, at its best, Black Mirror packs its mini-movies with an exploration of futuristic technological ideas through painfully human stories. One of those is San Junipero, following two women in the ’80s (cue banging soundtrack) as they fall for each other in ways they couldn’t do in their “real” lives outside the beach city. The tech aspect is revealed with genius timing and, in general, the show explores the consequences of our plugged-in lives in disturbing and occasionally uplifting ways.
Warner Bros./YouTube/CNET Screenshot
If The 100 looks like your standard teen drama, prepare to have your expectations exceeded. There’s a reason this post-apocalyptic series scored seven seasons: The 100 brings rich world-building and moral dilemmas that push the stereotypical characters into unique, compelling places. The 100 in question are a generation of juvenile detainees sent to Earth to determine whether it’s habitable post-apocalypse. 100 percent give this one a go.
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
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Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’s Opening Recreates the Red Ribbon Saga
For 90s kids, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball was one of our first steps into anime and manga. It was Dragon Ball Z on Toonami that was The Show back in the day, and the franchise has gone on in the years since to produce countless games, spinoff anime, and films. With the upcoming Super Hero movie serving as the first film in four years, Toei Animation is going all out to make sure that this movie is a big deal.
Super Hero follows Piccolo (Toshio Furukawa in Japanese, Christopher Sabat in English) and Gohan (Masako Nozawa/Kyle Hebert) as they save the world from a new version of the Red Ribbon Army, a criminal organization that first popped up when Gohan’s father, Goku (Nozawa/Sean Schemmel) was a kid back in the original Dragon Ball, and who later returned in DBZ during the “Androids Saga.” With the film having released in Japan earlier this month, and set to hit other territories sometime in the next months, Toei has released a video of the film’s opening that gives a condensed version of the Ribbon story that’s run across the franchise over the years. Bur rather than simply present that footage as it originally was, Toei recreated it to fit the style of the film’s 3D animation.
If you’ve played Dragon Ball FighterZ, the film’s art style of mixing 2D with CGI will feel familiar, and it just looks awesome. Seeing the Androids and Cell in cleaner, crisper animation, even just for a moment, may bring back some memories. Beyond the movie meant to follow Super Hero, it’s clear what anime future awaits Dragon Ball, but here’s hoping that the next series, whenever it comes out, has equally gorgeous animation.
Thanks to Crunchyroll, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will hit theaters around the world later this summer.
[via Comic Book]
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
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