SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fifth episode of “Westworld” Season 3.
The fifth episode of “Westworld” Season 3 was all about one character: the mercurial Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel).
After little teases to his backstory, the episode threw Serac’s past wide open: We learned that his family was killed in a nuclear explosion which engulfed Paris, sparing only him and his brother.
The two then vowed to find a way to rid the world of chaos and bloodshed, and so exploited billionaire Liam Dempsey Sr. (Jefferson Mays) to help them build the super computer known as Rehoboam, through which they are able to prescribe the fate of every human and predict precisely how they will live and die.
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Co. spent the entire episode running from Serac’s men, while trying to dismantle his system of control. In a seemingly decisive move, Dolores hacked into the Incite system and sent the data Serac has been collecting to every single individual on the planet, removing Incite’s manipulative scales from people’s eyes.
It might seem that Serac was left with not many cards to play at this point, but Cassel tells Variety, “Not so fast.”
There are plenty of twists and turns left to come, so here, he answers some of the most burning questions raised by Episode 5.
Serac’s motivations seem to have been pure to begin with, would you say that’s really true?
Well, in this episode we realize that what he wants is the good of humanity, but we can see that something is wrong — we can feel that he has suffered. The reasons why he thinks he has the right to do what he does are still a mystery to me. He sees himself as a victim of the world. It feels like he had good reasons to create this monster, this Rehoboam thing, but he lets it become a religion somehow. He’s obsessed with trying to figure out something that’s impossible to figure out. He’s a control freak, he’s a victim of his own creation, almost like a Frankenstein character. He’s a genius, but he’s alone.
At the end of the day he murdered Liam Dempsey Sr. and imprisoned hundreds of people, among them his brother, because they didn’t fit within his system. Do the ends justify the means?
Come on, what political stability has been put together only through peace? There are always some people dying for it. Maybe Serac is going to solve that, that’s what he’s trying to do.
One thing that is still a mystery is the meaning of his name. It’s so peculiar and fans have been speculating that there must be some kind of deeper meaning to it?
From what I heard Engerraund is a Scottish name — a posh Scottish name from big families and long stories. Serac is French for “a fault in the ice.” It’s really dangerous, if you fall in it you’re sure to die. So the Engerraund tells you that he’s really rich and comes from an educated family, and Serac [is] because he’s dangerous and cold.
Serac uses the data he gathers to map out a future for every human, could a company be ever capable of doing that in real life?
Sometimes I think about it and I think that giving away our data is the price to pay to have all this comfort. We can work remotely right now during the coronavirus — it makes it easier and more comfortable in daily life. But yes, you have to leave a lot of parts of your identity every time you use your computer. All your tastes and your habits can give a very precise image of you, and it’s possible that someone could do something like this with your image. That’s the whole theme of this season.
Episode 4 ended with Maeve (Thandie Newton) in a pool of blood and we didn’t see any sign of her in Episode 5. Is it safe to assume she will feature in Serac’s plans once again in the future?
Ah, I can’t tell you that! What I can say is things are going to get narrower and narrower. All the characters are going to be involved and my control over them changes. When I read the scripts I was surprised more and more with each episode, so I’ll say there are plenty more surprises to come.
“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.