Westworld’s Maeve Still Looks More Like A Plot Than A Character

ByLance T. Lee

Jul 28, 2022

Editor’s Note: The article below contains spoilers for Westworld Season 4.Maeva Millay (Thandiwe Newton) might be the best character in Westworld. Her battle for autonomy and freedom in the early seasons was incredibly engaging and her philosophical differences with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) in their respective approaches have led to some of the most thought-provoking parts of the series. Maeve is confident and with godlike robot-hacking powers to boot, she’s a formidable force for anyone to face. When the story moved towards it, you could always expect something interesting to happen. The problem is that, like most things in WestworldMaeve was spoiled by Season 3. Her powers became the focal point the story needed her for (unless it was to crack a few trademark jokes if needed), which led her to become more of a plot device used to push the narrative or other characters. to their desired destination rather than an agent of free will with its own agenda.


Much of the problem surrounding Maeve feeling static stems from the fact that the show’s main cast has changed significantly over the past two seasons. Tons of stock characters have been killed or gone missing, especially those close to Maeve. Hector (Rodrigue Santoro), technicians: Félix (Leonard Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum), Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), and many of her other relationships were all killed, meaning all of Maeve’s relationships were severed. Maeve has always been a character driven not just by her need to break free, but also by her ability to see the humanity in others. She allied with humans and Hosts from the start, but self-preservation had become all she had left. In Season 3, she spent most of her time alone hunting Dolores, and it made her feel much more like a robot than anything we’d ever seen her do in Seasons 1 and 2.

While Season 4 was an improvement over Season 3 in countless ways, one thing that seems to have stayed the same is Maeve. Her powers make her a great threat to almost any force against her, so the show must continue to find ways to make her obsolete. This season, she works to keep Caleb (Aaron Paul) safe and designed to be the secret weapon that will eliminate Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). It’s like the story is happening to him rather than being part of the story now. She exists to preserve Caleb and use her superpowers to be the winning trump card. Maeve’s power itself isn’t the issue, it’s something she’s been using incredibly well from the start. But now it seems like the story doesn’t really care about her outside of her powers. When she and Caleb go to the new fake park and witness a recreation of the “Paint It Black” sequence, she has a few brief moments of recollection and a sad look in her eye, but the story moves on quickly. It seems dishonest that Maeve is going back to a mocking recreation of her once prisoner-and-puppets and re-textured versions of her old friends, only for her to be barely affected by it.

RELATED: ‘Westworld’ Season 4 Is Enhanced by Tessa Thompson’s Terrifying Turn as Charlotte Hale

Her powers will fail and not work on upgraded Hale hosts, until she conveniently box breakthrough. One would expect when faced with upgraded enemies, Maeve would do what she has done in the past – log into the system and download what she needs to gain the upper hand. Instead, she just wants harder until her powers finally work precisely when the story lets her. She spends too much time battling silent computer screens. It’s as if Maeve was running on training wheels, limited not by her abilities but by the story’s willingness to recognize them. It’s frustrating to see her ability levels seemingly fluctuate based on what the narrative wants to happen, rather than what we know Maeve is capable of.

There are glimpses of Maeve becoming a character again in her interactions with Caleb in episodes 4 of season 4. She reminds him of her past and expresses her desire to keep him safe, to allow him to be with his girl as she could. doesn’t stay with hers, and we see how much she trusts him and how hard she will go to protect him. It’s like Maeve is going back to basics, using her powers because she has something to protect and a goal she wants for her own reasons. Until she blows herself up. When she and William (Ed Harris) The host is buried, she is transformed into a MacGuffin, a key item that other characters must remove for use when appropriate. People looking for it in the desert call it a weapon, and at this point, that’s basically its function. He’s a powerful character to use to help this ragtag group of rebels end Charlotte Hale’s reign of terror, regardless of her own well-being or involvement. Knowing Maeve, she’ll probably want to help end this doomsday business anyway, but her choice in the matter has been completely suppressed. Maeve has become a near mythical power, and that means the plot can’t let her do anything too quickly or the story would just end, so she’s busy being moved around like a chess piece and maneuvered to manipulate Caleb rather than having a plot of his own.

The basis for a return to form is there. Caleb could be the first connection Maeve has to make to start finding connections again, to find something more important than survival or revenge. But with the ongoing plot and her powers constantly unreliable for story reasons, she feels like a plot device, only relevant when relevant to others. Maeve is a character who has always been strong, but it feels Westworld forgot how multifaceted his strength is. It’s not just his extraordinary robot powers; it never was. His wit, empathy, and ability to connect with others have always been his strengths as much as his ability to disable a host or wield a sword. Maeve Millay is a character who, at her best, is the most powerful person in any room she walks into and knows it. She just needs to have more skin in the game so she feels part of the story again. Maeve is a fantastic character who doesn’t deserve to be wasted as a story prop. With a bit of luck, Westworld will put her back on track and, rather than write around her, bring her to the fore – not only as the secret weapon that will bring victory, but also as the confident and driven character that we know and love.

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