With the first two seasons of Westworld set within the park, outside competitors to Delos were a nebulous concept, something shadowy but undefined. Charlotte Hale and Theresa Mullen were maybe moles for some outside investors. But Mullen died halfway through Season 1, and Hale was secretly dead for nearly all of Season 2. It wasn't until this season the series introduced Incite, Delos' biggest rival, and its co-founder Engerraund Serac, who is stealthily buying out the company. But why does Serac want Delos? Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 3 follow.
Serac's rationale doesn't always line up with his actions. He first tells Maeve he aims to take down Dolores. But if he thinks hosts are so dangerous, why is he recreating the park? He should be trying to drive the company out of business.
Serac's words don't line up with his actions. When Maeve first awakens in War World, Serac attempts to get her to open the Forge, as if he's trying to learn how to access the Sector 16 project. Moreover, his moles like Hale and Mullen were trying to get this data broadcast out to him. He even admits to Maeve, in his second appeal for help, what he wants from Dolores is the key to the Forge.
In that second conversation, he says he's been waiting for Maeve and Dolores "for a long time." But they aren't the threat; humans are. He wants to control humanity, but to do that, he has to understand them. He created Rehoboam for this purpose, but it's not perfect.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered someone had put together a more complete portrait, a map of the human mind — created in a theme park, of all places.
Serac currently controls most of humanity by reproducing them in a mirror reality. These portraits are created from the outside in. It takes the actions of the person, and assumes what goes on in the brain from them.
The Sector 16 project, on the other hand, creates portraits from the inside out. An exact replica of the actions of the person proves they got what goes on in the brain right. (Hence all those tests for "fidelity.")
Rehoboam's "outside in" portraits are why someone like Caleb can go rogue. Instead of plodding obediently towards suicide, he unexpectedly takes up with Dolores and starts a revolution. Rehoboam can guess how Caleb should act, but it cannot know how he will act. Even Dolores says Caleb surprises her. She likes that about him. But Rehoboam, and Serac, do not take kindly to surprises.
But Serac is missing a critical piece of information: The Delos project failed.
James Delos never passed the test. Once he was pressed into flesh, the program broke down. The Man in Black canceled all further work and burnt down the unit just days before Dolores' revolution. It's not clear if anyone knows he did that.
Is Sector 16 the answer Serac seeks? Or will he be disappointed once he finally opens the Forge, or will it ultimately help him trap humanity on modest little loops once and for all?
Could merging Rehoboam with Sector 16 solve the fidelity problem? Fans should not forget the Man In Black will restart those tests one day soon.