As the insidious mastermind Serac, Vincent Cassel has rapidly become the biggest scene-stealer in Westworld Season 3, But what's his whole deal? In Episode 4, "The Mother of Exiles," Serac seems to make his intentions perfectly clear, but there are certain details about his background — or lack thereof — that might suggest he's not who he claims to be.
If you're wondering what happened to Paris in the relative "past" of Westworld, there's an outside possibility it might play into a secret about Serac's backstory that could be Westworld Season 3's big twist. Here's what happened to Serac in the past, and what it means for the show's future.
Spoilers and speculation ahead for Westworld Season 3 Episode 4, "The Mother of Exiles."
In the latest Westworld episode, Serac makes it clear to Maeve that his overall goal is to make sure that "my kind" is safe from the robot revolution of the Hosts. To this end, he's recruited Maeve to help him stop Dolores. Early in the episode, Maeve tells Serac she's pissed he didn't try to wine and dine her in Paris, but Serac tells her Paris was actually nuked.
Hold up! When did that happen?
The Westworld Season 3 trailer explains Paris
Way back before the Westworld Season 3 premiere, HBO released a trailer dominated by that trippy dark circle we've seen in every episode of the new season thus far. While this hasn't been confirmed outright, it's a good bet that this undulating circle is the representation of the giant thinking computer known as Rehoboam.
Supposedly, this program was created by Liam's father, along with the help of Serac sometime before the events of the new season. In Episode 4, Serac tells Maeve that Paris was destroyed when he was a little kid and that he actually saw it get nuked. This is backed up by the Westworld Season 3 trailer, which reveals that in October of 2025, there is a "Thermonuclear Incident" in Paris.
So this means (according to his own account and this trailer) Serac was a child in 2025 and remembers seeing Paris get nuked. The relative "present" of Westworld takes place mostly in 2052, but the flashbacks with William from season 1 took place in 2022, prior to the Delos takeover, so, about three years before Paris is destroyed.
Why is this relevant? Well, it proves that Westworld and its technology were fully operational before Paris was destroyed. William's project to bring James Delos back to "life" via a Host body was underway in 2026, a year after Paris. So in terms of the timeline, there's a perfectly good explanation for why Serac survived the destruction of Paris, outside of the fact that it looks like he was just outside of it as a child.
Is Serac a Host on Westworld?
Westworld's Season 3 timeline tells us that in 2039, something called the "Solomon Build" happened and the system was "initiated." Like Rehoboam, Solomon is the name of an ancient biblical king, one known for making wise decisions for other people. It's a good bet then, that 2039 is the date that Rehoboam comes online, starts running the affairs of the human race, and maybe even creates "the Mirror World."
This is about 14 years after the destruction of Paris. If we assume the little-kid version of Serac was about 10-years-old in that flashback, that would make him about 24 when he teams up with Liam's dad to build Rehoboam, possibly during the "Solomon Build." If Westworld Season 3 is happening in 2052 or 2053 (which would stand to reason since the stuff at Delos seems really recent for everyone in the "real world") then that would put Serac at roughly 39 years old in the action we're seeing "now."
But there's the rub. Serac seems older (Vincent Cassel is, in fact, 53), and after meeting him in the final scene of Episode 3, Charlotte (who is not actually Charlotte) sees Serac fade way, like a hologram. Obviously, this kind of holographic video conferencing is pretty common in the reality of Westworld, but what if this was actually a tip-off that Serac isn't a real person, but instead a projection of Rehoboam itself?
If that's true, Rehoboam could have manufactured all kinds of copies of "Serac" in Host bodies and even convinced one of those Seracs that he was human. This would account for the childhood memories he claims to have when he's talking to Maeve. Those "memories" are implanted, Blade Runner-style, to make this copy (or version) of Serac think he's "real."
The year 2058 makes Westworld Season 3 even more confusing
Several fans have pointed out that the description of Serac being a "black hole" in terms of his digital footprint matches up with the appearance of the mysterious creepy circle (or eclipsed timeline) that is telling us about all these "divergences." Basically, this theory points out that the graphic looks like a literal black hole. If true, this could be further evidence that Serac is just a construct of Rehoboam whether he knows it or not.
But even if that's true, why does the timeline/blackhole/Serac/Rehoboam make it clear that a "Critical Event" will take place in 2058? If the "present" of Westworld is happening in 2052, this would imply Serac and Rehoboam are possibly trying to prevent something that will happen in the next six years.
At the beginning of Westworld Season 3 Episode 4, it's heavily implied that Serac does have some kind of virtual knowledge of what could happen in the future. When the information broker refuses to explain what he did for Dolores, Serac shows him a possible future – we think. This seems to solidify the idea that Serac is dealing with the same data-set that exists inside Rehoboam, and that some kind of cancellation exists that has forecasted the result of Dolores' revolution.
But if Serac himself isn't actually human, it's possible he's not reading the data correctly. In other words, just because he's the most confident guy on the show doesn't mean he's not really just part of the system.
Bernard does diagnoses on himself to make sure his program hasn't been tampered with, but if you don't know you're a program, it would never occur to you in the first place.
Westworld Season 3 airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 pm Eastern Time.