After ten weeks of buildup, on Sunday the night finally arrived for the season two finale of HBO’s hit drama, Westworld. And at the end of an eventful hour and a half, fans were surprisingly left with more answers than questions. It’s something that could be considered quite rare for any HBO production, but also highlights the unique position the show is in for season three, seemingly set to be unlike either of the two previous entries.
The episode was fast paced, and full of notable deaths, not just mass unnamed ones. The first being Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), during the rescue mission for Maeve, who ended up escaping herself via telepathic controlled bulls. However, Lee stays behind to hold off Delos men and allow the group to escape. In a fitting end for the once upon a time puppet master behind the park, he recites an epic speech he originally wrote for the character of Hector before meeting his demise. The finale also confirmed a farewell to Elsie (Shannon Woodward) and hints strongly at the exit of Teddy (James Marsden). Elsie was shot by Delos board leader Charlotte Hale when she threatened to go public with the real objectives of Delos Inc. She demanded to be bought for her silence, but Hale called her bluff, saying that she “read her profile,” and that Elsie’s values were too moral to simply allow Delos to get away with their immortality project. We also see her dead body later in the episode, and if that wasn’t enough, showrunner Jonathan Nolan confirmed after the episode that Woodward’s character indeed will not be resurrected this time.
We also see the tragic demise of Maeve, along with Hector and the rest of her posse. While holding off the army of hosts set into chaos by Clementine, she is shot by arriving Delos soldiers. However, this comes just after she succeeds in holding them off long enough for her daughter and Akecheta to reach the host haven that is The Valley Beyond, a virtual world where the hosts’ consciousnesses can live free. Clementine also perishes, as she’s shot by Armistice after inducing all the hosts into a bloody riot. Unfortunately, the chaos she set in motion continues after her death. While we see the dead bodies of Maeve, Hector and the others on the shore later in the episode, they’ll likely be resurrected in season three, as technicians Felix and Sylvester are tasked with discovering which hosts are salvageable.
The biggest twist of the episode came as a result of Bernard witnessing Hale murder Elsie. After having killed Dolores to stop her from destroying The Forge, he has a change of heart, and resurrects her by placing her consciousness of into a copy of none other than Hale herself. Dolores then proceeds to kill Hale and impersonate her in order to escape the park, but not before killing Karl Strand, his team, and Bernard. On her way out of Westworld stops to have a conversation with Agent Stubbs, who seems suspicious about something, but ultimately lets her pass. Dolores’ first stop in the real world is the home that Arnold had built for himself and his family, where she uses the facility inside to recreate her body, where her consciousness at some point returns to. She also resurrects Bernard by rebuilding his body and inserting his control unit into it. When she leaves the park we see that she has several control units in her bag. While one is obviously Bernard, the rest are left for speculation. Could one of them be Teddy? Her father? These are questions that will help pass the time until season three.
We also bore witness to what was likely the swan song of Robert Ford. While it appeared in the episode that his consciousness had returned to Bernard in order to help him carry out his plan, it’s later revealed that Bernard only generated a memory of him, and then he was indeed successful in deleted the code that contained him. As Bernard puts it, “When I deleted your code, I purged myself of you permanently. And when I needed you again, you weren’t there, so I imagined you.” This isn’t to say that memories or flashbacks won’t bring us more scenes of Sir Anthony Hopkins in future seasons, but for now, it looks like his storyline is at an end.
Looking forward, it seems that season three of Westworld will take place primarily outside of the parks whenever it returns. Dolores and Bernard are now both out in the real world, with her determined to take it over and he equally as intent in stopping her. Showrunners Nolan and Lisa Joy also talked about how it will be an adventure creating what the show’s version outside world will look like 30 years into the future.
“One of the things we’re excited about is, the third season is our world,” Nolan said. “We get a chance to see what that world looks like [after] 30 years.”
So after all this, fans had most of their questions answered. The episode made it all the way through the credits without viewers completely questioning their own reality. Charlotte Hale died. Dolores flooded The Valley and escaped the park in her place. The hosts that Delos teams found in the flood as “vacant” were the ones who went through The Door and left their physical bodies behind. The ones who were “salvageable” were those who didn’t go through and were either a part of Clementine’s chaotic riot or shot down by Delos soldiers. Maeve and her crew died but should be resurrected by Felix and Sylvester, Elsie is definitely dead, and Ford seems to have influenced the lives of the everyone for the last time. The End. All the loose ends are tied up and fans are left to wonder what direction season three will go in.
And then in a mind-boggling post credits scene, everything that was seemingly straightforward about the future of the show’s direction went out the window. The bonus scene shows William in a similar situation as the resurrected James Delos, a bit confused about what time period is current, and being interviewed as some sort of test. The kicker is that his interviewer comes in the form of none other than his late daughter, who of course died at the hands of her father. It also appears that both William and Emily are in some sort of host form. But this doesn’t at all mean than the season two versions of William and Emily were or will ever be hosts. Joy confirmed that this scene is set much farther into the future than season two, and that it will eventually be explored further.
Season three of Westworld is scheduled to begin production later in 2018 or early 2019, and air sometime in late 2019 or early 2020.