There are spoilers in this review. And a lot of gifs.
I’m not sure how to write this, because there are so many things that happened and it’s hard to track it in a linear way. I have mostly been able to keep track of the two timelines, but since they converged this episode, it was definitely a ‘wait wait’ a few moments in there. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what happened and what this means for the future, a lot of things are up in the air for next season. After reading interviews with the directors and writers though, I think I’m a little more centered. I’m going to tell this story as directly as I can. Previously on Westworld, Maeve was taken in and her powers of mental control were given to Clementine so she can cause all the hosts to kill each other. Teddy committed suicide so Dolores could no longer use him as a weapon. Bernard has been stuck in multiple timelines and very confused about everything. The Ghost Nation and others have banded together, hoping to walk through The Door and get out of the park and to this famous promised land that Ford had programmed into a lot of them. William killed his daughter and was trying to get proof he was a host so he’d feel less bad about it. Dolores was headed to The Forge where all the guest info was being stored.
Where to start. Okay in the flashback. Maeve rescues herself from being torn apart, and she dryly points that out to Lee and Hector when they actually show up. She wants to get everyone to the Door so she can find her daughter again, now that she knows where they’re headed. It’s a beautiful scene while the mechanical bulls storm in and gore people. On the way they get pinned down, and Lee pretends to be Hector, his fanboy insert, so the others can escape. He dies doing so, but it seems like over this season he’s become more disenchanted with his part in everything, and his selfishness went through a crisis. It does feel maybe a little fast, but the actor was excellent and made it believable. Bye Lee! Maeve and crew do catch up to the Ghost Nation as they are walking through what appears to be a heaven door, a beautiful place on the other side. They do not know that by walking through the door they are shedding their bodies, the ones that fall on the other side of the cliff dead and are eventually flooded, but that doesn’t really matter to them. Clementine shows up as the Horse of the Apocalypse to turn all of them against each other. Maeve gets her daughter and the other mother and encourages them to run to safety, letting go of her child and stopping everyone with her mind so they can safely escape. I theorized this is where it was headed, because her love was unselfish. However we witness Maeve and Hector (and pretty much everyone else left behind) get killed and all that’s left is a big pile of host bodies.
But their bodies are still there, y’all, and I don’t think they’re dead for good. Thandie is definitely signed on for season three, just saying. And when the dust settles and Felix and Sylvester are actually tasked with picking up the hosts, so I assume Felix will be saving his boo again next season. Maybe we’ll actually see them interact again! PS Ake and his lady find each other on the other side! YAY.
It’s interesting because I’ve felt that Dolores and Maeve were representing different sides, but the show is actually twisting around to say that it’s Dolores and Bernard on separate sides. I think it vaguely makes sense because Maeve is not driven to save people while Dolores wants to destroy them, but Bernard is. He still has faith. It took him awhile to achieve self awareness though, which he finally does in this episode. Bernard makes it to the Forge where he meets up with Dolores and William. She found him after lying down with Teddy’s body and grieving, and for some reason agrees to team up with him. This is the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen in the show. There is nothing you can say that would make sense of why Dolores didn’t shoot him right there. Even if she feels like she “needs” back up, she proves later that as a terminator she can take a bunch of bullet wounds with no problem. This happens when he inevitably turns on her and starts shooting her and she’s like lol. She refuses to kill him though and give him his death wish, which just made me sigh because JUST KILL HIM ALREADY. I am so sick and tired of that character. Dolores and Bernard go into the Forge together to find out what’s underneath.
They meet the system which is using the facade of Logan. They are currently in Delos’ “book” of information about him, and the center point his life revolves around is his last conversation with his son. Logan reaches out for help, and his father ignores him. You see this as the last point where Logan wanted to save himself, but the denial and lack of support probably led him to overdose a few months later. The System Logan says that humans are actually kind of primitive and they can’t seem to change their “code” and they’re passengers really, subject to their bad code. It felt very Matrix-y in that moment. He reveals that Bernard/Ford set up a system that actually is The Door, where the hosts can leave their bodies behind by their consciousness uploads to safe place which will be their paradise. We don’t see it other than the heavenly way it appears. Dolores is having none of that though. She stubbornly insists that this isn’t freedom, it’s just another cage for them, and she tries to shut down the paradise. She still wants to “free” her people and destroy the humans, and Bernard is finally fed up. Earlier on she explains that she helped create Bernard, she was his tester, and so in many ways she helped create him. He draws a gun on her and even though she claims they have to awaken from the dream, he says this isn’t a dream, this is a fucking nightmare, and he shoots her dead.
Keep in mind as this episode is going, it flips around timelines a lot, so I’m trying to give a linear through line to make better sense of it. After this, Bernard reunites with Charlotte, all the humans, and Elsie. All the hosts are dead at this point and being put somewhere. Bernard feels betrayed by Elsie when she says she helped them defeat the hosts, and she doesn’t trust him because he has too much bad code. He then watches as Charlotte murders Elsie since she’s not down with the shady business stuff. This really sets Bernard off and he talks to Ford about how Dolores was right all along. He makes a new host, this time of Charlotte. And he puts Dolores’ brain inside of her, having saved it after killing her. So the Charlotte of the “future” timeline has been Dolores all this time. Props to Tessa for a spot-on Dolores impression. Bernard scrambled his brain on purpose so no one could use it to figure out what he did. Dolores kills all of the new security and wipes them out. She does say however that she has changed her mind. She uploads the hosts to a different server, a safer one or so she says, including Teddy who we see in heaven all alone. I don’t know that she actually took another version of Teddy to stay with her, but I think it makes more sense she recognizes he’s happier this way. So a lot of the hosts have now moved on. She kills Bernard, but she takes his brain as well.
Charlotte-Dolores escapes. She is shown to be “human,” another trick by Ford no doubt. We see William is alive and being tended to. Stubbs stops her, and he says a very cryptic thing that indicates he knows it’s really Dolores in there. He is clearly disenchanted with humans as well and lets her go. He also indicates he might be a host himself, and apparently the director confirmed that was the intention to indicate, as he talks about his core programming. I think we’ll see more of him next season and maybe he’ll help the hosts left over inside. Dolores stole several brains on her way out, and we see that Bernard is at least one of them. All this time the “Fidelity” tests between Dolores and Bernard have actually been in the future. They’re in Arnold’s house, where she’s able to recreate bodies he hid the machine for. She brought him back because she actually believes it’s important for him to keep her in check, since she’ll always try to kill everyone, and he’ll always try to stop her. This is very Professor X and Magneto by the way. We also see Charlotte’s body is around, but who is inside it we don’t know, and the writers don’t tell us who it is. So Tessa’s likely to stick around, but I don’t know that I think Dolores doubled herself. She can’t trust herself; they’re too ruthless!
In a post-credits scene, William arrives in the Forge only to see it destroyed. A version of Emily appears and tests him for fidelity. This is implied to be in the future however, as it seems much older and in disuse, and Emily isn’t acting like herself at all. This feels like a torture chamber cycle for him, so I don’t think it means the William who survived the park is necessarily this one. I also don’t think William was a host for a long time if he is one, it had to be more recent. I hate this though because as I said, I wanted him to die so I was disappointed.
Going back quickly, Bernard realized that Ford helping him figure out about Dolores, was actually him achieving consciousness. Like Dolores in season one, two kept thinking she was talking to Arnold but was talking to herself, he’s been taking control more than he realized. He and Ford have a final conversation … or final for now. This is right before he collapses on the beach and pretends his brain is scrambled. I’m going roundabout on this one because I wanted to take a moment to talk about how well acted and beautifully shot this scene was. I don’t know if Anthony Hopkins will show up again. They’ve really seemed to go beyond the Cradle and where Ford was, although his hands were still in a few things at the end. But it looks like his code might be gone now. This is a more fitting end to his character than his death last season. I still want to credit Jeffrey and Anthony for this scene which almost made me emotional, which is weird because Ford was so manipulative and controlling of Bernard, but there are still a lot of deep feelings between creator and created in play here. All the acting in this episode was superb by the way, and it was so beautifully shot, look at all these gifs to prove that!
Okay. So that’s the summary of the episode. This was an interesting season for me. It had ups and downs like anything else. This finale felt more like a SERIES finale which was kind of surprising, but I can see how it will continue from here. Dolores’ gang is in the real world now; I think it’s possible she will use Charlotte’s body to infiltrate Delos and try to destroy them that way. I’m not sure how Bernard is going to try to stop them, and I feel back and forth on whether he should because he did realize that Dolores was somewhat right. He doesn’t want her to annihilate the human race though. I hope on the outside Dolores has to face that not all humans are inherently evil, or they can’t possibly be, and maybe have some nuance. She’s only seen the worst folks. The world is more complicated I think. Or maybe it isn’t! This is the future. I think part of it will still be in the park, since Maeve and the others are stuck there. I would be surprised if they used those hosts again considering how they went haywire, but they want the company to keep going, so who knows. With Felix and Sylvester back in a place to change things, I think it’s very likely Maeve and Hector will be back next season. Will they try to escape to the real world too? It appears that the heaven/Door is closed now so they can’t get out that way. Maybe we’ll see the rest of the parks. Outside of William being alive, my biggest complaint is that Elsie was killed again. I really felt like there was more to do with her story wise and it was frustrating to bring her back only to not use her enough and lead to this. Booooo.
I think overall I am satisfied with this season. It might be worth going backward and seeing a few things again, like if Charlotte was supposed to be Dolores in that future timeline, I want to see if there are hints or not. Now that we know the fidelity scenes with Dolores and Bernard were actually in the future, that’s interesting as well. It is a pretty confusing show, but the general gist is direct. It’s very pessimistic about the human race though, and while I am at times too, I do think there’s more nuance in the real world and I hope we get to see Dolores adjust to what she sees there. She did prove she was willing to change her mind after Bernard killed her to spare the hosts. Who did she take with her? I don’t think Teddy was, I do think she let him move on, but who knows. Dolores’ journey was very interesting. She went down such a dark path but it’s easy to see why. I almost feel like Bernard’s wisest course of action if he wants to stop her is actually talk to her and plead his case more earnestly. But I’m not sure. This is an imperfect show about imperfect people, but it’s not boring. I am frustrated we probably have to wait a long time to get the next chapter of the story. I’ve heard the show is only supposed to be five seasons total, so they do have a plan. We’ll have to wait to see what that plan is.