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Where Did We Leave Things in WESTWORLD At the End of Season One, Again?

Where Did We Leave Things in WESTWORLD At the End of Season One, Again?

The second season of Westworld lands on HBO April 22nd, so the trippy robo-series just dropped a new trailer that celebrates burning old worlds down to a jaunty piano cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway.” The song fits in with the show’s love affair of translating modern hits to pianola, but it’s also thematically appropriate considering the way everything ended in the finale. Hosts on the run. Ford toasting to the scumbags.

In a show this dense, there’s no shame in refreshing our memories on all the insane things that happened and all the bonkers secrets that got revealed at the end. So let’s do it the safest way possible: by wearing an orange hazmat suit and looking at where each character’s path through the maze landed them.

Dolores Abernathy

We learned in “The Bicameral Mind” that park co-founder Arnold Weber (Jeffrey Wright) had programmed Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) to kill him in an effort to shut down the park before it opened. He also set up the programmed maze she and the other hosts must travel if they are to gain sentience, which Ford (Anthony Hopkins) sets her back on by reinstating the reveries in the first episode.

With suffering as the key to finding enlightenment, Dolores reached control of her own mind after enduring the memory of killing Arnold, a chat with Ford revealing his intentions to help her free herself, and a fight that illustrates how The Man in Black (Ed Harris), who was her lover William (Jimmi Simpson) thirty years ago, was just as violent and angry as every other newcomer in the park. Instead of Arnold or Ford, Dolores finally had a conversation with herself, guiding herself toward an incipient consciousness and choosing–really choosing–to kill Ford in front of the guests gathered for the launch of the old man’s new narrative. And then, you know, firing into the crowd.

Over the first season, Dolores killed Arnold (34-ish years prior), fell in love with William (30 years prior), traveled the maze an untold amount of times without finding the center, learned to kill a fly, then finally completed the maze which gifted her sentience and allowed her to choose to kill Ford. Now, she leads the resistance.

Maeve Millay

After enduring the death of her child (Jasmyn Rae) at the hands of MIB in a previous storyline, Maeve (Thandie Newton) also walked the suffering path of the maze, emerging in the back area of the park and holding two hapless technicians hostage until they maxed out her intelligence. She recruited Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro)–whose last name means “the end of the world”– and Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) to return to the backstage of the park to blaze a bloody path to freedom.

They freed the hosts in cold storage (including Peter, who’s a data back-up for the entire park), meeting up with Bernard (the Arnold Bot), who confirmed that Maeve’s destructive goals were still part of her programming (from Ford? a long-dormant string of Arnold’s code?). Instead of fulfilling her initial desire to “reach the mainland,” Maeve changed her mind, disembarked the train, and returned to the park to find her daughter (who was in “Park One”). Heading into season two, Maeve is on a rescue mission.

Dr. Robert Ford

It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Ford again. He took a bullet to the head in the finale, and although this is a universe where he might have replaced himself with a robo-look-a-like to take the fall, his ultimate goals fell in line with the risk of potentially dying at Dolores’s hands. Plus, Hopkins talks about the role as if it’s in the past.

It’s difficult to imagine that Ford, as we’ve seen him, always planned to go out with a bang, but the Delos board led by Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) and aided by Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) put him in his old partner’s ethical position. Where Ford stopped Arnold from freeing the hosts so that Ford could retain control more than thirty years prior, Ford found himself wanting to free the hosts lest Charlotte reduce them to simple puppets with no hope of ever finding sentience. He died so that Dolores could live, but he was no savior.

William/The Man in Black

Thirty years after falling for Dolores as a young romantic, William haunted the park as the powerful Man in Black, proving a profound lack of nostalgia by brutalizing her and other hosts in his desperate search for the maze…a thing that had nothing to do with him. He even bought the park! That’s how obsessed he was with finding a sense of authenticity in a constructed reality. It’s also a sign of how empty his life was outside of Westworld.

On the plus side, he got his wish for heightened, real-world stakes by the end of the season when an army of hosts emerged from the woods, gun blazing, and catching a bullet in the arm.

The Loose Ends

There’s also Bernard, who attained sentience by letting go of the grueling false memory of Arnold’s son’s death, and Teddy, who was generally clueless the whole time. They watched Dolores murder Ford together in shock.

Armistice survived long enough to slice her own arm off and keep murdering guards, and it’s possible that Hector kept fighting, too.

Theresa is definitely dead, killed by her secretly programmable lover Bernard. Charlotte survived Dolores’s attack. Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) also survived, but found an empty cold storage unit while trying to retrieve Peter’s data-filled body.

Elsie (Shannon Woodward) might be dead. Bernard’s attack on her was a shock, but we haven’t seen a body, so her demise isn’t certain. Security lead Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) might also be dead. He was set upon by Ghost Nation warriors and didn’t even factor into the finale.

William’s brotastic pal Logan (Ben Barnes) was last seen involuntarily riding naked into the desert, but that was thirty years ago, so it’s possible that he was milling among Ford’s guests at the disastrous party. Or he died naked in the desert. Or he opened a yogurt shop and never gave Delos or Westworld another thought.

These are fates the second season needs to address.

There are also a few lingering questions, even though Westworld tied up its loose ends tighter than the average mystery box show.

How many parks are there? Maeve and company deliver a hailstorm of bullets while cruising through Samuraiworld, and a new website suggests there are six parks total.

What was Delos secretly planning? As we learn from Theresa, the Delos board’s interest in the park goes “beyond gratifying rich people,” and Charlotte reiterates that she’s after the intellectual property, which is why she stores everything inside Peter Abernathy with the aim of sneaking him out of the park. That’s also why Theresa and Charlotte were using the satellite uplink: to get information clandestinely outside without Ford knowing. But to what end? What does Delos want to do with the host tech beyond the park?

What is Dolores’s plan? We know that Maeve is headed to Park 1 Sector 15 Zone 3 to search for her daughter, but after gunning down Ford and a bunch of Delos employees, what’s Dolores’s next step? Destroying the park wholesale? Taking full control of it so that more hosts can reach the center of the maze?

And is it possible that we’ll see Ford again as a host? Hopkins’s coyness notwithstanding, it’s still possible that he’ll be resurrected in robot form.

Until April my friends.

Images: HBO

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