In the final moments of the Westworld season two finale, Luke Hemsworth’s chief security officer Ashley Stubbs had a very strange and revealing interaction with Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale, who was secretly a host inhabited by the consciousness of Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores Abernathy. (Confused yet? Welcome to Westworld.) However, Stubbs seems to be clearly aware that Hale is a host, and he uses very specific words that seem to heavily suggest that he’s also secretly a host as he allows her to escape the park and enter the “real” world.
In hindsight, the pieces were all there. Throughout the second season, Stubbs became increasingly reluctant to harm the hosts even as the park spiraled further out of control. On top of that, he’s clearly troubled by the incoming extraction teams and their ulterior motives, and he never questions helping Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard who has also been a host pretending to be a human. But if viewers missed these clues, and even the revelation that Stubbs could be a host, they shouldn’t feel bad. Not even Hemsworth knows what’s happening, and he admitted as much in a recent interview with Australia’s News.com.au:
“I didn’t know … and it’s still ambiguous,” he said. “There were hints. (Executive producer) Lisa Joy would say things and (I’d be like), ‘But hang on?’ and she’d be like, ‘No more questions Luke’.
“I was in Atlanta and the airport shut down, I was trying to get back for a 5am call on the Monday and I missed my flight, so I was stressing. There were little titbits, something about the cornerstone, the backstory, so my mind is already going, ‘Hang on, am I or am I not (a host)?
“So I’m five hours late (to set) and I’m quaking in my boots, then me and Tessa (who plays Charlotte Hale) have this intimate interaction scene where I’m explaining why I’m letting her go, and still there was no definite ‘yes you are’.”
As for what this means for Stubbs in season three, Hemsworth says his character will do “what’s necessary” but that doesn’t exactly make him a villain. “But he is a military guy,” the actor said. “You set him in motion and he’ll do it and he won’t question it.”