The thing about Westworld is that even when it gives you answers, those answers just raise more questions. So, yeah, the season one finale did shed some light on most of the mysteries the first nine episodes had been spinning (even if some viewers might have beaten the show to those answers). The maze was an internal journey to consciousness for the hosts. William did become the Man in Black. Dolores had been stuck in a loop for decades and finally broke free before kicking off Escalante Rampage II: Now With More Tuxedos. Cool. Cool cool cool.
But in doing all of that — and more — and ending on two separate mid-manslaughter cliffhangers, it might have actually opened more boxes than it closed. This show really just gave us a 30-second shot of robot samurai having a swordfight in an office building and the only explanation anyone provided was, “It’s complicated.” Well, yeah. Ancient Japanese warriors doing battle indoors at same point in the future usually is. And that’s not even the biggest question the finale raised. Not even close, really. Let’s dig in.
Who’s all dead here?
Between the ambush at the end of the finale and some loose ends from episodes past, this is a biggie. There are a lot of people whose fates were left at least a little open-ended. Let’s run down the list:
– Most of the board, including Charlotte: Other than Ford, we really didn’t see any of the bullets Dolores fired land. And she only has so many in that gun. But there were dozens of bloodthirsty zombie hosts coming out of the woods at the end, so it’s at least fairly safe to assume the body count will rise. It would be weird for them to kill all the humans, though. What would the endgame be there? Are we thinking they took some of board hostage?
– Ford: More on this in a second.
– William: A sincere and heartfelt congratulations to William a.k.a. The Man in Black a.k.a. Billionaire McPoyle for fulfilling his lifelong dream of getting wounded and possibly murdered for real by a robot. We were all pulling for you, bud. No clue yet if you managed to survive that face-off with the horde (or if you did, like, how?), but that’s the smaller issue here. The bigger one is you achieving your goals. Congrats.
– Elsie and/or Stubbs: I refuse to believe these two are dead. I also kind of hope we never find out anything about them ever again and they both become this show’s version of the Russian on The Sopranos.
– Logan: The last we saw of Logan he was tied up and butt naked on a robot horse that was riding off into the furthest reaches of the park. And that was 30 years in the past. Did he just starve? Or die of dehydration? How did William explain the mysterious disappearance of his future brother-in-law when he came home? And most important, what if Logan is still alive, just foraging for nuts and stuff for decades on the edges of the park, rocking a crazy beard like Tom Hanks in Castaway? I kinda wish this had been the post-credits scene now.
Was Ford up to something?
Our own Donna Dickens dug deep into this one after the finale. The short version: Did Ford make a host version of himself and send that one out to get executed by Dolores? Issues of real-life casting and Anthony Hopkins’ schedule aside, it’s an interesting question and one that I didn’t even blink at even though “Machiavellian puppetmaster making a robot in his likeness so he can fake his murder at the hands of a different lifelike robot in front of dozens of well-dressed billionaires” is not something I expected to just accept as a plot development when 2016 started. Westworld is a weird show.
If Ford did fake his death, it would probably answer the questions about the board, because what would be the point of such an elaborate ruse if all the witnesses just get killed anyway? Like doing a sick dunk in an empty gym. And him still being alive would prevent a big power vacuum at the top of the revolution, because he could just keep pulling the strings.
Or maybe he’s just dead. Who knows?
Dolores… Queen of Westworld now or nah?
A big part of me hopes the opening shot of season two is Dolores sitting atop a throne made of human bones.
What does all of this mean for Maeve?
Maeve had a roller coaster of a finale. She started out dead and being pieced back together after screwing a safecracker to death in a burning tent, then she and Felix revived Bernard and she learned that someone was still trying to control her, then she played general in a violent attack on the headquarters so she could escape, and then she threw it all away to chase after her murdered robot daughter from a previous life, who may or may not be located in a non-Westworld park That is a full day, man.
And if Maeve is indeed off-script and roaming the property looking for her kid, does she have a plan beyond that? Or, as I said in the post after the finale, is this a straight Liam Neeson-in-Taken situation now? A lot to consider here.
Felix is super fired, yeah?
Delos has bigger fish to fry right now, but yeah. Provided there still is a Delos after everything that happened, Felix is super fired.
Is Armistice the Snake Lady okay? Also, why didn’t the QA guys just shoot her and Hector in any of the many opportunities when they had a clear shot? Also, if you saw a female robot with a huge red snake tattoo wrapped around her entire body who had an automatic weapon until she cut off her own arm and smiled about it, do you think you would freeze up a little?
– Man, I hope so.
– Maybe they froze up upon seeing a female robot with a huge red snake tattoo wrapped around her entire body who had an automatic weapon until she cut off her own arm and smiled about it.
– I mean, yeah.
How far did Charlotte and Lee’s plan get before all that murder started?
One of the more important questions the finale left unanswered is the status of Charlotte and Lee’s plot to have Abernathy — Dolores’ old dad — smuggle Ford’s code out of the park. When Lee went to the host warehouse/graveyard it had already been emptied out for the rebellion, so this plan could be anywhere in its execution from “hasn’t started yet” to “near completion.” There’s also the small issue of Charlotte possibly being dead and Lee running around a building that is currently under siege by two robot outlaws with automatic weapons. This could all be moot.
It could also mean that Charlotte and all the board is gone and the fate of the human race rests in the hands of one Lee Sizemore, much like the phallus of Lee Sizemore rested in his hands as he drunkenly urinated off a balcony a few episodes ago.
Everyone is going to die.
Gonna write more about the samurai.
Nothing that happened at any point in the entire first season of this show excited me as much as the revelation that there are also robot samurai and also, in all likelihood, an entire Samurai World. It opens up so many doors. How many other worlds are there? Are they all dedicated to bloody eras from the past? Do you think maybe there’s one called like Barber World where you pay $50K a day to go and run your own fictional barber shop? What if the samurai are still under control and they are dispatched to do battle with the hosts in Westworld, and the whole second season is an all-out cowboy vs. samurai war? This is all instantly more fascinating to me than any of the mysteries from the first season.
Also, what if, after all of the events in the first season finally paid off, the show went in for a season two set entirely in Samurai World, like how The Wire switched from drug dealers to the docks in its second season? Oh my God. Imagine how mad people would be. I hope they do it.
Given what we know about Westworld and Jurassic Park, do you think it was weird to go to amusement parks with Michael Crichton?