Westworld ’s season 2 cliffhanger is both awesome and obnoxious
Westworld ’s season 2 cliffhanger is both awesome and obnoxious

HBO ’s technological know-how fiction drama Westworld isn ’t simply known for its gifted forged and its philosophical musings about the nature of reality. It ’s additionally transform famous for its finds, from mind-bending bombshells that link two characters to easy pieces of backstory that convey new insight to a storyline. Watching Westworld is like peeling an onion, one layer at a time.

That ’s why for the display ’s second season, I ’ll be diving into one explicit spoilery revelation from each and every episode, to determine what it method, how we came, and where things may cross in the episodes to return. Some weeks, it would be a huge plot twist. In different weeks, it could be something subtle. Either approach, we ’re going to ruin the hell out of it.

Welcome to the Westworld Spoilers Club.

Heading into the second one season finale of Westworld, audiences had already been treated to subreddits of twists, finds, and switcheroos. Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), it turned out, used to be still alive(ish), and his awareness was once uploaded to an infinite pc simulation known as The Cradle. Delos, Inc. didn ’t simply buy Westworld as it desired to get into the subject park industry; it desired to use host technology to create replicants of tangible human beings, allowing the company to sell immortality to the top bidder. And the person in Black (Ed Harris), the display ’s robust antihero, had long gone increasingly more mad on his seek for “The Door,” till he in fact killed his own daughter and commenced to question whether he used to be a bunch himself.

There ’s been a lot to unpack, even for a show that embraces puzzle box sensibilities as so much as Westworld. But all that pales when compared to the volume of narrative sleight of hand and fragmented storytelling that the second one season finale squeezes into its 90-minute runtime. “The Passenger” is a component philosophy route and section magic trick, with a healthy dose of The Matrix Reloaded thrown in for good degree. It ties up so much of loose tale threads while leaving some prime questions unanswered, and does its perfect to set the degree for the display ’s already introduced third season. To top all of it off, it ends with essentially the most mind-bending — or is that obnoxious? — publish-credits scene in fairly a while.

1_JQDbXBMGaIf_VcphHtx1vg.jpeg Photo through John P. Johnson / HBO

The Big monitor?

The Westworld Spoilers Club was built around the idea of digging into one particular reveal from every episode this season, however given how a lot flooring “The Passenger” covers, it ’s best to take a big-image view. Unwind all of the story threads, reshuffle them into a few semblance of linear order, and the water cooler summary is going like this: Bernard makes it to The Valley Past, which is house to The Forge, a secret facility where all of the digital copies of the park ’s visitors had been saved. There he ’s met by means of Dolores (Evan Rachel Picket) and the person in Black — even though the latter is readily incapacitated. Dolores and Bernard head all the way down to The Forge ’s keep watch over center, which Bernard discovers also houses a virtual “new world” that the hosts can add themselves into. Establishing the fabled “Door” that has been mentioned all season in fact amounts to activating a massive virtual portal within the Westworld park, one who best hosts can see. once they walk via it, the hosts ’ minds are uploaded into their new virtual home, where they can be protected from humanity ’s meddling.

Bernard kills Dolores to save lots of the other hosts

After The Door is opened, participants of the Ghost Nation tribe and different hosts start importing themselves in earnest. Dolores could moderately burn the whole thing down, alternatively, and in order to forestall her from deleting the whole lot and everybody, Bernard shoots and kills her at the spot. He escapes The Forge, however Dolores already activated the failsafe mechanism that floods all of the Valley Past, leading to the aftermath seen within the season optimal.

Back at the Mesa, Elsie (Shannon Woodward) tries to chop a care for Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), but Hale simply kills Elsie as a substitute. (Sadly, Westworld lovers, Elsie undoubtedly turns out lifeless this time.) Bernard witnesses the homicide and calls on Ford for help. While he deleted Ford ’s code from his personal mind in the previous episode, “Vanishing Element,” Ford then again appears and helps Bernard craft a new host frame. It ’s later found out that the host frame Bernard builds is none rather then a duplicate of Charlotte Hale herself. Bernard places Dolores ’ awareness into the Charlotte frame, and it kills the actual Charlotte and replaces her.

It ’s a mind flip. Given the timeline, it forces the target market to understand that half the time they ’ve been observing Charlotte Hale this season, they ’ve if truth be told been looking at Dolores faux to be Charlotte Hale. however the episode is filled with such a lot business that it doesn ’t even bother to revel in the implications of the screen.

1_kGI5o3k7n30kGUZ7TUuGtg.jpeg Photograph: HBO

Figuring Out his memories may just supply the game away, Bernard comes to a decision to scramble his own mind to cover what he ’s done. However first, he has one final conversation with Ford on a seaside — through which he realizes that his latest conversations along with his mentor have been nothing greater than his own imagination. It ’s a callback to Dolores recognizing her own internal voice in the season 1 finale, and it serves as evidence that Bernard has in the end achieved his personal unbiased awareness. But he still movements forward with mucking around with his recollections, and he lies down on the sand… which is precisely the place Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) found him in the season optimum, a few 14 days after the robot rebellion started.

The episode rejoins that 14-days-later timeline as Strand, Hale, and At A Loss For Words Bernard additionally head to the Valley Beyond. They input The Forge keep an eye on facility, where they hope to transmit the virtual copies of the park ’s guests back to the mainland. However Dolores-as-Hale — “Halores,” as one in every of the show ’s in-global web pages is looking her — unearths who she in reality is, kills Strand and the other Delos operatives, and tells Bernard she ’s modified her thoughts about burning everything to the ground. As A Substitute, she uploads Teddy ’s consciousness to the virtual global (she grabbed his keep watch over unit after he killed himself) and transmits the whole factor to a safe region where Delos, Inc. can never in finding it.

Then she shoots Bernard within the head.

The Usage Of the fact that she seems like a senior Delos board member, Halores then heads out of the park, with five host control units tucked correctly in her handbag. She has a short lived change with Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), who obviously knows she is a host. He even implies he is also one himself. But he lets her thru with the understanding that he will not pursue her within the out of doors world — and then, in any case, Dolores is ready to escape Westworld.

1_ZXs6ZWxgdsl2SE7rigDo6w.jpeg Photo: HBO

What does it imply?

the primary tale arcs leave the story primed for the 3rd season. Dolores has escaped, a majority of the hosts are alive in a digital global someplace, and even the human characters that died most likely exist as virtual copies someplace in the Forge. Maeve, Hector, and Armistice are all gunned down, but there ’s a door left open even for them, with Delos lab techs Felix and Sylvester (Leonardo Nam and Ptolemy Slocum, respectively) tasked within the ultimate moments to determine which hosts have to be salvaged for the company.

Three hosts make it out into the real world

However “The Passenger” isn ’t pleased with that easy ending. After Halores leaves the island, the show cuts back to Bernard waking up throughout from Dolores, who ’s wearing her season 1 blue dress. She ’s built a new model of him from reminiscence, she says, much as she did the original Bernard, and she or he believes they are going to each need to exist in the actual international so as for hosts to outlive as a species. Her motivations don ’t fully make experience. Dolores goes from desirous to break the digital world to saving it, and from killing Bernard to bringing him back, all without the rest important going down to modify her worldview. She talks about needing him in the approach the showrunners might speak about needing a protagonist and an antagonist for a narrative to operate, which seems like a far cry from her want to make her personal decisions in the actual international, clear of controlling narratives.

There ’s additionally one small wrinkle: whilst Bernard asks Dolores if she escaped, the camera dollies at the back of his head. And when it comes out the other side, Dolores is dressed in the black cocktail get dressed she wore the evening Arnold talked to her in the real world, again in episode 2, “Reunion.” (Arnold could also be abruptly nude, the best way a freshly published host can be.) this could be written off as a bit of of visible metaphor or as Arnold conflating more than one timelines prior to in any case figuring out exactly when and the place he is. However in the course of the show ’s first season, Westworld pulled this comparable transitional trick a large number of instances, usually while it used to be reducing among other Dolores storylines, every so often 30 years apart. It doesn ’t seem there ’s any huge time-shift taking place in the scene, however it is one thing price taking into consideration. Both approach, the episode wraps with three hosts within the real world: Dolores, Bernard, and the Charlotte Hale host. Whose mind is these days throughout the Charlotte Hale frame? That ’s left easily unaddressed.

1_NTCeMYc2hgx_T0oLlQ8iSg.jpeg Photo: HBO

Converting the sport

If the Dolores / Hale switcheroo wasn ’t enough, “The Passenger” additionally includes a publish-credits scene. In Advance in the episode, The Person in Black took the elevator right down to The Forge however by no means if truth be told gave the impression within the Forge. The scene choices that second up, as he walks out of the elevator… to seek out the place abandoned. It looks like years, even a long time, have handed when you consider that Dolores and Bernard had been within the facility.

The Man in Black is approached by means of any person who appears to be like exactly like his daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers). In The Beginning, he thinks he ’s in another laptop simulation. the girl tells him that ’s not the case, however that that is what’s left of his global. “Inform me, what have been you hoping to seek out?” she asks. “To prove?”

“That no device can inform me who i am,” he says. “That I’ve a fucking selection.”

“And but here we’re. Once More.” The Person in Black quickly realizes the truth: he’s a host clone, simply another generation in a protracted line of them. and he or she is there to conduct a baseline interview to verify constancy just as he had done to masses of James Delos copies.

It increases questions on William without enough information to draw a satisfying conclusion

The scene is exciting because it comes out of left box with an enormous twist. It ’s simultaneously irritating as it increases a number of questions about the Man in Black ’s standing within the season with out offering enough information to truly draw a lovely end. Series co-author Lisa Joy clarified to The Hollywood Reporter that the publish-credit scene takes place “within the a long way, a ways long run,” and that even as the incidents portrayed within the season did occur to the human Guy in Black, this future host clone has been repeating them on his own loop. It lends credence to the speculation that the man in Black offered in season 2 has actually been this long term host model all along. However there are quite a lot of important questions left unanswered, together with what Ford ’s goal with The Door recreation was once in the first place. for the reason that this used to be offered because the top hook of the season, it ’s slightly confounding.

The scene does tie into what is possibly essentially the most interesting idea in “The Passenger”: that human beings don ’t even have free will in any respect and are destined to follow certain styles according to their makeup. The notion is defined earlier within the episode whilst Dolores and Bernard visit the simulated global of The Forge. There, they talk with the computer device that creates the guest copies, who occurs to appear as Logan Delos (Ben Barnes). There ’s a lot of exposition — the series feels so much like Neo ’s chat with The Architect within the Matrix Reloaded — but the salient point is that The Gadget created thousands and thousands of digital copies of James Delos. But each simulation constructed to the precise related moment: Delos turning his back on his son whilst he needed him such a lot.

just like Delos, no matter what the person in Black has done in his many host incarnations, he always finally ends up back on the Forge, having killed his own daughter.

1_1l_WbBHJ07LZLxU9JOTIjA.jpeg Picture: HBO

Humans are good sufficient to conceive of loose will, the display argues, however that ’s truly only a façade used to interpret the a lot more elementary, elementary truth. It ’s why Dolores is so eager to get to The Valley Beyond within the first place. When she enters The Forge, she looks in the course of the digital copies of all the visitors so she will higher have in mind humanity and defeat it. It ’s a “competitive merit,” as Bernard places it.

the similar concept could also be what makes Bernard ’s determination to battle back with the Hale host such a large second for his personal evolutionary construction. Over the previous few episodes, Ford has driven Bernard to demonstrate company and act counter to his extra mellow, subservient instincts. Seeing Elsie murdered used to be sufficient to push him over the brink, and he took drastic measures he would routinely never take. And within the process, he bought his cognitive freedom.

The notion also creates a compelling battlefield for the impending third season. Hosts have recognized humans don ’t actually have loose will and can be understood like algorithms. Then Again, the hosts have realized how to modify their very own number one drives and attain self-consciousness. It may well be argued that this is the season where hosts truly advanced previous people.

But none of that matters to this mysterious Man in Black host, operating on his loop within the long term. In the real international, he couldn ’t cope together with his failures as a husband and father, and he attempted to make use of the park to seek out a deeper figuring out that may bring his lifestyles. He failed with The Maze. Now, it seems that the company ’s technology is getting used in an strive for him to posthumously prove that he ’s no longer an unredeemable monster — and he ’s failing, loop after loop after loop. That ’s a tragic, harrowing concept. Granted, it ’s not if truth be told within the Westworld season finale itself. However within the lengthy watch for season THREE, all theories are up for grabs.

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