We’ve finally made it guys. Westworld Finale – at least for season one. After last week’s big reveal, I was unsure what they would do in the extended 90 minute episode. Turns out quite a lot. Spoilers ahead, last week’s recap behind.
The season finale of Westworld is pretty emotional. We start with narration by Dolores who is starting to understand what Arnold wanted from her. Cut to Dolores giving the Man In Black a shave. He mentions how obsessed she used to be about the mysterious town.
Back in time to Logan and William, William has Logan tied up and following him on foot. He wants to find where Dolores has gone. His search leads him to Lawrence, and from there he starts a quick character change. He slaughters and kills dozens of hosts in his search for Dolores which takes him to the edges of the park. There is a tell tale scene where he picks up a black hat to show his villain character.
It isn’t until later when the Man In Black is trying to get more information about The Maze from Dolores that it’s confirmed that he is William, but in the future. In a highly emotional and violent scene when the Man In Black is beating up Dolores, that she claims someone will come rescue her. “Someone who loves me. Someone who’s path leads back to me…. his love is real and so is mine. William will find me.”
I find it quite sweet, in a bitter sort of way. Dolores is clearly very confused, unable to distinguish the passage of time properly. Although she retains the memories of her time with William, she only remembers them in bursts. We see that her coming to the maze this time was her following her memories of William. Of course, the William she knows no longer exists.
Enter Teddy on a horse, riding in, shooting future dark William and rescuing Dolores just like she wanted.
It was all planned
Maeve continues on her plan of escape. She awakens in the lab room with Felix and they change the hosts configuration for Hector and Armistice who are in another lab room. The two wake up, the latter biting off a lab tech’s finger. They proceed to kill them, before being found by Maeve, Felix.
The group goes down to cold storage where they find Bernard’s body. Maeve commands Felix to bring him back online, which gives Felix a mini existential crisis. Maeve tells him he’s human. Once Bernard is back online he has a conversation with Maeve about his and her previous awakening.
Maeve asks Bernard to get rid of her memories of her daughter, and he explains it would destroy her. Her memories are the first part to consciousness. She then gives him her control panel to find out who changed her configurations before.
Bernard reveals that everything Maeve has been doing so far is simply programmed into her. Her waking up in the lab, coercing the technicians, wanting to escape are all written down. He starts to tell her about what will happen once she’s on the mainland but she stops him. She is adamant that everything she’s done has been through her own choice.
They leave Bernard. Then starts the daring escape plan involving shutting down the control room. Teams are sent to kill the hosts but they are instead killed and their weapons taken. The group make their way out, with a quick look at “SW” a similarly designed lab area filled with samurai hosts. Armistice gets trapped in a door. Hector is left at the elevator.
Maeve dons on civilian clothes and finally gets on the train. Shortly before it departs she changes her mind about wanting to find her daughter and gets off the train. This might be the first conscious decision she’s made.
The New Narrative
Teddy and Dolores ride to the ocean. Dolores two have a passionate conversations about beginnings and endings. Dolores dies in his arms. It’s quite sweet and sentimental. Then floodlights turn on and we are shown and audience watching the scene. It’s Ford introducing his new narrative. Was all of this planned too then?
Later in the hidden basement, Ford, Bernard and Dolores are all sat together. Dolores recognises Bernard as Arnold. Ford tries to explain to her that he’s been on the side of the hosts all along. Ford wants to do what Arnold failed to do all those years ago.
He says that Dolores never truly gained consciousness before, because she was programmed to kill Arnold. He explains that she needs to suffer more, as it is suffering that triggers the hosts’s minds.
Dolores has flashbacks about her killing of Arnold. Ford gives her the gun she uses. Once he and Bernard has left, she has a conversation in her mind with Arnold. The voice in her head slowly turns into her own. This can be considered the moment she truly gains consciousness. She realises what she has to chose to do, who she has to become.
Ford goes up on stage to give a final speech. Hosts mingle amongst the crowd. The Man In Black leaves to have a drink by himself, still within sight of the speech. Dolores has made up her mind, and we see her walk up behind Ford.
It’s at the end of his speech that she shoots him, almost in the same way she shot Arnold before. This time however it’s shown that she chose to do the shooting, and Ford simply manipulated her into doing it rather than forcing her through programming.
On the edge of the field an army of hosts creep up to the area. Clementine shoots the Man In Black in the arm. It seems that there is going to be an uprising. The season ends there.
Conclusion and thoughts
I think the ending was very well wrapt up. Nearly all lose ends were tied, possibly because the episodes were filmed before a second season was confirmed. The episode felt a little underwhelming to me, simply because so many twists and secrets were already revealed in last week’s episode. Although this episode was 90 minutes long, I wasn’t fully invested in Maeve’s escape which had the majority of the action.
The fact her escape was planned lost a lot of the interest for me. It was probably set as a diversion for the security team. I preferred it when I thought Maeve’s story line was part of her awakening.
William turning out to be the Man In Black was also hinted at a lot before. I’m a bit sad about William because I really wanted him to stay a good guy. His character development and change into the Man In Black being covered in only one episode also felt a little rushed. However I’m still really impressed by it.
Westworld has been a fantastic series. I look forward to Season 2. As everything seems to have been wrapped up so nicely and quite a few major characters gone, it’ll be interesting to see where the series goes from here.