Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Westworld!
We’ve reached the end of Westworld‘s debut season, and things finally came in for a landing following the finale. Many of our biggest questions were answered too: William was indeed a younger version of the Man in Black, Arnold’s death inside the park was his own doing, and the maze was a metaphor for the hosts’ journey to true consciousness.
That all being said, there were also plenty of plot points left open-ended, with no promise of concrete conclusions until the series returns sometime in 2018. So what exactly is left for us to theorize endlessly? Let’s discuss.
1. Who engineered Maeve’s escape?
For much of Maeve’s (Thandie Newton) early story, it appeared as though she was the master of her own fate, first manipulating Felix into reprogramming her personality traits, and finally engineering an intricate escape from Westworld. But after she has Bernard dig into her settings, it’s revealed that everything she’s done has in fact been part of someone else’s plan. More than that, someone straight up programmed her every action, including her violent escape attempt. The question that remains now: Who was the proverbial puppet master, and what were they trying to accomplish?
Most people seem convinced that Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) was the man behind the curtain, masking his actions with Arnold’s login passkey. That’s far from confirmed though, with showrunner Jonathan Nolan stopping short of providing fans with the final answer. When asked by IGN whether Ford was the one who reprogrammed Maeve, Nolan admitted, “that’s the strong implication of her storyline.” Still, he also walked that back slightly later on, warning us that he doesn’t “think the audience should assume anything.”
2. What’s going to happen to the Delos board?
The season finale wrapped up with Ford unveiling his grand narrative, beginning with Dolores putting a bullet in the back of his head. The Delos board, originally intent on forcing Ford out and seizing complete control over the park, are now in the line of fire, surrounded by murderous hosts. For all their scheming, they’re now trapped inside Westworld, as Ford’s violent narrative plays out.
What we don’t know is what form that will take in terms of their fate. Will the Man in Black, Charlotte, and the rest of the board be left alive by the hosts, or will they get gunned down like the rest of the humans caught in the crossfire of Ford’s final act of vengeance?
3. What happened to Elsie and Ashley?
We may know exactly what happened to the likes of Dr. Ford, Dolores, and Bernard, but the fate of a couple characters is still entirely up in the air. First, we have Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward), who was last seen getting strangled by Bernard, after digging too deep into Ford’s nefarious plans. And yet based on what we were shown of the scene, it’s not entirely clear that Elsie wasn’t merely incapacitated rather than killed.
Things get even murkier when the park’s head of security, Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), tracks down Elsie’s last known location in the park, and then gets taken by a band of Ghost Nation hosts that won’t respond to normal shutdown commands. Neither character’s current whereabouts are at all confirmed, but given what we’ve seen of Elsie’s own ingenuity, there’s a good chance she’s still out there with Stubbs.
4. Is Westworld finished as an amusement park?
The final scene of the season finale seemed to imply that Ford had essentially burned Westworld to the ground by unleashing the hosts. What we don’t know though is what exactly that means for the future of the park. As a proving ground for artificial intelligence, you can bet that someone’s going to come knocking once the entire Delos board is reported missing inside Westworld. And as we saw with Maeve’s attempted escape, the trains are still running in and out of the facility. Does that mean scheduled guests will still be showing up periodically? Or is Ford’s violent narrative the death knell for Westworld as a tourist attraction?
5. How many other parks set in different eras are there?
In the original Westworld movie directed by Michael Crichton, there were three theme parks in total: Westworld, Medieval World, and Roman World. All we saw in the first season of the HBO series was the first of those three though, giving us the distinct impression that the TV show would eschew with the additional parks. But then, a brief tease in the season finale flipped that assumption on its head entirely. As Maeve makes her escape, she enters a part of the facility with a logo that reads “SW.” We then see a series of hosts clad in Samurai armor, running through the same diagnostics we’ve seen the androids in Westworld subjected to.
This opens up a whole mess of doors for the future of the series, and even more questions. Just how big is this facility if it can fit multiple large-scale theme parks? How many parks are we working with exactly? Did Ford reprogram the hosts in other parks the same way he did with Westworld? And most importantly: Is there a Game of Thrones World? Hopefully, we’ll get to explore all this and more come Season 2.
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