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‘Westworld’ Season Finale Review: We Learned Some Secrets, But Still Have Some Questions

Many facts were confirmed in this extra-long finale, but not too much was revealed.

Westworld Evan Rachel Wood

“Westworld”

John P. Johnson/HBO

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ Goes Down the Rabbit Hole For Answers

Diagnostic Report

Well. That happened. For the record, we have no idea what a Season 2 of this show looks like. We just know that HOLY SMOKES this finale sure aired.

Westworld” confirmed a lot of things in its extra-long finale — specifically, the fact that William’s adventures in the park were from an earlier time than the rest of the narrative, and that Maeve’s decision to revolt would lead to her freedom… sort of. One of the most shocking revelations: The rampage Teddy remembers Wyatt going on? That was actually executed by Dolores. Wyatt, it seems, was never truly real.

The other most important plot points: Maeve has made her escape… though she’s looped back to find her “daughter.” The board has made the necessary moves to remove Ford from his position of authority, but those moves may now be unnecessary, thanks to Dolores shooting him in the head.

White Hat or Black Hat

You know what’s weird? Ford had increasingly become a clear “black hat” over the course of the season, but in this episode we found ourselves more sympathetic to his cause. Really, the biggest villain seemed to be Charlotte, just for her disinterest in the world which she seeks to control. And of course, she was the least scathed by the episode’s final minutes.

In the Year… Wait, What Year Is It?

Well, we officially confirmed (relatively early in, thanks for that) that the Man in Black was a significantly aged William. And as a result, we confirmed that the park has been in operation for decades beyond what we maybe thought. But how far beyond 2050-ish does that push us? We remain unclear on that question.

Westworld Rodrigo Thandie Leonardo Ingrid

Ingrid Bolso Berdal as Armistice, Leonardo Nam as Felix, Rodrigo Santoro as Hector and Thandie Newton as Maeve

John P. Johnson/HBO

Player Piano

Per Shazam, the rap music which Hector’s tech found intriguing was a song called “B/E/A/T/B/OX” by Glass Candy. We’ll update this section with additional details, as they arise.

Paired Off

It was lovely to see Teddy and Dolores back together, even if they were only performing a staged romance. Now that we know William becomes the Man in Black (and thus, y’know, not someone we really want to end up with Dolores) Teddy is our ideal partner for our girl, even if that is under the thumb of the storytellers.

These Violent Delights

In terms of violence, the rampage that Hector and Armistice go on is truly impressive, especially when you consider the post-credits sequence. Watching this sort of violence is never particularly fun, but we do commit to it every week.

Best Quote

“Consciousness isn’t a journey upward, but a journey inward.” 
– Arnold (?)

This one gets complicated, thanks to the varying states of various characters, but it proves fascinating. The episode title, “The Bicameral Mind,” speaks to the show’s philosophical exploration into the meaning of human consciousness. But we ultimately end with a lack of answers when it comes to those big questions.

Runner-up: “The gods are pussies.” Love you, Armistice.

The Questions You’re Not Supposed to Ask

  • UM, IS FORD DEAD???
  • UM, IS BERNARD DEAD???
  • UM, IS THE MAN IN BLACK/WILLIAM DEAD???
  • And also, I mean…. There’s a lot we want to know, still. But there’s plenty left to explore.
  • Like, for example, there’s a feudal Japan version of Westworld? Can’t wait to visit there…

Final Reveries

In general, we wanted to like this episode more than we did; mostly because much of the information revealed didn’t come as all that much of a shock. Real talk: The playing around with timelines could have been more effective… except we were also saddled by the fact that fan theories proved depressingly accurate on a number of scores.

That said, “The Bicameral Mind” did feature at least one twist we didn’t see coming: The fact that Dolores is, basically, Wyatt, and that rampage was driven by her storyline. The mayhem unleashed as a result is fascinating to witness; almost as fascinating as watching the hosts embrace their own power.

And the finale’s embrace of artificiality — followed by the all-too-real deaths that ensue — speaks to the show’s dedication to dancing with reality. We end Season 1 of “Westworld” knowing more than we might expect, but there’s still so much we don’t really understand.

Grade: B

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