After timeline twists, several “deaths” and Dolores doing her Alice in Wonderland, Sunday broughtof to a spectacular conclusion. Those last few moments still make me dizzy.
Episode 8 offered a satisfying explanation for Christina’s situation and brought us a showdown between former allies Chalores and William. Let’s cover every moment of the finale, including the fantastic ending of course.
The chaos continues
As the episode opens, chaos is unfolding in the city. The character we see at the very beginning (who talks about his killing game before taking an ax to his head) is someone we’ve seen before on the show – Westworld host Rebus from seasons 1 and 2.
The violence perpetrated by hosts and humans seems endless – someone stabs someone, someone shoots the stabbers. One teenage boy appears to escape unscathed, but host William dramatically steps out of the smoke and shoots him dead. He steals the child’s keys and gets into a nearby car.
The show cuts to Chalores still lying lifeless in the shallow water near her tower. The drone hosts (white workers) fish her out and fix her back. Chalores tells the hosts to beef her up and it looks like she’s got a new robotic interior. (Chalores is a nickname for Charlotte Hale. In the past, Dolores created copies of herself—the “me” that exists in her pearl—and inserted one into the host version of Hale.)
Bernard’s last message
In last week’s episode, we saw Bernard recording himself talking on what appeared to be a tablet before William shot him in the head. The finale revealsit’s Chalores.
The former supreme hostess travels to a tower room that contains a red hologram of the city and finds that she cannot change the course set by William. The drone host brings her a device that contains Bernard’s recorded message, and Chalores watches: “This is not the world you wanted Charlotte, but it’s the world you created,” Bernard says. “The question is, what’s next?”
Christina gains some clarity
Last week, Teddy revealed to Christina that he doesn’t really exist between them. The finale makes it all clear: “I’m just some program that runs things behind the scenes,” says Christina. “A machine without a body.”
While talking to Teddy, Christina points out the design of the famous Westworld maze on her balcony. Teddy tells her that the maze is a “map of consciousness” that “awakened Dolores a long time ago,” but says he didn’t create what he’s talking about. Then it finally clicks for Christina. “Hale didn’t design Maya and Peter and everyone else who kept me company in my world. I did,” he says. “I tried to understand myself, so I spoke to myself in the voices of others. Christina also drew a maze.
The show takes us to Chalores, who is still in the tower. He walks into a red hologram and starts stomping on the ground – each time the world around Christina and Teddy seems to shake. Finally, Chalores knocks out the hologram and shatters the ground beneath it, revealing the pearl. Teddy tells Christina that Chalores is getting them out of her system. We see Chalores reach for the pearl and then Christina’s world goes black.
Caleb, Frankie and Stubbs take on Clementine
Frankie is still in bad shape after being shot in the lower body. Caleb tells Stubbs that he has chosen to hide the truth from Frankie about his limited time left on Earth (Caleb’s body is rejecting his mind, Stubbs says).
The trio make it to a ransacked store and Caleb gathers some supplies to treat Frankie’s injuries. The intruder gets in and Stubbs seems to have the upper hand against him, but Clementine shows up and shoots them both. Clem shoves Stubbs’ face into something sharp, killing him.
Clementine wants Frankie to tell her where the outliers live (“somewhere off the grid where none of the deranged people here can find you”). After a fight between Clementine and Caleb, Frankie shoots Clementine, killing the villainous host from behind.
William wants to destroy Sublime
William is driving down the road listening to Ring of Fire, but a gunshot interrupts his jam session. Chalores seems to have told the hosts in the area to focus on him. One of them is Craddock, a member of The Confederados who appeared in seasons 2 and 3 of the show. William takes them both outside (although they manage to damage his vehicle) and picks up the glasses that allow him to see Chalores. A conversation between former allies reveals that William is after (“spreads fire”) the Exalted. Chalores says she won’t let him. As the exchange ends, Williams spots a horse in a nearby corral.
Later William (dressed as MIB and on horseback, a nod to his Westworld park character) arrive at the Hoover Dam facility where the door to Sublime is still open. He fiddles with what looks like a control panel and the alert says “Warning, critical failure. Shutting down will erase all data.” Chalores shows up and the two main villains of the season get into it. They eventually take the fight outside where sparks fly and the door to Sublime appears to be under stress.
Chalores tells William that this is not the world she wanted, and we hear the rest of Bernard’s message: “This world has no more hope for us, but there is still hope for the next world. The test she will take if she chooses to. If you decide to give her that option. You can’t miss, reach with your left hand.”
Chalores, out of bullets and backed into a corner, reaches in and finds a gun – the one left there for her by the future Bernard. He uses it to shoot William. “I decided to give her a chance,” says Chalores. “I hope he takes it. Chalores appears to cut open Williams’ head, removing his pearl and crushing it.
We later see Chalores put the pearl she pulled out of the ground (she calls it “Dolores”) into a drawer near where Sublime is being held. (I’m still pretty sure Christina shares the same pearl as Dolores…it would make sense as Rehoboam.) Near the end of the episode, Chalores crushes her own pearl.
Unpack the ending
Wow, the ending. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the cryptic Christina/Dolores dialogue, but let’s get down to it.
After Chalores makes her decision, the show turns to Teddy and Christina, and Christina recognizes that they are in the Sublime. She confirms that the Teddy we saw in Season 4 is also her own invention (she created him from her memories) and says that the real Teddy is somewhere in Sublime.
Imaginary Teddy tells her to look for the real Teddy. He also advises her to “let people go. Don’t bring flaws of their kind into our world.”
Teddy, seemingly still talking about humans, adds, “They’re not like us. Their codes are written in their cells, they never change.” Christina replies, “We still saw.” Teddy asks how, and she says, “One final test,” a dangerous game of her own making. Christina can “remember” the same way she brought Teddy back.
Suddenly, Teddy disappears. Brunette Christina appears, dressed as Dolores from the Westworld theme park. He walks through the death of Chalores’ city, but this environment eventually disappears. In the last shot of the finale, Dolores/Christina is standing in a Westworld park – fully transformed into Westworld Dolores, wearing a blue dress and blonde hair.
Here’s what Christina says at the end of the episode: “Sentient life on Earth is over” — the hosts and humans left on Earth are gone, she adds — “but some part of it might still be preserved. In another world. world. It’s time for the last game, a dangerous game with the highest stakes. Survival or extinction. This game ends where it began, in a world like a maze that tests who we are. It reveals what we are to become …. Maybe this time we will break free.”
The season 4 cap made me think of Arnold’s Maze, a key part of the first season of Westworld. This intangible maze is not for humans, but for hosts – created by Arnold (co-creator of the original theme park) to test consciousness.
Could Christina/Dolores be designing a test for humans now? A maze they can navigate?
Is Westworld renewed for a fifth season?
On August 14, Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy told Deadline that she and her husband Jonathan Nolan (also a co-creator of the show) have not yet been informed if the show will be renewed for a Season 5.
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