You gotta hand it to HBO: Their reveals know learn how to ship explosive endings. Irrespective of how uneven the season of tv that got here earlier than it, the finales are all the time blue-fire-breathing game-changers. They could not all the time be narratively-warranted or cogent, however they’re explosive.
Which brings us to the tip of Westworld Season 2. After what felt like 9 hours of exposition following the host revolt on the finish of Season 1 and all through the present one, the revolution’s chief, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wooden), and its unintended architect, Bernard/Digital Ghost of Ford (Jeffrey Wright), despatched a number of the hosts off to Host Valhalla and acquired themselves out of Westworld. Oh, and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) acquired a giant ol’ dose of actuality. (Does none of this make sense? Learn our recap right here.)
It was a whiplash-inducing, extra-long episode that utterly rebooted the sequence for an entire new narrative in Season 3. (Dolores is off-world, y’all!) To attempt to wrap our heads round what simply occurred WIRED convened a council of Westworld visitors—editors and writers Angela Watercutter, Jason Kehe, Jason Parham, Ellen Airhart, and Westworld recapper Sandra Upson—to dissect the ultimate tick-tock of the present’s second season.
Angela Watercutter, Senior Affiliate Editor: As I’m positive you’ve all observed over the previous few weeks, I’m one thing of a Westworld skeptic. I haven’t precisely cherished this season and I’m not 100 assured all of this setup is truly going wherever. I benefit from the ideas and performances, I simply wrestle with investing in it. It’s a sensible present, however the creators appear to suppose that making a cerebral drama simply includes spending numerous time actually within the heads of its solid. Critically, what number of scenes this season featured a decent shot on Jeffrey Wright as we watched him furtively attempt to clear up his personal code or bear in mind some lengthy misplaced nugget of information?
The finale was no totally different—half of it was spent in The Forge with Dolores and Bernard in mind scanners, immersed in a simulation run by Logan Delos (Ben Barnes), who informs them that people are predictable and may be decreased to a couple thousand strains of code. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ What got here after, although, was some precise motion. Bernard killed Dolores! Bernard realized he’d made an enormous mistake and introduced her again once more within the type of Delos shill Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson)! She acquired off of Westworld and went to Arnold’s home! Actually everyone seems to be a deus ex machina! OK, jokes apart, I appreciated this ending. I don’t know that it totally paid off the season, however I’ve to confess I used to be cheering Dolores-Hale as her plan got here collectively. Additionally, I form of cherished that when she acquired to Arnold’s home she made a brand new model of her earlier self and stored the Hale one. If the long run is one dominated by Evan Rachel Wooden, Tessa Thompson, and (perhaps) Jeffrey Wright, then I, for one, welcome our new host overlords. What about you guys?
Jason Parham, Senior Author: I made it to episode 5.
Watercutter: Jason, I don’t blame you. That’s additionally the place I began to lose my enthusiasm.
Jason Kehe, Senior Affiliate Editor: Individuals, PEOPLE. If Season 1 was wading into the ocean water, Season 2 was that surprising drop-off. You realize, that spot the place the comforting sandbank all of the sudden offers solution to nothingness and you haven’t any concept if there’s a flooring anymore in any respect. However you then discover a little bit patch of rocks. Cuts your ft a little bit, however at the least it’s stable. Or a lovely heat spot. Did I pee, or is that this a present from the water gods? This actually energizes me, I need to say. There aren’t too many reveals on TV the place you’re completely, comprehensively confused more often than not—realizing all of the whereas that the creators themselves are proper there with you, treading water within the open sea!
Sandra Upson, Senior Editor: I may need been the one particular person on the web who didn’t thoughts all of the simulation worlds. Convey on the worlds inside worlds!
My principal grievance with Season 2 was that too many characters appeared frozen in place. Dolores together with her Machiavellian streak was the worst offender. (The shot of her curled up subsequent to Teddy’s lifeless physique was probably the most relatable she’d been all season.) [Eds. Note: LOL.] However Hale, too, by no means developed—I don’t suppose we discovered a brand new factor about her till she acquired robo-fied. Additionally, can we simply take a second to be grateful that Bernard lastly has a brand new head? We’re completed with the disoriented muttering and head-holding, which felt cartoon-y all season lengthy.
Subsequent season, with our key characters out within the outdoors world, I guess we’ll have extra room for Dolores to be susceptible and, I don’t know, perhaps fall in love with a human. As for Hale, I ponder if the sequence will do something attention-grabbing across the concepts of embodied cognition—what occurs when you might have two copies of the identical consciousness in several our bodies (if that’s the truth is what occurred)? Absolutely they’ll evolve in several instructions; perhaps they’ll even find yourself competing. It’ll be fascinating to see how that performs out.
On a separate observe, what did you guys take into consideration the Ashley Stubbs bit on the finish? Was it simply that he knew Hale so nicely that he might inform she wasn’t herself? Or was he saying that he, too, was a number? For one stunning second I assumed he’d been was a Stubbsbot and inherited Teddy’s mind orb, which might have been superb. However no.
Ellen Airhart, Reporting Fellow: I agree with Sandra that the character growth felt unsatisfying. Within the recap for episode 5, the one which appears to have misplaced everyone, Sandra wrote that Maeve’s relationship together with her daughter was not convincing. And it didn’t really feel extra genuine after that episode, although there was the entire scene in the home with the Ghost Nation. I like Maeve as a personality, however this downside together with her “core drive” threw me off and made her dying appear less-than-poignant.
I am additionally irritated that I am nonetheless confused about the place everybody was throughout essential occasions. As Sandra stated throughout a real-life dialog immediately, there are simply so many elevators. How did Bernard not run into the Man in Black on the way in which all the way down to The Forge? The place is the Man in Black throughout any given second within the episode, apart from the half at first when he’s with Dolores? The writers are little doubt setting him up for a aspect plot to the story of Dolores tearing up the true world a la Amy Adams in Enchanted for Season 3, however the questions on time and place really feel irritating, not thrilling. In spite of everything, it was presupposed to be a finale.
Upson: I share these questions, Ellen. Nonetheless, I’m enthusiastic about seeing what occurs with the Man in Black. I discovered him irritating for many of this season, as a result of I by no means understood what motivated him or the place he was going. To not get too literal, however when he was out within the wilderness, how did he know whether or not to show proper or left on the subsequent tree? That subplot solely snapped into focus for me within the finale—that his actual purpose to find “The Door” was to delete all the information Delos had collected on him. Now I’m tremendous interested by what occurred when he lastly dragged his sorry self in there, and what it was we noticed within the epilogue along with his daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers). It looks as if that encounter happens in some future timeline that may get developed in Season 3, however within the meantime, how am I supposed to consider his lacking hand? Why does he look precisely as dusty and beat up as he did after we noticed him blow his arm off?
Watercutter: Sandra, these are all good questions. If the Man in Black is a number model of William, which appears to be the case since Emily is testing his constancy, is it attainable that he simply went into some form of sleep mode after he misplaced his hand making an attempt to shoot Dolores? Does that designate the unusual passing of time between the second he acquired to The Forge and when he truly made his approach in? Additionally, since Logan within the simulation talked about—whereas strolling by a room that contained a number William/Man in Black—that he’d been testing hundreds of outcomes and other people actually by no means modified, maybe the epilogue was only a simulation? Really, I don’t actually suppose that. I feel that on some degree the Man in Black/William had recognized from early on that Ford had given the hosts a approach out and had been going again into Westworld repeatedly till he might get to The Forge and, basically, delete himself out of the system. No matter sport it was that he was taking part in with Ford was what he wanted to do to perform that.
Sandra, I’m additionally curious to see what occurs with Dolores and Dolores-Hale. To riff off what Jason Kehe was saying earlier in a Slack dialog, my dream state of affairs includes the 2 of them falling in love. As a result of, let’s be actual, there isn’t any one Dolores loves greater than herself. Dolores + Dolores-Hale = 4eva. I want them a lifetime of happiness, character growth, and world domination in Season 3.
Kehe: Proper? They’re totes gonna have a twin robotic intercourse scene kissy factor. Staple of recent sci-fi, virtually. And one has to die, after all, in all probability saving the opposite to make up for an enormous betrayal. Additionally, I’ve to level out the Matrix-y vibes within the finale. Very Architect/Oracle type of dynamic.
Watercutter: Jason, you’re so right about that. As for Stubbs, what was the factor he stated about Ford giving him orders to look out for the hosts? I feel he would possibly’ve had an inkling of what was coming and when he observed that Hale was performing barely off, he linked the dots.
I dunno, am I loopy and overthinking this? Am I caught in my very own loop?