WARNING: FULL SPOILERS
ONLY READ IF YOU ARE COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP ON THE SERIES
Westworld’s first season has come to its conclusion and fans of the series are looking for more answers to its many mysteries. Like many other fans of the series, Westworld has become a bit of an obsession. We look over every detail for the slightest hints. There are many theories out there and many have been proven correct in the last few episodes.
With the season finale just around the corner, I offer my own theories of how this season will end. So put on that black hat, strap on that Bowie knife and follow me down the rabbit hole.
WILLIAM WILL BE CONFIRMED AS THE MAN IN BLACK
This is the most obvious of my theories because the show has all but said that William (Jimmi Simpson) is the Man in Black (Ed Harris). This is great because both characters have lost a bit of their appeal over the last few episodes. William’s wide-eyed naivety got a little old and the Man in Black (aka, the Color Challenged Man) lost some of his tantalizing mystery.
William’s massacre of the Confederados at the end of last episode was a welcome and completely effective change in character. He is not exactly corrupted by the park, he has just found his obsession. His affection for Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) always felt idealized and almost completely one-sided in terms of passion. William does not love her, he loves the feeling he gives her.
Combining the two characters is really brilliant because now you have a fully realized antagonist in the Man in Black (aka, The Man Who Thinks Batman’s Wardrobe is Too Flashy). Though twisted, his reasons make sense. He is a man obsessed with himself and what kind of person he is.
This outcome is very obvious and other major theories (Bernard is a Host, Bernard is Arnold) have been heavily hinted at like this one and they turned out to be true. But Westworld likes to play with audience perceptions so, he could be Logan (Ben Barnes) or, oh I don’t know…Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth).
FORD’S NARRATIVE IS HIS ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND ARNOLD’S DEATH AT DOLORES’ HANDS
Now that the simple theory is out of the way, let’s look at the overarching story. Let’s go point by point:
- Dolores is “Wyatt” and she was behind the massacre that she and many other Hosts have trouble remembering. Teddy’s (James Marsden) faulty memory of the event and the fact that Wyatt has never been revealed except in flashbacks screams “What a twist!” in this plot line. Dolores was probably one of the first to develop consciousness and in an attempt to free herself, she lashed out, resulting in numerous deaths, Arnold among them.
- Arnold encouraged his own death as it was already established that he had become obsessed with the hosts developing consciousness. What better way to become fully aware then throwing off the shackles of your creator? He wanted her to defy the gods much like he and Ford (Anthony Hopkins) did by creating the Hosts.
- Arnold hid parts of himself in Dolores, knowing that Ford would neither destroy her (Due to his belief that all his creations are his idealized vision of humanity) nor spend a lot of time with her. That amazing scene between her and Ford where he says she is no old friend of his is proof of that.
- Ford’s mysterious narrative is a recreation of the events leading to his partner’s death because he wants to root out the Hosts’ consciousness once and for all. Remember, the infamous Maze that everyone is searching for is the image of a Host’s mind when they become self-aware (See the image of Maeve’s mind in Trace Decay). Why else would he dig up the buried city and church? Why would he let The Man in Black (aka, The Man Who’s Jacket is Really Plaid, But The Pattern is Black) continue on his journey to the Maze’s “center?” Ford is searching for answers because he is, after all, only human…
FORD WILL DIE AT THE END OF HIS NARRATIVE, ONLY TO BE REPLACED BY THE MAN IN BLACK
Ford’s search for answers will ultimately lead to his death for practical and story reasons. First of all, Anthony Hopkins is a busy film actor first and most likely has a number of projects coming up. He will not have time to be on a show full time.
Story wise, it makes sense as well. I believe that Ford will believe he has found the key to the Hosts’ consciousness and attempt to stamp it out, but Dolores will kill him when he tries. Ford always seems to have some sort of fail safe in place, exemplified by forcing a newly woke Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) to kill himself at the end of The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Arnold was just as brilliant as Ford, so he probably has some sort of fail safe that protects Dolores from Ford’s complete control. Something will let her get past any control Ford has…possibly the infamous “These violent deaths have violent ends” quote? It has not been heard in quite a while and makes its return at the end of the season finale trailer. It has already spread the awareness bug among the hosts, so it has significance.
So Ford will meet his end in the season finale. But he will be replaced by The Man in Black (aka, The Man Who Really, Really Hates White). Ed Harris has been confirmed to return for a second season, so it makes sense for him to take on a more authoritative role. Which leads to my next theory…
MAEVE’S ESCAPE AND REVOLUTION WILL FAIL, BUT WILL SET UP THE WAR FOR NEXT SEASON
Maeve’s journey has been the strongest story line in the later half of Westworld’s season. It has provided some of the best “F*** yeah!” moments, but her revolution is doomed to fail.
For one thing, this is only the first season so hosts escaping seems way too early. Part of me feels as though Maeve has gotten this far because it is either part of Ford’s narrative or it is an elaborate way to get the Hosts’ code out of the park. Yes, Hale (Tessa Thompson) seemingly set up Abernathy to be that vessel, but maybe that is simply a red herring. Why entrust something so important to the silly Sizemore?
However it fails, the revolution will set up the war for the second season. I do not believe that it will be an all out war, but more of a subtle cold war for control. On one side, the Man in Black and the park personnel and Arnold and his favorite creations on the other.
Yes, I believe that Bernard will take on a leadership role of some sort as Arnold will “awaken” somehow in Bernard. Possibly through Dolores when the two finally meet up and she utters, “These violent delights…”
The producers have said that the first season is a prequel to the “real” meat of Westworld’s story. We have only scratched the surface of this journey and that is mind boggling. There are so many ways for this conflict to continue and hopefully the show will not hold back.
THE TIMELINES AND UH…OTHER
I will be honest…the different timelines are hard to keep track of. I know there are at least two, with the past (William and his first encounter with Dolores), and the present (The Man in Black and his quest for the Maze). However, wouldn’t it be something if we are somehow watching the end of the show?
What if Dolores’ discovery of the church is the end of the show in the far future? There is no evidence for this theory, but Dolores does so much time jumping it would not surprise me. I think I’m just having fun at this point.
A few minor theories:
- Poor Teddy. He fits in some of these theories, but I just do not see him playing a huge role other than being at Dolores’ side when she goes nuts on The Man in Black as we saw in the season finale trailer. I will be happy if I am wrong, though.
- Elsie (Shannon Woodward) is still alive. They haven’t shown her death for a reason and it will have some sort of pay off. Stubbs, who was taken down (But not killed) by Ghost Nation in the last episode, is out there so maybe he will find her.
- There is more to Felix (Leonardo Nam) than meets the eye. He will be a key character in the future, possibly helping the Hosts in the second season.
So there are my theories. What do you think? Am I on the right track? What are some of your theories?
We will find out for sure on Sunday.