lingering questions

7 Big Questions About This Week’s Westworld

William’s back! But he’s not doing so great. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

The fourth episode of this season of Westworld answered a lot of the biggest questions of the seasons to date with one word: Dolores. Who’s in Charlotte Hale? Dolores. Who’s in Martin Connells? Dolores. Who is running this show? Dolores. The action-packed episode reveals that the belief that Dolores Abernathy had absconded with five other personalities in those pearls we saw in the season-two finale was slightly off — they were mostly just copies of herself. Sure, she freed Bernard, and it’s possible she freed someone else (we’ll get to that), but the question of who Dolores has been working with all season is pretty much “Dolores.”

What about the final pearl?

Six “hosts” escaped at the end of season two, but one remains unaccounted for, unless our math is off. We know that Dolores Prime is in herself (at least we think we do), and copies of her are in Charlotte Hale, Musashi, and Martin Connells. It seems that Bernard was one of the pearls that Charlotte/Dolores escaped with at the end of last season. That adds up to five: Dolores, Charlotte, Musashi, Martin, Bernard. But there was a pearl in Host Charlotte and five in the bag on the boat in the season-two finale, which equals six. So that means that there could be a copy of Dolores out in the world already like Musashi was, or it could be still in storage waiting for their role in Dolores’ game. Or could there be at least one pearl that’s not a copy of Dolores? Are Angela or Clementine still waiting to be activated? Or is she saving the final copy of herself for someone special?

Where is everyone else?

Presuming Maeve’s not the fifth Dolores, which gives us a headache to think about, the revelation that she and Dolores are the only two hosts from Westworld now in the real world leads to the question of if everyone else is safe in the Valley Beyond. Dolores says “there will be a place for the others in the world we’ll build,” but is it just as easy as downloading all her old buddies when that day comes?

Why exactly did she put Bernard back in Bernard? And did she?

So, we’re led to believe that Dolores escaped with five versions of herself and Bernard. And then she dropped Bernard back in his normal skin and sent him on his way just to mess things up? Of course, one could say the writers needed an enemy for Dolores, but is there more to it than questionable writing? Is Bernard being in his own skin part of her plan? And is it possible that she did something to that pearl before implanting it that could impact her endgame? Is she controlling this version of Bernard more than he suspects?

Why Musashi?

It’s an interesting host choice for a copy of Dolores, isn’t it? Did she somehow know that Maeve would find her way to Musashi and that the unexpected familiar face would startle her? There’s a sense that Dolores is pulling the strings on everything this season — she even knew that Bernard and Stubbs would crash the party — and that she’s moving pieces around on a chess board. Is it possible that even Serac and Maeve are a part of her game?

How will William escape?

William’s back! But he’s not doing so great. He goes from suicidal and alone to committed. In the form of Charlotte Hale, Dolores has William committed, seemingly to keep him quiet as her plan unfolds. After all, he knows a lot about Dolores, Delos, and all the things that could get her in trouble. But William seems to have a vision of Dolores in the final scene, and she tells him that this is the end of the game he’s been seeking for so long. We certainly haven’t seen the last of him. And his return this season leads to an interesting question about the end of season two:

Does this mean Emily was a hallucination in the epilogue of last season?

The controversial post-credits scene last year showed Emily, William’s daughter, speaking to him in the flooded forge, talking about fidelity in the room where Robot James Delos was tested. She returns in violent visions to William this episode, and you may have noticed she’s wearing a very similar white outfit. This likely means that she wasn’t a host or anything corporeal at all at the end of season two, but that, as she is in this episode, she’s just a figment of William’s imagination. The creators have said that the season coda took place in the future. So while William tries to put Emily away this episode, it’s clear that she will haunt him at least one more time in the future.

What’s Serac’s backstory?

There’s brief glimpse of a horrible backstory for Serac that will almost certainly be filled in, including what looks like the nuclear bombing of Paris and a mysterious brother. Whenever anyone on this show mentions a sibling, we have to wonder the role that character could inevitably play. Or if we already know them!

7 Big Questions About This Week’s Westworld