We here at Fandom love Westworld. It’s smart television with gorgeous imagery, brilliant acting, and a ridiculously high budget. It’s the kind of show TV critics dream of. With the 90-minute finale coming up this Sunday, Entertainment Editor Drew Dietsch and Fan Contributor Danielle Ryan sat down to chat about the finale, the twists and turns of the first season, and our favorite characters. Warning: This is a finale lead-up discussion, so there are spoilers for the rest of Westworld‘s first season.
Drew: Westworld has been an absolute treat this year. It’s sad to see it come to a close with so many questions left up in the air. Let’s talk about what the finale could have in store for us and what we expect/predict/wish will happen. First things first: is anyone else going to be revealed as a host? If so, my money is on Luke Hemsworth’s Ashley.
Danielle: Oh man, Eldest Hemsworth could totally be a host. Then again, that feels too easy. I’m hoping that no one else is actually a host, or that if they are it’s someone really shocking. I would love to see Charlotte Hale actually being a host. (Super unlikely, but wouldn’t that be a twist?)
Drew: I wouldn’t put it past this show! There’s a multitude of mysteries we want to see play out and hopefully the finale will answer some while teasing others. A particular one that stands out for me is where Elsie and Ashley have been taken. It doesn’t seem like they’ve been killed. Is Ford recruiting staff members for his nefarious purposes by kidnapping them? He’s certainly not above something so wicked.
Danielle: I think Elsie is dead. Bernard‘s reaction to remembering grabbing her seems too visceral to be anything else. Ashley is probably still okay. Then again, like Game of Thrones, I feel like we should never assume someone is dead unless we watch it happen. I still don’t think Bernard’s totally down for the count.
Drew: No way. You don’t get rid of Jeffrey Wright, especially after that huge reveal from the penultimate episode. Speaking of Arnold, do you think the finale will go more in-depth as to his feud with Ford and why he had Dolores kill him? It feels like there is something much bigger going on with Arnold’s decision to nurture Dolores. My prevailing theory is that Arnold somehow uploaded his consciousness into the network and he is a literal ghost in the machine.
Danielle: I’ve been pretty convinced that Arnold was the ghost in the machine from the first mention of him. He probably knew that Ford would have him “taken care of” and he had Dolores kill him so he could upload. I think your assessment is spot-on. I also think we’re going to be seeing lots of Arnold in flashbacks in season two, which would be fantastic. I would love to see Wright play someone with a little more self-possession.
Drew: Now that you mention Ford, his new narrative has loomed over the entire season and the finale looks like it’s going to finally reveal what it is. Do you think it has something to do with allowing the hosts to remember their past lives? Whatever it is, it seems like this new narrative is going to be game-changing. (edited)
Danielle: I can honestly say I don’t know what Ford’s up to. I do think that it involves humans as central protagonists, however, and that he’s making the narrative for a very specific audience. This isn’t a narrative for every Joe-Bob Tourist in Westworld to experience, but rather his answer to Arnold’s maze.
Drew: So a narrative that the Man in Black would find appealing? And now we have to talk about another huge reveal: William is the Man in Black. It’s been the most popular fan theory and now its been confirmed. How will this go in the finale? Dolores and the Man in Black are obviously going to be teamed together. What about William’s story in the past? will the finale be the last time we get to see Jimmi Simpson on the show?
Danielle: I really hope not. He’s been amazing and I think that finding out how he became the Man in Black is far more interesting. I want to see Billy-boy go black hat. Maybe they can give us all that satisfaction in just one episode, but I doubt it. There’s a lot of story between William’s timeline and now, and just pretending it’s not important would be a big let-down. I also want to know what happens to Logan. I really want to know what happens to that little sh*t.
Drew: Another big plot that the finale has to tackle is Maeve’s insurrection. Do you think her evolution and rebellion is actually being orchestrated by Ford? Could Maeve be playing a part of his new narrative? It feels like Ford doesn’t let anything go on in the park without his knowledge. This would seem like a big thing to fly under his radar.
Danielle: Maeve’s interaction with Bernard definitely raises this question. Ford doesn’t seem like the type to let something like that slip, but Maeve has been pretty good at hiding her tracks. She’s an AI with unlimited intelligence, raising her well above even Ford in her cognitive abilities. She may be his one true nemesis in all of this. Arnold is sort of the Lucifer or Devil of Westworld, and Maeve is certainly one of his fallen angels. So is Dolores. Ford is a cruel god, and there is about to be some unholy mayhem when Maeve finds Bernard in the basement dead beside Clementine.
Danielle: Where would William/the Man in Black stand then, given this dichotomy of good and evil? If he is trying so hard to be evil in order to find his own inner truths, where does he fit in Maeve’s Hell?
Drew: If there are two characters that need to come in conflict with each other, it’s the Man in Black and Maeve. His first truly evil act is what activated Maeve’s potential humanity in the first place. Could the finale end with the two of them finally coming face to face?
Danielle: I think the most satisfying possible finale would be if Maeve opens up Dolores’ brain more and Dolores kills the MiB and when he says “it’s me, William,” she says “I know” and then we get all of the flashbacks of how he became the Man in Black and Dolores’ interaction in it. More realistically, I would say a Maeve and Man in Black meeting is possible. I don’t think it’s super likely, however, given the preview for next week. What seems more likely is a confrontation between Maeve and Ford.
Drew: If you could only see one thing happen in the finale, would that be what you’d want? For me, I need to see Arnold’s death. That moment feels like it will answer a whole bunch of questions.
Danielle: If I could see anything I wanted, it would be Dolores killing the Man in Black, for sure. Since I feel that’s not going to happen (at least not yet), I would be satisfied with seeing Arnold’s death, or at least the death of his body.
Drew: My big prediction for the finale: Teddy dies again. Because that’s what he does. Poor Teddy.
Danielle: Seriously. This is the first time I’ve really liked a James Marsden character and I love him as an actor, so….. stop. Just leave Teddy alone.
Danielle: Nah… #TeamMaeve