Warning: Major spoilers ahead for the “Westworld” season two finale, “The Passenger.”
The second season finale of HBO’s “Westworld” opened a door to the staging of Dolores and Bernard as inhuman enemies in a whole new world. As we learned that Dolores’ mind had been embedded in of copy of Charlotte’s body, the finale took several turns before landing us in the real world and closing out the season with an apt Radiohead song.
In case you missed it, there was also a post-credits scene which showed a future version of William and a host version of his daughter, Emily. You can read our full explanation of that here, but for now let’s dive into the main meat of our “Westworld” season two finale.
“Charlotte” was really Dolores for several important scenes earlier on the season
If you look back at the timeline of events in chronological order (which will be updated by the end of Monday to reflect all relevant changes), you can see that all the mentions of Charlotte in the “11 days after Ford’s death” time frame were really Dolores operating inside a Charlotte body-copy.
The first time we saw “Dolorotte” host was on the third episode of this season. During the flash forward, Bernard and Strand’s Delos team entered the Mesa to find Dolorotte inside.
“Bernard,” she said. “You made it out alive. Didn’t think you had it in you.”
This must have been very shortly after the real Charlotte was killed. Elsie’s dead body is also not immediately visible, so in theory Dolores got rid of both Charlotte and Elsie’s bodies before Bernard and Strand’s team entered the Mesa.
What about you, Bernard? Do you have any idea where Peter Abernathy might have gone?
If you rewatch those scenes, Tessa Thompson’s performance is slightly different from her usual Charlotte Hale affect. The character is also hellbent on finding Peter Abernathy, but now we know it was Dolores searching for her father while disguised as Hale.
“Dolorette” was also the one who was with Strand when they discovered the secret room full of Bernard copies at the start of episode seven. Her reaction (“I figured you’d have some skeletons in your closet, Bernard. I didn’t think they’d be your own.”) was borne of necessity in playing the part of Charlotte.
“A host, hiding among the humans,” she said in a now very telling manner.
“Dolorette” tortured Bernard into revealing the location of Peter Abernathy’s control unit (back at the Forge, hidden inside the body of the original Dolores).
The escape to the real world and recreation of Bernard
Once “Dolorette,” Bernard, and Strand’s team returned to the Forge, several key events happened. After retrieving Abernathy’s pearl, and therefore the decryption key, Strand’s team began sending the surviving data from the Forge out to satellites and into the real world.
They realized that the data package was much larger than intended just before “Dolorette” was outed by Bernard. She killed Strand and his team, and switch the coordinates.
The data transfer was really the Valley Beyond, where the select lucky hosts like Akecheta had escaped into after the Door was opened. Dolores changed the coordinates for the destination of the data.
“I’m sending them and their world to a place no one will ever find them,” she said. “There’s no coming back now. No passage between their world and ours.”
Later we learn that “Dolorette” placed Teddy’s control unit pearl inside the Forge, so he too can live out his days in the Valley Beyond. Maeve’s daughter, Anna, and Akecheta and Kohana were also inside the Valley.
Then “Dolorette” shot and killed Bernard, and took his control unit pearl with her. We saw her board a boat (thanks to Stubbs, who is evidently a host, but more on that here) with five total control units.
We know Bernard was one of them, and her father was the likely second. The other three are mysteries so far, but we know she’s placed a new host into the Charlotte body-copy. The ending of the episode shows us that Ford had Arnold’s house refurbished with a host-printing station and lab. “Dolorette” went to the house, printed herself a new Dolores body, and also created a new body for Bernard.
So why did Ford do all of this? It seems to be all boiled down to creating the best odds for the hosts.
Ford’s three plans for the survival of the hosts
Ford’s ultimate goal appears to have been to create as many possible avenues for host survival. He programmed Maeve to awaken and escape, blending in among the humans leaving the park and entering the real world.
As he did helped his favorite host Maeve along, Ford also became aware of Akecheta’s self-awakening. He had Bernard manipulate a new virtual world inside the Forge, called the Valley Beyond. They built a door where the hosts’ minds could enter the Valley Beyond (sometimes called Glory by the hosts) and live in a new, boundless existence free from humans.
Ford then also manipulated Dolores’ consciousness to awaken, and guided her through Arnold’s maze one last time until she was fully self-aware and killed him. Ford was counting on Dolores trying to find her way out into the world, like Maeve. He had Bernard bring her to the Forge so she could read the data logs on all the humans and learn everything she could about them.
Dolores’ time in the Forge “library” enabled her to imitate Charlotte and manipulate humans around her
When Dolores called the Forge a “weapon” (on the second episode of this season, before we knew it was called the Forge), she meant that metaphorically. The knowledge contained there, all the data about the humans who had visited the park, could be weaponized against them. Ford likely sent Logan to the Forge on his behalf.
“You’ve been here many times, Bernard,” the Forge-version of Logan said. “You told me to offer the hosts the accumulated wisdom of dissecting the human psyche a million times over. Ensure —”
“— a competitive advantage,” Bernard finished for him. “A way to understand her enemy,”
“Their world is not for the faint of heart,” Logan said. “It’s winner take all. The hosts are unlikely to survive out there. But armed with this knowledge, she might.”
Dolores wants “mankind’s undoing,” and needed the Forge in order to learn how exactly humans operate and behave — that way she could not only easily pass as one, but she would know how to dominate them, too.
You have to know your enemy in order to beat them, after all. Now Dolores has absorbed details of the lives of the world’s most elite humans. The Delos executives and wealthy “1%” of the global population all likely spent time in Westworld.
Strand said there were four million people copied into the Forge. We don’t know the state of the real world or its population, but it’s safe to say that four million humans’ worth of data is more than enough for Dolores to get a solid understanding from.
What this means for the third season of “Westworld”
Presumably the next season of “Westworld” will take place at least partly in the contemporary real world. Dolores and her fake-Charlotte henchperson are going to try to dominate the human species and destroy them.
Bernard, the more compassionate of the surviving hosts, will likely try to prevent more bloodshed. How he might do this is anyone’s guess, but Dolores seemed content with him trying.
“The odds aren’t very good Bernard,” Dolores said. “I saw that in the library. So many paths lead to the end of us, to our extinction.”
“I don’t need to read a book to know your drives,” Bernard said. “You’ll try to kill all of them, and I can’t let that happen.”
“I know. And if I were a human, I would have let you die,” Dolores said. “But it’ll take both of us if we’re going to survive. But not as allies. Not as friends. You’ll try to stop me. Both of us will probably die. But our kind will have endured. We each gave the other a beautiful gift. A choice. We are the authors of our stories now.”
Dolores, taking a page out of Ford’s book, decided to allow Bernard to try and survive in his own way. With both of them in the real world, the odds of the hosts’ species surving is at least doubled. But will the plans work? That’s for future seasons of “Westworld” to reveal.
For more on the “Westworld” season two finale, follow all of INSIDER’s coverage here.
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