HBO’s hit show Westworld might also be one of the most complicated shows out there. Here’s a quick Season 2 refresher of where we left off with some characters, including what happened in the Season 2 Finale.
Season 2 Recap Videos
First, here are some of the best recap videos for Season 2 of Westworld.
Here’s one for Season 1 and 2.
And here’s another just for Season 2.
And here’s a fun recap meme.
Season 2 Finale Recap
Here’s an in-depth recap of what happened in the Season 2 finale.
We learned last season that everyone who visited the park had their memories and what essentially amounted to “copies” saved of them without their consent. In one compelling scene, Bernard told Ford: “We weren’t here to code the hosts, we were here to decode the guests.” Every guest who had ever been in the park was recreated and their “code” was stored at the park. Dolores was able to gain access to that knowledge to help her survive outside of the park. Charlotte wanted to resell the information and use it for a profit.
A number of hosts escaped into The Forge thanks to a door that was opened to them. This is essentially a paradise where the hosts could survive without their bodies. But she believed the world was a false promise. Bernard argued that this was their choice to make.
Dolores sought to erase the guests’ archival data, but Bernard warned that this would destroy the hosts’ world too. She was fine with this because “that which is real is irreplaceable.” Bernard shot Dolores to stop her and to save the hosts.
Maeve, meanwhile, allowed her daughter to escape into the host world, but she couldn’t go with her because she was stopping an attack so her daughter could be free. Maeve sacrificed herself and was caught again by Delos, but her daughter lived. And although Ford had written code that would have compelled Maeve to escape, her love for her daughter drove her back.
Bernard had code with Ford’s personality inside him, but he deleted it in an earlier episode. At one point in the finale, in a fit of fear when everything was falling apart, he tried to bring Ford back and thought he succeeded. Bernard, talking with Mind Ford, commented that humans are just algorithms, designed to survive at all costs, and they aren’t in control at all.
“Is there really such a thing as free will for any of us?” he asks Mind Ford. “Something that is truly free would need to be able to question its fundamental drives, to change them…”
Bernard chose to seek Ford’s help and to follow Ford’s instructions. As he later told Charlotte and the Delos officers, he made a choice and he scrambled his memories so they couldn’t discover what choice he made. As they were beaming out their asset information, they realized the file was too large to account for what they were sending. “This isn’t the guest data. This is something else.”
Bernard said he didn’t kill all the hosts. “I thought we could be better than you… So I killed you. All of you… I made someone. I brought her back.”
Together, Ford-in-Bernard’s-Mind and Bernard printed a clone of Charlotte who carried Dolores’ mind. Dolores decided not to kill the hosts after all. But she also locked their world so no one could ever access it. She sent their world “to a place no one will ever find them.”
That’s when she shot and killed Bernard. But she really did this so she could sneak his “mind” out of the park without anyone knowing.
In a later scene, we realized that Mind Ford had never existed.
“When I deleted your code, I purged myself of you permanently,” Bernard said to Mind Ford. “And when I needed you again, you weren’t there. So I imagined you. Imagined you helping me. Guiding me…But it wasn’t you. It was me.”
At that moment, Bernard realized he gained sentience and self-awareness, just like Dolores, and he had been guiding himself all along. But he had to erase that Ford so they wouldn’t discover what he was. He had to erase his self-awareness, essentially.
Months later, in a new lab, Dolores revived Bernard in his new-but-same host body. “Ford completed Arnold’s dream,” she told him. “And he built a place for us. A fighting chance.”
She said she had to revive him because it was their best chance at survival, even if he would try to stop her and not be her ally.
In the last epilogue scene, William woke up in what appeared to be a much older version of the Westworld headquarters, although he had the same injuries as before.
“I’m already in the thing aren’t I?” he asked. A host in a body that was just like his daughter’s said no, the system was long gone. “This isn’t a simulation… This is your world. Or what’s left of it. Do you know where you are, William?”
“In the park,” he said.
She asked him how long he’d been there, and he wasn’t sure. “What were you hoping to find, to prove?”
That no system can tell me who I am,” he said. “That I have a f***ing choice.”
“And yet here we are. Again,” she said.
“How many times have you tested me?” he asks. He’s been brought to a room just like where he had questioned James Delos’ host.
“It’s been a long time William,” she said. “Longer than we thought. I have a few questions for you. The last step’s a baseline interview to allow us to verify… Fidelity.”
He found himself being given the same fidelity test that he used to give his father-in-law every time he woke up in a new host body. And as far as we know, he’s woken up far in the future. Does this mean Dolores ultimately won her battle? Or is this a red herring and they’re not even on Earth?
We’re also left with a question of who Dolores smuggled out of the park within those five balls. One is Bernard. Could another be Teddy (even if he did escape into the paradise), her father, maybe Angela?