Westworld season 2 finale recap: ‘The Passenger’


In the season two finale of Westworld, many questions are answered only to open up new and complicated questions for season three. Some find their place, others change sides; some live, some die.

The first thing we learn is that Dolores had taken it upon herself to change Bernard from a faithful copy of Arnold into a new, unique entity. He’s similar but different. This makes Bernard unpredictable and able to make unpredictable choices in Westworld.

All parties converge on the Forge. Dolores leaves her beloved Teddy and runs into the Man in Black on the way, interrupting him as he digs in his arm for ports and wires. She mocks him for questioning his own reality. For the time being, their purposes are aligned. They ride together to the Forge, but not before Dolores sabotages William’s gun.

Bernard arrives at the Forge, witnessing along the way the mass exodus of awoken hosts lead by Akecheta to where the Door will appear. Dolores and William meet Bernard at the Forge, where William attempts to shoot down Dolores only to shoot off his own hand with his sabotaged gun. Dolores and Bernard enter the Forge together as William suffers his wounds outside.

Related Story: Westworld season 2 episode 9 recap: ‘Vanishing Point’

More from HBO

They both enter the virtual world of the Forge, finding out that in testing James Delos the system discovered that humans don’t really have free will – that when given any number of permutations of choices, a human will inevitably arrive at the same defining moment in their lives. Human consciousness, in the end, is a simple algorithm less flexible than that which comprises a host consciousness.

In the Forge is another world, the one Akecheta spoke of – a virtual world, pristine and ready for the hosts to live together in peace. Dolores, meanwhile, learns what she needs from the guest profiles and prepares to destroy the system, along with any guest data and any hosts who chose the Door. Bernard strongly disagrees with Dolores’s militant attitude, saying that the hosts should be allowed to make their own choice. He has a point – there’s no reason for Dolores to choose for everyone what is right and what is real. What is real is irreplaceable, but aren’t these awakened hosts irreplaceable, the choices they’ve made unique? Bernard shoots her to stop her from destroying the system, but not before she begins to flood the valley.

Meanwhile, hosts enter the Door to their new world, leaving their bodies behind in the flooding valley as their consciousness lives on. Maeve arrives with her posse after having escaped via her new and improved host mind control, just as Clementine arrives and sets the gathered hosts at each other’s throats. Maeve and co. hold the hoard back to allow her daughter and second mother to escape through the Door, the rest dying in the process.

Bernard exits the Forge to find the chaos, saying to Elsie that he can save some of the hosts but that he needs her help. But the valley is flooding and everyone heads back to the Mesa. Elise tries to make a deal with Hale for their safety, but Hale doesn’t trust Elsie’s virtuous nature and kills her. Bernard witnesses this and tries to access Ford for his help. Ford – who is really probably just Bernard’s imagination in survival mode – advises him through the process of making a Hale host with Dolores’s consciousness, who then murders Hale and has been running the show pretty much since Bernard was picked up on the beach.

In the present on Westworld, “Halores” kills Strand and the security team back at the Forge, just as Bernard has sorted through his memories to recall his own actions. Halores has apparently changed her mind about destroying the hosts, instead of putting them somewhere safe – but the choice seems arbitrary and without motivation. This is where Teddy’s consciousness ends up. She then kills Bernard and escapes the park disguised as Hale. But not before Stubbs implies that he knows she’s a host and implying that he might be a host himself and that she isn’t his responsibility once she’s outside the park.

Dolores, once again in her own body, resurrects Bernard because she needs an antagonist in her story in order to survive. Hale’s host body is also in attendance, but with an unknown consciousness inside. They go their separate ways, each free to make their own choices, but each in contradiction to the other – Dolores out to destroy the inflexible human race, Bernard fighting to save all beings.

Next: HBO to feature series Lovecraft Country produced by Jordan Peele

Maeve and her posse are gunned down, but Delos technicians Felix and Sylvester are tasked with salvaging the hosts and have become loyal to Maeve. This is probably not where her story ends.

In the far future, the Man in Black is resurrected as a host. His story always ends up the same on Westworld, with him trying to prove that he has a choice, that he has free will. What his story has been in the meantime, between his leaving the Forge and this future fidelity test is another story altogether.