Ever since Westworld‘s Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) brought herself online in the debut episode of HBO’s new sci-fi drama, fans of the show have been an awful lot like the robot hosts who live in the fictional park: They never shut up. They’re always talking!
Well, they’re talking about just what the ungodly heck is going on in Westworld, that is. With its ageless hosts who are indistinguishable from humans, and a narrative structure that lets the show play coy with its timeline (or timelines, plural), Westworld is one of the ripest shows in years for endless, complex, outlandish theorizing. (The last time folks were this obsessed with unraveling a show’s mysteries was probably back in 2010, with Lost — which, not coincidentally, is another show that involved master of mind games J.J. Abrams, an executive producer on Westworld.)
With the first season finale airing on Sunday, December 4, Westworld still has a few loose ends that desperately need tying up before we settle in for the long wait for season 2. Here are five questions we’re hoping to see addressed.
The Multiple-Timeline Theory
Let’s start with the one we’re already pretty sure about: that Westworld‘s narrative is actually nonlinear, with the story line featuring William’s inaugural visit to the park occurring roughly 30 years ahead of the story line featuring Ford’s reveries and Maeve’s awakening. This theory was all but confirmed last week in “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” but the question remains as to just how many timelines there are. Between Maeve’s awakening, William’s visit and Dolores’ conversations with a man we now realize was Arnold, that’s three for sure. But are there more?
And the Man in Black Is …
Assuming that multiple timelines are in play, this brings Us to the identity of the nameless Man in Black played by Ed Harris — who we’re pretty sure is the naive, lovestruck William (Jimmi Simpson), only 30 years older and infinitely more evil. For one thing, the two men use the same knife — and not for nothing, William looked awfully longingly at those black hats back in the Westworld dressing room upon first arrival. (The other, less popular possibility is that the Man in Black is an aged Logan (Ben Barnes); both he and William work for a company that’s trying to take ownership of the park at the time their narrative takes place, which means either one of them could reasonably become part of the Westworld board, as we know the MiB is.) Either way, this is a mystery that should (and probably will) be solved before the finale credits roll.
Is Another Bernard Coming Down the Beltline?
At this point, we probably aren’t in for any more surprise revelations in which a seemingly human character turns out to be a robot — but we might see a robot come back from the dead believing he’s human. The last time we saw Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in his secret underground lab, there was a host being printed; the best bet, per savvy fans, is that he’s a replacement Bernard (Jeffrey Wright).
Will Wyatt’s Identity Be a Surprise?
The mysterious villain of Ford’s new narrative is clearly an important piece of the puzzle, and his identity a mystery to which we’ve gotten only the occasional cryptic hint. The Man in Black wants to find him, Teddy (James Marsden) wants to kill him and it would be very bad manners for the show to leave both those story lines dangling until next season. The craziest thing is, Wyatt could be anyone. Dolores? Teddy himself? Bernard, rebooted and given a whole new backstory? Discuss.
And What’s Going on in the Non-Westworld World?!
Conspicuously absent from Westworld has been any information whatsoever as to what’s happening in the world outside the park that makes it such a desirable escapist destination. All we know is what Ford has told us — that humanity has reached its evolutionary peak, possibly at the expense of all other life on Earth (or, you know, whatever planet we’re inhabiting in this dystopian future). But since Ford is hardly a trustworthy source, theories abound as to just what kind of shape humanity is in. The most popular one? That things are very, very bad — and that if and when Maeve (Thandie Newton) breaks out of the park, whatever she finds is going to send her running back to robot hell as fast as her perfectly engineered legs can carry her.
Tell Us: What do you expect to see happen in the finale?
Westworld airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.