SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on Westworld
No other debut series this year has been on the receiving end of quite as much hype as HBO's Westworld has. Based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name, the series has been packed to the brim with provocative visuals, awards-worthy performances, and more than its fair share of intriguing mysteries. While some shocking twists and turns along the way have managed to shine light on the many unknown elements and histories of the show's characters and the park itself too, last night's penultimate episode of Westworld gave fans of the show some much-needed insight into the enigmatic, long-dead co-creator of the park, Arnold.
The reveal that Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) was actually modeled after Arnold by Anthony Hopkins' villainous Dr. Robert Ford managed to bring a whole other level of clarity to Ford's relationship with his partner. However, it was the added revelation that Arnold wasn't killed by Ford, but by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) that may hold some of the most weight in the series moving forward. Now, with the Man in Black (Ed Harris) reunited with Dolores for the first time since the season premiere, the pieces have finally been set for what is looking to be a fitting, epic season finale for one of television's most ambitious shows to date.
Following last night's episode also, HBO released the first official teaser trailer for next week's season finale episode (see above), titled "The Bicameral Mind." Currently slated to run 90 minutes long, the season finale will hopefully tie up some of the season's most prominent loose ends and major storylines, while also creating a whole new set of mysteries and problems. Judging by this teaser though, it appears fans may finally learn the truth behind Ford's mysterious new narrative as well.
Besides the fact that Dolores' reunion with the Man in Black may or may not finally bring some resolution to Dolores' murky past, it could also finally confirm the long-running, popular fan theory that Harris' character is actually William (Jimmi Simpson), in a different timeline from the one we've been seeing him and Dolores in. The series has been no stranger to playing with time in interesting ways before, and with Dolores it's become increasingly difficult for her to distinguish the past from the present, so even if we don't actually see the Man in Black finally reach the end of his beloved maze in the episode, there's a whole lot of other answers that their latest encounter c0uld bring.
Combine that with Maeve's (Thandie Newton) rebellion and escape plan, with last night's episode showing Maeve recruiting even more dangerous new host members to her "army," and the possible revelations that Ford's new narrative may bring, it seems safe to say that Westworld's finale already seems deserving of its extra long run time. On the other side of that coin, it should be noted that Westworld has spent a lot more of its time creating mysteries rather than solving them so far, and while the reveals that have come with those mysteries have been satisfying so far, it'll be interesting to see if the upcoming conclusion is able to deliver on the same grand and artistic level as the build up to it has.
Westworld concludes season 1 next week with ‘The Bicameral Mind’ @9pm on HBO.