“Westworld” has concluded its fourth season, and once again it has upended the status quo. While we didn’t spend much time in the park itself, we got intimately acquainted with the real world outside. It turns out that human society isn’t any more free than the imaginary western town that the hosts lived in. A powerful supercomputer, Rehoboam, owned by a massive corporation, controls the lives of every human on earth, and those that can’t be controlled are drugged and shoved to the fringes of civilization.
However, there is a new element that Rehoboam didn’t predict. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), simple farmer’s daughter turned revolutionary leader, has broken out of Westworld, and she doesn’t abide oppressive power structures. With the help of Caleb (Aaron Paul), a former soldier and “outlier,” she releases all of the data Rehoboam has collected on its citizens, and then shuts it down for good. Society collapses, but the promise of a new, better, freer society is on the horizon.
Where does the show go from here? No doubt it will explore how exactly one goes about setting up a new world, with all of the inherent difficulties that entails. Many of the characters will have competing visions for what this world should look like, and how the artificial “hosts” fit into it. The virtual Eden of the Valley Beyond is still locked away on a hard drive somewhere, and we will hopefully see what happened to all of the hosts who escaped inside at the end of Season 2. We might even get to go back to Westworld itself. While we won’t know for sure until Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s show returns, what is clear is that their characters face some difficult choices ahead of them. For our best Season 4 theories on what violent delights and violent ends await the characters of “Westworld,” check out the gallery below.
Dolores has died and been resurrected many times before, but her death in the season finale looks like it will be a lot harder to come back from. Serac has every single one of her memories erased, which is about as close to true death as a host can experience. Still, this robot is smart, and as Season 3 proved, she plans for every eventuality. There were plenty of copies of her walking around this season, so she may have a backup hidden somewhere. She could also return as a blank slate, just as she was when she was created. It’s hard to imagine “Westworld” without Evan Rachel Wood, so Dolores will return in some form or another, and she will have to reckon with the consequences of her actions.
Unlike Dolores, Maeve has more trouble finding direction out in the real world. She eventually allies with Serac, who enlists her help in the fight against Dolores in exchange for reuniting her with her daughter. Of course, Serac isn’t exactly trustworthy, and at the last moment she switches sides and helps her fellow host execute her plan.
In the final moments we see her, along with Caleb, watching society crumble. No doubt she will play a part in rebuilding it, along with her human counterpart. Of course, there’s also the matter of her daughter, currently locked away in the Valley Beyond. Luckily, there’s another host out there who has the key.
Bernard spent Season 3 trying to stop Dolores, only to realize he was doing exactly what she wanted. After reuniting with the wife of his long-dead doppelganger, Westworld co-creator Arnold Weber, he realizes that Dolores has hidden the key to the Valley Beyond in his own mind. He then “travels” to the Valley; in the post-credits sequence he returns, but everything is covered in dust.
Bernard has no doubt returned far into the future, though just how far isn’t clear. The show may explore different timelines, like it did in earlier seasons, and he could be our view into the later timeline. The dust of Dolores’s revolution will have settled, and the new world would have taken hold. We’ll also likely see some of Bernard’s adventures within the Valley Beyond, and learn why he was there so long, as well as why he left.
WILLIAM aka THE MAN IN BLACK
William has a rough go of it in Season 3. He nearly drinks himself to death after accidentally killing his daughter in Season 2 when he suspected her of being a host. Hale has him committed, and he spends most of the season in an asylum, reckoning with the darkness inside of him. After getting broken out by Bernard and Stubbs, he vows to stop Dolores and save the world.
That proves easier said than done. While breaking into a host factory in Dubai, he runs into a reanimated Hale, who has a surprise for him: himself. The robot Man in Black dukes it out with William and wins, slitting his human counterpart’s throat. Though the original William is dead, this new host version lives on, as the manifestation of his darkest desires. Most likely he will be the murderous right hand man to Hale, helping her carry out her plans.
Of course, medical science in “Westworld’s” future is much more advanced than ours, so it’s not out of the question for the real William to return, and confront his dark doppelganger.
The real Charlotte Hale died a while ago, killed shortly after the host uprising. She was replaced by a robot imitator with a copy of Dolores’s mind. Though she is technically another Dolores, she struggles with her pretend identity, and ultimately loses faith in her leader’s mission after she is left for dead.
In the post-credits scene, we see that she has become a dark shadow of Dolores with none of her altruistic qualities. With the Man in Black at her side, she will continue her quest of liberation for the hosts, but without any concern for the wellbeing of humanity. She may seek to enslave them, like they did to her kind, or she might exterminate them once and for all. In any case, she is being set up as the villain of Season 4.
After learning that he is a host himself, Ashley joins up with Bernard. Unfortunately their encounter with William leaves him gravely wounded. We last see him bleeding out in a bathtub as Bernard travels to the Valley Beyond. He could be a faded robot skeleton when his partner returns, ready to be reactivated; he also could have recovered, and found a place for himself in the new world Dolores creates.
Serac sees all of his plans destroyed by Dolores at the end of Season 3. His supercomputer, Rehoboam, has been shut down, and his tightly controlled society is no more. We last see him bleeding on the floor of his company, Incite, after Maeve turns on him. He isn’t dead though, and will likely return in Season 4, with his vast wealth, control of Delos, and a desire for revenge on Caleb, Maeve and hosts in general. Expect him to be one of the power players vying for control of humanity’s future.
Dolores turns Caleb into the leader of her revolution, and gives him the keys to humanity’s future. Season 4 will likely follow him as he tries to shape that future and we see what choices he makes. Caleb will most likely team up with Maeve, and may help her find her daughter and free the hosts from the Valley Beyond. He might even try to revive Dolores. The former soldier will no doubt face steep opposition from Serac, who will want him dead, as well as Hale, who will want to undo what Dolores has done.