At some point during the first season of HBO’s Westworld, everyone involved in the heady science fiction series - showrunners, talent, critics, audiences - realized one important thing. Namely, that the name of the game was “theories,” and that trying to crack what was actually happening, or what would happen next, would carry the show forward. This embrace of theories hasn't stopped going into the Westworld season 2 finale.
Even on the eve of the season 2 premiere in late April, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy took part in a Reddit AMA, promising to divulge Westworld spoilers freely. Instead, they trolled everyone with a video of star Evan Rachel Wood singing a piano cover of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Gags notwithstanding, fans and critics alike have continued to pronounce, evaluate and recommit to their best Westworld predictions throughout much of season 2’s run, which comes to an end on Sunday. Not even the talent, like actor Ed Harris, can help themselves.
“Even when I watch it, there’s a lot of it that I don’t always understand,” he told the Huffington Post last weekend. “Yeah, I have no idea where it’s heading. I don’t even know if I’m in it or not [next season]. I figure I am? But I don’t know in what capacity, and I don’t know what the what will be happening.”
Westworld season 2 finale theories
Or Harris might actually understand what’s going on with his villainous character, and know where his path leads in the second season finale, so he’s just lying. After all, considering the sheer level of secrecy HBO maintains for tentpole shows like Westworld and Game of Thrones, misguiding the press and fans is all part of the plan.
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And it’s doing nothing to stop them, as audiences have been struggling with several questions this season. One of the biggest, following last week’s penultimate “Vanishing Point,” concerns whether Harris’ William, better known as “The Man in Black,” is an android or a human. (In the park, humans are called “guests,” the robots “hosts”).
Seeing as how we’ve seen him age thanks to flashbacks and time jumps, William is most likely human. However, this doesn’t mean he’s free of the late Dr. Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) control. That’s because another theory posits the so-called “door,” which has served as season 2’s mystery box, is actually a window into Delos, Inc.’s secret attempts to collect data on park guests. Why? So they can one day control humans just as easily (or not) as the robot hosts.
Maybe William is a host, maybe not. Maybe Delos is secretly trying to figure out how to control living and breathing people for a profit, maybe not. Or, as yet another theory ponders, maybe Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) physical form is currently occupied by another host entirely. Either way, fans will find out soon enough when the Westworld season 2 finale airs this weekend.
The Westworld season 2 finale airs Sunday, June 24, at 9 p.m. on HBO.