Unanswered questions in Westworld Season 1

The season finale of Westworld finally confirmed the internet's craziest Westworld theories. There really were two timelines running through the show, and William really is the Man in Black. But while the finale neatly wrapped the show in a bow for Season 2 and gave us plenty of answers, it also left a ton of unanswered questions to keep us scratching our heads until the next premiere.

Okay, who died?

Well, Ford died. We saw it happen. It's always possible that he'll come back in Season 2 as a host (did Westworld figure out the ultimate resurrection gimmick, or what?), but in light of the fact that it's Anthony Hopkins, we doubt it. He's not typically a sequel player. As for the rest of the cast, the show made sure they were all delicately left screaming as they plunged over the edge of a cliff. William (as the Man in Black) took a very real bullet to the shoulder from Wyatt's men, but he was still standing. Charlotte Hale was left trapped in the gala while Dolores gunned down the guests, but we never saw her get shot. In Westworld, the rule seems to be "no assumptions." If you don't see something happen, you can't bank on it being true. (And sometimes not even then.)

Following that rule, there's still a real chance that Elsie is alive, too. When Bernard flashed back to grabbing her in the abandoned theater in Episode 8, the memory was conveniently cut short before he actually snapped her neck or did anything else seemingly more permanent. Even though she hasn't reappeared in the show since that fateful night, her absence could be just a setup for a big return in Season 2. As for Logan, last seen riding naked and bound into the sunset, there's a good chance he's still alive, too. It's unlikely that a member of the Delos board would be allowed to die of exposure in the park.

Then there's Hector Escaton and Armistice, the badass with the snake tattoo. They're left on their own in the Westworld labs, and although it's implied that they met their end down there, those are really just two more possible deaths that we don't see. And yeah, those two can't really die — they're hosts — but in those circumstances, they're probably going to be bricked like Clementine if they get caught, which is supposed to be robot death. But since we see Clementine shoot William at the gala, there's probably more here than we knew.

Where in the world is Westworld?

There have been hints about Westworld's location throughout the show. For example, employees have to "rotate out" every few months. The website, DiscoverWestworld.com, has also dropped a few clues hinting that the park might be located on an island. That seems pretty likely — the place is huge and fairly self-contained. While the finale didn't reveal Westworld's location, it did drop one not-so-subtle reference. After Maeve gets Felix to bring Bernard back online, Bernard looks over Maeve's programming and realizes that her entire plan to break out of the park has been scripted — she wasn't really acting on her own free will. Bernard starts to trace her future and manages to say "When you get to the main-" before Maeve snatches the tablet from his hands and breaks it in half. Was he going to say "mainland?" If you pause at an opportune moment and look really closely, you can see that Maeve's next directive reads "MAINLAND INFILTRATION." So where exactly are they?

Who lured Stubbs into the park?

The last time we saw head of security Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), he'd been lured out into the park on a wild goose chase, a path that brought him face-to-face with the Ghost Nation. Realizing that his verbal commands don't work, Stubbs pulls his gun and braces himself to fight off the tribe. That's the last we hear from him, leaving us to wonder whether he died or made it out of there. But the bigger question is, who brought him out there in the first place? Was it part of Ford's plan? Maybe — the guy is pulling strings all across the park — but why go through all the trouble? On the other hand, maybe Ford got Stubbs out of the way before the slaughter in Episode 10 to save his life. Or, as one Redditor theorized, did Elsie lure Stubbs out there so she could talk to him?

Will Samurai World come into the story?

During Maeve's escape, she and her fellow fugitives stumble into a section of the underground labs that's filled with samurai with a new "SW" logo on the walls (as opposed to Westworld's "WW" logo). When Maeve asks Felix about it, he deflects, saying only, "It's complicated." It's obviously the trappings of another Delos theme park, but how much will that come into play in Season 2? It might just be a world-building thing — it's mind-blowing to imagine the scope of Westworld multiplied into different eras and themes. We know that there were multiple theme parks in the Michael Crichton's 1973 Westworld film, including Medieval World and Roman World (and the sequel was set in Futureworld), but the show hasn't seemed inclined to investigate any other Delos destinations … until now.

So will Westworld expand into different territories? Will we get to see samurai teaming up with cowboys to overthrow humans in Season 2? As awesome as that would be — and, unfortunately, as unlikely as it would be — there's just no way of knowing right now. However, Westworld showrunner Jonathan Nolan definitely hinted at some other world. At New York Comic Con, when Nolan was asked about it, he gave the vague answer, "You said Roman World and Medieval World, right? No." Okay, so the show definitely won't be heading there, but his phrasing seems to suggest that Westworld will feature another park of some sort. Maybe he was just alluding to our brief glimpse of Samurai World in the Season 1 finale. We hope there's more than just that peek.

How much of the show was part of Ford's narrative?

After William finds out that his precious maze was nothing more than a child's toy all along, he gets into a tense fight with Dolores and ends up stabbing her in the belly. But before he can kill her outright, Teddy rides in and saves the day. They whisper sweet things to each other, then ride off to "where the mountains meet the sea." There, Teddy lays Dolores down on the beach and the mood gets more and more maudlin until Dolores gasps her last breath and dies in his arms under the moonlight.

Lights go up, the crowd applauds, and surprise … it was all part of Ford's massive, mysterious narrative. But how much of it was planned, exactly? If Ed Harris's William hadn't stabbed Dolores, Teddy wouldn't have saved her and she wouldn't have died on the beach at the right time. (Was the audience told some other story about Dolores' wound?) And William spent the entire season moving toward the point where he discovers the maze in the graveyard, so we gotta ask: was he an unwitting part of Ford's narrative the whole time? William is a person, after all, and not a host. Considering all the major events that played out over the first season, it's an important question. How much was Ford controlling? And if he was able to use William in his story, were some of the other humans unwittingly party to the story as well? Was anyone working in the park a human? Hopefully, the answers will be in Season 2.

Did Abernathy make it out of the park?

One of the big build-ups in Episode 9 was Charlotte Hale's plan to smuggle Ford's data out of the park inside the decommissioned body of Papa Abernathy. She tasks Lee Sizemore with carrying out the operation … but then the show sort of moves on. Except for one brief mention of their scheme early in the finale and a vague reference later on, there's no indication of whether the plan succeeded or whether it was carried out at all. What story did Sizemore cobble together that's going to ensure Abernathy safe voyage to the outside world? Chalk it up to yet another suspenseful moment that's left unresolved by Westworld's Season 1 finale.

Where are the animal reveries?

When Arnold developed the concept and Ford upgraded the host software to include what Arnold referred to as "reveries" in an attempt to make his hosts seem more lifelike, part of Westworld's host population was largely unaffected by the mandatory software update. Reveries were developed in an effort for the hosts to begin acquiring a subconscious connection to old memories which would ultimately make it easier for them to improvise, but one population seemed to miss the update.

There are three categories of hosts in the park: engineers working upstairs, characters involved in the narratives, and animals. The animals were necessary additions to create a true illusion of the Wild West. The robot animals we've seen in Westworld include Ford's childhood pet greyhound, coyotes, owls, cattle, horses, rattlesnakes, and scorpions. There are also flies, which only seem to appear crawling across host eyeballs.

None of the animals in the park seem affected by the software upgrade. Had they been a part of the host revolution, we probably would have seen armies of bucking broncos, mad cows, attack owls, and an army of slithering snakes. Instead, the only animal that seems to have killed anything was Ford's greyhound, which supposedly killed a rabbit (according to young host Ford). In Episode 5, Ford tells Old Bill how his childhood pet greyhound killed a cat at a park. So perhaps he programmed his pet to follow through with that narrative.

So do the host animals have memory recall as well? When they get reset after a long day in the park of either watching lots of horrible deaths or experiencing their own deaths, do they have flashbacks like some of the human hosts do? How would PETA feel about the park?

Are Sylvester and Felix hosts?

Sylvester and Felix blindly work to restore damaged hosts in the best interest of the park, but when Maeve begins to become sentient, she questions his humanity and tries to explain how they are more alike than he can know saying, "You feel just like me." Before Maeve wakes herself up in this scene, Felix is shocked to see her again, and Sylvester remarks disgustedly upon his partner's reaction saying, "Personality testing should've weeded you out in the embryo." This implies that either their futurist reality is largely engaged in eugenics or that the two are both hosts with enough self-awareness to tease each other about it but enough human denial to pretend that it isn't true.

More evidence suggesting that the two are hosts comes into play when Felix heals a cut in his partner Sylvester's neck with the same rapid healing machine used to repair the other hosts. But the most confounding evidence that the two are hosts is deeply rooted in their relationship with Maeve. As Maeve's sentient powers grow, neither of the technicians ever shut her down. Is this because Maeve achieved power over the free will of other hosts? Ford apparently intended for Maeve to become sentient and find her way out of the park as evidenced in a line of her code which reads "NARRATIVE: MAINLAND INFILTRATION." Are Sylvester and Felix a much larger part of this narrative than they could possibly know? Do they have no choice but to follow Ford's narrative?

Was Maeve's maze real?

It's implied that the maze is a host's metaphorical journey of finding consciousness. Based on a combination of Bernard's three-tiered triangle theory of consciousness and Ford's triangle-circle fashioned around a toy that Arnold's son played with, we are told time and time again that the maze is a figurative, extended metaphor, a mysterious quest developed for the hosts by Arnold whose intention was to allow them to find consciousness. But we see many physical mazes in the park, like stamps on cargo boxes. The biggest, though is the one Maeve and her daughter die in. What is this physical maze? It isn't big enough to actually walk through, but it's much bigger than any of the others we've seen. Is it simply an imprint added to her memory? Is it just a nice, symbolic metaphor for her consciousness?

What's the big plan?

This is the biggie. Ever since Charlotte first entered the show, there have been hints about big changes coming to Westworld at the behest of the Delos board. It's the reason they want Ford out of the picture, it's why Theresa was transmitting data out of the park via the woodcutter host (which also rebooted Arnold's old reveries code and started off the whole "host malfunction" thing), and it's why Teresa and (maybe) Elsie got killed. Whatever their plan is, it's basically been the driving force behind every major event in the show. Yet there hasn't even been a ghost of a hint about what it is. This is obviously something the showrunners are saving for the next season, but you can't help but feel a little slighted that they didn't even give us a crumb to whet our appetites during the long, cold months between the finale and the start of the next season.

In the end, what can we do but wait? It's practically part of our programming by now.