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The Ending Of Westworld Season 3 Episode 1 Explained

Contains spoilers for Westworld season 3, episode 1, "Parce Domine"

Westworld is back, and boy, does it look different. For one, no more theme park. The first episode of the third season of HBO's trippy, twisty sci-fi thriller takes place almost entirely in the real world (with one big exception — hopefully, you stuck around after the credits).

Still, even if the park is gone, the old Westworld spirit is alive and well. Dolores might've escaped Delos' clutches and reached futuristic Los Angeles, but she's still wrapped up in a scheme involving a shady company, sketchy humans, and an all-powerful AI. Bernard has been forced into hiding, but he's still doing everything he can to foil Dolores' plans. Mysteries abound, too. What's going on with Maeve? Which host is riding around in Charlotte Hale's body (we know it's not Dolores)?

Most of the big questions will get answered later in the season (although Westworld's producers have promised that season three won't be quite as confusing as previous ones), but season three's first episode does drop some big ideas that require some explaining. Curious? Here's what you need to know.

Forget Westworld, meet Warworld

Westworld's latest twist comes right at the very end of season three's first episode. Thandie Newton's Maeve, who we last saw getting shot and presumably killed, wakes up in a small apartment in the middle of a Nazi-occupied Europe. There's a dead soldier on the floor. Another man, beaten and tied to a chair, mumbles something in German. Maeve looks at her knuckles. They're covered in blood.

Now, Maeve didn't actually travel in time. She's merely in another one of Delos' robot-run theme parks. According to HBO's press materials, Warworld was the third park Delos built, following Westworld and Shogun World. It's based on Italy in 1943, shortly after Germany occupied the country and established the Italian Social Republic, turning it into a puppet state. Naturally, the park is crawling with both Nazis and danger.

Given what went down at Westworld at the end of season two, it's a little surprising to see one of Delos' parks up and running. However, earlier in this episode, we saw Charlotte Hale (or the host masquerading as Charlotte Hale, anyway) force Delos' board to keep the parks open. Presumably, Dolores has further plans for the parks. What part Maeve plays in those schemes remains to be seen.

Westworld's real location, revealed

In the first episode of Westworld's third season, Bernard is having a pretty rough time. He's been blamed for the massacre at Westworld, and has been forced to live under an assumed name (which doubles as one heck of an Easter egg, if you missed it). He lives in constant fear that Dolores is manipulating his programming, making him constantly investigate. When his cover is blown, Bernard reluctantly resorts to violence, making him realize that he can't stop Dolores on his own. Bernard needs help, and to get it, he needs to return to the place where everything began.

That's Westworld, of course. At the end of the episode, Bernard books a boat back to the doomed theme park, and in doing so answers one of the show's biggest mysteries: where Westworld is actually located. While hiring his ride, Bernard flashes a map and gestures to an area in the South China Sea, which fans have identified as the Spratly Islands.

This jibes with what we've seen before. In Westworld's second season, Chinese security forces appeared on the island, leading to a conflict with park security. The Finnish subtitles for Westworld's second season finale offered actual coordinates for the park that also pointed to the Spratly Islands, but no one was sure if that was canon or a translation error. Now, it's official. We know where Westworld is, even if we're not sure who exactly Bernard hopes to find there (although chances are it's probably Maeve).

The real world is just Westworld in reverse

Most of the Westworld premiere's action takes place in Los Angeles, where Aaron Paul's Caleb resides. As far as we know, Caleb is a human, not a host, and Westworld uses this new character to shed some new light on the show's longest-running themes.

In its first two seasons, Westworld made its allegiances clear. The depraved, controlling humans (like the Man in Black) were the villains, and the long-suffering hosts (like Dolores) were the good guys. Introducing Caleb flips the script. In Westworld's real world, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and technology rule. Try as they might, regular guys like Caleb can't catch a break.

Caleb can't get a high-paying job because his algorithmically-derived "stats" aren't high enough. His main social contact is an AI therapist that's based on his best friend, who died in Afghanistan. In order to get the money he needs to care for his ailing mother, Caleb must resort to an app that's basically Tinder for crime. Even there, he doesn't have great reviews.

Even though their situations are mirror images of one another, Caleb and Dolores have the same problems. They're both suffering under a system designed to keep them down, and they both want out. By the end of the episode, Caleb and Dolores have finally crossed paths — the last we see of either of them, Caleb is carrying Dolores' battered body, presumably to get her help. They'll probably end up as allies. While they come from opposite places, Caleb and Dolores have lots in common.