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The Ending Of Westworld Season 3 Explained

In May of 2020, the third season of HBO's Westworld came to its wild conclusion. In the final episode, there were twists, major character deaths, double-crosses, and not one, but two post-credits scenes that set up the show's recently-announced fourth season. And it wouldn't be Westworld if the finale didn't leave viewers with as many questions as answers.

So, did Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) manage to kick off a robot revolution? Or were Serac (Vincent Cassel) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) able to put a stop to her in the interest of supercomputer Rehoboam? And what became of the Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and Dolores hybrid robot after she and her family were incinerated? Let's upload all the info to our memory pearls and break down everything that went on in the explosive finale of Westworld season 3. Unless you're planning on doing a memory wipe afterward, beware of major spoilers if you haven't seen the episode.

Dolores gets her old body back

When we left Dolores and Maeve at the end of the last episode, they had both been deactivated after Dolores initiated an EMP blast during their brutal fight. Caleb (Aaron Paul) retrieves Dolores' pearl and inserts it into Dolores' original robot body from the early days of Westworld, which he found in storage at a distillery owned by one of Dolores' robot clones.

With her pearl secure in her new-old body, Dolores and Caleb head to Incite headquarters to insert the control module with Dolores' plan for the world into Rehoboam. However, they are blockaded by the riots that have been underway since Dolores texted everyone their AI-plotted life plans a few episodes prior. To make matters worse, Charlotte Hale appears with a small army of mercenaries and vows to get revenge on Dolores for letting her family die. And she's not the only one with a katana to pick with Ms. Abernathy — Maeve also reappears, having been resurrected by Serac.

After Charlotte manages to disable Dolores, Maeve brings her to Incite, where Serac hooks her up to Rehoboam in an attempt to retrieve the encryption key to all the data the guests of Westworld had inadvertently given her over the years. When Serac realizes that Dolores' hard drive doesn't have what he's looking for, he instructs the AI to delete all of her data and memories.

Maeve and Caleb question who is really in control

While Dolores is getting her memory wiped, Caleb makes his way to Incite. However, before he can upload the control unit into Rehoboam, Maeve nabs him and delivers him to Serac. In order to get him to turn on his robot ally, Serac shows him that, in following through with Dolores' plan and uploading the control unit, Caleb will be instigating a humanity-ending event. That wasn't quite what Dolores had led him to believe, and Caleb once again wonders if he has any control over his actions.

He's not the only one with that thought on the old brain pearl. Maeve realizes that Serac has one major secret of his own: he is not the one operating Rehoboam, Rehoboam is operating him via an earpiece through which the supercomputer has been dictating plans to its human puppet. She also has a conversation with Dolores in Dolores' mind, where Dolores reveals to Maeve that she doesn't think that all humans are evil. Quite the opposite, she believes them to be capable of great kindness and compassion. But, the same way that Westworld needed to be destroyed to save the hosts, human civilization, as controlled by Rehoboam, needs to be destroyed to save the humans. "Maybe they can find it themselves," Dolores tells her fellow host. "But only if you pick a side, Maeve. There is ugliness in this world. Disarray. I choose to see the beauty."

Maeve picks a side

Maeve picks her side and turns against Serac, killing his underlings and wounding the AI-controlled man himself. And in her final moments of sentience, Dolores finally executes her plan: she uses her connection to Rehoboam to turn control of the supercomputer to Caleb, who erases all of its data, giving the humans of the world their free will back.

Maeve tells Caleb she understands why Dolores chose him to be her partner, and it wasn't merely because he was a criminal willing to do some dirty work. It turns out that Caleb and Dolores had met years prior. One of Caleb's obscured memories from his days in the army was of a time when his platoon was sent to one of Delos' parks to conduct a training exercise using the hosts, including Dolores. After the exercise was over, Caleb stopped his team members from raping the hosts, an act of radical free will and compassion that Dolores never forgot. Caleb and Maeve decide to team up, walking out of Incite and into a world thrown into chaos by the destruction of Rehoboam.

The post credits scenes in the Westworld season 3 finale

That's already a pretty bananas ending, but no season of Westworld is really over until you get to the post-credits scene. And Westworld season 3 has two of them.

In the first, we see William (Ed Harris), a.k.a. the Man in Black, attempting to complete his mission of killing all the remaining hosts, which sees him travel to Delos' Dubai HQ. There he finds Charlotte Hale, who reveals to him that her consciousness has diverged from Dolores', and she doesn't share her maker's desire to reform humanity. Instead, she wants to destroy all humans. Not only is she making a new army of hosts, she has already made a robot-clone of William himself, who arrives on the scene and murders the human William.

Next, we get a follow-up to an earlier scene with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). In the episode, we saw him realize that the key to accessing the Sublime, a.k.a. the robot heaven where Maeve's daughter was sent during season 2, was not in Dolores' head, but in his own. We see Bernard use a virtual reality headset to access the Sublime while sitting on a bed in a hotel room.

In the episode's true final moments we zip back to Bernard, who is still sitting in the same hotel room, but now completely covered in dust. He suddenly opens his eyes, but we fade to black before learning anything else.

So, hurtling toward season 4, we're set up to see society descending into total chaos now that humans have regained their free will. Charlotte and William's mission to destroy humanity will continue, while Bernard returns from the sublime. Not a bad set of cliffhangers to have us waiting with extreme anticipation for the next season of Westworld.