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The Ending Of Westworld Season 4 Episode 1 Explained

Contains spoilers for the "Westworld" Season 4 premiere episode "The Auguries"

It's finally time to return to HBO's "Westworld" after the two-year gap following the end of Season 3. In that May 2020 finale, robotic host Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) plunges the world into chaos by destroying the artificial intelligence Rehoboam. She essentially frees the population from its pre-determined path, choosing to let humans' free will dictate the future while hoping that kindness will prevail instead of cruelty. It's a fascinating ending, but this is "Westworld"; things are bound to go wrong sooner or later.

Thankfully, HBO's critically acclaimed science-fiction series has finally powered its robots up again for Season 4, whose story picks up seven years after Season 3 — as audiences are thrown into a completely different world after the robot revolution. Yes, Dolores is successful in inciting riots, but humanity is still the most dominant force on the planet ... for now. And there's a mysterious new threat looming on the horizon, and it's wearing a black hat. Yes, the host version of William, aka the Man in Black (Ed Harris), has big plans for humanity.

The series from co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy is notorious for its mind-bending storylines, jaw-dropping plot twists, and some crazy moments and now, Season 4 continues that trend by laying the first few pieces of its puzzle on the table. So, let's dive into the ending of "Westworld" Season 4, Episode 1, "The Auguries."

William is out for blood

William is back with a vengeance this season, which isn't surprising now that we're following the host version of the Man in Black after Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) builds this new gunslinger at the end of Season 3. But seven years later, his thirst for violence is still as vicious as it ever was, and he's starting to hunt anyone connected to what went down with Rehoboam — starting with Maeve Millay (Thandiwe Newton). She plays a key part in taking down Serac (Vincent Cassel), after all, but it isn't clear why William is only now taking aim at her.

Perhaps it's because Maeve's an easy target since she's isolated and alone in a snowy mountainous region of the country or because William's plans have been put in motion now that he's acquired the Hoover Dam from the cartel. Whatever the reason, William is clearly using the full might of Delos at his disposal since he has no qualms in taking down the reformed gangsters with an engineered fly that convinces one of their representatives to slaughter the group's leaders. If he has mind-controlling flies, that's a very bad sign for anyone that goes up against him because surely this means he can force anyone to do his bidding. Control has always been a core theme in "Westworld" as humans have made the hosts their slaves for entertainment. And although the show has always been about the hosts rebelling against that, Season 4 is clearly flipping that dynamic in a much bigger way this time around. 

But Maeve isn't the only person William is also gunning for. He also sends an assassin after former freedom fighter Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul) and his new family. Oh, dear.

Caleb has something worth fighting for

Everyone is living a new life after the robotic revolution. Caleb works as an engineer to provide for his daughter, Frankie. As you might recall, Caleb had a hand in destroying Rehoboam alongside Maeve and Dolores, and he's still incredibly paranoid about threats that could hurt his family. His concern about the state of the world is pretty understandable; he's seen firsthand how quickly a widespread situation can turn from bad to worse. Unfortunately, his worst fears are realized when William's assassin takes a shot at Frankie outside their home. Luckily Maeve steps in with her trusty katana to save the day.

After her encounter with William's goons, she uses the information in one of the host bodies to figure out who else the Man in Black is targeting, which leads her to Caleb. Maeve has always been a rebel, even from her early days in the park, so it isn't surprising to see her jump straight back into the role of a revolutionary to take the fight to William. She also isn't stupid and knows that Caleb would be a valuable asset to have on her side again. So, although she genuinely wants to save his daughter, there's also the ulterior motive of having a partner in crime again.

Caleb has always needed something to fight for, and by teaming up with Maeve again, he's fighting for his daughter so that she can have a normal life away from all the turbulence he's been involved with over the years. That's why he chooses to go after William with Maeve rather than stay and protect his family.

Dolores has a brand new life -- and a new name

One of the most surprising parts of the episode sees a new version of Dolores living and working as "Christina," a games writer for Olympiad Entertainment. While Dolores, as we know her, is dead, there are still clearly fragments of her previous life breaking through into Christina's personality. The perfect example is when she's out with a terrible date who dismisses her career, saying, "Background characters can just be cannon fodder," which clearly irritates Christina. Let's not forget that Dolores was once essentially cannon fodder for the guests in Westworld, and it leads to her becoming a robot revolutionary. It's no wonder that Christina isn't impressed by his comments.

But Christina's job is a vital part of the season because she's being stalked by a mysterious person called Peter, who says that she's ruined his life and she needs to fix it, even though she has no idea what he's talking about. However, Christina has managed to influence real-world events somehow because a meeting with her boss reveals that she previously wrote a story about a stalker who lost everything and starts following a girl. There's some eerie foreshadowing in the way her story ends as "everyone dies"; that doesn't sound good.

This is only the first episode, so Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy don't reveal how Christina can write a human being's life for them. But since the season starts with William's flies giving him control over someone, it's not hard to imagine that there's a link between those two ideas. Are there fragments of Dolores still inside Delos' systems? Is she a ghost in the machine at the Hoover Dam server farm, subconsciously controlling the flies? Only time will tell.

Teddy saves Dolores

Christina's prophetic writings really come back to haunt her towards the back half of the episode, as Peter attacks Christina in the street, saying she keeps ruining his life and he wants her to write a different ending. Obviously, Christina has absolutely no idea what he's talking about, which suggests her control over Peter's life has been subconscious. How was she to know he's a real person unless she's still hooked into Delos somehow? Either way, a mysterious hero saves Christina from Peter, and he disappears along with her attacker.

Unfortunately, we already know how Peter's story plays out — remember, the game ends when "everyone dies." So it isn't such a surprise when the stalker throws himself off a rooftop in front of Christina. The games writer isn't having the best time of it, and it isn't long before she laments about how her life feels like it's missing something when writing a new story saying, "The girl doesn't know what she's searching for. She just knows there's an emptiness in her life." But the writer makes it clear that she wants "a story with a happy ending," which isn't surprising given how much trauma and death Dolores has endured over the years, although she dismisses her new idea as stupid stories. 

But a happy ending might not be too far away since Teddy Flood (James Marsden) is keeping an eye on her from the street, suggesting he is the one who saved her from Peter. Then again, is the lovable cowboy back because he's actively been looking for her? Or has Christina subconsciously written him back into her story, as she did with Peter? Either way, his return is a welcome spanner in the works.