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The Ending Of Westworld Season 4 Episode 3 Explained

The most important players in "Westworld" Season 4, Episode 3 ("Annees Folles") happen to be the smallest ones — the flies — but the episode begins with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) taking a trip into the Sublime while Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) recovers from a gunshot wound. The title means "crazy years" in French, and Bernard's virtual journey covers several of them. He first visits the dusty streets of Sweetwater where he finds all the human form hosts dead but animals of all kinds thriving. Bernard then finds himself in front of the white latticework mind control broadcast tower we caught glimpses of in the Season 4 finale, and in the building at its base, he meets a suit-clad Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon).

Akecheta warns Bernard of what is to come, telling him, "In your world, time is a straight line. One year there is a millennium here. We use that time to build worlds, models of possibilities. Simulations of all the paths your world can take ... Past a certain point in your world, all paths end in destruction."

Bernard tells him, "I see a [safe] path ... [but] in every scenario, I die." Akecheta offers him another way: he can stay in the Sublime in a tailor-made virtual heaven, but Bernard chooses to use the time inside the Sublime to explore all the possible outcomes; he'll use the knowledge he gains to take his best shot at saving the world. He returns to the now dust-covered hotel room and Stubbs tells him he has been gone years. While he has no time for small talk, Bernard is seemingly able to anticipate what Stubbs will say, no matter how inane. 

The new park is just a repackaged version of Westworld

Before audiences have an opportunity to ask too many questions, however, the episode moves on to another pair of characters operating in familiar, yet uncharted territory. Maeve Millay (Thandiwe Newton), Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul), and viewers get their first look at The Golden Age, the new immersive park modeled after Prohibition-era Chicago — complete with bootlegging gangsters in shiny black Studebakers and Model A Fords. Maeve has to keep Caleb from being distracted by the park's many side campaigns, including the rolling can that helped the original Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) reel young William (Jimmi Simpson) in during his first visit to the park. New Dolores (Sierra Swartz) might have turned Caleb into the next Man in Black (Ed Harris) had Maeve not intervened, but the day's drama is by no means over for any of them.

Maeve quickly observes that the town of Temperance is just a re-skinned version of Sweetwater; the stage and players have changed, but the dialogue and storylines are just recycled from the original Westworld park. The Mariposa (Spanish for "butterfly") has been replaced by the Butterfly Club, complete with player piano and the semi-familiar cohort of ladies of the night. While somewhere park creator Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and writer Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) roll over in their graves, Maeve and Caleb sip their drinks and wait patiently for the real fun to begin.

The rest of the episode hops quickly between three different subplots

Meanwhile, Stubbs and Bernard pull into the Road's End Diner, where Bernard continues to amaze Stubbs with his ability to anticipate mundane happenings like 86'd pastrami and spilled coffee. Stubbs, left a metaphorical half step behind at every turn, tells his friend, "You came back even weirder than when you left." Bernard then clues Stubbs into how he can seemingly predict the future. "In the Sublime, I saw all the worlds that might have been, and all the worlds that can come," he explains. "Most of them end in disaster, but if I can trigger a certain series of events, we have a small chance of making it." He then excuses himself to murder two apparent strangers in the parking lot.

The rest of Episode 3 brings scene changes like the rat-a-tat-tat of a '20s era Gatling gun. While Caleb is taking in all Temperance has to show him with wide eyes, his daughter Frankie (Celeste Clark) and wife Uwade (Nozipho McLean) are preparing to be moved to a safe house by his friend Carver (Manny Montana). But the hyper-vigilant Frankie spots some blood on her teddy bear and is immediately suspicious of the man sent to protect her and her mother.

Maeve is not impressed with the new park

Back in the diner parking lot, Bernard steps in front of an armored SUV and shows the driver (Aurora Perrineau), a woman known only as C, a disc with the familiar maze pattern that he found in the Sublime. This immediately gains some measure of trust, furthered when he presents her with the head of one of the two men he killed — who was actually a host trying to infiltrate the group. Bernard convinces her to take him and Stubbs to the headquarter of her underground resistance group, a place called The Forbidden Lands.

The rapid-fire scene changes bring us back to The Butterfly Club, where Maeve's familiarity with the park's recycled plotlines gives her and Caleb an edge and perhaps a false sense of confidence. After hearing her replacement (Cherise Boothe) speak her signature line about how, in this world, anyone can be whoever they want to be, Maeve brushes a dead fly off the table and observes, "My delivery was far better. This place really has gone to pot." Maeve is even less impressed with the new Hector (Nico Galán), calling him "just a shabby imitation of a man I used to know." His gang is no match for her knowledge of their pre-programmed loops or Caleb's marksmanship, and Westworld's most unlikely pair of allies prepare to play dead among the hosts they have just slain.

Carver is dead while Maeve and Caleb are pretending to be

We are then whiplashed back to Caleb's house where Frankie finds Carver's dead body. Upon learning of this discovery, Uwade immediately sends Frankie to hide and grabs Caleb's pistol from their safe, and just as quickly we are sent back to the desert to catch a glimpse of Bernard and Stubbs continuing their mysterious journey.

It's then quickly back to Temperance, where Maeve and Caleb climb in a truck filled with host corpses and sneak down to the park's control and research center. There they find two surprises: a hidden park game based on the massacre at Westworld, and a lab where faceless and skinless host technicians are infecting fly larvae with a black liquid.

The machine-gun storytelling then takes us back to Caleb's house, where Frankie is hiding from host Carver, before another quick jump back to the desert where Bernard and Stubbs are facing skepticism from the resistance movement leader known as J (Daniel Wu). It's then back to the park control facility one more time, where Maeve and Caleb discover behavioral testing where subjects are controlled via sound and forced to shoot themselves.

Caleb's wife and daughter are safe, but he is in big trouble

Back in the shadows of The Golden Age, Maeve and Caleb realize that one of the behavioral research subjects appears to be Caleb's daughter Frankie. The duo work frantically to interrupt the experiment, but they realize almost simultaneously that both Frankie and William — who attacks Maeve — are now hosts and the underground lab was just an elaborate trap set by Char-lores and The Man in Black. Then it's back to Caleb's house — where Uwade kills host Carver and she and Frankie flee to safety — and back to the park where host Frankie unleashes a swarm of flies on Caleb. 

Despite the abrupt and sometimes frustrating jumps between settings, "Annees Folles," like the two previous episodes of "Westworld," is not nearly as disorienting as the ones that came before. This is largely thanks to the mostly linear storytelling; the only apparent time-shifting happens at the top of the episode, when Bernard explores the Sublime while Stubbs waits patiently, gathering dust. But in true "Westworld" fashion, this episode answers a few questions while leaving far more mysteries unsolved, and it would be naive to assume that there isn't at least one more shocking reveal on the way. 

The fly army has been unleashed and Teddy lurks in the shadows

The flies that invade the skulls of Agent Navarro (Josh Randall) in his SUV and the head of the Mexican cartel (Arturo Del Puerto) at the Hoover Dam were created and printed by Char-lores, but the ones that attacked Caleb were real live specimens hijacked to do her bidding. These zombie flies will apparently now be set loose in the park to put everyone who visits under her control. Things are looking grim in a more immediate sense for Caleb, who is locked in a glass room with the host version of his daughter and a whole bunch of those infected flies.

Notably, Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) does not appear in a single frame of Episode 3, nor have we seen Teddy Flood (James Marsden) since he stood in the dark outside her apartment at the end of Season 4, Episode 1 ("The Auguries"). Before that, we last saw him questioning Dolores' plan to wipe out mankind in Season 2, Episode 9 ("Vanishing Point"). In this episode, Teddy asks Dolores, "What's the use of surviving if you end up as bad as them?" 

He then takes his own life, and the bullet through his brain pearl should have destroyed him irrevocably, but one recurring theme of "Westworld" is that nobody is ever truly dead. Whether this new Teddy is a resurrected host, a human infused with his data, or something Christina conjured with her mystic character creation skills remains to be seen, as are the fates of Caleb, Maeve, and literally all of humankind.