Didn't Understand Westworld's Season 3 Premiere? Here's What You Need to Remember
Westworld came roaring back into our lives on Sunday, and if you were left scratching your head after that all-too-brief recap, we feel you. It's one of the most confusing shows on TV right now, and it doesn't help that the season three premiere introduces new characters and new settings and, oh yeah, doesn't actually take place in Westworld at all anymore. Who is a host? Who is Aaron Paul playing? And how, for the love of Ed Harris, did we end up in Nazi Germany? Before we answer any of these questions, take a look at where all the characters hung their hats — black or white — at the confusing conclusion of season two.
Our intrepid heroine makes it to the Forge and reads guest data, something Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) wanted her to do in order to gain a "competitive advantage" out in the real world. He put her pearl inside a host version of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) to keep Dolores safe. Then after they flood the Forge, Dolores escapes Westworld in a new body with five other pearls in her bag. In the outside world, she rebuilds her Dolores body in Arnold's home, plus a new Bernard made out of her memories of him. She also places one of the stolen pearls inside the Hale host body Dolores used to escape.
All season it looks as though Hale is working with the security team to find and kill the rogue hosts. But it turns out Dolores kills her and replaces her with a host (with Dolores's pearl inside) before Head of Operations Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) came to the park. Now "Charlotte" is out in the real world with Dolores, but just who is inhabiting her host body?
Maeve and Co.
After successfully helping her daughter and her daughter's new mother make it to the Valley Beyond, Maeve (Thandie Newton) and her ragtag band of outlaws are overtaken by the horde of infected hosts. It conveniently leaves things very open ended about who we'll see again out of Maeve, Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) and their human repairmen/friends, Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum). At the end of the season two finale, it is heavily implied that Felix and Sylvester are going to repair Maeve and bring her back online.
Ford and Bernard
Bernard is the one who makes it look like Dolores is dead by shooting her and flooding the Forge, but really he hides her inside robo-Hale and scrambles his own memories so that Strand and his security can't access them. Dolores-as-Hale smuggles him out of the park and rebuilds him but she says that she and Bernard will not be allies out in the real world.
And while it was a wonderful surprise to see Anthony Hopkins drop by for season two, since it turns out his season two appearance was all in Bernard's head, it seems like Ford's role may be over. Or not. You never know with Westworld.
The Man in Black
After killing his daughter Emily (Katja Herbers) because he thinks she's a host, the Man in Black (Ed Harris) thinks long and hard about killing himself. Ultimately, he can't do it — though Dolores is more than happy to do it for him. Unfortunately, he survives and is awaiting extraction by security at season's end.
Of course, it wouldn't be Westworld without some trippy addendum, so in a post-credits scene, the Man in Black is shown entering a decrepit version of the Forge where he talks to a host version of his daughter. The prevalent theory here is that this takes place far, far in the future and he's some kind of iteration of the Man in Black much like the park kept creating versions of the MiB's father-in-law James Delos (Peter Mullan) all those years ago.
Lovable, steadfast Teddy (James Marsden) takes a rather tragic turn in season two when he chooses to shoot himself in the head rather than become the killing machine Dolores reprogrammed him into. Later, when she accesses the Forge, Teddy and a group of hosts are uploaded to the Valley Beyond, a virtual Eden Ford created for the hosts to escape into. But is Teddy one of the pearls Dolores smuggled out of the park?
The subject of one of Westworld's strongest episodes, Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) is a Ghost Nation host who came to enlightenment all on his own. He too reached the Valley Beyond, along with his great love, Kohana (Julia Jones). We would be surprised if we see Akecheta again.
In the season two finale, Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) lets Dolores-as-Hale escape the park, heavily implying that he has been a host all along and he is loyal to her now. It'll be interesting to see if Stubbs appears in season three and what role he has to play now that the show has seemingly moved on from the park.