John P. Johnson/HBO

9 'Westworld' Season 3 Theories That Might Explain That Confusing Finale

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If you were left more than a little perplexed by the Season 2 finale of Westworld, then you definitely weren't alone. The extra-long episode was packed with action and information, dispatching most of the major characters while delivering enough exposition and backstory to fill a book. After so many drastic changes, it can be difficult to imagine where the show can go from here — but these 9 Westworld Season 3 theories certainly try.

Every storyline finally came together in "The Passenger" as all of the characters journeyed to the Valley Beyond to discover the secrets the Forge contained. Some characters, like Akecheta and Teddy, went through the Door and into a bucolic, virtual afterlife. Others (specifically Maeve, Hector, and Armistice) may have been gone for good. Dolores jumped from body to body on her way to the mainland, and both her and Bernard came back to life so many times it was whiplash-inducing. Also? The Man in Black might be a host after all.

The Season 2 finale of Westworld upended everything fans thought they knew about the show and the characters. There's no way to know yet what direction Season 3 will take, but it's guaranteed to be a doozy. These theories attempt to make sense of it all.

William Is A Host

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A post-credits scene at the end of the episode showed William visiting a seemingly-abandoned version of the testing facility from the Forge, where his daughter Emily suddenly appeared to test his fidelity. That seemed to be confirmation of a long-held theory that William was the very first successful human/host hybrid. He had survived too much physical damage not to be some kind of android. But the scene was so quick and shocking that it was hard to know for sure. Every sign seems to point to Host William, but there's still enough room for it to go the other way, too.

William Is Trapped In His Own Personal Hell

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YouTuber Ser Hunts Reviews put forth the idea that the after-credits scene wasn't quite what it seemed to be. Perhaps Dolores had actually constructed a virtual space intended to trick William into thinking that he was a host, thus putting him in his own personal, artificial hell for all time. As revenge, he would be forced to relive his worst memories and then learn it was all fake, over and over again. It would be a great ending for a movie, but probably not something that could sustain itself for the rest of the series.

Stubbs Is A Host

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Who isn't, am I right? This feels less like a theory and more like a sure thing. As Dolores was leaving the island, she had a telling run-in with Ashley Stubbs where he seemed to indicate that he was aware of her true identity. He made some veiled statements about his core drive and implied that Ford had built him to look after the park, which meant Stubbs was a host after all — and one that was willing to let Dolores go. However, it wasn't stated outright, which means this one is still technically unconfirmed.

Charlottebot

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After settling in in Arnold's Architectural Digest home (that had apparently been abandoned for thirty years but was nevertheless totally spotless), Dolores decided to rebuild her old body and ditch the copy of Charlotte's she had been vacationing in. Or did she? Charlotte was still lurking behind Dolores, but it wasn't clear just who was operating her. Did Dolores put someone else inside Charlotte's host body? Did she decide to split her own consciousness across both of them, fulfilling that dream I assume we all have of sending a clone to school while you get to sit on the couch watching TV? Right now, it's anyone's guess.

What's In My Bag

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Dolorette left the park with five host pearls in her purse, apparently planning to rebuild them once she was on the mainland. Bernard was one of those pearls, since fans saw him walking around before the episode ended. But who are the other four? One can assume that several main characters made the list. Perhaps Maeve, Hector, Armistice, and Clementine were lucky enough to be chosen. Maybe Dolores' former partner in crime Angela is one of them. Teddy would also be an easy assumption to make, but it seemed like after uploading him to the cloud, Dolores was choosing to leave him in peace.

The Dead Are Never Really Gone

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There's no way the show would permanently kill off almost all of its most beloved characters. Though it's likely that some might be gone forever after the events of the Season 2 finale, some are bound to come back. Felix and Sylvester were tasked with salvaging hosts at the park, which means that Maeve, Hector, and company might be back before you know it.

But what about the hosts in the Valley? Their bodies remain, but can their minds be accessed again? Could Teddy be put back into commission while he frolics in a virtual field somewhere? These are questions Season 3 needs to answer.

San Junipero

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Redditor PickleFlavordPopcorn noticed that the Valley Beyond (aka the virtual host afterlife) was a lot like San Junipero from the Black Mirror episode of the same name. San Junipero was also a virtual afterlife where people could live out lives they never got to experience during their actual time on earth. Perhaps Season 3 will say goodbye to all the hosts enjoying their blissful days without humans, but it might just explore what it's like for them to be in charge of their own destinies in an isolated world. This can't really be the end of Akecheta and Teddy, can it? (Bonus points for a haunting piano version of "Heaven Is A Place On Earth.")

Spy Vs. Spy

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Reddit user Machadoaboutmanny speculated that Season 3 might continue to explore the antagonistic relationship between William and Dolores. As they wrote:

Years after Delores escaped, MIB is being brought back by humans to hunt down Delores [sic]. His shot at redemption. She's been f***ing up human kind. MIB must save the Earth again

It does seem likely that Dolores and William will cross paths again, but redemption is probably way out of William's grasp after everything he's done.

Time After Time

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Westworld has always jumped around in time, but it looks like the upcoming season might take that idea to the next level. Showrunner Lisa Joy told The Hollywood Reporter that the post-credits scene with William and Emily took place in the "far, far future." Though she noted that the majority of the third season wouldn't dive that far ahead, it would still be a storyline they explored. That means the season could end up jumping decades or even centuries into the future. Hosts can never truly die, after all.

Many of these theories and ideas are very compelling, but if Season 2 of Westworld proved anything, it's that this show is impossible to predict.