John P. Johnson/HBO

Elsie's Fate Remains Uncertain On 'Westworld'

Elsie Hughes was one of the few workers at Westworld who wanted to get to the bottom of the strange goings-on in the park, taking the initiative to investigate on her own when certain things didn't quite add up. Unfortunately, Elsie's amateur Nancy Drew-ing resulted in her vanishing from the narrative before the first season was done. So where is Elsie on Westworld?

First let's take a look at how she disappeared: Elsie had discovered that someone was using hosts for corporate espionage, smuggling Ford's research out of the park to some unknown end. She snuck into an abandoned theater Sector 3 and found some information on a data receiver that had been left behind. However, before she finished downloading the information, someone grabbed her. Later, in "Trace Decay" and "The Well-Tempered Clavier," Bernard remembered strangling Elsie, implying that he had killed her but leaving it technically unverified.

Now it seems that Elsie is actually alive, though there's no way to know what happened to her before Season 2's premiere on Sunday, April 22. The exciting confirmation came from actress Shannon Woodward on Twitter, though she didn't provide any additional details about what Elsie has been up to since the last time viewers saw her. She only stated that she would be returning to Westworld, complete with quite a few clapping emojis.

A couple of clues on the Delos website also hinted that Elsie wasn't dead after all, including a shaky audio transmission that seemed to be her voice and a video that specified her location. Elsie was apparently in Sector 20 — or at least her diagnostic tablet was. Her colleague Ashley Stubbs had followed the GPS from her device to that part of the park, but he was captured by hosts before he could find Elsie. Though both Westworld workers went missing, it doesn't seem like either of them ever left the park. That means if they're going to be found anywhere (alive or dead), it's going to be there.

But they are alive for now, according to showrunner Lisa Joy. She told Entertainment Weekly a little bit about what Elsie and Stubbs were up to while keeping it totally vague at the same time. They might have survived but it wasn't necessarily the most pleasant experience. As Joy said, "They're finally getting to experience Westworld as guests and not in the managerial halls, but I'm not sure they're enjoying their experience."

Now that Dolores is leading a robot revolution, all of the humans remaining in the park are at the mercy of the hosts. It's unclear whether Elsie and Stubbs are in the same place or not; they may have ended up in the same sector, but got wrapped up in totally different stories. There are a few ways Elsie's altercation with Bernard could have gone, too. She might have managed to escape from him and run away, going into hiding until she figured out her next step. Conversely, Bernard may have decided not to hurt her after all, especially since they were friendly. He could have gone against orders to let her go, then helped her hide to keep her safe.

Elsie's fate was uncertain at the end of Season 1 and finding out where she was took a backseat to other, more pressing storylines. But Westworld hasn't forgotten about her; that much is clear. Season 2 will hopefully answer any and all questions fans have about where Elsie is and what happened to her. There's so little to go off of that anything is possible, making it difficult to come up with a viable theory, but two things are definitely true: Elsie is alive, and she's in the park. Everything else is a mystery still to be solved.

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