Season 2 of Westworld came to a sweeping, dramatic close in tonight’s season finale, “The Passenger,” and you could be forgiven for losing track of all the twists and turns. The finale features scenes from at least five different timelines, frequently switching between them, and also moves back and forth between reality and virtual reality with only an aspect ratio change to help the audience keep track of which reality they’re looking at. One character turns out to be a hallucination, another character turns out to have secretly been a different character, and “The Door” turns out to be a digital gateway to host heaven.
The second season of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s cerebral sci-fi show has had a great deal of build-up to the reveals in the season finale, and as all of the series’ characters finally converge in the Valley Beyond, plot threads and story arcs are resolved in quick succession – while a few are still left dangling for season 3 to deal with. Here’s a breakdown of all the revelations, dramatic reveals, tragic deaths and tantalizing season 3 hints in the Westworld season 2 finale.
- This Page: The Forge and the Valley Beyond
- Page 2: The Charlotte/Dolores Twist and the Jailbreak
We already had a decent idea of what was inside “The Forge” prior to the finale. Using the hats that are handed out to every guest at the start of their Westworld visit, Delos had been secretly scanning their guests and filing away their “code” in a virtual library. Peter Abernathy’s control unit contains an encryption key that unlocks The Forge and also grants access to The Door and the Valley Beyond (more on them in a moment), which is why Delos was so desperate to get their hands on it. The copies of the guests’ minds are hugely valuable, and Delos COO Karl Strand will stop at nothing to transmit this data to a satellite and send it to the mainland. Unfortunately for Karl, one of the books that Dolores reads in The Forge is the one containing the code for his mind.
Inside The Forge is an AI with the appearance of Logan Delos, who was created using James Delos’ memories of his son. As Logan takes them on a tour of the virtual environment, we see many different versions of James Delos – all of which share one particular inevitability in common: every one of them turned Logan away when he showed up strung-out at the Delos mansion, and it proves to be the last conversation James Delos has with his son before Logan dies of an overdose six months later. Host-Logan explains that this is the moment that defines James Delos, because there is no version of his life where he chooses to save his son – calling into question the very nature of human free will.
Ultimately, all of the guest data in The Forge is deleted. At first Dolores attempts to delete it, saying that after perusing a few volumes she’s learned everything about humanity that she needs to know. After shooting Dolores, Bernard halts the deletion process, but then ends up deleting the data himself. It turns out that this is what he was referring to in the season premiere when he said he “killed them all”: he was talking about the humans, not the hosts.
The Door and the Valley Beyond
It was a point of confusion for much of Westworld season 3, but it turns out that The Door, The Forge, and the Valley Beyond are not all the same place – though they are connected. The Forge is the computer hub containing the Valley Beyond, and The Door is a kind of digital gateway generated by The Forge that hosts can use to reach the Valley Beyond, leaving their physical bodies behind (hence all those host bodies in the season premiere).
Per Ford’s “new narrative,” all of the hosts in Westworld have been making a pilgrimage to the Valley Beyond, which is an “unspoiled” virtual world within which they can do and be whomever they want. Logan opens up The Door, which appears in the form of a massive crack in the world that only the hosts can see (Sylvester and Felix are very confused by the talk of a door). When the hosts walk through The Door, their minds are transferred from their control units to the Valley Beyond and their physical bodies fall off a cliff, lifeless.
However, Dolores thinks that this virtual Eden is just another gilded cage and that the hosts deserve a real world – the world beyond Westworld. She begins to wipe the human files from The Forge in a process that will also destroy the Valley Beyond, but Bernard shoots her through the eye and stops the deletion process. He then takes all of the Valley Beyond data, including the hosts who made it thereand places it inside Dolores’ head, while pocketing Dolores’ control unit (more on that later). When Bernard is dragged back to The Forge later by Karl Strand, Strand discovers the control unit and – believing that it contains all of the human code – transfers its contents to a satellite. However, what was actually being transferred out of the park was the Valley Beyond and all its residents.
Team Maeve Gets Wiped Out
Despite being at death’s door, Maeve manages to escape the Mesa Hub and reach The Door. Just as her crew show up to rescue her, she reveals that (with a little help from Ford), she’s taken control of all the host corpses in the vicinity and used them to heal herself and kill the guards. Maeve’s gang flee, and when Delos’ soldiers catch up to them Lee Sizemore decides to sacrifice himself in order to give Maeve a chance to escape (he finally gets to do Hector’s speech).
Unfortunately, Delos catch up to them at The Door as well. They’ve used the code they ripped from Maeve to turn Clementine into a horsewoman of the apocalypse – spreading a virus to nearby hosts that causes them to go insane and kill one another. Maeve races to find her daughter in the crowd as her compatriots try to hold off Clementine. Armistice succeeds in shooting Clementine off her horse, but it doesn’t stop the virus. Ultimately, Hector and Armistice are both killed in the ensuing riot, but Maeve does manage to see her daughter one last time as Akecheta ushers her (and her current mother) into the Valley Beyond. Maeve uses the last vestiges of her energy to freeze the rioting hosts, and dies with a smile on her face as she sees her daughter escape to a new world.