‘Westworld’ Season 2 Finale Recap: The Beginning of the End

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

  • Dolores takes Bernard to the Valley Beyond.
  • The Man in Black finally comes face-to-face with Arnold.
  • Not one, not two, but three major characters meet their final doom.

Sure, it’s no secret the second season of Westworld has been a whirlwind of confusion, but last night’s 90-minute finale takes the cake. Season two, episode ten, titled “The Passengers,” gave viewers a first look at the meaning behind Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) scrambled memories. Here’s what went down.

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The Beginning Of The End

The episode opens on Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) telling Bernard, “This is a test. One we’ve done countless times before.”

Cut to Westworld, where the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is so focused on digging at his arm that he doesn’t even notice when Dolores approaches him on a horse. She picks up his gun, walks toward him and says, “Seems you’ve begun to question the nature of your reality.”

They bond over the fact that they both drove away the person closest to them—Teddy (James Marsden) and Grace/Emily (Katja Herbers)—and then team up to get to the Valley Beyond. (Because why not?)

Elsewhere in Westworld, Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) rides on a horse while three dune buggies follow closely behind.

“We either destroy them or they destroy us,” Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) says. Gulp.

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Meet Arnold

At the Mesa, a tech is torturing Maeve (Thandie Newton) by adjusting her pain tolerance. Right on cue, Maeve nonverbally communicates with the nearby hosts, who immediately rise to their feet and attack the worker. After killing the tech, the hosts turn their attention toward Maeve and start mending her wounds. (Ugh, finally.)

Back in Westworld, Dolores and the Man in Black arrive just in time to save Bernard from being taken by Westworld workers. “Of course. You’re here,” she says upon spotting Bernard.

On the other hand, the Man in Black is clueless as to who’s standing in front of him, even though he’s spent years looking for him. Dolores confirms that he is, in fact, Arnold, before revealing that she is the mastermind who created Bernard, not Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins).

Cocky as ever, the Man in Black thinks he knows enough information to go on solo and fires several rounds at Dolores. Unfazed by the bullets, she walks toward him, looks him dead in the eye and tells him to shoot her in the head. He obeys and instantly regrets it when the gunshot bounces off her forehead and fires back at him, injuring his hand.

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The Forge

“We’re here,” Dolores says as she leads Bernard into the Forge (aka the Valley Beyond, the door, etc.). When he asks if this is the promised land, Dolores explains that this is where the guests’ data is being stored.

In a flash-forward, Charlotte leads Bernard into the Forge, where Dolores’s body is lying in a pool of blood. (Erm, what?) Charlotte’s team accuses Bernard of bringing her here and demands to know how she died.

Bernard brushes it off and flashes back to when he visited the Forge with Dolores. He fires off a series of questions for her, and she responds by stepping into the auto extraction machine, suggesting he do the same.

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The System

Suddenly, Dolores and Bernard are wandering the streets of Westworld. They enter the saloon only to find Jim Delos (Peter Mullan) talking to Clementine. Bernard says this must be where they conducted their tests on him and asks Dolores to clarify what she’s looking for.

“Something underneath this. The system itself,” she says.

Cut to Dolores and Bernard at a party at the Delos home. When they walk outside, they come face-to-face with “the system”: Logan Delos (Ben Barnes). He gives them a tour of the Delos facilities and explains that he adopted the system after being tasked with building perfect copies of the guests. He made millions of replicas until he found the right combination. The key? Simplicity.

He says, “Copies didn’t fail because they were too simple, but because they were too complicated.”

Logan leads them to a library stacked floor-to-ceiling with books, one for each of the guests. Although they’re written in code, Logan says it was the easiest way to keep track of the data and tells Bernard he’s supposed to decide what to do with them. He can either create a new world or open the door to an Eden-like realm so the current hosts can escape.

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The Door

In Westworld, Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) is leading his tribe to the door when a crack suddenly develops in the sky. The opening unveils a lush green landscape on the other side. Maeve and Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) arrive just in time to witness the first Native American crossover. When he reaches the opening, he’s jolted into a new world while his body appears to fall off a cliff in Westworld.

Logan explains that when the hosts enter the new world, they leave their bodies behind but their minds live on in the new world.

“That world is just another false promise,” Dolores says before waking herself up from the auto extraction machine.

When Bernard wakes up, Dolores is fiddling with the control system. He warns her that destroying the Forge will destroy her world, too, but she couldn’t care less. She says she’s done playing cowboys and Indians before punching her fist through the main circuit board.

Bernard is horrified, and Dolores reassures him by telling him it’s all a dream. “This isn’t a dream, Dolores, it’s a f---ing nightmare,” he says before shooting her in the head. Yikes.

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Cue Clementine

In Westworld, the hosts are lining up at the door when Maeve spots Clementine in the distance. When she approaches, the hosts stop walking, turn around and start killing each other. Maeve, who is still determined to find her daughter, watches in horror as Armistice (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) pulls out her gun and fires several rounds at Clementine, who gracefully falls off her horse (natch).

Maeve’s mourning is cut short when she spots the little girl standing with her new mother and encourages them to cross over to the new world. She watches from afar as they step through the crack. Acheketa is quick to follow and immediately spots Kohana (Julia Jones) on the other side.

Just then, the crack vanishes into thin air.

westworld season 2 finale bernard
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So Long, Forge

Bernard exits the Forge, which is rapidly filling up with water, and meets up with Elsie (Shannon Woodward) at the Mesa.

Since Elsie is concerned that Bernard isn’t in control, she freezes his motor functions and leaves to question Charlotte about the real purpose of the Forge. Although Elsie claims she’ll keep her mouth shut, Charlotte isn’t buying it and says she needs more moral flexibility before shooting her.

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The Memory Pearl

In a flashback, Bernard recalls standing over Dolores’s body at the Forge. After confessing to killing her, Costa (Fares Fares) searches her body, finds the memory pearl and starts transferring the files. Costa demands to know what it contains, considering the pearl is way too heavy to contain only guest data. Bernard dives into a bizarre explanation and says he knew the hosts wouldn’t be strong enough unless he killed them all and brought her back. Who?

“Me,” Charlotte says before shooting everyone in the room except Bernard.

Charlotte approaches the computer and changes the coordinates so there’s no passage between the worlds.

She says, “This is the only way we can escape,” and then shoots Bernard…

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The Revelation

Cut to Bernard sitting on the beach with Dr. Ford. Bernard recalls permanently deleting his data back in episode nine and comes to a revelation. Dr. Ford wasn’t actually telling him what to do. Instead, Bernard imagined that he was guiding him when in reality, it was himself. Go figure.

Elsewhere in Westworld, workers are cleaning up the hosts’ bodies. When Charlotte approaches Ashley (Luke Hemsworth), he says he doesn’t know who he’s supposed to be loyal to anymore. She brushes it off and boards one of the boats. As it drives away, Charlotte opens her purse to reveal several memory pearls. Dun dun dunnn.

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The New World

The episode concludes with Dolores sitting face-to-face with Bernard. She says, “Yes, Bernard, this is now. We’re at the beginning. We’re exactly where you decided we should be.”

He wastes no time firing off questions: How is he alive? He lives as long as the last person who remembers him. Where is he? In a new world. Did she get out? …yes.

Right on cue, Dolores’s blue dress transforms into a black dress, and her curled hair converts to a slicked-back bun. She says Dr. Ford gave them a second chance with a brand-new world. Suddenly, Charlotte pops her head into the room, asking if she’s ready. Dolores complies and says she has work to do.

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The Conclusion

“We each gave the other a beautiful gift. Choice. We are the authors of our stories now,” she adds before leaving.

Cut to Bernard wandering around Arnold’s house. He finds a photo of his son, along with the machine used to make hosts. When he opens the door to human civilization, the screen fades to black.

Damn. Talk about a season. Is Westworld gone forever? Are the hosts roaming around the real world? Only time will tell.