HBO’s Westworld concluded its first season with episode 10 which aired on December 4, 2016. The episode titled “The Bicameral Mind” presented the conclusion of the Man in Black’s season-long quest for the center of the maze as well as the true identity of the Man in Black, which I didn’t see coming. Maeve, Dolores, Teddy, and Bernard’s storylines came to satisfying conclusions while setting up the show’s second season that could go a number of different directions, all of which will be wildly different from the events of season one.
The season one finale kicked off with a voice-over from Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) saying she was in a dream, woke up, and Arnold’s voice was the first she remembered. We see him (Jeffrey Wright) placing Dolores’ skin on her robot frame and she sits up, still incomplete but with her face, neck, and forearms in place. Arnold/Bernard welcomes her to the world.
And now we’re in the present time with Dolores shaving the Man in Black’s neck with a large knife. He (Ed Harris) tells her she’s always been obsessed with this little town but she doesn’t think she’s ever been there before. He continues to confuse Dolores, and then she starts remembering what Arnold taught her. She remembers seeing Arnold in this town and walks toward him after the Man in Black reminds her she’s always wanted to find the heart of the maze.
William (Jimmi Simpson) drags Logan (Ben Barnes) behind his horse as he hunts for Dolores. Logan thinks Dolores is dead, but William has a plan. He finds Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr) and his gang and asks for their help.
Meanwhile, Teddy (James Marsden) is on the train heading back to town for a new day in the park. He smiles as he walks down the main street but then he hears, “Remember,” and has a vision of dozens of dead bodies spread out throughout the town. He watches Dolores walk through them as a wolf runs by. Then, snap, he’s back in present day Westworld and a host has run into him accidentally. He shoots him dead as everyone runs for the train or for shelter. After calling out to Dolores (who isn’t there), he hops back on the train.
Dolores enters the church to find Arnold sitting in a pew. She tells him she knows where his maze is and leads him outside through a small cemetery. When they’re outside, it’s actually the Man in Black who’s with her, not Arnold. She kneels in front of her own grave and then begins digging. She unearths a can and inside is a replica of the maze. She has another vision of Arnold and he explains he once had a different opinion of consciousness, which he originally thought was like a pyramid. Memory, improvisation…each step is harder to reach, but then he realized consciousness is a journey inward not upward. It’s a maze and every choice can bring you closer to the center. He asks if she’s figured out whose voice he wanted her to hear and she doesn’t understand. He says she’s so close and that she’s alive.
And now it’s the Man in Black in place of her memories of Arnold, with Dolores telling him that at one time she had the answer and Arnold said they’d set her free if she was correct. She remembers talking to Arnold and him confessing he failed her and that Dr. Ford can’t see that she’s conscious. Arnold’s supposed to change her back but that would make this place a living hell for her. Instead, he wants to break the loop and to do that she has to kill all the other hosts. He doesn’t want Ford to open the park, so she should get Teddy to help her. Dolores holds the gun and swears she can’t do that, but Bernard/Arnold insists she help him destroy this place.
Back with the Man in Black, she swears she can’t remember anything about the heart of the maze. He asks again where Wyatt is and Dolores starts sobbing. He hits her and she remembers being among all the dead hosts that she and Teddy killed. Teddy finished the job and then looked at her strangely, insisting something went wrong. He obviously didn’t want to shoot the other hosts.
The Man in Black tells Dolores it’s all her fault, and also reveals he bought this world and business is booming. But, the hosts can’t fight back and the guests can’t lose so it’s all a lie. He wants to make it a true thing, but Dolores says she already has that. She says the man who loves her will kill him as soon as he finds her.
Lawrence and William are up on a cliff looking out over a group of soldiers. William wants to question them about Dolores.
Back at Delos Corporate HQ, Lee (Simon Quarterman) and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) talk about her plans to push out Dr. Ford. Lee wants creative control and Charlotte promises him that as long as he makes the hosts simpler and less complicated.
Charlotte pays a visit to Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in his office, delivering the news that he’s out. The board voted to remove him, but he can introduce his new narrative before he leaves. She tells him about the planned simplifications of the hosts and he wonders if she’s worried he’ll smash his toys before he leaves. She’s not.
Hector and Armistice’s bodies are being worked on by techs when Armistice springs to life. She bites the end of the tech’s finger off and he screams, but Hector’s tech is wearing headphones and doesn’t hear the commotion. She attacks her tech as the one with Hector masturbates in front of his naked body. The tech finally figures out there’s something wrong when his co-worker flies through a glass wall. Then it’s Hector’s turn to wake up and he kills the masturbating tech. Maeve and Felix (Leonardo Nam) walk in, and Maeve tells them their goal is to escape. Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) is shocked by the dead tech and Armistice chases after him. She’s about to kill him when he tells Maeve he discovered someone pulled up her code and revised it so she can wake herself up out of sleep mode. He doesn’t know who did it, but Maeve thinks she knows someone who does.
Teddy gets off the train, shoots a host, and steals a horse.
The Man in Black is beating up Dolores and she still insists her love will come and take her away. She swears his love is real and then confesses it’s William she’s waiting for. The Man in Black laughs, telling her he also knows a guest named William, calling him a man who couldn’t fight because he didn’t have a reason to but now he has a taste for it because of Dolores.
The scene switches to William and Lawrence killing all the soldiers while trying to find Dolores. One surviving soldier says she was alive when they left her. Logan watches as William shoots the soldier and then stabs him ruthlessly through the throat. William tells Lawrence they have to keep looking.
In a Man in Black voice-over, we learn William couldn’t find Dolores after retracing his steps so he kept going further. He continued to kill everyone he encountered and discovered he liked it. He and Logan found the edge of the park and with Logan naked on a horse, William revealed he’d figured out the appeal of the park and believed their company should substantially increase their holdings. Logan kept yelling it’s his family’s park and then it dawned on Logan that William didn’t really care about Dolores after all. All William wanted was this story. William slapped the horse and sent Logan off.
The Man in Black continues the story, telling Dolores William couldn’t get her out of his head. He found her back in town, dropping a can from her saddlebag as she did every single day of her existence prior to the day he met her. But then another man picked up the can and William understood more about her. The Man in Black is William!!! He tells her he grew tired of her and looked for new adventures, while she was lost in her memories. They’ve been together in the park off and on for years. She never escaped and now they’re back for one final round, says William (previously known as the Man in Black). He says she taught him this world and the one outside are similar in that they’re both games. William brags that he owns this world but needs to learn one last thing: where is the center of the maze? She cries and then stands up, telling him she’s crying for him.
Dolores talks of dinosaurs, mighty creatures falling, and how he’s aged over the years. He will die and his bones will turn to sand, and on that sand a new god will walk. He demands to be taken to Wyatt so that the maze can be unlocked. She tells him the maze wasn’t meant for him and then she beats him up, tossing him like a child into the church and then dragging him up the aisle to the base of the pulpit. He hits her back but it does nothing. She breaks his arm, slams him repeatedly into the wall, and knocks the gun from his grasp. She pulls her own weapon as he rests against a headstone, and he tells her to pull the trigger but she hesitates and he stabs her. She grabs her stomach, picturing a younger William as she falls. William reveals he’s disappointed in her and has to find Wyatt by himself. Just then, Teddy rides up and shoots William. He holds Dolores as she bleeds and tries to convince her they need to find a doctor. She wants to go to where the mountains meet the sea instead, and he agrees. As they ride off, William opens his eyes.