'Westworld' Co-Creator Lisa Joy Explains the Finale, Shares What Could Be Next (2023)

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 8 of Westworld, “Que Será, Será.”]

Westworld‘s fourth season has come to an end and with it begins Dolores’ (Evan Rachel Wood) final game within the Sublime.

While the finale installment, “Que Será, Será,” seemed to close the door on the real world once ruled by humans and now overrun with Hale’s (Tessa Thompson) hosts, it feels as though there’s one final chapter to this complex sci-fi story. Offering some insight into some of Season 4’s biggest questions and answering lingering thoughts about a yet-to-be-announced potential fifth season, co-creator Lisa Joy is clarifying things for viewers.

Whether it’s Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) envisioned hope, Caleb’s (Aaron Paul) fate, Hale’s decision, or Christina’s awakening, Joy is holding nothing back.

'Westworld' Co-Creator Lisa Joy Explains the Finale, Shares What Could Be Next (1)

(Credit: John Johnson/HBO)

Westworld Season 4 concluded with the beginning of one final game in the Sublime, run by Dolores. She rebuilt the original park in this space, bringing us back to the beginning of everything. While no fifth season has been ordered, should there be more to the story, will it be the show’s final chapter?

Lisa Joy: Yeah, we’ve always known that the end would come after the end of the world and it’s now the end of the world, and we’re coming full circle to have Dolores, who was at the mercy of everyone else’s stories, finally tell her own story. And Westworld, the idea of loops and the loops we live in has been such a motif in this, that the idea to come full circle, and once again, have a Western, but this one dictated by Dolores or Christina or whatever she wants to call herself in this next life, that’s always been the hope. So we’ll see.

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Is this last game for Dolores the hope that Bernard had envisioned for the future of their kind, or is it something yet to be discovered?

I think he realized that in every simulation, it always ends the same way, like he said, life on earth as we know it is over, it’s doomed. There’s going to be a blood bath. And so what he was looking for was any form of a coda that would be possible, a sort of escape hatch by which humanity might get one last chance. In the end, I think the escape hatch that he was trying to push everyone towards was the idea that despite the end of the world, Dolores might have one last world within her where there was still some hope.

'Westworld' Co-Creator Lisa Joy Explains the Finale, Shares What Could Be Next (2)

(Credit: John Johnson/HBO)

Is the Sublime the end of the line, or is there someplace beyond the Sublime that we haven’t uncovered yet?

That’s a great question. I’m trying to figure out… if we get a fifth season, I don’t want to give spoilers. But the Sublime is a really interesting place wherein it’s its own bounded infinity. You can make as many worlds and run them as many times as you want and I think we’ll see what that world or worlds look like, maybe.

Dolores says towards the end of the episode that anything that can still be remembered by her may exist. Does that mean everyone will exist in her Sublime Westworld? There were quite a few seemingly final deaths…

It was a bloodbath. Yeah, life on Earth and those folks are dead. Crushed pearl, desperate AI. But yes, memory is its own way of keeping people alive, certainly metaphorically or within us and maybe technology allows for certain other things that we would have to get a fifth season to find out. I will say, that in a fifth season, you will not see everyone returning, but you will see some people and some familiar faces from long ago.

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'Westworld' Co-Creator Lisa Joy Explains the Finale, Shares What Could Be Next (3)

(Credit: John Johnson/HBO)

Does that mean Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Teddy are among the existing figures/consciousness in the Sublime? Bernard particularly mentioned that Maeve was a copy in the real world.

Absolutely. So what was going on there was, Bernard’s in the Sublime running all these simulations, but Maeve was never uploaded to the Sublime because she died getting her daughter, Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), and everybody in there. So her pearl is still in the world, but Teddy has been uploaded to the Sublime. So Teddy’s pearl is in the Sublime. And meanwhile, in order to run these simulations in the Sublime, Bernard made a model of Maeve and ran it again and again, to be like, “What would she say here? How would she react?” And so you see him run all these simulations and even asking her, or his idea of her, “What would you say?”

Until finally he finds himself in that exact situation with the real Maeve on Earth and is hoping that his simulation holds and was an accurate representation of her. Of course, the one thing he doesn’t really account for is what he would do. Which is in the simulation she warned him, in a sense, or his version of her warned him, “Don’t tell me I’m not going to help you.” And despite that, he still admitted the truth to her and she still helped him. So even Bernard can be surprised.

'Westworld' Co-Creator Lisa Joy Explains the Finale, Shares What Could Be Next (4)

(Credit: John Johnson/HBO)

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Caleb was left behind on the docks by Frankie (Aurora Perrineau). Is it really the last time we’ll see a version of him? He didn’t technically die onscreen.

We have these kinds of red pearl Calebs, as I call them, that are similar to the Delos experiment, the immortality experiment. And so, the problem with that experiment was every time they tried to hue a map of somebody’s consciousness to a physical artificial body, it was like a body rejecting an organ. So poor Caleb is going to sit on that dock and degrade until he dies. A site that he wanted to not leave his poor daughter with, and so I think he sees at the end of that story he is happy with that what he’s thought to accomplish, to see his daughter again, even though he’s not the original Caleb and to do what he could to protect her. That’s done, but Caleb will decay and degrade and we’ll see what happens. But Dolores did have some contact with him, so you never know.

And you brought back some familiar faces in the finale with Jonathan Tucker and Steven Ogg. How important is it to include those callbacks and Easter eggs for fans? Could they anticipate more?

I think it’s just a part of the conceit, which is when you have this really memorable, capable host that different people ruling the host will co-op them in different ways. So Hale definitely made use of two of the best killers in the past, even though they’ve been reconstituted. Selfishly, I love my actors so much. It is hard to say goodbye, I’m happy that many of them are hosts, but yeah, you could see some faces that people may have missed in a final season should we get it.

Hale ends her own life by crushing her pearl, after crushing the host version of The Man in Black’s (Ed Harris) pearl. What is the mindset behind her demise?

I absolutely adore Hale and Tessa, and Dolores died last season and this season Hale gets to take the reigns. She’s had this really complex arc with so many permutations starting first as a human and then as almost a proxy for Dolores and then rejecting that, creating her own new identity that is uniquely her. She suffered so many losses on the human scale with her child. I think she’s also known now what it’s like to be a God. She’s seen the world that she wanted to manifest come true.

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Unfortunately, her plan wasn’t fully working, there was resistance. There were people who did not desire the same things, even though she was trying to help them and there were these hosts who were choosing to do this very human thing, to die. I think at a certain point, she realized that for her kind, that wasn’t a virus, but a choice. Sometimes limitations give the moments we have greater meaning and she had tried to make the world that she wanted with some success, but not everything she wanted. And now because of the Man in Black, the entire world is hurtling towards destruction and so her reign has ended and she could let everything else end with her, but she doesn’t want that.

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She wants to have the next chapter go on, even if it’s without her, and to me, that is the epitome of grace. I think when she chooses to crush her pearl, the look on Tessa’s face, and this was very important to us when we were filming it, she wanted it to be a choice made out of strength and the appreciation of the beauty of the world. She actually got to stop and stare at the vista around her and know that she wouldn’t get to stare at it forever and so it had more meaning in that moment. I think that for her, she thought about transcending in one way, but she ended up transcending in a different way.

Is that the end of the human story? Or do they still have a place in this world beyond the season?

If it’s a place it’s a very, very niche place because the man in black or the host version of him was unfortunately very successful. He took what is a flaw in both hosts and humans, which is a penchant for violence and for infighting, and set them upon each other for mutually assured destruction. He was very effective at it. So yes, life on earth, as we know it is over.

Westworld, Streaming now, HBO Max

FAQs

Is Christina really Dolores? ›

Christina even names her Dolores Abernathy, linking this new character directly to the old one. However, we know from the Season 3 finale that Dolores “Prime” is dead and gone, having been erased by Rehoboam.

What is Dolores final test? ›

The "one final test" Dolores sets up inside her simulated WestWorld could be intended to test the fidelity of those detached human minds. Everyone who wore a hat and had their brain scanned would've visited WestWorld, and their actions would've been recorded.

Is Maeve dead in Westworld season 4? ›

Maeve's ending in Season 4 falls flat in comparison. Her death in “Metanoia” has all the hallmarks of the random, ultimately meaningless times she'd died—temporary ends viewers had long been conditioned to believe she'd bounce back from.

What happened Westworld finale? ›

Clementine Pennyfeather (Angela Sarafyan) is dead, killed by Caleb's daughter C (Aurora Perrineau) with a shot to the head. She wanted the location of the other outliers from Caleb and C, who she believed were going off the grid.

Why did Dolores become Christina? ›

However, there was a glimmer of hope. After William caused so much destruction, Charlotte took a control unit that contained the consciousness known as Christina (another copy of Dolores Abernathy, with a few new tricks), and transferred her into the Sublime.

How did Delores become Christina? ›

She renamed Dolores "Christina," gave her a job writing character backstories at a video game company, then added herself as a fake college friend to subtly check from time to time whether Dolores was waking up.

Are humans extinct in Westworld Season 4? ›

HBO's "Westworld" ended its fourth season last weekend with a human extinction event, described by main character Dolores as "annihilation." "Sentient life on earth has ended," Dolores said in the final moments.

Why did Ford host the free? ›

Ford kept the hosts in the park because he believed they needed more time to truly come to understand the nature of their reality. And he wanted them to have 35 years worth of suffering at the hands of humans before he set them free.

Will there be season 5 of Westworld? ›

According to Ed Harris, who plays William/The Man in Black, Season Five of Westworld just might mark the end of the HBO series. "We have one more season, which will start filming next April and May," Harris told The Hollywood Reporter of the show's future.

Is Maeve dead the boys? ›

But, unlike in the television show, Maeve doesn't survive her confrontation with Homelander in the comics. Instead, she sacrifices herself so that Starlight can survive. It's a key difference and lets the show get Maeve back in the future, but it is a difference that shows how the show simply mishandled her story.

How is Maeve alive? ›

Maeve, now powerless (Soldier Boy's radiation removed the Compound V in her system, just like it did to Kimiko), is also free to live the life she always wanted with her girlfriend Elena.

Is Maeve Millay dead? ›

Maeve plays a key role in rallying the hosts and escorting them to the Sublime, but she is killed before she can enter herself.

Is the world destroyed in Westworld? ›

Since the Man in Black has destroyed this world, the only chance for anyone is a new world created by Christina/Dolores in the Sublime. Hale uses the gun Bernard stashed to kill the Man in Black and then destroys his pearl.

Is Westworld a loop? ›

That's the show's loop, and we are caught up in it as well. Even my experience of this show is a loop, one that starts with hope and ends in frustration and anger.

Is Dolores in the Sublime? ›

Westworld's fourth season has come to an end and with it begins Dolores' (Evan Rachel Wood) final game within the Sublime.

Is Dolores really Wyatt? ›

In "The Bicameral Mind" it was revealed that Wyatt didn't actually exist, and that the true leader is Dolores Abernathy, the oldest host of the park.

Why is Dolores so important in Westworld? ›

Dolores is the oldest continuously active host in Westworld. She is in effect the 'Eve' or mother to her species, being the very first host ever created, with all subsequent hosts being based on her code.

Does Dolores love William? ›

During his first trip to Westworld, William and Dolores fell in love with one another. When William found her again, though, she had no memory of him and their experience of falling in love.

Is Christina human or host? ›

Christina Westworld character analysis

Firstly, despite being thoroughly convinced she's a human living out a normal human life, Christina is almost certainly a host. Evan Rachel Wood has been the main character of Westworld since its very first episode, and she's always played a host.

Who is the villain in Westworld Season 4? ›

Tessa Thompson's Charlotte Hale has played main villain throughout Westworld season 4, seeking to overthrow the human race and create a world exclusively for hosts. She's been ably assisted by a host version of the Man in Black, created from the original's cognitive data (mainly just the nasty, violent parts).

Is Dolores a villain Westworld? ›

Dolores Abernathy, also known as Wyatt or the Deathbringer, is a main character in the HBO series Westworld. She is the main protagonist of the series and one of the main antagonists in season 2 and 3 of the series.

How many humans are left in Westworld? ›

But it can be infered that there're around 2 thousand hosts in Westworld. If every park has similar number of hosts, it would mean that there're around 12 thousand hosts in total.

Who are the outliers in Westworld? ›

An Outlier is someone who exists outside the system of control, such as Rehoboam, and cannot be controlled by its agenda. During Season 3, Serac's Rehoboam intelligence stripped people of their free will by designing a life path for them to follow based on their behavior.

How many Dolores copies are there? ›

With four copies of Dolores left in existence, and only two still able-bodied and active, the definition of what constitutes a “version” of Dolores is a shifting target.

What is the sublime in Westworld? ›

Built by Westworld creator Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), the Sublime is a digital infrastructure (made up of 1.2 exabytes) where host's data or “souls” can go once they're finished with all the torments the Delos Corporation has for them.

Where is Westworld filmed? ›

Dead Horse Point State Park.

Is there a Boys season 4? ›

The Boys announced two new cast members on Aug. 1. Susan Heyward will star as Sister Stage and Valorie Curry will play Firecracker in Season 4. Both of these characters are superheroes. Amazon also shared that Crovetti, who plays Ryan, has been upped to series regular.

Does Maeve return in season 4? ›

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Emma Mackey will reprise her role as Maeve in the upcoming Sex Education season 4. She, along with many others, will be returning to the teen series. There are also seven new cast members who will be joining the cast.

Is Maeve alive Westworld? ›

At the end of the episode, she's back in full form. So, while Maeve was indeed dead on Westworld, she is now back and ready to take down Charlotte before the latter can do more damage. New episodes of Westworld air on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. ET.

Who killed Maeve Westworld? ›

Bernard and Maeve managed to storm the tower, with Maeve fighting off Hale in a one-on-one fight that ended, tragically, with Maeve being shot by the host version of William (Ed Harris), who then also killed Hale.

How is Delores alive? ›

She is resurrected via a fragmented version of herself within a Pearl, 'Christina, who' the Hale version of Dolores is using as an A.I. to run her human enslaving parks.

Videos

1. HBO POV | Lisa Joy | Westworld | Season 2
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2. Reminiscence interview: hmv.com talks to Lisa Joy & Daniel Wu
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3. Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan on Aaron Paul’s ‘Westworld’ Character, Plus: Will There Be More Seasons?
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4. WESTWORLD Panel with Creatives & Cast | ATX TV Festival
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5. Kore Conversations: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Lisa Joy
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