Spoilers below for the second-to-last episode of Westworld Season 3, so be warned!
Westworld's penultimate installment, "Passed Pawn," put a lot of focus on explaining Caleb's dark and intentionally obscured backstory, while also introducing the Serac brothers' prototype for the Rehoboam system. Much head-scratching ensued, and that was before the climax seemingly wiped out both Dolores and Maeve thanks to a well-placed EMP device. (Don't worry, they're both "alive" and well in the season finale trailer.)
Even though Season 3 hasn't necessarily been as densely structured as the first two seasons, at least as far as we can tell, creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy weren't exactly forthcoming with fully explored answers across these first seven episodes. And wouldn't you know it? Rehoboam totally predicted that I would have a ton of questions and curiosities left floating around ahead of the finale, which are compiled below. Pop those Limbic tabs and let's get started.
Who Resurrected Maeve After Her Battle With Dolores?
Even though it was partially revealed in the Episode 8 trailer, audiences were already clued in on Caleb being responsible for bringing Dolores back online somehow. (And it looks complicated.) But, assuming Caleb didn't also do the same for Maeve, how is she alive again in the finale? Perhaps Serac and his team were notified whenever Solomon shut down, or even whenever Maeve herself shut down, since he obviously has some overarching control over her. Hopefully the EMP didn't permanently fry her pearl in any way.
Will The Valley Beyond Situation Ever Get Resolved?
By and large, Maeve's main goal in Season 3 has been to reunite with her loved ones, even though she is continuously at the beck and call of Serac. We know that her love Hector is now permanently out of the picture, but will the season finale at last grant Maeve the happiness that she (arguably) deserves by sending her into the Valley Beyond with her daughter? It really wouldn't seem right to keep stretching that story into the recently renewed Season 4.
Is Caleb Really Set To Lead A Revolution, Or Is Dolores Playing Him?
Caleb re-learned a lot about himself thanks to Solomon's revelations, including the fact that he was responsible for killing and apprehending untold numbers of supposed outliers, all while creating false memories around the RICO missions. Dolores already seemed to know all of this, though, implying that she'd been grooming Caleb this whole time into taking her mantle as Host-sympathetic revolutionary. But would Dolores really put all of her metaphorical eggs in Caleb's basket, considering how unstable he is?
What Is Solomon's Final Strategy?
Unsurprisingly, viewers haven't yet learned the details behind the final strategy that Solomon crafted for Jean Mi Serac before the metaphorical plug was pulled on that particular operation. The original version of the plan was outdated by this point, and involved some people who are currently in outlier limbo, but Dolores had the A.I. develop a revised version that revolved around Caleb. In fact, Solomon even tried to warn Caleb about something before the EMP was activated. So what on Earth will Caleb do that introduces even more chaos into the world?
What Happened To Chalores After Escaping The Burning Car?
One of the bigger shocks in the episode “Decoherence” came when Halores’ car was purposefully blown up, killing off Charlotte’s human husband and son in the process. When she pulled herself out of the wreckage, she looked ready to scorch the planet, which was complemented by her totally scorched skin. Early in Episode 7, Halores was curiously framed during a phone call in which she revealed she’d completely sold out on Dolores and tipped Serac off to the Musashi/Sato clone’s location in Jakarta. What exactly happened that shifted her worldview after getting out of that car, and is she healing at all?
Is The Final Dolores Pearl Clone Located In Berlin?
Earlier in Westworld Season 3, one of Serac’s underlings pointed out the locations of Dolores’ contacts, and to date, the only one that hasn’t been revealed yet is the one supposedly in Berlin. That unidentified being isn’t necessarily harboring the missing Host pearl that is still unaccounted for, but the story would probably make a lot more sense if those things are connected. But will the Berlin ally be someone that viewers know?
Is Serac Really Alive Or Just A Series Of Holograms?
Every time viewers are witnessing Vincent Cassel’s Serac on the screen, there’s a 9 in 10 chance that it’s merely a holographic projection. Very rarely has Serac been “proven” to be in the physical world, making contact with objects and other human beings. Episode 7 even introduced a new, prerecorded Serac hologram, one with a message meant for his brother Jean Mi if he was ever successfully reconditioned. Interestingly, though, Serac’s message claims that the man he was “no longer exists.” A nod hinting at a transition to an A.I. consciousness, or something else?
Who Is Serac's Other Delos Mole(s)?
While Charlotte Hale was the most prominent mole within Serac's Delos-infiltrating scheme, he alluded to having someone else working for him on the inside. This mystery associate is presumably the one who initially rescued Maeve's pearl from Cold Storage. As well, he or she is believed to be the one who returned her to the simulation world, as well as the one responsible for Host-printing Clementine, Hanaryo and the unfortunate Hector. Will it end up being Maeve's former compadre Felix, or perhaps his more surly counterpart Sylvester?
Will William Once Again Become The Man In Black?
After spending the entirety of Season 3 either hallucinating at home, hallucinating in virtual nightmare therapy, or begrudgingly palling around with Bernard and Stubbs, Ed Harris' William is in desperate need of a costume change. In getting perhaps unfairly ousted and committed by Halores, the tragedy-stricken gunslinger became the Man in White. but he's apparently now found his path and is set to be the hero in this tale by killing off every last Host that he comes across. (Assuming he's not a host himself.) That probably won't bode well for some normal humans, considering what happened with Emily in Season 2.
What Was Dolores’ Plan With The Jakarta Clone?
Before his death and beheading, the Musashi/Sato clone confirmed with his henchmen that a certain someone's location had been found and that everything was in order. He then sent another out to make a delivery, with the threatening message that he shouldn't return if the mission isn't completed. We know this clone had tied to a facility that appeared to be manufacturing the Hosts' bodily fluids, but where are all the bodies for that fluid to go into?
Why Is Arnold's Maze Showing Up In The Real World?
At least twice now in Season 3, Westworld has shown viewers wall graffiti that directly references the maze imagery that Season 2 was based on. In one instance, Halores walked past it while taking Charlotte's son home, and the other instance was in the tunnel walkway where Dolores and Caleb first meet. It also showed up in one of the trailers released ahead of the season, presumably from one of the finale's riot scenes, but what does it mean? How did Arnold's maze escape the park and crossover into everyday human life, and why?
Why Is Bernard Still So Important In All This?
Inarguably one of Westworld's most important characters, as portrayed by one of the show's most talented actors, Jeffrey Wright's Bernard has strangely been treading a ton of water in Season 3, and not in the normal "confused Bernard exists in 11 different timelines" way. Dolores implied at one point that Bernard was the only irreplaceable Host, but it's not exactly clear what that meant, and he hasn't exactly been doing anything all that noteworthy on his treks with Stubbs. That said, I'm still kind of awaiting a left-field twist that re-contextualizes the entirety of Bernard's Season 3 narrative.
Did Caleb Kill Any Other Outliers That Are Important To The Story?
Caleb learned a lot of terrible shit about himself in "Passed Pawn." Not only was he responsible for killing his brother in arms Francis, but the two of them somewhat unwittingly worked as Serac's hitmen through the RICO app, taking out potentially innocent outliers. Viewers got to see at least one part of Caleb's laundry list of successful missions, along with two failures for "Murder" and "Enhanced Interrogation." Will any of those other deadly missions come up as critical backstory for the rest of Season 3? Is it possible one or some of Caleb's mostly forgotten crimes will come back to haunt him?
Will Anyone Actually "Win" The Finale?
The Season 3 finale trailer plays up the pure madness that's on the way as city populations start rioting over the Incite info dumps that Dolores made public. It plays up the Serac vs. Caleb angle, as well as the Dolores vs. Maeve angle, while also making it seem like William might actually kill Stubbs and/or Bernard. But when all is said and done and the credits are rolling, will Westworld have an actual victor to grant a crown and scepter to? Or is Dolores' main plan just to leave the real world as bloody and destroyed as Westworld itself became over the course of Season 2?
If someone put on about 14 pots of coffee, I could keep cooking up questions that would last us until HBO aired the Westworld finale, but that might be overkill. Be sure to let us know your theories in the comments, and tune into "Crisis Theory" when it airs on HBO on Sunday, May 3, at 9:00 p.m. ET.