After weeks (and even months) of speculation, one of the most popular theories about television's biggest new drama was confirmed during its Season 1 finale, "The Bicameral Mind." Yes, William is the Man In Black on Westworld . And if we didn't see it coming, we definitely should have. As it turns out, the show has been dropping clues left and right this whole time, but the true connection between the two characters (well, one character) was hidden thanks to the clever use of jumbled timelines. But as the evidence started stacking up in the finale, the truth became impossible to deny.
When we first picked up with Dolores' storyline in Sunday's episode, she was shaving the Man In Black's face with his trusty hunting knife. It seemed like an odd moment to begin the finale with, but the decision became clear later in the hour when William pulled out an identical knife to finish off a wounded soldier he'd just shot. Although some keen-eyed viewers may have noticed the similarity in the weapons before, this juxtaposition made it clear that the similarities weren't coincidental — it wasn't just because all the park's guests are equipped with standard-issue weapons, for example — but rather because the two men are actually one and the same.
Furthermore, once William embarked on his quest to find Dolores, he took a captive Logan along with him. He tied his boss to his horse with a long rope and dragged the man unceremoniously behind him… just like we'd seen the Man in Black do to Lawrence all those episodes ago. Of course, there are plenty of ways to take a person prisoner — and the fact that William and the Man in Black both chose the same method spoke volumes.
Then, during the course of the Man in Black's violent confrontation with Dolores, he repeated something to the young woman that she had told him once: that "this is the only world that matters." Given that we'd heard Dolores say this exact phrase to William, it was safe to say that all those theorists started taking their victory laps right around then.
Of course, the final nail in the coffin came when the Man in Black started monologuing about William's journey of self-discovery, which ended with the formerly naïve businessman, finished with a good day of slaughtering, leaning down and picking up a black hat from the ground and putting it on. And so William's transformation was complete.
Even though many viewers saw this particular twist coming, the reveal was still executed brilliantly — and the emotional stakes of watching sweet-hearted William become a cold-blooded killer were surprisingly poignant. Hopefully the Man In Black survives the incoming invasion of awakened hosts so we can get more of his journey in Westworld Season 2.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (2)