When Westworld first premiered, it kept its mysteries largely intact, instead opting to reveal its many secrets one by one as the series gradually unfolded. Fortunately, creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy aren’t fond of cliffhangers, and by the time Westworld's Season 1 finale wrapped, most lingering questions had received a fairly definitive answer. Still, the show had plenty of twists along the way, and I, for one, could use a review of Westworld’s most jaw-dropping moments.
Whether or not you paid attention to the rampant (and mostly true) fan theories that trailed the series for weeks, there’s bound to be at least one surprise that left you reeling. Perhaps there’s even one you missed: Westworld often toggled between real-time and flashbacks, and its elaborate, carefully plotted narrative left plenty of room for details to slip by without detection. HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys told Entertainment Weekly that the show likely won't be back until 2018, so there’s still plenty of time to relive its biggest reveals before Season 2 begins.
Here, I’ve rounded up the best 14, from Teddy’s first episode shocker to the explosive Season 1 finale. Read with caution, as spoilers for Westworld's entire first season lie ahead.
1. Teddy Is A Host
When we first saw Teddy Flood, all signs pointed to him being human. He took the train into Sweetwater alongside the rest of the guests, where Maeve tried to seduce him as she would any human visitor. But later, when he confronted the Man In Black at Dolores' house, he was shot and killed. Since guests aren't supposed to be able to die in Westworld, the scene revealed he's actually an android.
2. Lawrence Is El Lazo
Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) was initially portrayed as a criminal being held in jail. The Man In Black broke him out and dragged him along on his quest to find Westworld's secret, deep-level maze. After a few torturous episodes, the MIB killed Lawrence in order to save Teddy. But, soon after the murder, the character reappeared alongside William, Logan, and Dolores as a crime lord named El Lazo.
Because hosts are consistently rebooted and placed in new narratives, that wasn't immediately disconcerting, but on closer examination, the timing made no sense. El Lazo was mentioned long before Lawrence was killed, seemingly confirming the long-running fan theory that Westworld was operating on two timelines.
3. Bernard Is A Host
After much speculation, Bernard was confirmed to be a host in Westworld's "Tromp L'Oeil" episode. He accompanied Theresa to the house Dr. Ford had set up with a robot version of his family, where Theresa inquired what was behind a certain door that Bernard was unable to see. Inside, she discovered blueprints for Bernard's design, which looked "like nothing" to him — a response commonly used by androids when they look at objects they're programmed not to recognize. Ford later appeared and explained that Bernard was indeed a host that had been "loyal" to him for "many years."
4. Bernard Kills Theresa
Bernard's big secret came with a high price. Minutes after Ford told Theresa Bernard was a host, he forced him to beat her to death.
5. Maeve's Escape Plan
After persuading staffers Felix and Sylvester to upgrade her stats, Maeve continued to intentionally die so she could be brought to Westworld's headquarters and unravel the truth behind her world. Eventually, she dropped a major bomb: she was planning to escape the park, and they were going to help her.
6. Bernard Is Arnold
Viewers long wondered if Bernard was Arnold, Dr. Ford's mysterious former partner, and Westworld's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" finally confirmed it... sort of. Bernard isn't the same Arnold who helped Ford create the park, but rather an android copy of his human predecessor. However, he's not entirely based on Arnold, and was also partially modeled in Ford's image.
7. Dolores Killed Arnold
We then found out that the real Arnold is indeed dead, and Dolores is the one who killed him. Later, it's revealed that Arnold programmed her to do so as a last-ditch attempt to prevent the park from opening.
8. Bernard Kills Himself
Concerned that Bernard was becoming too self-aware, Ford forced him to blow his own brains out.
9. Teddy's Backstory
At first, Teddy's narrative was murky. We knew his past gave him a sense of guilt, but the details ended there. Toward the end of the season, however, his backstory was finally unveiled: Teddy was once a sheriff, and, under Arnold's control, Dolores recruited him to go on a shooting spree and kill all of his fellow hosts.
10. The Location Of the Maze
11. William Is the Man In Black
If you managed to dodge fan theories all season, this one came as a major shock. The Season 1 finale finally confirmed that yes, the wide-eyed, kindhearted William eventually becomes the ruthless Man In Black.
12. Maeve's Escape Plan Is Part Of Her Narrative
Maeve's decision to escape the park seemed key to her conscious awakening. After discovering the true nature of her world, she wanted out of Westworld stat. But in the Season 1 finale, Felix realized her getaway plan was actually programmed into her code, meaning she was never making her own choices.
13. Maeve Returns To Westworld
After nearly escaping Westworld, Maeve somehow overrode her loop and returned to the park to find her daughter, marking her first real, sentient decision.
14. Dolores Kills Ford
When Delos executives tried to edge Ford out of command, the Westworld founder decided to put an end to the park once and for all. Like his partner did so many years ago, he programmed Dolores to shoot him, seemingly killing all of the company's board members in the process.
And all of that occurred in the course of just one season. When Westworld returns in 2018, new mysteries will surely present themselves.