Every week for the second season of Westworld, three Atlantic staffers will discuss new episodes of HBO’s cerebral sci-fi drama.
Sophie Gilbert: So much of the last half hour of “The Passenger” felt like a series finale. Dolores was reborn (born isn’t quite the right word but we do the best we can) into Charlotte Hale’s body, waved through security protocols by a (perhaps) in-on-the-secret Stubbs, and escorted onto a boat to her new life among humans on the mainland. Maeve made a triumphant escape, and survived long enough to usher her daughter to safety in a kind of robot paradise coded by Ford. Akecheta also made it to the other side, and a reunion with Kohana that was one of the most poignant moments of the season. Sizemore went out in a blaze of glory that seemed … unnecessary, logically? (He couldn’t have bought Maeve that much time, and Hector died anyway.) Dolores somehow (it’s unclear) brought Teddy back to life and dispatched him to host Eden, even though the portal had already closed.
It would have been an okay conclusion, is all I’m saying. And it would have justified the less satisfying elements of “The Passenger,” like Elsie dying, and Dolores adopting the form of the only human as cruelly ambitious as she is, and the Forge being a library filled with many leather-bound books and Delos’s rich misogyny (the crystal Scotch decanters were a nice touch). We get it! Lives are stories and the authors are us. But did we need to see Dolores thumbing through a handful of books/human souls as casually as if they were magazines in an airport Hudson News?