Doesn’t Look Like Anything To Leigh … And Bill” is HuffPost’s weekly recap in which we break down the craziest thing you might have missed on “Westworld.” This week: Season 2, Episode 10, “The Passenger.”
There was more than enough material to pore over after watching the crazy confusing, oh-my-god-what’s-happening Season 2 finale of “Westworld” on Sunday night.
Bernard’s memories! Maeve’s completed mission! Dolores x 2!
But if you didn’t make it past the credits to uncover the surprise scene, you know nothing, Jon Snow.
After the standard episode ended, we were a little perturbed at the handling of William/Man in Black (Ed Harris) this season. Why did creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy show us glimpses of his personal life, sweetening his stake in the “Westworld” universe, if they were planning on having him do diddly-squat in the finale?
But then we caught the after-credits scene. And like the loyal viewers who stuck around to watch the Man in Black and his daughter, Grace/Emily (Katja Herbers), share a revealing moment, well, we’re still scratching our heads ― but at least we know a little more too.
In the final scene, we seemingly find out that the Man in Black, like James Delos (Peter Mullan) before him, is a human-droid ― presumably concocted in his own facility and monitored by Emily.
The scene kicks off with the MIB exiting the elevator to the lab where “original” Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) were last seen in Westworld together. But instead of bumping into them, he finds Emily in the run-down space. She explains that he isn’t in a simulation and proceeds to take him to a room, similar to the one Delos lived in, where she questions her “dad” about his time in the park.
“Tell me, what were you hoping to find? To prove?” Emily asks him.
“That no system can tell me who I am. That I have a fucking choice,” the Man in Black responds.
“Yet here we are. Again,” she says.
“Again and again,” he mumbles back to her.
Emily then tells him she’s here to test his “fidelity.”
It’s long been speculated that the MIB is a robot, especially since he appears to be, well, indestructible.
Not only did he survive Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) Season 1 finale soiree, he was shot multiple times by Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) in Season 2, Episode 7, and then came out unscathed after mangling his own forearm and losing his hand to Dolores in “The Passenger.” Guy’s untouchable!
Then there’s the campfire moment in Season 2, Episode 6, when Emily tells her dad how torn she was when Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) asked her to return to The Raj. It appears that that scene might have been hinting at her task to test the MIB’s fidelity?
Also, in that same scene, William and Emily have vastly different memories of her experience with elephants as a child. He says she was terrified of them, she says she loved them. Herbers told Vanity Fair that the discrepancy just meant that he’s a distracted dad, not a robot ― but we think otherwise.
When we pressed Ed Harris on the subject of his character’s humanity last week, the actor told HuffPost, “He’s been so immersed in this park and in this other reality, this other dimension, that he’s lost it. He basically gets lost in it and he’s not sure what is going on.”
On the robot theory, he continued: “As the show progresses, there seems to be more and more dimensions that are being seen. There’s the future, there’s the past, there’s the present, and so anything’s possible. But I can’t say much more than that.”
The MIB’s character arc has also been an interesting one, as we’ve see him evolve from sweet William (Jimmi Simpson) into Westworld’s greatest villain. But was this transition technologically altered? Or did the MIB really just become a hardened man?
According to Jimmi Simpson, the Delos experiment we see in Season 2, Episode 4, really did him in. The actor told HuffPost that watching Android James’ mental destruction over time no doubt weighed heavy on William’s heart, as he slowly began to see the pain he inflicted on his father-in-law.
“It was the process of William taking in what he’s done and then, as time goes by, distancing his attachment to this man ― because he had to. You can’t watch [James] go through that for 30 years and not have to come up with a coping mechanism,” Simpson said. “It was part of the thing, I think, that made William the Man in Black, this process of seeing a person go through this.”
But if the MIB were so distraught after watching James’ demise, why would he ever agree to become a bot himself? Well, he’s power-tripping, apparently.
“[After Dolores], William started taking care of himself, he started feeling more confident to take power instead of being subservient to people. He flipped it,” Simpson said. “He watched what Logan [Ben Barnes] did, he took some cues and, man, the guy is just as flawed as anybody else, he’s just had more power at his fingertips.”
Yup, the power to convince his own daughter ― who very well may be a robot herself ― to turn him into a human-droid.
Although Harris “figures” the Man in Black will be a part of Season 3, which begins shooting next June, he doesn’t know in what capacity.
“I don’t know what the what will be happening,” the actor said. “We’ll find out.”
Want more? Read all of HuffPost’s “Westworld” coverage.