HBO’s warped western
concludes its first season on Sunday, December 4, with “ Westworld The Bicameral Mind.” Amid the series’ twisty plot and multiple timelines, you may need a guide to who, where, and when the characters are. Here’s what you need to know about the major players and what they were up to in the most recent episode.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood)
Dolores is the oldest Host at Westworld. Within her current narrative, she’s a sweet rancher’s daughter in an ill-fated love affair with Teddy, doomed to lose him and her family over and over again. As the season progresses, Dolores breaks free from that narrative to accompany William and Logan on their visit to the park, all the while building doubts about the nature of her reality and struggling to reconcile overwritten memories of her violent past. Episode Nine: The maze has led Dolores to the old church, where she finally remembers that it was she who killed Arnold nearly 35 years ago. But before she can leave the church, Dolores runs into the Man in Black.
Teddy Flood ( James Marsden)
Teddy is the scripted love interest of Dolores. At first, he’s a textbook bounty hunter with a checkered past and a vague backstory about righting some ancient wrongs. When his narrative is expanded to include a concrete villain — the mysterious “Wyatt” — Teddy begins to recall more unsavory aspects of his former life as a treacherous Union solider. Episode Nine: Poor Teddy is apparently murdered, yet again, by a member of Wyatt’s gang who suggests she may have grander designs for him “in the next life.”
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton)
Maeve is the tough-as-nails brothel madam in her current narrative. But after memories surface of a past life in which she and her daughter are brutally murdered by the Man in Black, Maeve gains control of her own mind both in and out of the park. As the season progresses, Maeve uses her expanded sentience to learn more about the dark masters of her world — and devise a plan for their undoing. Episode Nine: Maeve has just recruited Hector Escaton ( Rodrigo Santoro) to her army of enlightened Hosts.
The Man in Black ( Ed Harris)
The guest known to viewers only as the “Man in Black” is a wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist in the real world, who comes to Westworld to live out his darkest fantasies. Due to his 30 years of patronage — and his position on the park’s board of directors — he receives great deference from park management, even when he slaughters entire villages in his search for whatever is at the center of the maze. The Man in Black appears to have an obsession with Dolores and finding out what secrets the Hosts truly hold. Episode Nine: The Man in Black finds Dolores at the old church and advances on her with unknown ends.
Dr. Robert Ford ( Anthony Hopkins)
Dr. Ford is the genius inventor and philosopher king of Westworld. Ford built the first generation of Hosts with his mysterious partner, Arnold, and has maintained executive authority over major storylines and Host designs despite corporate efforts to oust him. A bit of code Ford introduces at the outset of season 1 allows Hosts to access memories, which are ordinarily wiped from their databanks after every narrative loop. Ford is on the cusp of unveiling a huge new narrative. Episode Nine: Dr. Ford has just finished revealing Bernard’s history, in hopes that once sentient, Bernard will remain by his side as partners. But after Bernard tries and fails to kill him, Ford commands Bernard to shoot himself: “Never place your trust in us. We’re only human. Inevitably we will disappoint you.”
Bernard Lowe ( Jeffrey Wright)
Bernard is the head of Westworld’s Behavior department and an expert programmer. He is tasked early on with diagnosing several Hosts’ aberrant behavior, all while caught up in managerial politics and struggling to recover from the death of his son, Charlie. Bernard is Dr. Ford’s closest ally, by design; Bernard is revealed to be a Host version of Ford’s old partner, Arnold. As Ford’s puppet, Bernard kills onetime lover and park director Theresa Cullen ( Sidse Babett Knudsen) and is responsible for the disappearance of Behavior technician Elsie Hughes. Episode Nine: Bernard finally learns the truth that he is built in Arnold’s image and decides to contact all the sentient Hosts to pronounce their humanity. He threatens Ford with decommissioned Host Clementine ( Angela Sarafyan), but Ford, utilizing a backdoor in Bernard’s code, commands him to shoot himself.
Elsie Hughes ( Shannon Woodward)
Elsie is a tenacious Behavior tech, who is tasked with investigating aberrant Hosts. She discovers damning secrets about the real world of Westworld — and winds up paying the price. Episode Nine: Elsie disappeared midseason, just as she was learning about potential security breaches and manipulation of some first-generation Hosts. One of Bernard’s flashbacks reveals that it was he who put her out of commission — but Ford does not answer Bernard’s question of whether Elsie is dead or alive.
William ( Jimmi Simpson)
In the real world, William is a mid-level manager engaged to marry the daughter of his company’s head honcho. As his first trip to Westworld progresses, William begins to fall in love with the mystery and mayhem of the park — and with Dolores. Episode Nine: After hacking a camp full of Confederate soldiers to death, William commands future brother-in-law Logan — at knifepoint — to help him rescue Dolores.
Logan ( Ben Barnes)
Logan is a wealthy, completely uninhibited repeat visitor to Westworld. Logan’s sister is soon to be married to William, who he’s taken on a pseudo-bachelor party trip to the park. Logan’s family company is considering making a large investment into Westworld, so he regards this latest trip as something of a business venture — though he takes every opportunity to indulge his every sinful desire. Episode Nine: Logan has become the leader of a group of especially villainous Confederate soldiers and captured William. But after a night of heavy drinking, Logan awakens to find William has decimated all of his compatriots and is commanding his help in rescuing Dolores.
Charlotte Hale ( Tessa Thompson)
Charlotte Hale is executive director of Delos, the corporate structure behind Westworld. She is business-minded and savvy enough to know when heads must roll — literally — in order to please the shareholders. Episode Nine: Charlotte interrupts the Man in Black in the middle of his park adventure to request a vote against Ford at the next board meeting.