Mysteries were solved, lives were lost, and everything has now changed in a riveting and beautifully made episode

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June 24, 2018 at 10:30 PM EDT

The Westworld season 2 finale “The Passenger” wrapped up so many of the show’s mysteries and delivered a couple few big surprises with a 90-minute episode that feature beautiful direction by Federick E.O.Toye, a gorgeous Ramin Djawadi score, terrific performances and stuck a landing that set the stage for an intriguing season 3. Granted, there was also some exposition overload as the drama strained to explain so many of the season’s ideas.

Below I’ve unscrambled this twisty episode — which jumped around between a few different timelines — into chronological order to help explain everything that happened (and you saw the surprise post-credits scene right? If not, go back and watch that first). We start at the episode’s true beginning with…

Before the Flood: Dolores lays with dead Teddy, then takes his brain Brita filter for a purpose that will be revealed later. She comes upon the Man in Black who’s been digging in his arm. “Seems you’ve begun to question the nature of your reality,” she quips, seemingly solving last week’s riddle — the MiB was digging in his arm because he was paranoid that he might be a host. She lets him tag along to the Valley Beyond.

They pick up Bernard and reach The Forge. The Man in Black tries to gun down Dolores, but she’s so in control of her body at this point that she’s no longer programmed to “die” unless truly essential parts get taken out. Dolores had sneakily placed a used slug in The Man in Black’s gun which results in a spectacular backfire blowing his hand apart.

Meanwhile, table Maeve orders hosts to attack a sadist technician who’s about to dismember her — with her pain receptors turned on. She gets patched up and reunites with Hector, Armistice, and Lee Sizemore. When more QA bad guys attack, we finally get that amazing Super Bowl promo scene we had almost forgotten about — Maeve using her powers to have robot bulls charge and gorge the QA guys in exhilarating slo-mo. There’s one terrific shot, as the bull rams the soldier over the stair railing, that literally had my jaw hanging open.

A little later, Maeve and company run into trouble and have an unlikely savior — Lee Sizemore. Do we buy that this epitome of human selfishness would sacrifice himself to give the hosts a chance? Perhaps not, but then again, he doesn’t seem to have much of a life outside of creating narratives for this park, and now that’s all going away. Maybe he decided that in a life that’s empty, he can at least die for something. It’s rather cool that Lee goes out in a blaze of glory by giving a speech he once penned for the hosts — really playing the game for the first and last time; Lee finally gets to be a hero.

Charlotte and Team Dune Buggy are led by zombie Clementine, who literally rides a pale horse as she readies to spread her annihilation virus (as in, the Pale Horse of death in the Book of Revelations, which Westworld couldn’t resist making obvious later on by having Charlotte crack a joke about it — yes, we got the biblical symbolism, thanks!).

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HBO’s ambitious science-fiction thriller Westworld is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name. The series developed by Jonathan Nolan stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and more top names.
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Lisa Joy
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