Westworld Season 5 – What will it be about, and who will be in it?

SPOILERS for Westworld Season 4 below

Let me start by addressing the elephant in the room – at the time of writing, Westworld it yet to be formally renewed for a fifth (and presumedly final) season. This entire post could turn out to be useless in the end, or it could turn out to be quite insightful. I still believe that despite the criminally-bad cancellations occurring at the hands of Warner Bros. Discovery, Westworld should be safe, but you can never be too sure.

Where is this speculation post coming from? Well, there’s no questioning the fact that the slate has been wiped clean when it comes to the Westworld narrative. I don’t mean that as “everything that has happened so far has been negated”, I mean it in the sense that we are staring at a completely blank canvas when it comes to the series’ future. Of course, Lisa Joy and Johnathan Nolan aren’t looking at a blank canvas themselves – they know where this is all going – but they’ve presented us with barely anything to go on in regards to season five.

Combined with the fact that nearly every other major player in the Westworld story dies in the closing pair of episodes, that got me thinking – who will, who might and who won’t be returning in the new season? Let’s break down who is going to be making a comeback.

Dolores

This one is a no-brainer, right? The season ends with a reborn Dolores dressed in her classic blue dress and roaming the streets of Westworld within the Sublime. After a season-long internal conversation within the mind of Christina, one which saw her finally regain her memories that had been deeply suppressed, she seems to be back to her true self. That begs the question, just how true to the Dolores we know is this new version? From what we understand, she has the knowledge of all her interactions with humans from her time as both Dolores and Christina. What will she choose to do with that knowledge? It seems like she’s determined to play out one more game and test both humans and hosts in some way. But what will she be testing them for? We’ve seen through four whole seasons that hosts and humans can’t seem to live with each-other – whoever is the dominant species seems to surrender to their desires and cause a world of destruction.

When it comes to this new world she’s created within the Sublime, it seems Dolores will be able to bring back a version of anyone who she can accurately remember. Or she may be able to access the guest data from The Forge (Sector 16) that was (presumedly) sent to the Hoover Dam site along with the Sublime. Interestingly, the guest data being transferred by Dolores along with the Sublime wasn’t mentioned at all in this season – which could indicate that it wasn’t. It’s still a little bit murky on whether it was or not, but from what I gathered – it was all sent together. If Dolores does bring anyone back via her memories of them, it’s crucial to understand that, as we saw with Bernard creating a version of Maeve in the Sublime, they won’t be 100% accurate.

Will they appear? Yes

Charlotte Hale

One of the casualties of the season four finale came in the form of Charlotte Hale, or rather, the Dolores copy who inherited the persona and life of Hale over time. With her pearl crushed to dust in a surprisingly emotional moment (considering the carnage she’s caused over the course of the season), we’re never going to see that version of Hale again. Those memories and experiences of conquering the human race are down the drain. I believe that’s firm evidence that we won’t see Tessa Thompson back as Hale, as much as it pains me to say that. A version of the character has been around since the very first season and she’s been a core part of every season’s main arc, so I feel like we’ve seen everything from that character. Plus, that final scene with her killing herself felt like a proper sendoff. That being said, Dolores could “remember” the real Hale, or maybe pull her data out of The Forge, but I can’t see that serving much of a purpose.

Will they appear? No

William (Host and Human)

Keeping with the trend of characters whose human counterparts have been killed and host counterparts have been crushed to dust, William is another series mainstay who has been around since the very first episode. With both his host and human selves biting the dust in this season, one would believe this is the last we’ve seen of Ed Harris, but it won’t be. The difference between this death and Hale’s death lies in the image of William right above this paragraph. That’s not a screenshot from this season – it’s from the season two finale’s post-credits scene… a scene that still hasn’t come into play two whole seasons later. There’s 0% chance that Lisa Joy and Johnathan Nolan have forgotten about this moment – they’ve certainly been playing the long game from as early as that second season.

With the teasing of Dolores’ new world inside the Sublime, you may think this scene would have to take place in there, but I believe it still takes place in the real world – fuelled even more by season four’s finale. In the scene, the host version of Emily tells William that “This is your world, or what’s left of it“. We see in the season four finale that William finally creates his world – a world in which hosts and humans fight until extinction. Assuming from the level of degradation that this scene is even further into the future, it would make sense why Emily refers to the world as his. To create him, perhaps Dolores got his guest data out of The Forge – who knows? I don’t. Also, if it does end up being set in the real (physical) world, it could mean we see more of Earth next season, meaning it won’t be set entirely within the Sublime.

Will they appear? Yes

Bernard

After receiving the Doctor Strange future-reading treatment in this season and meeting his eventual demise at the hand of William, Bernard got a nice little sendoff that involved his consciousness entering the light at the end of the tunnel. I like to think Bernard will still play a major part in the season to come, but I fear there’s a slight chance he’s done. The good thing is – he may be “shut down”, but his pearl is still intact, meaning he can be put back together at any time. If he was put back together, not only would he be in the real world, but he could open the door to the Sublime and get straight in. Or, in opening the door, he could finally let Maeve in to be with her daughter.

The big counter-argument to the Bernard from season four being revived is that there’s no one really alive in the real world who could repair him. So, if he can’t be rebuilt physically, the only way for him to return would be for Dolores to build him from memory – something we’ve seen her do with Bernard before.

Will they appear? Maybe

Maeve

Speaking of Maeve, she’s yet another host (alongside Bernard) who has been shot in the head and decommissioned… for now. Much like how Hale was revived, we could see someone do the same thing with Maeve. However, we run into the same problem as with Bernard – who would do that? The world has basically gone extinct, meaning there’s nothing more than a couple of outliers left, if any. Otherwise, Dolores could create her own version using her memories, or just borrow the version of Maeve that Bernard created in the Sublime – if that’s how the Sublime even works. Either way, I think it’s a no-brainer that we see Maeve in the next season – she deserves a happy ending.

Will they appear? Yes

Caleb

As a man who has died 279 times (including his human death) in the last 23 years, Caleb really got the short end of the stick in this season. That being said, he did have an emotional arc that culminated in a short but rewarding reunion with his daughter. This season felt like a fitting send-off for the character, closing out his journey in a satisfying way. We don’t see the 279th version of this host/human hybrid die, but it’s eluded to that his body rejects itself shortly after he leaves the docks. Sure, Dolores could bring him back if she remembers him well enough, but I just can’t see him having much of a role to play – especially since he has no real connection to the early seasons of Westworld. I guess if next season does feature scenes outside of the Sublime, someone could rebuild him, but I’m guessing that’s unlikely. Aaron Paul is great, and I wouldn’t complain if we got more of him, but I’m not clamouring for more Caleb content.

Will they appear? No

Frankie

The introduction of Frankie was one of the highlights of this season. She was a huge part of an emotional arc with Caleb, and also contributed to one of the coolest twist reveals at the mid-way point of the season. As much as it would be cool to have her back, there’s a number of reasons why I think it won’t happen. Firstly, we can gather from Dolores’ closing voiceover that she dies relatively shortly after the end of the season – meaning we probably won’t get her back in the real world. Secondly, her importance in this season hinged on her arc with Caleb – not that that’s done, there’s no reason for her to come back. Thirdly, she wasn’t uploaded to the Forge back in the original Westworld (since she wasn’t alive). The only way I could see her maybe come back is if she’s rebuilt using the scan of her from Temperance, but I doubt it.

Will they appear? No

Clementine

Despite being merely a supporting character (and predominantly a puppet) for the majority of her Westworld appearances, Clementine continues to be beloved. She’s one of the most underrated characters – an absolute joy to watch whenever she shows up. Angela Sarafyan’s performance is subtle yet captivating, making me want more every time she leaves the screen. Since she was shot in the head and left for dead on Earth, I doubt she’ll be recovered (again, unless we get some Earth-set content in the next season). Otherwise, I have no doubt Dolores will probably recreate her from memory to populate her reboot of the Westworld park.

Will they appear? Yes

Stubbs

Ashley Stubbs met a brutal demise in the finale at the hands of Clementine. Once again, if someone recovers Clementine’s pearl in the real world, they most likely will recover Stubbs’ since their in the same building. Otherwise, it’s up to Dolores to create him from her memory, something that is very possible considering they spent a lot of time in the park. I quite liked the very subtle and short farewell they gave Stubbs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a return.

Will they appear? Maybe

Teddy

This one is as much of a no-brainer as Dolores returning. Teddy is still inside the Sublime, and it seems one of Dolores’ missions in the next season is going to be to track him down. It’ll be interesting to see what the dynamic is between them two, especially considering the last time Teddy spoke to Dolores was when he voluntarily killed himself back in season two.

Will they appear? Yes

Robert Ford

Just because someone didn’t appear in seasons three and four, doesn’t mean they can’t return for a little bit of a final season cameo. I mean, we just got Craddock and Rebus back for a short season four cameo… so why couldn’t we see Ford back. Ed Harris might be the biggest star to still be in the series, but it was the presence of Anthony Hopkins that really made the first season so perfect. I would pay good money just to see Ford come back for the final season, even if it’s just for a single episode. Being the man who facilitated Dolores’ awakening in the first season, there’s no doubt she remembers him. Anthony Hopkins is getting up there in age, turning 85 this year, but he seems to still be somewhat active – so it’s very possible.

Will they appear? Maybe



Those are all of the main players who I think will, might and won’t return in the final season. Despite the fact that the writers have wiped the slate clean, some of these iconic characters need to return otherwise you don’t really have a show. This isn’t all of the characters who I think could appear – it’s just most of them. For instance, I think Akecheta will probably return since we know he’s locked away in the Sublime already, as is Maeve’s daughter. There’s almost certainly a tonne of smaller characters, like maybe Hector or Armistice, who Dolores can probably recreate from her memories. Basically, the next season will be a sandbox of creativity for who could possibly show up – with surprises lurking around every corner, no doubt.

A lot of the speculation revolves around whether we’ll get any scenes set outside the Sublime, or whether everything will be within Dolores’ new world. It also stems from whether we’ll see the human data from the Forge come into play. The events of this fifth and final season (should it happen) remain a complete mystery – just the way I like it. Who else do you want to make an appearance? Drop your suggestions below!

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