The Westworld season 3 finale had two post-credits scenes featuring William and Bernard. Here’s what happened and what they mean for the future.
The Westworld season 3 finale featured not one but two post-credits scenes – both of which had wide-reaching implications for the show’s future. After a successful first season and a less well-received second, the show radically shifted from its usual format. Rather than explore multiple points of time in a complex (and often convoluted) narrative, Westworld season 3 opted for a more linear storytelling approach. Having left the Western-themed park behind, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and the other surviving hosts pursued various agendas in the real world.
While Dolores teamed up with the human Caleb Nichols (Aaron Paul), the mysterious Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel) tasked Maeve (Thandie Newton) with bringing her down. Similarly, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) partnered with Westworld’s former Head of Security, Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), for the same end. By the time the credits rolled on the finale, however, it had been revealed that Dolores wasn’t trying to destroy humanity as much as liberate them from the control of Serac and his A.I. system, Rehoboam. Sacrificing herself for that goal, both Maeve and Bernard were left to lament how they’d misjudged Dolores as a new status quo for the world was established. While seeking answers as to what comes next, Bernard decided to venture into the Sublime – the key to which Dolores was revealed to have secretly implanted inside his mind.
Following the credits, Westworld season 3’s finale returned to Bernard sitting in the exact same position within his motel room. He was still, at first, before the machine that accessed the Sublime reactivated. Bernard’s consciousness was returned into his host form at the same time. It was clear, however, that he had been gone far longer than a few minutes. Both Bernard and the room were covered in a thick layer of dust. On one hand, it meant that riots and looting going on in the world hadn’t made it as far as the motel. On the other, it meant that little else had occurred at the motel in his absence. The fact there had been nobody checking in on the room’s residents – even to demand fresh payment for what was clearly an extended stay – implied that Bernard would be returning to a potentially worrying present. Equally, though what he found in the Sublime remained unknown, his expression seemed significantly grim.
Similarly unknown was the fate of Stubbs. Last seen covered in ice in the bathtub, he was extremely damaged from a gunshot wound inflicted by William (Ed Harris). Bernard vowed to repair him, but, given how long he was apparently gone, he no doubt succumbed to his injuries. Despite that, it’s likely Bernard will be able to restore him. After all, as Dolores stated during the episode, “hosts were built to last” and have come back from worse. Since Bernard was undisturbed, a sadder repercussion is that Maeve will obviously have spent potentially years without being reunited with her daughter. Just how long Bernard was inside the Sublime is unclear. However, his extended absence suggests that Westworld season 4 could revisit multiple timelines – given that it will now need to explore Bernard’s time in the Sublime (which could see the return of such characters as James Marden’s Teddy), as well as all the history of events he missed in the real world that led into the new present.
A second post-credits scene centered on the Charlotte Hale iteration of Dolores, whom William encounters at an undisclosed Delos facility. Still reeling from the death of Hale’s family, this version of Delores had become everything that everyone feared Dolores Prime had. Alongside a host version of the Man in Black, she had commenced a large-scale host building operation and seemed to harbor a fierce grudge against humanity, which is why she had the host Man in Black slice William’s throat. However, William isn’t shown dead, so it’s possible that he found a way to survive the attack. Regardless, Hale’s season 4 plan seems to involve replacing William with the more menacing Man in Black, potentially to have him lead an army of hosts. For Bernard, it’s likely that whatever world he woke up in will have come into being by Hale’s hand. As such, his quest to save humanity from Dolores may still come to pass in Westworld season 4 and beyond – albeit a different incarnation and in a drastically different way than he previously believed.