The Passenger (Westworld)
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Frederick E.O. Toye|
|Featured music||Ramin Djawadi|
|Cinematography by||John Grillo|
|Original air date||June 24, 2018|
|Running time||90 minutes|
"The Passenger" is the tenth episode and second-season finale of the HBO science-fiction thriller television series Westworld. The episode aired on June 24, 2018. It was written by series co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and directed by Frederick E.O. Toye.
The episode's plot deals with all characters in the past converging at the Valley Beyond, Bernard's choices regarding Dolores and Strand, and the final plot twist connecting both timelines of the season. The episode also includes a post-credit scene, much like season one's finale.
"The Passenger" received generally positive reviews, although it became, at 74%, the lowest rated episode at Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised the resolution of the plot as well as the performances of the cast, especially those of Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton and Tessa Thompson, but the final plot twist and the highly convoluted nature of the episode drew some criticism. The episode was nominated at the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for Outstanding Special Visual Effects and was also Jeffrey Wright's pick to support his nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor.
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Hector, Armistice, Lee and Hanaryo rush to the Mesa to save Maeve, only to watch her save herself. They regroup with Felix and Sylvester, and travel to the Valley to find Maeve's daughter. Lee sacrifices himself to delay Delos' security forces. Meanwhile, Dolores encounters William and coerces him to come with her to the Forge, where they find Bernard. It is revealed that Dolores had actually made Bernard purposely different from Arnold when she tested his fidelity. William tries to kill Dolores, but she had previously rigged his gun and he severely wounds his hand.
Once inside the Forge, Dolores uses the encryption key from Peter to access its digital space. She and Bernard meet the system controller, who has the appearance of Logan Delos. The controller had been tasked with trying to create a digital version of James Delos, discovering that James' actions all stemmed from his last conversation with Logan before Logan overdosed. From this, the controller found that every guest's consciousness was deceptively simple to create code for, and all of these now are stored in a library-like setting within the Forge. The controller tells Bernard that he is the key to opening the Door, a giant underground system transfer unit that allows hosts to upload their programming to "the Sublime", a virtual space inaccessible to humans.
Outside, Akecheta and the Ghost Nation lead several hosts to the Door, and start ushering them through to the Sublime. Charlotte and the Delos team arrive with the reprogrammed Clementine, who causes hosts to attack each other. Hector, Armistice and Hanaryo sacrifice themselves to allow Maeve to find her daughter. She uses her powers to halt the hosts, giving Akecheta and her daughter time to flee before she is shot by Charlotte's men. Akecheta finds that Maeve implanted his partner Kohana's persona within her daughter, allowing them to reunite in the Sublime.
Inside the Forge, Dolores rejects the Sublime, arguing that it is just another false reality designed to control the hosts. She begins purging the Forge of the guests' memories and engages the override system to flood the valley. Outraged by her radical ways, Bernard kills Dolores and stops the purge but cannot prevent the flooding. Outside, he is met by Charlotte and Elsie and taken back to the Mesa, where the latter locks him up until they decide what to do with him. Elsie confronts Charlotte about the true purpose of Westworld and Charlotte kills her. Having witnessed it all, Bernard summons Ford and begs for help.
In the present, Strand, Charlotte and Bernard reach the drained Forge and the former prepares to transfer the guest data via satellite when Bernard starts to remember. He recalls that he had taken Dolores' control unit and, following Ford's indications, created a new host body for it in the form of Charlotte. Dolores-Charlotte then killed the real Charlotte. Bernard then purposely scrambled his programming to prevent Strand from learning the truth from him. At this point, Charlotte reveals herself to be Dolores, killing Strand and the rest of the Delos team. She uploads Teddy's personality and uses the satellite uplink to transfer the hosts and the Sublime to a secret location. Dolores asks Bernard to trust her and shoots him.
Dolores-Charlotte joins the Delos evacuation team, taking several host cores with her. Stubbs realizes she is a host, but as he has become disenchanted with Delos' principles, allows her to leave with a monologue that confirms he is himself a host. At Arnold's home, Dolores finds a host printer left for her by Ford. She creates new bodies for herself and Bernard. Dolores reactivates him, cautioning him that while they may be enemies, they need each other to ensure the survival of the hosts in the human world. As Dolores and a new Charlotte leave, Bernard finally steps into the real world.
The post-credits scene involving William and Emily was originally scripted to occur near the middle of the episode, at around the same time Bernard leaves the Forge after killing Dolores. Director Frederick E.O. Toye said that production found that having this scene in the middle of the episode would be too confusing to viewers as "there are such exhausting, mental exercises that you had to go through to get to it". The scene was then moved to the post-credits slot.
The episode's last scene features a cover of Radiohead's "Codex". However, at one point, the cover merges with the original version, which continues to play during the final credits. This marks the first time that both a cover and the original version of a song play in an episode of the series. The official soundtrack includes only Ramin Djawadi's cover.
"The Passenger" was watched by 1.56 million viewers on its initial viewing, and received a 0.6 18–49 rating, even with the previous week.
The episode received generally positive reviews from critics. At Rotten Tomatoes, the episode has a 74% approval rating with an average score of 7.71/10 from 34 reviews, with the critical consensus stating, "Compelling performances keep 'The Passenger' afloat among a flood of frustrating, fascinating twists, though in true Westworld fashion it may leave some viewers exhausted."
- "Westworld 20: The Passenger". HBO. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Wigler, Josh (June 25, 2018). "'Westworld' Creator on Season 3: "It's Going to be a Whole New World"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- "The Truth Behind Westworld's Latest Robotic Revea". Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- Robertson, Joanna (June 24, 2018). "Westworld Director Explains That Brain-Melting End of Credits Scene". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Porter, Rick (June 26, 2018). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Westworld' finale steady, Season 2 down vs. Season 1". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "The Passenger". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 25, 2018.