Westworld (Season 4), Episode 7 Recap & Ending Explained: Welcome back to Westworld. The penultimate episode has usually been the show’s biggest one, but in Season 4, the second last one did more than just be the biggest episode. While Metanoia lived up to its name and set the ball rolling in a massive way, it laid down twists and questions that will have to be answered next week.
Westworld (Season 4), Episode 7 “Metanoia” Recap:
The episode kicked off with Bernard and Maeve driving to the Hoover dam. It’s noticeable that this part of the episode isn’t in full screen, indicating that the show is currently in The Sublime. In this version, Bernard and Maeve have a conversation where the Arnold lookalike asks Maeve if she would fight or save herself. If audiences didn’t pick up on The Sublime, Akecheta makes an appearance to put all doubt aside. Bernard tells him that he can’t save the world alone, but he sees a path to the end.
We switch back to full screen and see Bernard and Maeve arriving at Hoover dam. Maeve wants to go to The Sublime after the war is won and the world is saved. Akin to her arc from the previous seasons, her primary ambition is to see her daughter. After getting a promise from Bernard, she seemingly agrees to fight and shoots off what looked like a transformer sentinel.
Christina/Dolores returned after an episode away and saw Teddy in her room. Still processing the information from Zhuangzi, she feels that it is a bad dream. Well, everything except for him. Christina can’t believe she would have it in her to do this and says she isn’t Dolores or Hale. So what is she? The obvious answer would be that Christina/Dolores is a host. It is even seen when she tries to drown herself in a bathtub but can’t.
At another building, Caleb 279 is stuck in the glass chamber and continues trying to break free. There is dried blood on the glass and Hale enters with Host William by her side. She utters the line ‘bullet to the pearl’ and then talks about how she will shut down cities and place the people in cold storage. It is similar to how hosts got placed in a storage room at Westworld. William gives a very quizzical glance at these statements and seems to pick up on them as well. Host Hale informs Caleb 279 that he is just there as bait for when Frankie and the rebels show up. When Hale emerges from the glass chamber, Host William questions her if she means what she said. The response to that query is quite clear.
Back outside the cities, Stubbs and Frankie are awaiting Maeve and Bernard’s return. In the interim, Frankie apologizes to her girlfriend for locking her up when she suspected her of being the mole. Bernard arrives and behaves out of character, leading to Stubbs calling him out. The Arnold lookalike informs him that he won’t make it, but provides him some crucial advice. ‘Go left at the fork’.
The way they enter the city is quite alarming, as wouldn’t Host Hale have set up defenses to prevent such breaches from rebels and Outliers? Maeve voices her desire to be with C when she meets Caleb to show that he kept her promise. As this story advances, the Host in Black pays a visit to the Man in Black and stabs him as a consequence of the replies he received for his chastising comments.
Walking around the city, Teddy brings Christina up to speed with her story about Dolores. She just wants to stop it all and they head off to where it all began, i.e. Olympiad Entertainment. Once there, she uses her supreme powers to have everyone bend to her will. With her narration Christina has a fire alarm pulled, stories deleted, and the offices destroyed. Her other commands call for all doors to be left open, which directly helps Stubbs and Frankie break into the building and they free Caleb.
Caleb doesn’t recognize his offspring and flattens her against the wall, demanding to know her identity. When she reminds him of his lessons to her as a child and the reason behind the nickname C, he relents. Frankie provides a fitting response to the ‘can’t believe how much you’ve grown’ statement. Kids will do that, right?
Bernard and Maeve reach The Tower where he controls Hale’s transformer sentinels. He informs Maeve that they can’t win and that she is the key to saving a small part of the world. They split up with Maeve confronting Host Charlotte. It’s quite noticeable that the script had Hale shed her heels before a battle. This made it quite believable, as walking in heels is a task, let alone engaging in combat in them.
The duo have a heated fight and crash through the building’s glass structure. Maeve gets the upper hand in the pool, but Hale’s droid steps in to provide a distraction. Maeve deals with the droid, regains the upper hand, but falls to a bullet to the pearl from the Host in Black. Before meeting her end, she informed Host Charlotte that there was no saving this world, but there is hope for the next one. This implies that she has served her purpose and explicitly voiced out the end goal.
The Host in Black put a bullet through Hale’s pearl and proceeded to carry out his game of ‘survival of the fittest’. He ran into Bernard at the top of The Tower and put two bullets into him. Finally, he criticized Arnold and sent the third bullet into Bernard’s pearl. We visit The Sublime once more where the city is ablaze. It mirrors the scene in the city as Host William sends out a command to the hosts and humans to fight until death.
In the ensuing melee, C takes a bullet, Caleb fights off a host and Stubbs holds off a horde of hosts in classic Stubbs fashion. A distraught Christina tries to use her powers to stop the fighting, but she has lost the ability to narrate/dictate the hosts’ actions. The hosts continue tearing each other apart as though she isn’t even around.
Finally, Teddy drops the big reveal that the world is real, but she isn’t. As Christina processes this information, we see Host William finally officially become the Host in Black. With human William’s black hat atop his head, he strides out of The Tower, shoots a droid host, and sees the tower explode as ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ plays out to end Metanoia.
Westworld (Season 4), Episode 7 “Metanoia” Ending Explained:
Where/What is Dolores-Christina?
Dolores/Christina was very much in the world as her boss could chat with her, her roommate was aware of her existence, and Peter even had an altercation with her in the first episode. So how is she suddenly not in this world? Is she a projection from The Sublime?
That seems highly unlikely, but there is a theory that can make it true. One explanation could be that Christina relied on Hale’s presence to be able to control anyone. Yes, Dolores is in The Sublime and Christina is the vessel built for her to use the Hale/Wyatt pearl in Charlotte to project her wishes onto anyone. Without it (after Hale’s pearl is destroyed), she is just a powerless vessel.
Is she a supreme host that cannot be seen? That also seems doubtful as Host William terminated the three elite hosts who could jeopardize his ‘survival of the fittest plans’. She also isn’t a normal host as she hasn’t yet started hitting anyone in the ‘survival of the fittest’, nor has anyone tried to attack her…yet.
Did William somehow switch places with Host William?
It doesn’t seem likely right, as the William within the host-making machine had lines implying that he was trapped there for a while. However, the fact that he popped on the black hat at the end of the episode planted this seed in my head. The Host hadn’t done this throughout the season. What motivated him to do so now? Unless it isn’t the host, but the real one.
William is somewhat of a cockroach, as is seen by the way he survived in the park in Season 1 and got through the Journey Into Night massacre. His wanting the hosts and humans to do that is a sign that it is the real William who is back. One may say that the episode’s title works to disprove this theory, as Metanoia could imply that the Host decided to change his allegiance and take charge of things rather than playing second fiddle. By doing so, it ended the real William and the top hosts. However, the Metanoia could be that the host had a change of heart and decided to free the real William.
This switch could have been done even before this episode, as William began looking suspicious right from his first appearance in Metanoia.
The Host William never ended the real one, despite being in power for years. Once William in the host machine took a knife through his heart, it could have been revenge from the real one. It even fits the audience’s knowledge about his character.
Another aspect that backs this theory is that the real William quickly got rid of three extremely powerful hosts, something he wanted to do for a while before this season. One to maintain his cover, the second to show his hand, and the third to proceed with his version of events. Bernard may not have been too cool with William’s survival of the fittest plan.
Is the William in the Host Machine ended?
When Frankie and Stubbs broke into Olympiad Entertainment, they came across the stabbed William. He took a knife to the heart and had a trickle of blood oozing out of his mouth. It wasn’t a big stream, as would be the case if it were a human. Based on the above theory of the real William swapping places with the host William, we must assume that Stubbs and C found a host. As Hosts aren’t completely out until they take a bullet to the pearl, Host William is still alive.
If that is indeed the real William, it would be a very feeble way to end a major character’s story. His battle in the season three finale was much stronger. So, if it is Host William, it can still make an appearance in next week’s Que Sera, Sera.
How will the five unaffected individuals in The City stop the fighting?
Teddy, Christina/Dolores, Frankie, Stubbs, and Caleb 279 are the only ones unaffected. However, they aren’t immune to anyone attacking them. Perhaps Dolores and Teddy are, as they remained unharmed. It is likely that as they are immune, the trio will be able to see them as The Tower’s final control message isn’t affecting their perception of reality. As The Tower is destroyed, there doesn’t seem to be any way of stopping the mayhem remotely.
A way to end the fighting would be to confront and overpower William. A possible idea, but he isn’t one to break. Also, based on Bernard’s vision from The Sublime, of there being hope for a new world, the fighting will end. There cannot be hope for a new world if there isn’t anyone left. Survival of the fittest doesn’t bode well, as the command given to the hosts and infected humans means they will fight until there is no one left to fight.
This means Dolores/Christina, who isn’t in this reality, will have a massive role to play in ‘whatever will be’. Caleb, as an Outlier, could do something, but that would only result in hosts that came in contact with an outlier to kill themselves. Stubbs won’t make it, per Bernard’s prediction. C is dealing with a bullet wound which could set up for a big sacrifice. This leaves it all up to Teddy to set Dolores/Christina on a path to save humanity. After all, his arrival showed her the power she had on elements of the reality she was supposedly in.
That’s what we have. Until next Sunday (or Monday) ponder over this, engage in analysis, have your say, and wait for a blockbuster finale.