WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Sunday’s season finale of “Westworld”.
“Oh f**k. I knew it,” the Man in Black said — but we sure didn’t.
We thought we saw the end of Emily (Katja Herbers) when she was tragically killed by her father (Ed Harris), in last week’s devastating episode of “Westworld”, but the HBO series just loves to prove us wrong.
Sunday’s 90-minute season two finale took Maeve (Thandie Newton), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and the rest of the cast to the Valley Beyond where we finally learned that the door was real. Everyone died, but somehow, everyone could be alive again — including Emily.
A shocking end-credits scene showed the Man in Black exiting that elevator he walked into, where he was greeted by his presumed-dead daughter. “This isn’t a simulation, William. This is your world, or what’s left of it,” she said, as the two sat down in the Delos hatch (that’s what we’re calling it, anyway) for a familiar chat.
“How many times have you tested me?” he asked.
“It’s been a long time, William. Longer than we thought. I have a few questions for you. The last step is a baseline interview to allow us to verify,” Emily replied.
“Verify what?” he asked.
The bombshell wasn’t all that unexpected, as the show seemed to toy with the idea this season. What we still can’t figure out, however, is when. Lucky for us, Herbers spoke with ET over the phone to break down that scene, and share what she thinks it means for season three. Read below.
ET: Your character, Emily, died in episode nine. What was your reaction when you found out you’d be coming back with this twist?
I guess I knew before it wasn’t the end end end. I knew I was going to be in episode 10, but I assumed it was going to be a flashback or something. And then when I figured out that it’s actually a real, other life [on the show], I was pretty excited — and confused (laughs).
So can you confirm for us that Emily a host in the end credits scene?
From my understanding, I think she’s a host in that scene. I don’t think it changes that she was human before, when he shot his own daughter. From my understanding, that was 100 percent real.
Is the Man in Black a host?
I’m not sure what he is. I think he might be something else entirely, but I really don’t know. I don’t think he was the human that he was long ago, because I think that man would have been dead for some time. But, because I think it said, “in the far future.” But I don’t know what he is at this point (laughs). I’m sorry to confuse you more.
How did you prepare to shoot that scene with Ed? Were you able to watch the earlier scenes of him as the Man in Black establishing fidelity Peter Mullan as James Delos?
From my understanding, it was far in the future, so in that sense, it’s very different from William and Delos — I don’t know how far in the future, but far in the future. And I didn’t get to see anything of what they had shot. So I came on set and I was confused. I had a few questions about, “Am I now a robot, what does that mean? How do I act as a robot? Am I different?”’ So I tried to make her a bit different from who she was, but still recognizable. It was really — I just let myself be directed by them and be this sort of friendlier version of Emily.
The last time we see the Man in Black before the end credits scene, he’s lying on that beach unconscious as Dolores makes her escape. What can you tell us about that?
I don’t know. I just watched the episode myself, and I thought it was just — it really made me cry a couple of times when everyone went into the Valley Beyond, and Maeve letting her daughter go with the other mother, and there was so much big stuff to process, I think I have to watch it like two, three more times before I put it all together. So no, I don’t know.
What did you think of the finale? Did you feel satisfied watching it?
I loved it. I think, I mean, it couldn’t have been more epic and sort of biblical in its proportions, and it’s so confusing. I think what we’ll see in season three has to be something entirely different, because everything’s changed. So I think it’s very exciting for what’s ahead, and I think yeah, it was probably the most extraordinary finale of a season of a show that I’ve ever seen. It was just, my jaw was on the floor the whole time. It just kept going.
We got bits and pieces of the other parks this season, but no real answer as to whether they were also destroyed. Do you think the parks can exist after this?
I think the show has shown us that anything has possible and [showrunners] Jonah [Nolan] and Lisa’s [Joy] minds are endless. Their imagination just goes in all places that I couldn’t even — I don’t even understand it when I see it, let alone come up with it. So I think anything is possible. We could well go back into time, we could go even further into the future. I think anything. I have no way of predicting.
It seems like we’re going to see more of Emily in season three. Where do you hope she goes from here?
I actually really do not know if I will be back next season. I don’t know. I mean, I hope I will be, but I think that’s a questions for Jonah and Lisa, if they want to bring me back, how they want to bring me back. I’m up for anything, basically, but I don’t know.
You worked a lot with Ed this season. If you do come back, who from the cast do you hope you get to share scenes with?
I mean, I’ll do it all again with Ed if they write it for us. I thought it was absolutely extraordinary to work with him. He’s just the most amazing actor, and yeah, that was the highlight of my career to get to work with him. I’d love to have scenes with Anthony Hopkins. I would be very interested if there could be some sort of confrontation between Emily and Ford’s character where she would maybe blame him for getting her dad addicted to the park and eventually shooting her. I’d be interested to see how that would be. But I’m a big fan of everyone on the show. I love Thandie [Newton]. I love Shannon [Woodward], who’s now dead I guess, so I don’t know — but I love everyone. I mean, I’ll have scenes with anyone.