The start of the second season of "Westworld" initially left some fans more confused than impressed as the series seemed to throw out a typical storytelling formula.
The HBO's hit show's writers wove multiple storylines through various points in time within single episodes. Viewers were often unsure what time period or version of a character they were seeing, which could be frustrating but also thrilling.
It wasn’t until episode 8, "Kiksuya," when the show focused on a single story about Aketcheta, a Lakota host on a decades-long quest for love, that the plot's timeline got some needed form.
Now with one episode left, Reddit forums and Twitter feeds are filling up with predictions about the season finale. Here are five of those burning questions ahead of what could be the most thrilling "Westworld" episode yet:
1. Is the Man in Black or his daughter a host? Is she still alive?
After last week’s episode, many are questioning if either of these characters are human. The Man in Black has spent this season fanatically trying to solve the game Ford left him. Convinced his daughter is a host programmed by Ford to stop him, the Man in Black shoots her dead. Was she? Is she really even dead? It seems so, but anything is possible in "Westworld." As for the Man in Black himself, he didn’t die after being shot five times. And he spent a lot of time looking at his wrist in both flashbacks and the present day of the last episode, suggesting he has harbored doubts about his own "humanness" for years. Maybe he accomplished for himself the immortality he was testing with his father-in-law.
2. What will happen to Maeve?
She has been a favorite for many fans and for Ford too apparently. Laid out and plugged in on an operating table in the Delos facility -- seemingly close to death -- Ford, in whatever form he is now in, visits her. He reveals his plan was for her to be free in the world long before the uprising ever began, but her ongoing search for her daughter kept her in the park. With a kiss, Ford wishes her luck on her survival and, seconds later, the screen that Maeve is hooked into lights up and goes to work. On what? We don’t know. She will likely not die this way but what are options for escape? We haven't seen her crew since Shogun World. Could we perhaps see them again or is something bolder in store -- like a buffalo, maybe?
3. Who will get to the valley beyond?
They are all heading for it, but on various missions. Ford told Bernard he needed to get there to “open the door.” Dolores plans to use the valley beyond against its creators. The Man in Black now wants to destroy it. Ghost Nation is hoping it leads to the right world. One thing they all agree on is that it's not made for the other. It could be an interesting standoff to have all these stories tie together -- but how will this play out?
4. Will we see more of Awekecha?
After being in the background for all of the 1st season and much of the second, he became a key player in episode 8 of season 2. Akecheta, fans learned, is responsible for many of the hidden maze emblems around Westworld. He also could be responsible for influencing Ford to continue Arnold’s goal of creating consciousness in the hosts. As we know from season 1, Ford wasn't originally keen on Arnold's idea of consciousness. It is not until after Arnold's death, when Akecheta first sees the maze and begins obsessively sharing it, that Ford reconsiders Arnold's proposal and begins moving forward with its completion. But how will Akecheta factor in to the finale episode?
5. How will Teddy's death impact Dolores?
Before Teddy's death, he admits to Dolores he must die because he cannot be the man she's made him become, but he also cannot go on without her. He was connected to her since his creation and always will be. The connection is the same for Dolores, who is now seemingly responsible for his death. Will this change her or will she double down as the "death-bringer"?
All together, "Westworld" has delightfully left fans unsure of what they want. Viewers are emotionally invested in the hosts now -- their personalities, victories, failures. It’s the humans who can appear monstrous, making it hard for some fans to choose what outcome to hope for.
The one thing we do know, the finale is sure to be full of splendor.
The finale of "Westworld" airs on HBO on June 24 at 10 p.m./11p.m. EST.