Much of Westworld’s first season revolved around Maeve (Thandie Newton), who appeared to be rebelling against her programming until she discovered late in the season that her rebellion was programmed too. But at the end of the season, showrunner Jonathan Nolan explained Maeve made a genuine choice of her own: Instead of leaving on the train, she returned in order to find the young host programmed as her daughter.
“The way that we designed it and the way we shot it—really [it’s] the first decision she’s ever made,” Nolan said. “For me, it’s a very emotional moment in the episode because you’re seeing the first free will.”
Whether Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) experienced free will when she assassinated Ford (Anthony Hopkins), is another story. Fellow showrunner Lisa Joy Nolan is remaining mum about the prospect, which is fueling some of the post-season chatter online.
“Isn’t it more fun to just guess?” she asked.
Nolan and Lisa Joy overall more accepting of fans diving down the rabbit hole to dissect and solve the show’s big mysteries. They pointed out that the internet speculation helped make Westworld more popular—and it was addictive even for the people working on Westworld. They’re already working on season 2 and noted—potentially a joke, per Entertainment Weekly—that Reddit already guessed an upcoming twist so they were trying to change it.
Westworld will return some time in 2018.