"I understand now," Dolores whispers into Teddy's ear in the final moments of Westworld Season 1. At the time, viewers felt the same enlightenment — at least a few of the show's overarching mysteries were all cleared up. Almost a year and a half later, those memories likely faded, and while the Westworld Season 2 premiere, "Journey into Night," jumps right back into the action, picking up with Dolores, Teddy, Bernard, Maeve, and the rest of the hosts shortly (maybe...?) after the incident, it does zero handholding for anyone who didn't do their prep work. Which makes remembering the Season 1 finale all the more important.
Every mystery doled out by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan's expansive science-fiction drama came paired with a raised eyebrow. Maybe the show took place in multiple timelines. Maybe the diabolical Man in Black was really William all grown up. Maybe certain employees were hosts and certain employees were subservient to hosts and certain employees were sacks of human flesh ready to be blown away by hosts, but at the end, would it mean anything? Every episode left spectators with burning questions, but the biggest of them all was whether Anthony Hopkins' words of warning, or Dolores' pre-programmed introspection, would amount to anything more than philosobabble.
Joy and Nolan responded to skepticism by putting a bullet through Dr. Ford's genius brain. Or to use Dolores's words: "This world doesn't belong to them. It belongs to us."
Westworld had clear intentions from the beginning: These violent delights have violent ends. On a micro level, the Romeo and Juliet quote provided a splash of foreshadowing for inevitable bursts of violence (this was an HBO show, after all). Zooming outward, the Shakespearean line speaks to a greater destiny -- of host and human alike. The pursuit to create, to love, to trust, and to nurture others will ultimately end with catastrophe.