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Every season of Westworld offers a major conclusion of some sort that could be taken as a series finale, because every season of Westworld is a kind of story loop. The acclaimed HBO sci-fi series created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan began its story by presenting a series of repeated patterns trough which its characters learned new tactics for survival, and has since shown us variations on that theme that have taken the characters through many different world and incarnations.
Now, the question is whether or not there's one more loop.
**Spoilers for Westworld Season 4 ahead**
The show's ambitious fourth season wrapped up with a rather brutal finale Sunday night, and as of this writing we still don't know if HBO is game for a fifth season of Westworld that would follow the path laid out by the episode's final moments. According to Joy, though, the show's creators already have one more round of episodes up their sleeves.
"We never broke [the show] with an exact number of seasons left, but then when we were writing this season, we were like, 'We can get it up to the precipice before we round it out with what we had always planned would happen in the fifth season,'" Joy told Entertainment Weekly. "So we have, like Dolores, one more story to tell — and whether we get to tell it, we'll see."
The show basically spent the last couple of episodes of Season 4 burning everything down, seemingly killing off nearly every major character as humans and hosts everywhere died. Meanwhile, Christina (Evan Rachel Wood), was revealed to be a non-corporeal creation that's kind of an echo of Dolores Abernathy, living in a simulation and writing not just games, but the actual real-world loops for Charlotte Hale's (Tessa Thompson) new host creations.
All the while, Christina/Dolores was going through a loop of her own, gaining sentience and understanding through creations of her own in the program that served as her home. In the end, Dolores/Christina enters the Sublime -- the show's version of heaven for the consciousness of the hosts -- and begins building a new world there, reasoning that she must create a place for consciousness to endure since the Earth is no longer hospitable to humans or to hosts. She begins by putting her old blue dress back on, and rebuilding a version of Westworld in the sublime, setting the stage for an entirely new existence that takes place within the framework of the Sublime. For Joy, it's a way of progressing Westworld's overall narrative into one last frontier, but also a way of flipping the script on who Dolores was when the series began.
"We always had this idea that, in the last season, we would let the person who was at the whim of other people's stories and predilections and desires to be able to write a story of her own and really flip the test back," she said. "In terms of a launching pad for that [in season 5], the old regimes and the old world and a lot of the old players have been dismantled and destroyed [in season 4]. So, in this final test, what is Dolores gonna do? How will the world look different? How will she, as the final tester, create a different universe in a different game and a different way?"
For all we know right now, Season 4 might be the end of Westworld, and we'll be left as viewers to imagine what Dolores did with her newfound power in the Sublime. For Joy and Nolan, though, there's power in bringing the narrative back to a version of where it all began.
"It ends back home again in an atmosphere that is familiar to us from season 1, and yet is completely different because the lay of the land is dictated by a completely different being," Joy said. "There's something that will be familiar and yet quite evolved about the landscape that we come to find, and the people and hosts that we find within that landscape."
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