"Vanishing Point," Sunday's episode of Westworld, is the last to arrive before next Sunday's Season 2 finale, which means it was always bound to be full of big moments to set up the endgame of the show's second year. Still, even if we expected surprises, we perhaps didn't expect this many. It was a violently delightful episode even by Westworld standards, and two of the actors who didn't make it out alive are reflecting on how their characters exited and whether they have a chance to return.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for the Westworld episode "Vanishing Point" below**
Well, we finally found out what really happened to Juliet (Sela Ward), William's (Ed Harris) wife who had to suffer her husband's obsession with the park for years. We've known since early in Season 1 that Juliet was dead, but William (then just known as The Man In Black) didn't ever tell us the whole truth, and "Vanishing Point" finally revealed it Sunday. Juliet did indeed die in the bathtub, but it wasn't an accidental overdose. It was suicide after she found the data card Ford slipped William, which detailed her husband's violent, sociopathic trail through the park dating back decades.
Already resigned to the idea that she'd lost her husband to his obsession, Juliet's discovery of what he'd really been up to all that time, coupled with a belief that her daughter Emily (Katja Herbers) only saw her as a drunken mess, drove her to take her own life. It's one of the most tragic moments we've seen on the show, and it set the stage for William's descent into an even deeper obsession with the park, which is where we've found him ever since the series premiere. It's a pivotal moment in the show that we've seen coming since nearly the beginning, and SYFY WIRE was lucky enough to chat with Ward about how it all went down and what she thinks it means.
As if that weren't enough death surrounding William for one episode, though, we also saw his daughter Emily fall victim to his obsessive madness. Emily's been in the park for a while now, hunting for her father in an attempt to ultimately pull him out of the park and have him involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. William, for his part, has become convinced that Emily is not real, but a host puppeted by Ford. In "Vanishing Point," Emily tries to prove that she is indeed his daughter by showing him the data card he thought he'd hidden away, but not knowing that his wife ever saw the card or did anything with it, he believes this to be Ford giving himself away.
So he shoots his own daughter because he thinks she's not real, then contemplates taking his own life before slicing into his arm to look for a data port, believing that even he could be a host controlled by Ford. It's just as tragic as Juliet's death, but even more shocking because we didn't see it coming quite as clearly. But is Emily really dead, and could she perhaps come back in another body? Remember, as far as we were concerned Anthony Hopkins was well and truly dead on the show, and he's made it back both in flashbacks and as a presence in Bernard's head.
Speaking to Insider about Emily's arc in the series, Herbers discussed the possibility, and while she's not giving anything away, she sounds game to come back in any form.
"It would be great, and I would love that, but I don't know. I guess I've been to the park since I was a little girl, so I'm sure there is a copy of me somewhere that they could put into a body," she said. "They could also put [Emily] into a different body, if they don't like me as an actor [laughing]. Anything's possible on this show."
There's also the question, one the episode doesn't fully answer, of whether Emily, or William, or both of them were in fact hosts during the events of the episode. Emily tries to prove to William that she isn't before her death, but Ford is so lost to his obsession at this point that he's not even sure if he's real anymore. It's certainly happened before to characters like Bernard and Maeve, so could it happen again? While Herbers allows for the possibility that there's still something she doesn't know, in her mind that was a human interaction that led to a human tragedy.
"In Episode 9 [William] even feels around for a portal in his arm all the time, so I think he's really losing his mind," Herbers said. "I don't think he is a host. The moment of him as a human, shooting his human daughter is more powerful for both people.
"So for my understanding [Emily and William] are both real humans. Until somebody else tells me that's not true, you know? I don't know. They don't tell me."
Westworld airs its season finale Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO. We won't get all the answers then, but we can at least hope for a few more.