‘Westworld’ Was Just Canceled After Season 4

‘Westworld’ Was Just Canceled After Season 4

Spoilers ahead.

What happens after the end of the world? If we’re talking about Charlotte Hale’s failed utopia on Westworld, what follows is a chance to start anew.

Season 4 ended with the destruction we (especially Bernard) saw coming, with humans and hosts killing each other in the streets, descending into madness and possibly even extinction; but there’s also a spark of hope that Dolores can make a new world, one that can actually lead to freedom. We know she’s capable of it, too: as the season progressed, she (as the character Christina) began to understand her ability to control the narrative and characters around her.

At the end of the season 4 finale, Charlotte, per Bernard’s advice, chooses to put her trust in Dolores. She uploads Dolores’ pearl (her consciousness) into the Sublime and, from there, Dolores can create one final test. “One last loop around the bend. Maybe this time we’ll set ourselves free,” she says. We had hoped that plot point would be the focus of season 5, but it seems like we won’t be getting it.

Has Westworld been renewed for fifth season?

Shockingly, no. HBO has canceled Westworld after four seasons, Variety reported on Nov. 4. According to the outlet, there were several reasons for the cancelation, “including the production’s hefty price tag, combined with dwindling viewership and an ongoing evaluation of programming across the board at HBO’s new parent, Warner Bros. Discovery.”

HBO addressed the news in a statement, saying: “Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.”

Show creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy also responded to the cancelation in a statement through their production company, Kilter Films. “Making ‘Westworld’ has been one of the highlights of our careers,” they said. “We are deeply grateful to our extraordinary cast and crew for creating these indelible characters and brilliant worlds. We’ve been privileged to tell these stories about the future of consciousness – both human and beyond – in the brief window of time before our AI overlords forbid us from doing so.”

In addition to the season 4 finale, there were previous hints that Westworld would continue for at least one more season. In Ed Harris’ July interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said, “We have one more season, which will start filming next April and May. I have no idea where that’s going to end up.” He hinted that production for season 5 would begin in spring 2023, while also letting slip that the fifth season would be the show’s last.

Earlier reports said the series could even go up to six seasons, but the season 4 ending does seem like the story is being set up for a grand finale. Dolores’ intentions to create “one last game” and a “final test,” along with hints that next season will take place once again in the Westworld park, where it all started, seem to signal that we’re reaching the end of the maze.

What would season 5 have been about?

We’ll have to go off of our own theories now, but the season 4 finale has given us a lot to chew on. The closing scenes suggest we’re going back to the Westworld park, but it’s not physically the same place we saw in previous seasons. This is a version Dolores, now in the sublime, has rendered from her memories of the real park. She’s set it up as a final test—“a dangerous game with the highest of stakes: survival or extinction,” as she puts it.

Along with hosting this experiment, Dolores will be likely on the search for Teddy—the real Teddy in the sublime, not the version of him she subconsciously created within Charlotte’s world. During their loving goodbye, he tells her to come find him; and we’re sure that’s exactly what she’ll do. They’re each other’s cornerstones after all. Surely they can’t stay apart for long.

Christina/Dolores and Teddy in Westworld season 4.


Which cast members were expected to return?

Considering nearly every character is a host by the last episode, which means they can be easily brought back to life if they met their end in season 4, we’d hoped to see even the fallen soldiers back up and running in season 5. That would’ve included Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandiwe Newton, Luke Hemsworth, and Aaron Paul. We were also hoping for another appearance from James Marsden, who made his grand return this season, and Angela Sarafyan and Zahn McClarnon, who popped in for a few cameos.

Ed Harris’ William apparently died in the season 4 finale after Charlotte destroys his pearl. Same goes for Tessa Thompson, as Charlotte destroyed her own pearl at the end of the episode. We would’ve missed them if they didn’t return for a fifth season, but now it seems we’ll be missing the whole cast—and the show overall.

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