Westworld Executive Producer Lisa Joy Responds to Fan Frustration Over Show’s Ambiguous Meaning

Westworld Executive Producer Lisa Joy Responds to Fan Frustration Over Show’s Ambiguous Meaning

If there’s anything Westworld fans expect, it’s the unexpected.

So fans weren’t entirely surprised when the August 14th finale of the hit HBO series ended on a cliffhanger. In the packed episode Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) saw the flaw in their behavior and tried to put things right by telling William (EdHarris) from entering the sublime. But before Charlotte crushed William’s pearl — and her own — she put one last game in motion: she gave Dolores/Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) the option to start a new world.

Dolores then returns to Westworld in her blue dress and says to the camera, “One last loop around the bend.” At that moment, fans were basically yelling at their TVs, “What does that mean!?!”

Well, executive producer Lisa Joy gives nothing away. But she understands the frustration at the show’s hidden meanings and existential themes. “I want answers too,” she told E! News of August 15, “as only existentially spoken.”

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“I have my own beliefs about what makes life meaningful,” she continued. “But I also think that questions are part of life, right? I reconnected a lot with Dolores and Maeve’s fight in season one.”

Tessa Thompson, Westworld

John Johnson/HBO

Lisa noticed this when she and co-creator Jonathan nolan started working on Westworld, she had just finished writing for a show that had mostly male writers. This experience left her feeling demoralized, much like Maeve and Dolores, who were seen only as damsels in distress by other characters in the first few episodes. “Did I have the answer to how I don’t feel pain, don’t feel excluded, feel completely in control, and have real confidence in whatever I’m in?” said Lisa. “Absolutely not.”

While that doesn’t sound reassuring in the slightest, Lisa said when she asked herself these big questions, she realized she wasn’t alone. “There’s a camaraderie in asking the same questions and sharing the same dilemma,” she explained. “That in itself is a human condition that we all have, these certain recurring recursive struggles.”

The story goes on

Again, it sounds pessimistic, the idea that we’re stuck and repeating mistakes from the past, but Lisa, always an optimist, explained that there’s always a silver lining.

Westworld, Evan Rachel Wood

John Johnson/HBO

She pointed out that Charlotte Hale and William were stuck in their own loops until Charlotte was ready to destroy the world she had created. In doing so, she gave Dolores the opportunity to create a better place.

For Lisa, that’s nice because it means change is possible. “I think destruction is the way of all things,” she said. “Fighting against it, to create meaning and trying to build something beyond yourself, which is essentially what these hosts are doing — they’re trying to build regimes and build life forms that can exist beyond themselves – I think there is a lot of nobility.”

Whether Dolores will be able to do what Charlotte was unable to do remains a question, and it will remain so until HBO renews Westworld for another season.

But if this is the end of the dystopian series, Lisa said she’s grateful for all the cast has achieved. “The actors have become such precious, intimate friends and collaborators, so it really feels like we’re all asking the same questions and working together to try to tell a story that we hope will help.” resonates with someone,” she said. “I just feel very, very fortunate to have had this collective experience. Honestly, it was really meaningful to me.”

All four seasons of Westworld are now streaming on HBO Max.

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