Westworld is fascinated by the concept of free will, although the longer the show goes on, the more it seems that such a thing doesn’t exist. In season 4, we meet the C gang of outsiders living off the grid trying to save the likes of them and getting more and more paranoid every day. For most of the season, the fate of the world seems to depend on them and their alliance with Bernard, Stubbs, and Maeve. However, in the ending – despite Franky and his friends escaping on this boat – we are told that they will all die within months or years. What’s the point?
The series was insanely vague about what life is like outside of late 21st century New York and the area surrounding the Hoover Dam. Is the entire planet uninhabited, except for quaint Manhattan, or is, say, Pittsburgh all right? Occasional local visitors seem to get things done. Are there only a dozen outsiders or hundreds of thousands scattered around the globe? Westworld assures us that humans will die out almost immediately, but with the living, breathing characters we’ve been forced to care for still exist and still free from the influence of the tower, we don’t know how or why.
The very idea that there are people who retain their free will is still in the game goes against the whole Bernard thing. The result cannot be inevitable if even one person can do something unexpected. Either free will exists, or exception people are simply in Bernard’s loop, not Charlotte’s.