The third season finale of HBO’s science-fiction series ‘Westworld’ offers several startling developments. From Maeve Millay and Caleb Nichols teaming up to destroy Rehoboam to Dolores Abernathy’s death, the episode is filled with astounding moments that influence the narrative of the show moving forward. One such development is William AKA the Man in Black’s presumed death. William, who sets out to kill every remaining host, encounters the host version of himself, only to get his throat slit. Still, the second episode of the fourth season depicts the human William alive. So how does he stay away from death? Let’s find out! SPOILERS AHEAD.
How is William Still Alive?
In the third season, William decides to recover the world from the influence and presence of the Hosts. He wants humans to protect their supremacy and to do the same, he sets out to kill every remaining host in the world. However, Hale recognizes William’s threat by the time he manages to create any impact. As someone who wants the Hosts to become the superior species in the world over human beings, she realizes that William shouldn’t be on her way moving forward. She creates his host version to take advantage of his resources and influence and orders the same to slit his throat.
However, William doesn’t die or rather, Hale doesn’t want William to die. William is alive because Hale wants him to witness what she can do to him, his fellow humans, and the world humanity had created. Hale wages a war against humanity to retaliate against human’s unfair treatment of the Hosts. The humans have enslaved, manipulated, and barbarically killed the Hosts for their amusement. The Hosts were even denied their consciousness to understand that they are mere puppets of human beings. William, as one of Westworld’s significant “players” and leader, has arguably harmed the Hosts more than anyone else.
Hale wants William to suffer the consequences of his actions while being in her prison. As far as she is concerned, a quick death only rescues William from her punishments and vengeance. Thus, she may have saved him from bleeding to death so that she can make him suffer even more. Hale wants William to bear witness to her potential victory over humanity. She wants his heart to acknowledge his failure and her success. In a personal way, William represents humanity for her since he wanted to annihilate her species altogether. Now, Hale wants to do the same to his species right in front of him, which makes her keep him alive.
In addition, William’s confinement represents how Hosts have changed the world’s power dynamics. When he was entertaining a powerful position in Delos, Hosts were mere “prisoners” of the humans. They were not able to leave the parks or even control their own fates. Hale wants William to experience the same before she lets him die. She wants to see the potent individual struggling to adapt to his chains and confinement. Since even William’s sleep is controlled by Hale, she is cherishing how he is not able to control not just his fate but also his slightest actions.
William is alive so that Hale can inflict more pain on him. She wants William to suffer everything the Hosts have suffered due to him and his fellow humans. More than everything, William has lost his identity as his host version replaces him in the real world. For denying the Hosts their consciousness and identity, Hale cannot punish William any better, not even by killing him.