Westworld Season 4 Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: John Johnson/HBO

The fifth episode of HBO’s science-fiction series ‘Westworld’ season 4, titled ‘Zhuangzi,’ centers around Charlotte Hale as she continues to be the supreme power in Christina’s city. She sends hosts to kill the “outliers,” human beings who do not comply with her commands. The hosts’ confrontations with the outliers pave the way for unforeseen consequences, forcing Hale to find a solution to her problem. Christina continues to see the mysterious man she has dated for Maya’s sake and he leads her to the secrets of the world she lives in. Inspired by the highly ambiguous ending of the episode, we have taken a detailed look at the same. Let us share our thoughts! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Westworld Season 4 Episode 5 Recap

‘Zhuangzi’ begins with Clementine Pennyfeather leading William AKA the Man in Black to a host named Hope, who had killed several individuals after interacting with an outlier target. William meets Hale, who becomes clueless about hosts killing themselves after interacting with outliers. She is unhappy about her creations failing to meet the standards of the hosts of the earlier generation. William turns Hale’s attention to her decaying skin. She asks him to kill an outlier since she doesn’t want incompetent hosts wasting their lives away trying to kill the individual. Jay and her group, including Ashley Stubbs, arrive at the city to save the same outlier.

Image Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Christina goes to her office and starts working on a new narrative about a ranger woman who lives with her father out in the country. Teddy, with whom Christina went for a date due to Maya’s insistence, makes her realize that she can control the actions of people around her. William meets the outlier Hale wants him to kill and ends up having a conversation with her. Although he tries to kill her, Jay arrives at the scene before William fires his gun and shoots the Man in Black down. The outlier and Jay escape from the scene and return to their hideout in the desert with the group.

Christina meets her “friend” Charlotte Hale but ends the meeting abruptly and returns to her office. She searches whether Hale is a character but fails to find any details. The writer then searches Dolores Abernathy, only to find zero available results. Her boss confronts her and asks whether she has breached the “walled garden.” Christina, hearing the same for the first time, whether it is a closed system. Her boss asks her to find out herself. She searches for her characters in a virtual system and finds out that the city is filled with characters living as humans.

Westworld Season 4 Episode 5 Ending: How Did Christina Build the City? Is She Dolores?

After realizing that the entire city she is living in is not real, Christina panics. She asks Teddy who built the world around her, only for him to reply that she did. Teddy’s answer indicates that Christina is most likely none other than a distinct version of Dolores like Charlotte Hale is. Since the world around her, including the people and their actions, is controlled by Hale, another version of Dolores, Teddy must be indicating that both Hale and Christina are the same person living two lives or versions. The Hale version of Dolores most likely built the city based on the characters and narratives created by the possible Christina version of Dolores.

Image Credit: John Johnson/HBO

Although Dolores’ Hale version cuts her ties with Dolores’ original version before the latter’s death, Hale cannot reject who she really is. She may have created Christina in the original Dolores’ appearance so that they can conquer the world together. Creating and controlling the city and its population can be the first step in Hale’s master plan to conquer humanity and having another version of Dolores, with the same appearance, as a part of her plan can be Hale’s way of overcoming the betrayal of the original Dolores. Christina’s ability to control the actions of other individuals further shows how she is not just another human being.

Christina’s knowledge of Dolores and her origin story cannot be coincidental. Considering that hosts in the Westworld eventually end up gaining the ability to remember their past lives indicates that Christina is possibly a host as well. If she is a host, the appearance she shares with Dolores makes it clear that she is another version of Dolores. If that’s the case, the city she lives in was built by her and Hale, two versions of the same person, which explains Teddy’s answer to Christina as well.

Is the Host William Questioning the Nature of His Reality? Will He Kill Himself?

The host William becomes Hale’s general and trusted soldier because he gets convinced that the world is supposed to have an order. In William’s case, the order is created and maintained by Hale. But the outliers destroy the order by discarding Hale’s control and commands. Several hosts kill themselves upon realizing that existence without Hale’s control is possible as they do not want to become her mere puppets. William, after interacting with the outlier he was supposed to kill, realizes that the order of his world is nothing more than Hale’s order. He meets the human version of himself to understand the true purpose of his existence.

Image Credit: John Johnson/HBO

William’s human version asks the host version to question the nature of the latter’s reality possibly realizing that the host has started raising questions concerning the same. The host William wants to know his purpose in the world and the potential realization that he is Hale’s puppet may have unpredictable consequences. He may kill himself as Teddy Flood does. However, the most possible consequence is him turning against his creator to destroy her.

The host William’s meeting with the human version indicates that the former is searching for the foundation of his existence in the latter. If the host starts to share the ambitions of his human counterpart, we can expect him to wage a war against Hale rather than him killing himself.

Read More: Is Caleb a Human or Host in Westworld Season 4? Theories