When Westworld debuted on HBO, it seemed like the show was aiming directly for the Game of Thrones crowd. A fantasy series filled with sex and violence, it too killed characters off without warning, sometimes multiple times per episode. Though mainly, it killed the same characters off numerous times per episode, since they were hosts and couldn't die. This inability for death to stick means, three seasons in, viewers are still doubtful when certainly characters croak. For instance, fans are wondering, is Stubbs dead on Westworld? Under normal circumstances, he probably would be, but in Westworld, probably not. Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 3 follow.
This would be the second time reports of Stubbs' death could be considered premature. The first time was Season 3, Episode 2, when Bernard found Stubbs hidden in an out of the way corner of the Westworld park, with a self-inflicted bullet wound in his neck. But Stubbs missed the spot that would have blown his host core to pieces, and Bernard's arrival caused his sensors to wake back up. So much for the death of Stubbs.
By the end of the episode, Bernard has reprogrammed Stubbs' core drive to stop trying to attempt to "retire himself." Now Stubbs' mission is to stay alive and protect Bernard.
Not that he's done a great job so far. Instead, in Episode 4, Stubbs got himself thrown over a balcony edge and fell several stories onto a conveniently placed dais. Or at least that's what it looked like from the angle where he went over. His actual landing wasn't shown on screen.
When someone doesn't die on screen, it's usually a sign they aren't dead. And then there's another clue: the Episode 5 promo, at the 50-second mark.
It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, so here's the freeze-frame:
That is indeed Stubbs, alive and well, and getting into fisticuffs with the Connells version of Dolores.
Despite Bernard's reprogramming of Stubbs not being the most moral of moves, it does have a positive effect on the host's survival instincts. His original drive was to "take himself out of service" in the polite parlance. The new directive means Stubbs wants to live because he needs to keep Bernard safe. That includes getting back up after being thrown several stories to what should have been his death.
For fans of Stubbs and Dolores' first altercation, it looks like that was just a warm-up. Frankly, the chance to see Stubbs take on all the different Dolores hosts is worth his continued survival.