Westworld begins as the story of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl host in the Delos Westworld park. For the first two seasons, this show has ultimately been a story about her awakening, her revolt, and her escape. But the series is also an ensemble piece, including Maeve and her posse, Bernard and his struggles, and all the smaller roles, like Charlotte Hale, Elsie Hughes, Lee Sizemore, and fan-favorite Ashley Stubbs. Stubbs ended Season 2 with the sly reveal he is a host. But what happened to Stubbs in Westworld Season 3, Episode 2 is something no fan saw coming. Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 3 follow.
After spending the premiere episode out on the mainland trying to hide from the authorities, Bernard decided at the end of the hour to head back to the park. He planned to find someone to help him stop Dolores. Whatever her plan is, he's decided it's too dangerous for society.
Bernard's initial idea of who might help him is to find Maeve. It's a smart play. She's the other host who gained sentience at the same time as Dolores. But unlike her counterpart, her awakening wasn't spurred by violence but driven by love. In that way, she and Dolores are opposite sides of the coin.
But Bernard didn't find Maeve. Instead, he found Stubbs, slumped over in a corner, having put a bullet in his host control unit.
But Bernard's arrival re-awoke Stubbs, who was somewhere between horrified and irritated to see his former coworker.
It turned out the "core function" which Stubbs described in the Season 2 finale as "protecting all the hosts inside the park" was not accurate. His core function was to protect the hosts in the park, until certain ones escaped, particularly Bernard. Ford's last directive to Stubbs was to cover Bernard's tracks, give him a fighting chance in the real world and then "retire himself."
Bernard's return to the park has reactivated the poor security head, who now seems to have one mission in mind. Get Bernard whatever he wants and get him back out, so he can re-retire. It's almost comical how much Stubbs can't wait to shoot himself in the head again, just as soon as Bernard is away.
But Maeve is nowhere to be found. To Bernard's horror, he discovers she's been stolen out of the park.
With no one else to help him, and no other self-aware hosts, Bernard makes a choice. As Stubbs happily prepares to "retire" again, as soon as Bernard's boat is away, he tells the security chief to freeze all motor functions. He grabs a tablet and reprograms Stubbs' core drive. When Stubbs brings himself back online, he's suddenly ready to get in that boat too and set sail for the mainland.
But will this new directive work? Bernard's reprogramming of Stubbs isn't the first time viewers have seen one host repurpose another. Dolores did this same thing to Teddy last season, turning him into a killer who would do anything for her. But that didn't last, as Teddy couldn't live with what his core drive was forcing him to do. In the end, Teddy "retired" himself to escape her control.
Will the reprogramming of Stubbs go any better? For now, it's all Bernard's got.