Westworld began as a story of Dolores Abernathy and her romance with William, a heroic young man visiting the park. Meanwhile, an evil older Man In Black was also in the park, committing atrocities and kidnapping hosts for mysterious ends. In the end, William and the Man In Black turned out to be the same man, just in two timelines. Season 2 focused more on the older version of the character, and how he came to be who he was. But now fans have questions, specifically: Where is The Man In Black in Westworld Season 3? Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 3 follow.
Seasons 1 and 2 of Westworld followed the typical HBO model, with 10 episodes apiece. But Season 3 is following the trend of prestige TV series to shrink their episode count and is only eight installments. That means, with Season 3, Episode 3, "The Absence of Field," the show is already nearly to the midpoint. So far, no version of William — neither the younger man played by Jimmi Simpson, nor the older one played by Ed Harris — has turned up.
On the one hand, there hasn't been an opportunity to work a younger version of the character into the narrative. Westworld's current season has (as far as viewers know) mostly stuck to the present day, so there's no opportunity to bring in younger William.
As for older William, his absence from the Delos deliberations is curious.
When fans last saw William, he was lying on the beach, barely conscious, a "high profile VIP' found critically injured in the park. As Charlotte revealed in the premiere, it's been almost three months since Dolores killed Robert Ford, so William has had time to be flown to a hospital, recover, and go home. One would expect, as the principal owner of the company, the deliberations Charlotte is leading to "go private" would be his top priority. But so far, Charlotte is acting on her own, with the blessing to do whatever she damn well pleases from the other "major partner" who everyone assumes is William.
But if William isn't attending meetings, where is he? One assumes he's not back in the park. Is he far more injured than anyone realizes?
Or did his condition, and the loss of Emily, drive him to focus on creating host versions of himself and his daughter? Fans know at some point, far in the future, there is a host Man in Black, reliving the events of Season 2 ahead of being tested for "fidelity" by an Emily host who claims the Delos park is long gone.
Perhaps when William finally shows up, fans will find he has been in the park, trying to perfect host recreations of his life, while out in the real world, Serac and Dolores burn it all down in their war.