In episode 106, “The Adversary,” Elsie Hughes’s (Shannon Woodward) investigation into the strange glitches happening among the hosts at Westworld led her to a dark room. She contacted her boss, Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), to check in, and not long afterward the programmer was grabbed from behind. She hasn’t reappeared yet, and many people are assuming Elsie is dead. That’s reasonable, considering that Bernard has experienced flashes of memory of choking her, and believes that Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) made him hurt and possibly kill Elsie.
Director Stephen Williams (who dealt with Bernard’s initial Elsie memory flash) doesn’t view it so directly. He tells The Hollywood Reporter, when asked about her fate, “There’s a form of storytelling that I happen to be somewhat partial to, which embraces the thrill of ambiguity. So, I will only say this: I will answer your question with this question. Are we, in fact, sure that that was Elsie?”
Series creator Lisa Joy doesn’t soften the blow, however. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she says, “I love Elsie’s character, and I’m also worried about her character. She’s been fearless and asking questions she shouldn’t ask that are the exact ones I would ask in that situation. I’m hopeful she’s okay but worried she’s not. ”
Some fans question the validity of Bernard’s memories; after all, he’s been revealed as a host, and all of his recollections are a creation of Dr. Ford – or any programmer who gets a hold of him. Adding fuel to the fire of speculation: in the most recent episode, a signal from Elsie’s computer was discovered, leading security man Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) into danger in the park.
So, all things considered, was that the end of Elsie, or is there more to come?