POLL: Is Elsie Dead?

Place your bets!

shannon-woodward-as-elsie-hughes-in-westworld
Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

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? 

15 responses to “POLL: Is Elsie Dead?”

  1. I think my opinion on this is exactly the same as Lisa Joy’s – hopeful but worried (and not really sure how to interpret that remark given that, of course, she already knows what’s what). I found Elsie a very engaging character, so it would be a pity if she was really gone for good, but this show does seem pretty unsentimental about its characters so I would not be surprised either. I tended to believe the fan theory that the host under construction in Ford’s creepy basement was going to be Elsie’s replacement, but that seems to have been dismissed by the showrunners and also would surely have been brought into play by now if it were the case. I think Stubbs is the key – I don’t think he is dead despite his close call with the Ghost Nation in Ep 9, and may well discover what actually happened to her in the finale.

      Quote  Reply

  2. I’m inclined to think that Elsie is still alive. That’s partly grounded in that old rote tenant of dramatic television (“if there’s no body, then they’re not dead”). However, the main reason I think she may still have a role to play is due to Stubb’s capture by Ghost Nation after he went out in search of her tracking signal. That’s one of the few lingering threads heading the finale that I’m not quite able to place.

    The chances that Stubbs himself is dead seem exceedingly remote – he’ll wake up somewhere in the finale, a prisoner of whoever is pulling Ghost Nation’s strings. When he does, I could see Elsie being there as well, alive and trussed up alongside him. Why? I must admit I have no idea. Something to do with Ford’s new narrative, perhaps. In Elsie’s case, we know that Ford, acting through Bernard, is responsible for her disappearance. Since her beacon was what drew Stubbs to the location where he was captured, it seems fair to guess that the disappearances of the two characters are connected.

    Now, given that Ford basically has god-like omnipotence in the park and absolute control over (most of) the hosts, I’m not sure quite what he would need Stubbs and Elsie for. He may just want them out of the way for asking inconvenient questions. But that would lean towards both characters being dead, and as previously discussed, I think that Stubbs at least is alive. But if Ford’s new narrative has to do with undercutting the Delos board that’s trying to push him out, then I could envision a scenario in which having a programmer and a security officer to use as off-the-books pawns in whatever game he’s playing might come in handy.

    Admittedly, I’m also holding out hope for Elsie for sentimental reasons. She was emerging as one of my favorite characters before she disappeared – her sharp and irreverent sarcasm was providing a welcome dose of humor during some of the darker and drier stretches of the show. Furthermore, Shannon Woodward’s been great, both on the show and off it (her Twitter feed is excellent, particularly in light of recent political events). I would be sad if she’s only on the show for one season. She could be replaced with a host, but in that case, I doubt her cutting wit would be quite as incisive.

      Quote  Reply

    • Agreed completely re the sentimental attachment to Elsie and the general RL awesomeness of Ms Woodward – she seems extremely smart and politically engaged, and generally the sort of person we, as fans by this point I think, would want associated with the show as long as possible.

      Two things about Ford’s omnipotence: he doesn’t seem to know about the maze (looking it up in one of – Arnold’s? – old sketch books in one of the earlier episodes), and the voices some of the hosts are hearing seem a genuine surprise to him – e.g. the scene where his child host simulacrum kills the dog, and also Bernard’s observation that “there’s still something troubling you,” or something along those lines, in Ep 8. So, while I think the whole Wyatt situation and, arguably, both Dolores and the MiB’s storylines, are being manipulated by Ford, I still think there’s something going on that may blindside him in his “moment of triumph,” and I think Elsie’s and Stubb’s fates may be part of that. I actually think Ford may have been telling the truth when he told Bernard of course he hadn’t made him hurt anybody before Theresa, and that when Bernie was doing whatever he was doing to Elsie in his flashback he may not have been doing so under Ford’s direction.

      The finale, of course, is probably going to prove me very wrong about all of this. 😉
      Jared,

        Quote  Reply

  3. I hope she’s still kicking. I’d hate to see her go this way. I assume Ford would want the heads of security and behavior out of the way so he can carry out his plan. Maybe Ford wants to use the robots to take out the board of directors and replace them with other robots. Who knows. He could also replace Elsie with a robot if he wanted to…

    I’m hoping we’ll find out where Stubbs and Elsie are in the finale.

      Quote  Reply

  4. I think that she is alive and is responsible for “summoning” Stubbs into the wild. We have seen that she was a capable behavior tech so its plausible that she was controlling Ghost Nation. For me, Elsie and Stubbs are the normal, sane characters; they are the eyes and ears of the viewers in WW. I don’t want them to be hosts and I don’t want them to be dead.

    Just not quite sure how she escaped Bernard’s stranglehold…

      Quote  Reply

    • mariamb:
      For me, Elsie and Stubbs are the normal, sane characters; they are the eyes and ears of the viewers in WW. I don’t want them to be hosts and I don’t want them to be dead.

      Agreed!

        Quote  Reply

      • ManWithNoName,

        Seconded! Bernard looked like he was doing a kind of choke hold which causes people to quickly lose consciousness, but doesn’t do any real damage. If he just wanted to kill her he could have done something quick and violent. This show’s by-line should be “you can’t believe everything you see”. I think the GoT adage of “if you don’t see a body they aren’t dead” is even more true here.

          Quote  Reply

  5. I have that similar issue where my heart is at war with my mind. I really just don’t want Elsie to be dead. My mind says she most likely is….but I keep trying to find reasons she isn’t, might not be, because I like her and her actress.

      Quote  Reply

  6. Great! Now I have another group of characters (besides the ones in GOT) to worry for 🙂 I so much want Elsie to be alive, but very frequently my wishes have nothing to do with what writers decide…
    I still hope to see Elsie and Stubbs next season.

      Quote  Reply

    • Shy Lady Dragon,

      Hi your Shyness *waves* glad you’re enjoying this too! I love Elsie, and I have a good feeling her and Stubbs are safe somewhere. We’ve got to try and get out of the GoT mindset that everyone is doomed and we are going to have our hearts broken on a regular basis. Ok yes I admit this has made me cry in places but it’s not ALL bad. Mind you, if you expect nothing but tragedy for the ones you care about, anything good happening to them feels like a massive bonus. *Looking at you, House Stark* 😀

        Quote  Reply

      • Lulus Mum,

        Hi, Mum! Glad to find you here! What’s your favourite character? I have already said mine’s Maeve, but Bernard/ Arnold and Elsie come very close. I love sir Anthony in any role he plays, but I can’t say I like Ford. Fear and fascination rather…

          Quote  Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to New Posts on Westworld Watchers

Enter your email address to subscribe to WW and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Watchers on Twitter

Categories

Post Archive

Subscribe to New Posts on Westworld Watchers

Enter your email address to subscribe to WW and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 25 other subscribers

Follow Watchers on Twitter

Post Archive