Spoilers ahead: Don't read until you've seen the "Westworld" finale, streaming on HBO and HBO Max.
But the android host version of William/Man in Black that emerged in Season 4 evolved to even greater depravity, culminating in a killing spree in Sunday's finale. Major characters died in the "Game of Thrones"-style finale bloodbath, a week after episode 7's killing of Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright).
The murderous mayhem harked back to the rampage of Yul Brynner's Gunslinger android in the OG 1973 "Westworld" movie.
"We finally came full circle to the Yul Brynner character from the original movie. At last, the Man in Black is a host and on this mad killing spree," says executive producer Lisa Joy. She notes the "Westworld" losses were significant, even for a show centered around bringing humanoids to life. "There were a lot of deaths, and there are many faces we're not going to see on 'Westworld' going forward."
So who died in the "Westworld" season finale and what are the implications for the final fifth season? While HBO hasn't officially greenlit the fifth season, Joy calls it "the last chapter of this morality tale."
Here's a rundown of the departed:
** Many spoilers ahead! This is your last chance to bail if you don't want to know. **
Ed Harris is doubly bad in 'Westworld': He's loving it: 'This is what I signed up to do'
The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is dead, both of him
In Episode 7, William 2.0 killed his trapped human version and put on the Man in Black attire to live evil large. He killed his host leader and creator Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and set chaos in motion so that humans and hosts were senselessly battling.
At the start of Sunday's finale, with streets filled with video game-like kills, the Man in Black flourished.
But the host Hale was quickly rebuilt even stronger and returned to get her finale revenge: She shot the Man in Black during their battle royale, crudely cut out the life-giving "pearl" from his head and crumbled it to dust with her hand.
This death looked permanent, even if it's hard to imagine "Westworld" going into a fifth season without this pivotal and complicated antagonist.
"The character has run its course," says Joy, though she doesn't rule out some sort of further appearance of the Man in Black.
Hale rises, then falls in Season 4 finale
After killing off the Man in Black, and breaking good to set up Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) for a possible new world, disillusioned host Hale gave up her past dominion-ruling ambitions.
Instead, the host strolled purposely to a river's edge with her android skeleton showing, She removed the "pearl" from her own head and crushed it with her steel hand. in android self-destruction.
"Hale chooses the end to her own story and there's a dignity to that, she's so at peace," says Joy. "It's hard to say goodbye to characters we love so much, but this show is about evolution. Hale has gone from human to host and had her chance to reign."
Stubbs gets rubbed out
We saw this coming in previous episodes when all-seeing Westworld creator Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) said he foresaw the death of Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth). The one-time head of Westworld security-turned-loyal protector is shot in the head by host Clementine (Angela Sarafyan). Clementine then knocked Stubbs' eye out with a head slam into furniture, before moving onto other things.
It's an inglorious death for a main character.
"People love Stubbs, but we wanted to show death in an unglamorous, uncinematic way," says Joy. "Part of the horrors of war is these stories end abruptly with no one left to mourn."
Clementine goes out kicking
After many iterations as someone else's pawn, host Clementine saw a battling, independent demise after briefly trying to survive on her own in the chaotic new world order. Her final battle was decisive against ex-military fighter Caleb (Aaron Paul), but Caleb's daughter Frankie (Aurora Perrineau) shot the host.
To be fair, Clementine was guilty of over-monologing instead of killing Caleb. But "Clementine went out with some powerful leg kicks and guns blazing," says Joy.
Caleb would not go to seed at sea
As an exact human replica host of his former self, Caleb was able to finally reunite with his grown daughter Frankie. However, as his body rejected being a host, it was clear that this reunion wasn't going to last long. With his body failing, Caleb stayed on the dock to await his end as his daughter tearfully set out to sea.
"Having seen how the hosts around him degrade, Caleb didn't want his daughter to see that," says Joy. "He wanted his daughter to remember him as her father."
Dolores returns to put the West back into 'Westworld' Season 5
The last moments of the finale saw Wood's Dolores Abernathy return in full prairie attire and in the show's original Western setting. It sets up a Season 5 and a final chance to see if humans and artificial intelligence can co-exist back in the setting where it all went very wrong in Season 1.
"It's called 'Westworld' so it makes sense to go back to the West to see where that world goes from there," says Joy.
Joy and her fellow show creator, executive producer (and husband) Jonathan Nolan, always had an ending mapped out featuring this Western return.
"There will be some extreme differences," says Joy. "There's always been this plan to bring it home that we've been steering toward. It will be a fun season and a good way to go out."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Westworld' Season 4 finale recap: Who died in killing spree? Spoilers