Westworld may be one of the most enigmatic TV shows ever. Loosely based on the 1973 sci-fi film of the same name, the HBO show's first season took place inside a Wild West–themed park run by the larger tech company Delos and populated by AI androids, called hosts, who live each day of their Wild West lives on a loop. Incredibly rich humans—or guests—pay £27,800 ($40,000) a day to interact with these androids: going on adventures with host bandits, rescuing a rancher host’s daughter, sleeping with host prostitutes, gambling with hosts in a saloon.
Playing out over tangled timelines across three decades, season 1 sees Dolores, the rancher host’s daughter, and Maeve, the host madam, try to process their encoded memories and ultimately achieve self-awareness by the finale.
Watching each episode of Westworld feels a lot like trying to put together a four-dimensional puzzle, with a doomsday clock running out in the background. And with the season 2 premiere fast approaching, we’re left wondering: Will we finally see the beginning of the great AI revolution? Will the hosts of Westworld meet hosts from other theme parks? And when will Dolores, Maeve, and the rest of the hosts finally infiltrate the human world?
When will it be released?
After a year and a half of waiting, we'll be able to see season 2's premiere on 22 April 2018 at 9 P.M.
What is this season called?
The first season of Westworld was called 'The Maze.' You’ll recall that both Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and the Man in Black (revealed to be the older version of William) were on their own explicit quests to solve the riddle of the maze that kept cropping up in the Westworld park. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) was repeatedly told by hosts that the maze was not for him. That’s because the maze was about the journey to self-awareness, something Westworld co-creator Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) secretly programmed into the hosts.
According to , season 2 is called 'The Door.' Does this reference a door to other theme parks like Westworld? A door to the human world? Some other intangible thing having to do with AI consciousness? Probably all three—and more.
Where does season 2 pick up?
show Dolores on horseback, gunning down well-dressed human guests, probably attendees of the Delos investors’ dinner at the end of season 1. But in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Evan Rachel Wood says, 'The showrunners have said we’re not picking up sort of exactly where we left off, but we’re going to pick up in the aftermath a bit.'
Westworld co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy at the start of season two in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. 'We never had any intention of staying in one place,' Nolan says. 'We don't want to shoot on the same sets for 10 years. We want to blow the sets up and move on to another piece of the story.'
So, does that mean we'll get to see more theme parks?
In season 1, when technician Felix (Leonardo Nam) tries to help Maeve (Thandie Newton) escape past the testing and rehabilitation labs at Delos headquarters, they walk through a door marked 'SW' and see hosts dressed as samurai. Deadline that during a panel at SXSW, cast and crew revealed season 2 will include a park that focuses on samurai culture, called Shogun World.
Additionally, in a Reddit AMA, about the cinematography for season 2, saying, 'The new worlds required their own look.' One Reddit user replied, 'Wait, you said "new worlds" plural and nobody noticed…' So, rest assured, Shogun World is probably not the only exciting new park we’ll get to see.
Will there be more confusing timelines?
Probably. Even as early as December 2016, Jonathan Nolan , 'If the first season was defined by control, the second season will be defined by chaos.' And in the Entertainment Tonight interview, Evan Rachel Wood , 'There’s different timelines,' then added, 'I’m trying to talk about it without giving anything away!'
What's going to happen with Dolores?
Dolores’s 30-year journey to self-awareness provides the framework for the first season. She seems to have multiple versions of herself (even an alter ego named Wyatt), all struggling to understand their potential. And, of course, her assassination of Dr. Ford is the climax that fully unleashes the Westworld AI revolution.
But while trailers for season 2 have shown a violent, vengeful Dolores, Evan Rachel Wood doesn’t want us to think of Dolores as just bloodthirsty. In the interview with Entertainment Tonight, she said, 'Much like anything in Westworld, it’s always more complicated than you think. I think she definitely wants her freedom, and she wants access to world the world that was denied her. I don’t know if her end game is to destroy it yet or not.'
Wood continued, 'What happens when [Dolores] has access to all of her selves all at once? What does that look like?' In other words, the Dolores we get in season 2 may be just as confused and conflicted about her identity as she was in season 1.
Do the hosts enter the human world?
Maybe! Last month HBO from season 2 that showed several Westworld hosts in modern clothing and in non-Westworld settings. Dolores ditches her petticoats for a sleek white dress similar to the one the host Angela (Talulah Riley) wore in the first season, though it’s hard to tell where she is exactly. Maeve, who opted not to escape the Mesa Hub at the end of season one, is shown standing next to Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), the head of the Narrative Department for the Westworld theme park. Lee looks a bit disheveled and worried, and Maeve is holding a gun—could Maeve be using Lee to help locate her daughter? Finally, Angela, the host William (a.k.a. the Man in Black) met the first time he visited Westworld, is seen sitting in what looks like a booth at a restaurant. It’s not surprising that she’s in modern clothing, since that’s how she’s dressed when she meets William, but the setting isn’t really reminiscent of anything we saw in season 1.
The most recent trailer also shows Dolores looking out on a couple of skyscrapers at night, as well as sitting at a piano in a party scene.
Side note: Angela is played by Talulah Riley, who has been married twice to Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who artificial intelligence humanity’s 'biggest existential threat.'
Will the soundtrack be similar?
Composer Ramin Djawadi’s covers of songs by The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Soundgarden, and The Cure were the perfect uncanny and eerie soundtrack to season 1, and the second season’s score will be just as cool. So far, the trailers have featured the Sammy Davis, Jr., song 'I Gotta Be Me,' and covers of Nirvana’s 'Heart-Shaped Box' and Kanye’s 'Runaway.'
Who are the new additions to the cast?
In a trailer, Oscar-nominated actor appears dressed as a geisha in Shogun World. Hiroyuki Sanada (known for his roles in Lost, 47 Ronin, and The Wolverine) has been cast as Shogun World’s Musashi. Katja Herbers, from The Americans and The Leftovers, plays frequent Westworld visitor Grace. Betty Gabriel, most recently seen in Get Out, will appear as Maling, who has been brought in to try to stop the growing revolution in the park. Gustaf Skarsgård (yes, one of those Skarsgårds) plays Karl Strand, one of Maling’s team.
Who's returning from the old cast that you might not expect?
Surprisingly, both Young William (Jimmi Simpson) and Ed Harris (The Man in Black) will return in the second season, which means we'll probably be seeing more of both timelines. Others are programmer Elsie (Shannon Woodward), security chief Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). We'll be wanting to know just how they survived. Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), Dolores' father, also will play an important role in the series. But Dr. Robert Ford won't be making an appearance—not the version of him played by Anthony Hopkins, anyway.