After watching the latest trailer for the upcoming Season 2 of HBO’s creepy good Westworld, I have just a few questions.
A little background: Michael Crichton’s 1973 film created this fascinating world — a technologically advanced Western-themed amusement park for the super-rich where they can play out fantasies with androids that look and feel all too real but who are programmed to never harm humans. However, when a malfunction occurs and those androids (scary Yul Brynner) begin killing the human visitors, that’s when things turn scary. There was a sequel, Futureworld, and a short-lived series Beyond Westworld in the ’80s but the whole Westworld concept was sort of dropped after that.
Then in 2016, HBO tapped the husband-wife team of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (with exec J.J. Abrams and Byran Burk behind them) to take this original idea and really turn it on its head. In the new series, this Westworld centers on the mad genius, Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), who created the park but whose eccentricities and machinations extend way beyond the park and the corporation trying to control it.
The first season was a little bit of a slow burn and had difficulty finding its focus, even though it was still completely compelling. When things go haywire in the park (as they are wont to do), and the “hosts” start to become self-aware, that’s when Westworld takes off. In the end, the hosts – led by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton) – finally become free and now a whole new world is going to open up.
From the looks of this new extended trailer, Season 2 is going to be a wild ride and I’m super jazzed about it – but there are a few questions I have from watching the trailer above [and warning, there are SPOILERS from the first season ahead]:
1. Will anyone else find out that Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is actually an android? Now that Dr. Ford is dead, maybe Bernard is placed in charge. It does look like the park’s security guy (Luke Hemsworth) wasn’t killed in the first season by those renegade Native Americans, so that’s good. But what’s with the beach set up?
2. How is Maeve going to find her daughter? At the end of Season 1, she was about to escape into the real world, but the news that her “daughter” – who she thought had been put out of commission but was actually placed somewhere else – compels Maeve to go back. In this trailer, she’s seen wearing a kimono, so clearly she’s going to go into this samurai world we’ve been teased about.
3. How will this “Shogun World,” which has been reported as the name of this other park, factor into Season 2? We saw the samurai warrior androids lineup in the underground operations, so it’s happening, just don’t know how. There is supposed to be six parks altogether, so are we going to see Futureworld, too? Maybe that’s Season 3.
4. Ed Harris’ Man in Black seems to have survived the massacre at the hands of Dolores and the other hosts in the Season 1 finale, so what’s he going to do now? His whole finding-the-maze-arc in the first season was the most confusing because we find out there actually was no maze. Also, it turned out Jimmi Simpson was actually Harris’ younger self (and Simpson pops up in this new trailer, so that means more flashbacks, I guess). Thing is, Harris is one of the corporation’s bigwigs and I’m guessing his lackeys (one played by Tessa Thompson, who also looks to have survived the shootout) are going to go in and try to get him to come back to the real world. But he “wants to burn the whole place to the ground.” Hmmm.
5. Finally, what’s Dolores going to do next now that she has liberated everyone? It seems she and James Marsden’s cowboy go on some kind of hunting spree through their West, but then there are shots of Dolores in modern-day clothes, all glammed up, so she must enter the real world, too. The most chilling aspect is at the end when Bernard says she frightens him. Her smile in response says it all. Curious to see how it’ll all play out.
The best part of this trailer, though, is the slow version of Nirvana’s “Heart Shape Box.” Really cool touch. Westworld Season 2 premieres April 22 on HBO.