HBO’s Westworld survived delays and other controversies to become one of the biggest shows of 2016. Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, Westworld took the seeds of Michael Crichton’s book and the Yul Brenner theatrical version to form a show that was more than a pulpy mash-up of typical AI stories and blood drenched westerns. Instead it was a thoughtful and brutal portrayal of what it means to be human when you’re not, and what happens when you’re every urge is catered to. It culminated in a feature length finale where Dolores (Evan Rachael Wood) fulfilled Dr Ford’s vision by killing him in order to give the parks host’s the freedom that his partner Arnold died to put in motion. So with the rule book seemingly ripped up, what can we expect from season two?
What’s next for the hosts?
Now with a semblance of freedom, due to Dolores starting a massacre of the parks board members Westworld will be an entirely different place when we return. Both Nolan and Joy have expressed excitement about this new chapter which was brought on by the urge to keep pushing the show forward, to not use the same sets for 7 years. The revolution has begun and it can only go outward.
Thandie Newton’s Maeve nearly stole the entire show when we weren’t looking in season one. Leave the quests to Dolores, Maeve had a much blunter way of peaking behind the curtain. Except Maeve no more in control of herself than before her awakening, as the finale revealed that Meave’s action were part of a plan coded into her by an unknown source to infiltrate the world outside of the park. Of course Maeve went against her programming, deciding to re-enter the park to find her daughter from a previous storyline. So who programmed her? Well there is one theory to who it could be.
Logan, William, and The Man in Black
Another revelation from the finale was the true identity of Ed Harris’ Man in Black. Yes he was William all along, something that many fans predicted, I sadly wasn’t one of them despite all the damn clues. When we left William, present William that is, he had been shoot in the arm by a horde of hosts with a big grin on his face. Finally William has the life or death experience he was looking for all through season one so expect him to relish this fight for a while longer. The reveal of William also poses the question of what happened to the black eyed slime ball that is Logan. Last we saw Logan was riding, naked and bound, on a horse to the very edge of the park at the hands of his good friend William. You’ve got to think that park officials would have rescued Logan, after all a death of a bigwig whose company wanted to buy shares in the place isn’t good business. So Logan could very well turn up in the present day, possibly as the person behind Maeve’s plot, as a long overdue “screw you” to William.
Who lives and who dies
As well as who makes it out of the massacre, there’s also Stubbs and Elsie who are still unaccounted for. Stubbs was last seen surrounded by savages and Elsie is supposed to have been murdered by Bernard. Except general TV rules state that you’re not dead till we see your body; Westworld fans are smart and meticulous with their theories so no one believes that Elsie has bit the dust yet. Plus Elsie was the best source of comic relief in a show that had very little levity, you can’t kill the laughter!
Other places, other parks
No one show in its right mind would tease something like Samurai World as just a fun little easter egg. So season two may have the robot revolution infiltrating other parks. The real goal is the outside world, and what that will be like. As a portrayal of futuristic society Westworld has had its cake and eaten it with its historical setting standing in for reality. So what is Westworld’s future actually like? We have over a year to get our theories in order.