Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Westworld left quite the first impression with its debut season. The sci-fi/western hybrid caught the public’s attention thanks to its bold concepts and innovative storytelling. Multiple timelines were used, various rugs were pulled and the line between human and host got progressively more blurred.
The ten episode season finished at the end of 2016 and amidst the sumptuous visuals and stunning performances, it left fans with a whole host of unanswered questions. While many may have hoped for the show to make a swift return to our screens, 2017 unfortunately came and went without a second run.
However, the long wait is now almost over as some 18 months down the line, a return date of April 22nd was confirmed during last Sunday’s Superbowl trailer.
Rebellion and war appears to be in the air, and it looks set to be a chaotic time at for everyone involved. Alongside various musings on free will and more shots of Ed Harris looking weather-beaten, here’s what the trailer suggests lies in store for season 2:
One fairly obvious thing that the new trailer shows is that nearly all of the principal cast from season 1 will be returning. Featuring prominently are both Thandie Newton’s Maeve and Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard. We also sneak a quick peek at Ben Barnes’ Logan in a chic modern setting, which could be a flashback or may point to him having survived being stranded by William last time out. There’s also a brief shot of James Marsden’s Teddy looking terrified with an ominous hand clasped over his mouth.
One of the most striking shots though confirms that Ed Harris’ enigmatic Man in Black will be making a return. It will be interesting to see how William now fits into the rapidly changing dynamics of Westworld. An expert player and major stakeholder, he was told by Ford at the close of last season that he would find the new narrative “more satisfying”, and it certainly appears that he will be remaining in the park for the foreseeable future. A man with his love of adventure and violence should revel in the emerging chaos brewing across Westworld.
The trailer’s focal point however is clearly Evan Rachel Wood’s Delores. The oldest host in the park narrates the trailer and it’s her chilling words which resonate at its climax:
This world deserves to die. Because this is your world. We’ve lived by your rules long enough. We can save this world. We can burn it to the ground. From the ashes, build a new world. Our world.
This idea of a building a new world is central to the trailer, and Delores is seemingly set to be at the very heart of all the rebuilding and remodelling. Her newfound self-awareness is key as she looks set to lead a revolution amongst her fellow hosts. Given the emphatic shot of her blowing someone away while riding on horseback, it’s clear she’s going to be taking a very hands-on approach too.
We also see Delores leading a masked band of men at the trailer’s close. This band make another appearance earlier in the trailer and could well be leftovers from Wyatt’s storylines, the charismatic psychopathic leader whose personality got merged with Delores’ own. The escapades of Delores’ and her band of rebels looks set to be a key part of this season’s narrative.
Westworld’s New Narrative
There was a lot of talk about Ford’s “new narrative” in the final season’s finale, and the upcoming mayhem that sees hosts turning on their human masters will presumably be a big part of this. However, given the show’s layered nature. it wouldn’t be surprising if the conflict between host and human was matched by an ongoing conflict within the game itself. Shots of the Ghost Nation Indians, masked bandits and a shot of an apparent Civil War-era army, suggest that conflict could be coming to Westworld on multiple fronts.
The role of Bernard/Arnold in season 2 will be very interesting to watch unfold. After learning that he was in fact a host version of park-creator Arnold at the close of season one, Bernard will presumably have something of an identity crisis this time out as he readjusts to his true nature.
At one point in the trailer we see Bernard leading a patrol of what appears to be park security staff as they uncover a pile of bodies washed up on the shore. This certainly suggests that his true identity remains a secret at present. With Ford gone, Bernard will likely be looked to by park staff as an authority figure of sorts given his expertise and years of experience. However, one would imagine that if it is revealed that he is actually host, his authority may rapidly dwindle.
It also appears at one stage that an unfinished host is shown lurking with intent behind Bernard. That same android figure is then seen attacking someone else from behind. Will we see these blank canvases turning on their masters in season 2? Will Bernard perhaps be bending them to his will throughout the real world as he takes control of Westworld HQ?
The centre-piece sequence of the trailer sees a herd of bulls rampage out of the Western landscape and straight through Westworld HQ’s. Reportedly this sequence could actually just be for the ad itself; serving more as a symbolic recreation of the bedlam to come. Whether this is the case or not, it certainly looks likely that Westworld’s head office will be under serious threat from Maeve and Co.
At first glance of course, one notable absence from the trailer is any direct reference to a new park. The strong nod to the existence of Samurai-World at the end of season 1 certainly made this a distinct probability, yet no obvious confirmation was provided.
However, one eagle eyed viewer has since found a hidden code within the trailer itself which linked to a corporate website for Westworld parent company, Delos Destiantions. Within this you can find nods to a total of six different parks that are either active or in development.
There’s not a great deal of information given about any of them, but a noticeable image does hint strongly at Samurai World’s existence. Nolan and Joy have also hinted at visiting Medieval and Roman worlds in previous interviews, so don’t be surprised if these two also begin to come into play by the close of season 2.