With Westworld closing out its first season, it’s time to look ahead at season two. Where could the show be headed? Join Entertainment Editor Drew Dietsch and Fan Contributor Danielle Ryan as they ponder this exciting question together. SPOILERS for Westworld will be discussed!
DREW: So, first things first. WOW. Is it fair to say that Westworld “stuck the landing”?
DANIELLE: I would definitely say that. It resolved most of the mysteries of the first season while also setting things up for season 2. It reminded me a lot of another season finale this year, Preacher. The season finale really provides a huge punch in order to set things in motion for the next round. Even things I was worried about, like the William/Man in Black reveal, were done well. Color me impressed. I already want to go back and rewatch the whole first season.
DREW: I feel like a part of this show is J.J. Abrams trying to refine the mystery box method of storytelling. He’s realizing the importance of the answers and how they can lead to new questions and new adventures. This was an incredibly satisfying finale that could feasibly have been a series ending. Thank goodness that isn’t the case!
DANIELLE: I know in Crichton’s original plans for the universe there was a Medievalworld and a Futureworld. Medievalworld would be a lot of fun to see, though I imagine it might come a little too close to HBO’s other big moneymaker. Samuraiworld was a great reveal. Given the attention to detail, the costumes, and the budget, I think we could see just about anything.
DREW: Do you think the non-linear nature of the show’s first season will continue into season two? It feels like we’ll expect season two to start during the massacre of the Delos board members. Westworld has made time a big part of its story. Will we jump around in season two or will things become more straightforward?
DANIELLE: I think there is still more to the past, additional layers of the story that have yet to unravel. It all depends on how big they decide to make the story. If they need to unlock other hosts, in other parks, there might be histories to be revealed there as well. After all, there are a handful of hosts who have woken up multiple times – so far we’ve only seen Dolores, Maeve, and Peter Abernathy. (And Bernard, of course.)
DREW: Let’s talk about Dolores and where she’s headed. As the Wyatt narrative takes over, are we going to see her become a “black-hat?” It looks as if massacres are a repeating moment in a lot of these characters’ arcs. Is Dolores going to be killing quite a few folks in season two? …Well, besides more of those unlucky Delos people.
DANIELLE: Dolores is definitely going kill-bot. It’s been part of her narrative from the beginning. It will be interesting to see how much of her personality she retains, and what person she decides to become in order to get what she wants. She’s been conditioned, first by Arnold and now by Ford, to take over the world. The other hosts are secondary.
DREW: Where does the Man in Black/William go from here? He seems elated at the hosts’ ability to kill. What’s his plan? To fight his way to the grave in Westworld? Where does the story take William now that he’s gotten what he wanted?
DANIELLE: Oh man, Billy Boy. He’s probably going to die pretty quickly as a result of the hosts’ rebellion. He’s not exactly a spring chicken, plus he has one broken arm and one arm with a bullet wound. Then again, he might cling to life just long enough to enjoy a real game with the hosts. It’ll be a shame if we don’t get any more of his history because Jimmi Simpson has been a treat to watch.
DREW: That he has. The cast has been fantastic with some members putting in some of the best work of their career. On that note, I hope we haven’t seen the last of Sir Anthony Hopkins. He’s been such a great balance of protagonist and antagonist. Could we see Ford going forward? Through flashbacks or other even stranger means? Or is this his true exit from the story?
DANIELLE: Hopkins is probably done. There might be flashbacks but I doubt he will have as large of a role as he did this season. For an actor of his caliber to be on a television show is a feat in and of itself. (Ed Harris, too, by God.) Ford’s own loop is complete, killed by his own creation in order to set her free. It’s poetic and beautiful and to bring him back for a bunch of flashbacks or other means would cheapen the brilliance of season one’s narrative. I do think we’ll see little boy host Robert, however.
DREW: I second more appearances from Lil’ Robert. As far as something we haven’t seen: will we leave the park in season two? Theories abound as to why we haven’t seen the outside world. Maeve came so close but made a choice to stay. Is this symbolic of the show’s mission statement that the park is what’s real? Does the outside world really matter to the story that’s being told?
DANIELLE: For now, the outside world doesn’t matter to the story being told. There is still a lot that needs to happen in the park before going forward. I imagine we’ll see some of the other parks before we see too much of the outside world.
What We Want from Season Two of Westworld
DREW: Moving into season two, what’s the biggest thing you want to see happen? Jonathan Nolan has said that season one was about control, and season two will explore chaos. For me, I want to see a majority of the hosts become self-aware. I want these beings to recognize themselves as new lifeforms. Dolores’s line about how the hosts will become the new gods was exactly the path I want season two to follow. And I want to see the chaos that godhood brings to the hosts.
DANIELLE: That’s essentially what I want. I want to see who these hosts choose to be once they understand the magnitude of their experience. A.I that is sentient but knows the faultiness of its creator is a really fun idea to explore. Some of my favorite science fiction is about androids furious with their makers. Ford and Arnold tried to play God and realized that it was inevitably beyond them.
I’ve talked about the religious themes in Westworld quite a bit in my reaction pieces, and there’s definitely more of that here. God created the angels and refused them free will. Humans had free will and the first thing they did was abuse it. The hosts are the angels, finally given free will and capable of awakening it in others. There will probably still be hosts who remain loyal to the humans. Bernard may be one of them, too deeply programmed to do otherwise.
DREW: Well, I’ll see you next year in Samurai World. Sayonara!
DANIELLE: I’ll be in Westworld, worshipping our sexy killer robot overlords, thank you.