Spoilers from ‘Westworld’ Season 2, Episode 1 will be discussed, as well as details from the previous season.
After a violent conclusion to the first season of HBO’s acclaimed adaptation of “Westworld,” the second season of the series based on Michael Crichton’s science fiction story finally returns — this time with a set of deadly and unexpected new rules. Tying up loose ends, all the while spinning out new questions to be answered this summer, the world-building series has left the maze, and now yearns to knock at our front door.
Two weeks have passed since the robotic hosts of the theme park Westworld went rogue, leaving fiery bloodshed in their path. Former programming advisor Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) wakes up on a beach where Head of Security Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgard) surveys the remains of a deadly host shootout. Recounting the memories of the night of the massacre, Bernard recalls his escape with Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and their discovery of a secret Delos facility carrying out experiments on the hosts. Trapped there, the two seek out the location of Peter Abernathy. Meanwhile, out in the park, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) begins hunting down the remaining guests with Teddy (James Marsden). Maeve (Thandie Newton), determined to find her daughter, recruits a reluctant Lee (Simon Quarterman) to help her. As the wheels towards revolution and revelation begin to turn, the Man in Black (Ed Harris), having survived the bloodbath, encounters the host of young Robert Ford. Killing him, the Man in Black sets his sights on the new “game” at hand. Returning to the present, Bernard follows the Delos forces as they discover that hosts are crossing park boundaries into new areas. After finding a large gathering of hosts floating lifeless in an artificial sea, Bernard claims he was the one who killed them.
Jumping back in after more than a year following their first season, the creators of HBO’s “Westworld” had a lot of ground to cover concerning not only the aftermath of Season 1, but more immediately, the tone of its emerging sophomore season. While Season One sought to explore the violent delights of the show’s daring playground of startling science and western atmospherics, its second season looks to interrogate the revolt about to unfold from the entrails of the park itself. With its premiere in “Journey Into Night” spelling great mystery around where we find Bernard and the rest of the people behind the theme park and its bold ideals, the episode asks more questions than it gives answers. One thing can be certain, however, that this season will find its theme in not only the revolt of its robotic players, but also the revelations to be discovered by them as well.
Embarking its central characters on their own journeys, not unlikely to converge by the season’s end, the premiere finds Bernard juggling with both his memory and his identity as a host himself. All the while, hosts Dolores and Maeve set their own courses towards finding themselves. To get there, however, emerges a new game unlike the worry-free delights of the past — a deadly war for control of this ever-evolving domain of pleasure and pain.
Season 2 of ‘Westworld’ airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. Catch up on Season 1 now on HBO Go.