Westworld has finally graced our screens once again, and this first episode has left us with more questions than answers, setting the stage for what will assuredly be an intense season.
WARNING: SPOILERS COULD FOLLOW!
It has been over a year since the first season premiered, so it’s understandable that starting this series again will take some time for us to remember just what the hell is going on. Basically, the Man in Black is William, Dolores is Wyatt, Bernard is Arnold, and Teddy is, well he’s still Teddy, but there’s something about him this season that just makes you feel bad for him. Teddy is a lost soul in a way. He’s struggling with this whole “self-aware, consciousness” thing. I’m sure he’d be more than willing to just go back to the days where he was getting shot on a daily basis, those were the good old days… But I digress.
This season feels noticeably different from the first. It seems that this time around the show is more willing to divulge more information upfront, so we aren’t scratching our heads as much. Granted, there is still plenty of shady business going on and I don’t know where to start wrapping my head around it just yet, but time will tell I’m sure. Like last year’s multiple time lines, we are yet again berated with a number of events that all happen within a few weeks of themselves. We have the night Ford is killed, when the Host uprising begins, we have 2 weeks after those events, where a new face of the company, Karl Strand, finds Bernard washed up on a beach with no memory of whats happened the past two weeks, and we have some undisclosed timeline way before these events took place. We know this because Arnold, or Bernard, is still having his talks with a Dolores that has yet to reach her sentient epiphany.
More on those conversations in a moment…
We find out that there are SIX parks, which explains the random washed up carcass of a Bengal Tiger. When they find it, one member of the team mentions that there are only Tigers in Park 6; could this be the Shogun World we’ve been teased with? Or a completely separate park that has yet to be revealed?? Regardless, going off of certain parts of this first episode, we begin to understand that Delos has a much larger reach than we might have initially thought.
Water is apparently going to play a key role in this season as well. From the show’s opening changing to include things like a cowboy hat sinking, to Bernard’s opening monologue about his dream where he was on an ocean with Dolores and the other hosts, to the discovery at the end of the episode where we see all the hosts drowned in an ocean that wasn’t on the island’s map. Could that sinking hat in the opening credits have been Teddy’s? He was the only Host they focused on during that ending reveal, so I think it’s safe to assume the events leading up to his untimely drowning will be a focal point of this season. RIP once again man.
One of the things this show continuously does an excellent job of is the question of what is means to be human, and whats real? The fact that the hosts feel reality is subjective is something we will continue to see a lot of I’m sure. Maeve’s entire story arc so far revolves around her trying to find her “daughter”. A point that Lee Sizemore tries to convey to her later in the episode. Her supposed daughter was just a story line, memories implanted in her “brain” to make her think she has some relation to this other host. Maeve doesn’t hesitate to point out that she could very easily kill Lee with her “not real hands” if she chose to.
One of the greatest parts about this episode was the blurred lines we begin to see between the Host’s consciousness and the dialogue and story’s they were programmed with. Maeve repeats a line to Lee at one point, and Lee points it out, to which Maeve pokes fun at the fact she instinctively used it. So, while yes, the Hosts can in fact think and “feel” on their own, they are also slaves to their programming to some extent. What that extent is will hopefully get some spot light later on as we continue to watch these machines develop their own selves.
While Ford was killed in the finale last season, we see a part of him continue to butt heads with Ed Harris’ Man in Black. The show falls back on its old story arc and has yet again set this character on a quest to find “the door”. As fun as it is to watch Ed Harris do his thing, it was a little redundant for the show to try to make us care about a story line we’ve already watched play out, one that had no real significance in the first season anyways! Hopefully this time around there will be some justification for The Man in Black wondering the park in search of some deeper meaning.
And poor Bernard man. This guy is all sorts of messed up. That shot to the head last season has really taken its toll on him from the looks of things. Time gaps, tremors, and the like will make it hard for him to keep his dark secret hidden from Karl and Angela. While Dolores had the narrative seat in the first season, I think it’s safe to say Bernard will take over this time around. The issue is that we can’t take anything he says or does at face value right now. The opening minutes of the episode have him asking “is this real?”, meaning until more information is divulged, it will be hard to know what Bernard is playing at, if anything, and what is going on in his head actually happened or if they’re just fragments of broken narratives.
Finally, one last question we will have to wait to find answers to, is the fact that this premiere solidified the fact the Delos is doing some sketchy shit with park-goers DNA. Yes, they are in fact harvesting it. But to what end? This operation is something Bernard didn’t even know was going on, or did he?! Are they trying to transfer consciousness into a guest’s body? Are they replicating their DNA to create new and improved hosts?? Who knows, but I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear and see of it.
Overall, Westworld has started off another season on a high note. There are plenty of new characters and arcs showing up that all seem interesting enough. The re-treading of the Man in Black’s quest is a little redundant but maybe this time around it will have a bigger, more meaningful pay off. Be sure to check back next week as we continue to follow Westworld season 2, n3rdabl3 has you covered!