Westworld is back with a bang. The critically-acclaimed sci-fi fantasy series returned to screens on Sunday with plenty of mystery, intrigue, and surprises.
Into The Darkness
As promised by early trailers and promo spots for season 2, Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores is in the driving seat this time around. She's out for revenge — and she's not the only one.
The premiere, directed by Richard J. Lewis and written by Lisa Joy and Robert Patino, had a fitting title "Journey into Night."
The episode ends with one of the show's most startling images to date — a body of water filled with the floating corpses of Westworld's most popular hosts including poor James Marsden's Teddy, who died so many times it's unusual to see him alive.
Even more startling still is the revelation that amnesiac Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) believes he is responsible for the massacre.
"I killed them. All of them," he whispers right before the episode ends.
Considering they're hosts, the fact that they're dead doesn't mean a lot. With showrunners and co-creators Joy and Jonathan Nolan revealing that Westworld could span years, if not decades, it's unlikely anything will stick.
The timelines are clear this time around. Bernard's moment of realization comes just two weeks after Dolores kick-started her robot revolution by killing Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in front of everybody. Therefore, there are two timelines spread over two weeks, not including anything that happened in between or elsewhere.
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves
The women are in control this time, according to Tessa Thompson, who plays Delos executive Charlotte Hale. Aside from Dolores, each female character will have her time in the spotlight.
The biggest moment in the first episode of season 2 finds Dolores and former prostitute Maeve (Thandie Newton) waging an all-out war on their creators, and the world they inhabit.
Maeve even threatens a Delos exec after he tries to explain that the daughter she's searching for isn't real. Dolores, meanwhile, asks park guests whether they've ever questioned their own reality.
"Under all these laws I've lived, something else has been growing, I've evolved into something new. And I have one last role to play: myself," she gravely intones.
Bernard, running through a programming diagnostic, flat out tells her how afraid he is of what she's becoming, which is something that the trailers have been hinting at for months.
Thompson's Charlotte is working with Bernard to keep things under control. Given the episode's dark ending, it seems like the situation might escalate further.
Bernard, who is ostensibly an ally of the human side, is struggling with his own demons.
"He's got some health issues... He's got some cognitive challenges as we enter the first episodes of season 2 and he has additional challenges that come up as he goes on board in terms of him being able to process," actor Wright revealed to Deadline at SXSW.
The show utilizes Bernard's loss of time to create confusion over the competing timelines, even though it's clear that there are two this time.
Likewise, Bernard's difficulty with picking a side will come to the fore as the season wears on. As for Ed Harris's Man In Black, he's is out for more action as he tries to figure out whether the prophecy about him is true.
Suffice to say, things are just heating up in Westworld.