SPOILERS will be featured for Westworld Season 1, as well as for the premiere episode of Westworld Season 2.
HBO’s Westworld is back thanks to the debut of its Season 2 premiere, which is titled, “Journey Into Night”. The premiere episode packed in plenty of information to setup the new season, while also tying its events to those that were setup in the first season, effectively bridging the overarching narrative of the mysterious show.
Speaking of mystery, there is plenty of it already thanks to the information shared and the scenes that played out in the premiere. In fact, we got a few answers from lingering questions left over from the show’s season 1 finale, but more importantly we were given insights into how many timelines this season will feature, as well as the key plot threads that will be woven throughout the remaining episodes. One things is clear, and that is the fact that Bernard is once again at the center of one of the show’s biggest threads, and like the first season, his actions, as well as those of Arnold (who he was designed to be like), will drive the show’s plot forward. Bernard isn’t the only main character driving the intrigue though, because Dolores, Maive, and even the Man in Black will all play key roles in unraveling the time jumping narrative that was setup in the show’s second season premiere.
With that being said I’d like to take a stab at breaking down the timelines introduced in the premiere, as well as the key plot threads that the show will explore moving forward. There are also two fan theories from the first season that have already been debunked, so I’ll touch on those as well.
The New Timelines
Like the first season, the second season of Westworld will also explore multiple timelines. This is made clear right from the start when the viewer is treated to an exchange between what is probably Arnold talking to Dolores in the past, but you never know, it could be Bernard talking to her closer to the events that take place in the present. Regardless of when or who is talking to Dolores, the conversation reveals just how special of a host Dolores is, and why Arnold took such interest in her growth. Although, this is the first time we saw Arnold, if it was indeed Arnold, being troubled by Dolores and her way of thinking about the world, so that may indicate that she was talking to Bernard and not Arnold.
Bernard and the Delos Army
The second timeline in this season of Westworld is taking place 11 days after Dolores shot Ford at the big narrative reveal. Bernard is found lying on a beach with other hosts, but he has lost his memory and has no idea what has happened and why he is where he is found. During this timeline it’s not clear whether who knows that Bernard is a host and not a human. Ashley, played by Hemsworth, makes it seems as if he still thinks Bernard is a human, but thanks to a card that a Delos solider was holding, it appeared as if the Delos army knows he’s a host, and this is slightly reinforced when the new Delos head honcho, Karl Strand, who to me at least, appears to know Bernard is a host, mostly because it felt like the tour of the park he takes Bernard on is meant to jog his memory.
It does work partially, because we as the viewer get flashes of what Bernard did after Ford was killed up through him awakening on a beach as they were on their walk, but at this time enough hasn’t been shown to draw any concrete conclusions. I for one believe that Strand and probably Ashley know Bernard is a host, and they know from some sort of prior reveal that he’s the key to finding out what went down with the hosts, and why they ended up in an ocean dead with Bernard claiming that he killed them all. They were more than likely tipped off through Charlotte, who is working with Bernard in another timeline to get Delos their package, which is Peter Abernathy, so they can come and help rescue any survivors. With this knowledge in hand, we could guess that Charlotte and Bernard succeed since we know Delos arrives, but how they succeed should provide insights into why Bernard has amnesia, as well as who may actually know he’s not real.
Charlotte and Bernard/Dolores and Teddy/Maeve/MiB
The third timeline in this season of Westworld takes place right after the massacre Dolores kicked off by murdering Ford. We know that Charlotte and Bernard escaped to a barn as the hosts began murdering every human on park grounds. We know that Bernard struggled with the humans he was with as he watched them murder a child host. We also learned that Bernard is suffering from the effects of him shooting himself in his head, and that he is pretty unstable physically and mentally shortly after Dolores’ attack. Although, we did see that he can heal himself, at least temporarily, by injecting white goo from a hosts head into his own head, so surely his condition will play a big part in this timeline.
More importantly, we learned that Charlotte and Delos have been harvesting customer DNA through the hosts in the parks after they’ve interacted with them. Really the whole scene that played out in Charlotte’s secret lab offered up all sort of new plot threads and intrigue to stew on. The drone hosts will surely play a key role this season, and the fact that they accepted Bernard’s DNA is very curious since he’s a host, but maybe one that is acceptable to the drone coding? Also, what the hell is Delos up to data mining customer DNA? I think all of this will bear fruit by the end of the season, and will surely drive the series’ plot moving into Season 3.
I also believe that the Dolores/Teddy scenes, the Maeve scenes, and the Man in Black scenes that played out in the premiere are also playing out during this particular timeline. The reveal of Teddy being dead at the end in the ocean confirms as much for his and Dolores’ thread, and Maive’s scenes mostly pick up right where we left her. Finally, we see the MiB hit up his stash to get his cowboy garb after the initial attack, so he’s definitely in this timeline predominantly.
Main Plot Threads
Now that we’ve established the timelines featured this season so far (there will be more based on the episode 2 trailer), it makes sense to zero in on the main plot threads that this season will follow and hopefully answer.
Hosts in the Ocean
One of the biggest plot threads that was setup in the premiere is the reveal that Bernard seemingly led all of the hosts to their deaths in a mysterious ocean on the park’s grounds. We know Bernard had a hand in their fates, but we have no clue why he did what he did, or if his plan has even played out in full. I’m guessing we will find out that Bernard has a great reason to kill all of his own kind, but for now it’s hard to think why he would help commit genocide of his own kind. Maybe it was done to kill off or break some piece of their programming that could keep that tied to narratives? Maybe it was done as a diversion to allow another host such as Dolores out of the park, or maybe Maive? Who knows buy I highly doubt Bernard willingly led his own kind to death, so I’m excited to see where this thread goes.
Charlotte’s Lab, Drones, Guest DNA
Like I mentioned earlier, Charlotte’s lab offered up plenty of new plot threads to think about. First, it showed us how fragile of a state Bernard is in, which probably plays into his amnesia when we find him on the beach. It also sets up the idea of drone hosts, which I believe will be way more impactful than just performing DNA harvests on hosts to get guest DNA data. Speaking of guest DNA, the lab scene also revealed that Dalos is collecting it, for what purposes we don’t know, but you’re for damn sure we will probably find out as the threads from this lab play out. We also learned that Dalos wouldn’t send help until it got its package, which is the host Peter Abernathy, so considering they do ultimately show up, we should see Bernard and Charlotte finding Peter.
Maeve is clearly a part of this season’s main plot threads, just like she was in Season 1. Her thread this season will focus on her quest to find her daughter, which she has enlisted the help of the park’s lore master Lee Sizemore, and her lover Hector. I believe its Maeve’s journey that will show viewers the full scale of the Westworld park and all of the sub-parks, which will be revealed as she hunts down her daughter across the various locations that must be present on Westworld island.
Maeve can also still control other hosts, so she will surely have a larger role in the grand scheme of things, and possibly may run into, or team up with Dolores and/or Bernard before the Dalos army shows up. In fact, her host whispering could be how Bernard got all of the hosts to kill themselves in the Westworld ocean. Food for thought?
Dolores and Teddy
Cleary, the oldest host in the park, and the one that first offered up hope that hosts could become real to Arnold, will be featured in a main plot thread this season. Dolores has dropped her innocent girl narrative and is now hellbent on murdering most humans left in the park, as well as those hosts that she doesn’t deem worthy of the journey she’s on to free hosts and take over the world. I’m not just referring to Westworld, she clearly wants to take over the entire world, which she hints to Teddy when he asks he if they can just settle down and be happy with their own little piece of the park.
If you watched the preview that aired right after this episode I do believe it showed that William (Young MiB) would take Dolores out of the park and into the real world, so when she mentions to Teddy that she remembers everything, she more than likely is referring to her time out of the park, which will clearly give her the knowledge she needs to break out of it and take over the world of man.
I have a feeling that Dolores and Teddy will cross paths with the MiB, Maeve, and Bernard, and that each interaction will shape their plot thread moving forward. I’m must not sure how she’ll react to Maeve, who is also clearly a very special host, and Bernard, who she will clearly be interested in considering that he’s Arnold in host form.
MiB’s Ford Narrative
The final main plot thread for this new season of Westoworld will focus on the Man in Black, and his new personal narrative that was crafted by the now dead Ford. Ford’s younger self in host form explained as much to the MiB when the two crossed paths in the episode, with the host basically telling the MiB that this new narrative is a special game just for him. I’m not sure if the game is just him getting out alive, or if the door host kid Ford told the MiB about. Either way it’s clear that the MiB will have his own special plot thread this season, which is really what he has wanted all along.
- The fan theory what Westworld is on the moon or another planet was debunked because it’s revealed that Westworld is its own island somewhere in the Pacific sea.
- The fan theory that Ford isn’t dead has also been debunked, because we got to see his corpse, complete with maggots, which wouldn’t be eating the flesh of hosts since they don’t decompose.
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