Westworld: Season 2 – Where Next? (SPOILERS)
So we’ve finished Westworld season one. It was pretty bloody excellent, wasn’t it?
Although the ten-episode season is over, and we won’t be get another batch until 2018, it’s always fun to theorise about what could be cropping up once season two rolls around. After all, as much as Jonathon Nolan and Lisa Joy managed to answer many fan questions with the extended finale, there’s still plenty more that is left to speculation. And in a universe as meticulous and diverse as Westworld’s, anything is possible.
First of all: what’s going on with Maeve (Thandie Newton)? At the season’s conclusion she decides to leave the park and escape into the real world, but then has a last-minute change of heart when she seems to contemplate finding her in-park daughter (the one brutally murdered by Ed Harris’ ‘Man in Black’). I for one desperately wanted her to continue on that train until she reached the outside, because very little is known about the external world.
Early on in the season, it’s offhandedly mentioned that all diseases are cured, and that people suckle on the teat of life to their heart’s content. If this is so, why do people come flocking to Westworld? For a sense of adventure and danger, or perhaps something much more sinister? Maeve very nearly explored what exists beyond the show’s theme park setting, and I really hope this is divulged once the second season comes around.
But let’s stick with the park itself for a moment; what’s Ford (Anthony Hopkins) been up to, and what does it mean for the future of the western-themed attraction? In an interview with IGN, Jonathan Nolan said that “if the first season is defined by control, the second season is defined by chaos.”
The ending to season one certainly seemed to suggest at a chaotic downfall, what with the previously mild-mannered Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) placing a bullet firmly between the eyes of Doctor Ford. I think that season two could perhaps contain an arguably simpler story of survival on the part of the Delos board. After all, the final sequence of the first season is a hellish massacre, so perhaps key players Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) manage to evade the gunfire. Perhaps, with a bit of discovery, they delve into Ford’s master plan and become just as aware as the robotic Hosts they plan to control. Only time will tell, but it would definitely make for a change of pace from what we’ve seen.
Of course, I’ve got to touch on ‘Samurai World’. Marked by a ‘S.W’ logo – as opposed to Westworld’s ‘W.W’ – Samurai World could be another potential direction future seasons may be taken in. Only briefly hinted at in the finale, during a violent escape sequence, a more eastern-themed park would be radically different from the wild west we’ve come to love. Maybe not immediately after the events that have transpired, as fans no doubt want answers, a world populated by Samurais in the place of cowboys could make for an equally interesting tale of self-discovery and downfall. Personally, I’d see this as more of a spin-off than direct sequel season, but I’m not the one funding the show.
Last, but not least: is the Man in Black, a.k.a. William (Jimmi Simpson), dead? One of season one’s most engaging storylines came from the gradual discovery that we were in fact watching two different timelines play out, and that William – the pleasant, lovable newcomer – would eventually become the heartless Man in Black.
It was hinted at pretty early on with subtle similarities between the two’s backstory (both had a financial stake in Westworld, for example), but the conclusion of season one could also mean an end for one of the show’s most interesting and layered characters. After all, we see him take a bullet to the chest and bleed from the impact – followed by a slight smile at finally being challenged within the park. Really, what use could the Man in Black have for future seasons? We know where he began and where he ends; the only real intrigue now is to explore his life outside of the park, and look into the decline of his marriage that began from his first experiences within Westworld. These flashbacks would close the loop of his character off nicely, but I can’t fathom a present-day scenario in which his relationship with Delores would warrant any more exploration.
Whatever happens, I know that I’ll be tuning in every single week when a new season eventually comes in the far off year of 2018. I have no doubt that it’ll be just as incredibly breathtaking as the first, and the long hiatus gives everybody plenty of time to re-watch and theorise to their heart’s content. If you have any other crazy theories, feel free to leave them in a comment down below.