‘Westworld’ Premiere Recap: It's Robot War and Wieners
HBO’s Westworld kicked off a whole new chapter of violent delights with no end in sight on Sunday, April 22, as the show returned for its second season. When we last visited the theme park, the robot uprising had just begun, with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) leading the hosts in violent rebellion against their human slavers — and Maeve (Thandie Newton) making a conscious choice to return to the park in search of a loved one from a previous story line. But with “Journey Into Night,” it’s clear that the mysteries of the park have only just begun to unravel, so brace yourself for another twisty season of mind-bending sci-fi shenanigans.
Maeve on a Mission
Maeve’s choice to return to Westworld in search of her daughter brought us two of the episode’s most memorable moments: an extremely full-frontal shot of Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) and the sexiest robot reunion (with Rodrigo Santoro‘s Hector) ever seen onscreen. As per usual, Westworld was being coy about its timelines in this premiere (keeping in mind that we didn’t find out until nearly the end of last season that Ed Harris and Jimmi Simpson were playing the same character 35 years apart). However, this story line looked to be playing out in the immediate aftermath of the rebellion, and the Westworld headquarters was a blood-spattered chaos of dead bodies, buffalo and bears, oh my.
New Worlds, New Games
Meanwhile, Dolores and Teddy (James Marsden) continued to round up and execute the park’s well-heeled party guests, until Teddy put a pause on the carnage and asked Dolores just how long this was going to go on. Her answer: until they’ve conquered not just this world, but the whole human world, too — together, she claimed. However, given later events in the episode, it’s a fair bet that Teddy’s new story line ends just as unhappily as all of his previous ones. Also, is Dolores truly off script — or is she just a distraction from the new, improved experience designed by the recently-deceased Ford for the Man in Black?
A Shaky Grip on Reality
Finally, Westworld used Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) to tie up this whole episode in a big, fat mystery, hopping back and forth in time from the robot uprising to the arrival of security forces (including Luke Hemsworth‘s Stubbs, whose fate was a big question mark last season). In the immediate aftermath of the massacre, Bernard found his way with Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) to a secret underground lab where pale, faceless “drone hosts” that looked like beefier versions of Slenderman were engaged in illicit data mining. But two weeks later, Bernard was waking up on a beach and following the security team to a gruesome discovery: virtually all the hosts in the park, including Teddy, drowned in a massive sea that wasn’t supposed to exist.
“I killed them. I killed them all,” Bernard said. But knowing this series (and considering that Bernie was previously seen suffering a critical malfunction down in the drone lab), the truth is almost definitely going to be more complicated and much creepier than his confession suggests.
Westworld airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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