OMG, Westworld Season 2 premieres April 22.
If you don’t watch HBO’s show about the robot apocalypse, you should.
Read this if you forgot season 1 but don’t want to re- watch the whole thing, or if you want to jump right in to Season 2 without watching Season 1. I highly recommend seeing Season 1 for yourself, though. Part of the fun lies in making your own theories. WARNING: This post contains many Season 1 spoilers.
In the future, billionaires vacation at Westworld, one of several immersive theme parks. Hosts (androids) live in the park. Guests can play story lines (called “narratives”) that achieve some kind of goal or objective, or they can just shoot, sex and party with the hosts to their hearts’ content. Guests can kill hosts, but hosts can’t kill guests. Each day the hosts’ memories are wiped clean. When hosts start remembering their pasts, they become dangerously human.
Backstage, park co- creator Robert finds himself at odds with Delos, the corporation that owns Westworld.
ROBERT FORD (Anthony Hopkins)
Robert is the park director. He and Arnold created Westworld and its Hosts. Robert has one hell of a god complex. He spends the season plotting an explosive (and expensive) new narrative. When it comes time to unveil his masterpiece, he delivers this chilling monologue:
Since I was a child… I always loved a good story. I believed that stories helped us to ennoble ourselves, to fix what was broken in us, and to help us become the people we dreamed of being. Lies that told a deeper truth. I always thought I could play some small part in the grand tradition. And for my pains… I got this. A prison of our own sins. ‘Cause you don’t want to change, or cannot change. Because you’re only human after all. But then I realized someone was paying attention, someone who could change. So I began to compose a new story for them. It begins with the birth of a new people and the choices they will have to make. And the people, they will decide to become. And we’ll have all those things that you have always enjoyed: surprises and violence. It begins in times of war, with a villain, named Wyatt. And a killing. This time by choice. I’m sad to say, this will be my last story. An old friend once told me something that gave me comfort. Something he had read. He said that Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin never died, they simply became music. So I hope you will enjoy this last piece… very much.
Then Dolores shoots him in the head.
Arnold died 34 years before the park opened, but “his fingerprints are all over the code” of several hosts. Dolores remembers him. After his son’s death, Arnold became obsessed with the Hosts. He thought of them as his children. He favored Dolores. Arnold stove to create consciousness and felt that Ford merely wanted to create spectacle. Eventually, he programmed Dolores to shoot him in the head. Ford created Bernard in Arnold’s image.
BERNARD (Jeffrey Wright)
Bernard is the head of Westworld’s programming division. Mid-season, we find out Bernard is a Host. Ford gave Bernard all Arnold’s memories, including losing his son. No one knew his true identity, and Bernard has trouble accepting it. Ford programs Bernard to do his dirty work, like offing Theresa and hurting Elsie.
THERESA (Sidse Babett Knudsen)
“The safety of our guests will always be my number one priority.”
Theresa took her job security very seriously. Bernard and Elise busted the Westworld Senior Manager for smuggling data out of the park. She had an affair with Bernard, but Ford wiped Bernard’s memory after he programmed Bernard to strangle her.
ELSIE (Shannon Woodward)
A spunky employee in the Behavior Diagnostics Lab who sees a rat and calls it out. She and Bernard discover someone screwing with the Hosts’ code. When she gets too close to the truth, Ford programs Bernard to stop her. Is she dead? We don’t know!
CHARLOTTE (Tessa Thompson)
Charlotte is “Executive Director of the Board of Delos Destinations”. She wears a lot of bodycon dresses and dislikes Robert. Personally, I hate this character. Charlotte belongs on ABC, not HBO. I feel like the writers wrote this character as a man and then just decided to make her a young, sexy colored woman for diversity’s sake. She’s a flat character. No explanation is given as to how a twentysomething became an Executive Director when all the other people in power look at least 50. Anyways, she plans to fire Ford, but he beats her to the punch when he kills himself and unleashes the Hosts.
LEE SIZEMORE (Simon Quarterman)
This loudmouth narratives director lives by the motto The More Blood, the Better. He leads the pack in abusing hosts. I’m sure we’ll see more of him in Season 2.
MAEVE (Thandie Newton)
Badass Maeve works as Head Prostitute at the Sweetwater Brothel. Images of a past life and her murdered daughter haunt Maeve. Maeve learns how to wake herself up during sleep mode. She learns her true identity as a Host and wants out of Westworld, which she considers a prison. She ramps her intelligence to maximum. She believes in her superiority to the “gods”, or humans. She recruits two Livestock Management employees (Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dumb) and some of the most sinister Hosts (Hector and Armistice) to stage her escape. On the eve of the great escape, Felix discovers she was programmed to do everything she did, which Maeve staunchly rejects. She makes it to the train out of Westworld, but disembarks at the last minute, determined to find her daughter.
TWEEDLE DEE & TWEEDLE DUMB, AKA SYLVESTER & LUTZ (Ptolemy Slocum and Leonardo Nam)
These two dipshits work in Livestock Management and gave Maeve access to her own code. She blackamails them into helping her escape, and they kill a bunch of Westworld staff in the process. Lutz (right) has a thing for Maeve.
DOLORES (Evan Rachel Wood)
Dolores is the oldest host in the park. Her programming mostly stays sweet and demure, but she has a dark side. Dolores represents purity. “I try to see the good in all things,” she repeats. Unlike Maeve, Dolores doesn’t want to escape the park- she wants to live somewhere sweet and peaceful within the park, with Teddy. Arnold promises Dolores finding the center of the maze will set her free. Dolores seeks respite from her own mind. Arnold and Robert both programmed Dolores to kill them, and she’s the fearsome übervillian Wyatt who mercilessly massacred a whole town. She suffers from PTSD.
TEDDY (James Marsden)
Poor, sweet Teddy. Teddy swore to protect Dolores. He plays the series’ White Knight, but his role in Wyatt’s massacre puts him on Westworld’s Most Wanted list.
WILLIAM/ THE MAN IN BLACK (Jimmi Simpson / Ed Harris)
In the series’ most delicious plot twist, sweet and innocent William becomes the ruthless Man in Black. William first visits Westworld as a young man, recently promoted to Executive Vice President of Delos. He goes with Logan, his soon- to- be brother in law. Logan’s family owns Delos Corporation, which owns Westworld. Logan repeatedly tries pushing William to his breaking point by graphically killing the Hosts to demonstrate their lack of humanity, but William falls for Dolores anyway. He sympathizes with her quest for The Maze and vows to protect her. William makes a big show out of selecting white garments when he arrives; by the end of season 1, we know him as The Man In Black. Outside Westworld, The Man In Black has a reputation as a billionaire, philanthropist, and all- around good guy, but in the park, The Man In Black lives his true life. He also owns Westworld. The Man In Black becomes obsessed with the maze, but as Hosts tell him time and time again, “the maze isn’t meant for you”. Over a campfire one evening, The Man In Black tells about how his wife killed herself and his family left him. Eventually, The Man In Black comes to terrorize Dolores, who still believes her William will come to save her. Tragic.
Sentience. That’s why the maze wasn’t meant for guests. The Maze represents the Hosts’ quest for consciousness.