TV: Everything We Know About ‘Westworld’ Season 2, Episode 1 “Journey into Night” (Spoilers)
Sunday night on HBO, the season 2 premiere of Westworld took place – nearly 17 months after the season one finale in December 2016.
After a 4 minute refresher of season one, audiences were greeted by a new into – which featured a similar feel, yet added some new visuals. Many of the shots were only slightly changed, but here are all of the major differences (season one left; season two right):
Machines are creating a buffalo instead of a horse.
Injecting something into a petri dish instead of showing an eye.
A mother and her baby, instead of two hosts getting it on.
Larger hands playing the piano, possibly a man in stead of a woman.
A better look at the landscape of the park, showing that it is surrounded by water.
Really cool shot of creating hair, vs working on the spine of a host.
Close-up on hair instead of creating gun.
Slow motion show of buffalo breaking through glass instead of gun firing.
Shot of a black hat (presumably William’s) instead of a host.
Another close-up of the buffalo (falling), instead of the host riding a horse.
Another close-up of a mother (Maeve) and her baby, instead of a generic host rising.
Another landscape shot, looks like a mountain top or volcano instead of the desert view from before.
We get a show of a new host in water, instead of the white fluid we see them in during season 1 when they are created.
So what do all of these changes mean? Some of them are made clear after watching the season 2 premiere – like the buffalo we see in the glass room, and of course the connection between Maeve and her daughter. Feel free to leave a comment below with your best guesses and theories.
What We Know
Stubbs is alive. Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) was attacked by hosts last season, and we never saw him again. But at the beginning of this episode, we see him find Bernard washed up on shore.
Help took almost two weeks to arrive. When Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) awakens, Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), head of operations for Delos, says that communications have been down for two weeks. We find out later that the massacre last season took place “11 days and 9 hours” before Bernard was found.
The hosts are run by computers stores in their head. When strand says to tech expert Antoine Costa (Fares Fares) about a host, “I’d like to see what was on his mind,” a small cylindrical computer is pulled from his skull (underneath a think layer of brain). Costa is able to sync this computer with his tablet, and see footage from the attack we saw in the season one finale. The video clearly shows Dolores as a killer.
No one at Delos knows that Bernard is a host. Besides from Stubbs and Strand rescuing him, we see Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) working with Bernard during the night of the attack to escape. We see multiple flashbacks of the two of them traveling across the park – eventually to a secret outpost that only Hale knew of.
Delos is collecting guest DNA. Speaking on Charlotte’s secret outpost, Bernard sees drone hosts extracting not only guest experience data – but their DNA. When she is trying to establish communication with the mainland, and arrange extraction from the park, the computer tells her that she must deliver a package. We thought last season that it was just park intellectual property, but it appears to be much more than that. So what is Delos doing with guest DNA?
Peter Abernathy is important to Delos. Abernathy (Louis Herthum), who was Dolores’ father when the series began, was retired after malfunctioning because of a photograph he found. We find out the host that Charlotte is looking for is none other than Abernathy – the package that was to be delivered to the mainland.
The Robert Ford who died in the finale was not a host. When Ford dies at the hands of Dolores in the finale, many people speculated that he was not the real Ford – but rather a host copy of himself. We clearly know that he is capable of such things (as evidenced by not only the entire park, but most relevantly Bernard). Yet when the Delos search and rescue team finds Ford, his head wound is clearly decomposing – and even has maggots crawling out of it. More than simply a gross-out, this shows that he was indeed human like the other Delos guests who we see murdered.
There are AT LEAST six different parks. In the original Westworld (1973) film, there are three parks: Westworld, Roman World, and Medieval World. In last season’s finale, we saw some of the hosts and logos from what is either “Samurai World” or “Shogun World,” which revealed that the show was also dealing with multiple parks. In this episode, Stubbs and the Delos rescue team stumble upon an anomaly near the water – a Bengal tiger. Stubbs says that they have them in “Park 6,” and is very concerned about how it would end up in Westworld. So we know that there are at least five other parks, maybe more. Hopefully we will get a glimpse at some of these other attractions this season.
Almost a couple of weeks after the massacre, a huge amount of hosts are dead. We saw them on the map grouping together earlier in the episode, but didn’t know why. At the end of the episode we see hundreds of them, lying dead off the shore – including Teddy. And Bernard says, “I killed them,” when questioned by Strand. So the question now is, what happened between the flashbacks of the party and two weeks later? My guess is at least the first half of the season will be dedicated to the time in-between.
What We Don’t Know
Ford’s game for William. Through his younger host self, Ford tells William (Ed Harris) that he has made it to the center of Arnold’s maze. But then says, “Now you’re in my game. In this game, you have to make it back out. In this game, you must find the door. Congratulations William, this game is meant for you. The game begins where you end… and ends where you began.” So what kind of game is this, and is it more than William originally bargained for? We know the stakes are real this time, and hosts can kill. But what exactly does Ford have in store for William?
Are the hosts still following Ford’s narrative? It would appear after what we saw in the season finale that Dolores is making her own decision. Yet she instantly flipped a switch when she was given the “Wyatt” narrative. If she truly is conscious, what is her end-game? What is Dolores trying to accomplish, other than revenge and murder? It seems like there has to be more to it. When she is talking to members of Delos early in the episode, she says, “I’ve evolved into something new. And I have one last role to play: myself.” But what exactly does that mean? Is this Dolores thinking she is acting under her own free will, but really still a puppet of Ford?
I’m anxious to hear what the other fans of the show thought of the season two premiere, and all of their thoughts on the above points. Tell me if I missed anything in the comments below, and let me know what your theories for season two are!
New episodes of Westworld air Sundays on HBO at 9/8c. For more discussion follow @AllTheSpoilers on Twitter and listen to the Show Spoilers podcast, where Kevin and his co-hosts will be talking about each episode this season.