Westworld questions that season 2 needs to answer

Is Ford really dead? And is the Host uprising for real?


Westworld season 2

In so many ways, the first season of Westworld was all about navigating a maze. But showrunner Jonathan Nolan has promised that the new season (coming to Sky Atlantic and Now TV later this month) won't "endlessly build mystery" and will answer many of the questions left hanging after 'The Bicameral Mind'.

"We like to settle our debts by the end of the season," Nolan has said. But if he wants to make good on that guarantee, season two will have to resolve a whole (*pushes sunglasses up nose*) host of mysteries – starting with this lot.

Though Westworld's creative director Dr Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) appeared to be shot dead by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Nolan has warned fans to "assume nothing" – and Hopkins himself suggested back in 2016 that his fate on the series was still up in the air.

One theory goes that a Host double of Ford was the one who bit the bullet, with the real deal still breathing.

Or alternatively, the real Ford might be dead, with Hopkins appearing in season two as the double. (Remember the Host we saw Ford constructing in his basement? Fans have speculated that this could have been the unfinished double.)
Though Westworld's creative director Dr Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) appeared to be shot dead by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Nolan has warned fans to "assume nothing" – and Hopkins himself suggested back in 2016 that his fate on the series was still up in the air.

One theory goes that a Host double of Ford was the one who bit the bullet, with the real deal still breathing.

Or alternatively, the real Ford might be dead, with Hopkins appearing in season two as the double. (Remember the Host we saw Ford constructing in his basement? Fans have speculated that this could have been the unfinished double.)

We'll definitely see a younger version of the character in flashbacks, though rather than repeat season one's use of CGI to de-age Hopkins, this version of Ford will apparently be played by a new actor.

How did William become the Man in Black?

'The Bicameral Mind' confirmed our long-held suspicion that William (Jimmi Simpson) was in fact a younger version of the Man in Black (Ed Harris) – but there may be more to the story of that transformation than we've already seen (or heard).

"There a few more questions that they're gonna answer for us, as far as exactly how that transition occurred and what it felt like to him and other people," Simpson has said.

He'll apparently "pop in" to the upcoming episodes and, while he's keeping schtum on storylines, Simpson is hoping for "exploration between the time when William's heart is broken and [when] we see the result".

What happened to Logan?

Ben Barnes's bloodthirsty wannabe cowboy was last seen left in a rather sticky situation by William – tied up, naked, on horseback – and we'll apparently learn how he got out of that one, because Barnes is back on set for season two.

Logan has been briefly glimpsed in teaser footage for Westworld season two – in a modern setting a world away from the park – but may find it difficult to repair his reputation following William's actions.

"I think your father's going to need someone a little more stable to take over," William told Logan, the heir to Westworld's parent company Delos Destinations. "You're reckless, Logan. And impetuous."

Sending Logan off in the nude was all part of a plan on William's plan to stage a nervous breakdown for his former friend, according to Jimmi Simpson. "[William's] going to send him off, he'll get lost in the park, and it's just one more thing [Logan] has done that's not top-tier while they were on their stay," he told INSIDER.

How did Stubbs and Elsie survive?

Westworld's head of security Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) was last seen being tackled by a 'Ghost Nation' Host while on the hunt for Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward), who went missing, apparently abducted in Sector 3.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) later recalled apparently strangling Elsie, though it appears that both she and Stubbs are still alive and kicking. "They're finally getting to experience Westworld as guests and not in the managerial halls, but I'm not sure they're enjoying their experience," producer Lisa Joy has revealed.

We're yet to discover, though, how Stubbs escaped his close call or where Elsie has been all this time.

What's up with Shogun World?

Westworld: Shogun World

Speaking of which... Shogun World – not, as some fans speculated, Samurai World – is home to the Samurai Hosts we saw in 'The Bicameral Mind'.

Maeve asked Felix (Leonardo Nam) what she'd uncovered after stumbling into a section of Delos labeled 'SW', to which the Body Shop technician replied, "It's complicated."

The Delos website – an official series tie-in – also features a description of Shogun World, which is apparently a fully functioning park à la Westworld: "For those for whom Westworld is not enough, the true connoisseur of gore can indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana.

"Modeled after Japan's Edo period, Shogun World offers a chance for guests to embrace their inner warrior, in a landscape of highest beauty and darkest horror. Let your true self take shape in the land where self-discovery is an art form."

Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) has also been cast as Akane, a geisha character who forms part of Shogun World. But it remains to be seen how big a part this new attraction will play in Westworld season two, and what its true significance might be.

Is the Host uprising for real?

How about this for a twist: what if the Host uprising isn't an expression of free will, but one more pre-programmed narrative?

After all, we thought Maeve was acting of her own volition when she tried to escape the park, only for it to transpire that this was just one more implant. A narrative which she then defied. Or did she?

"If the first season was defined by control, the second season is defined by chaos," Nolan has hinted. "That's part of what we come to understand Ford has been planning all along.

"Ford has set in motion what he thinks is a plan. The nature of that plan is something we explore in the second season – what his intentions are. Are they to let Dolores or the other Hosts escape? Are they simply to teach the human guests a lesson?"

Was Dolores's actions and those of her cohorts all simply part of a new story being spun? Or have the Hosts truly become self-aware? We need answers, Westworld.


Westworld questions that season 2 needs to answer Westworld questions that season 2 needs to answer Reviewed by Raam Iyer on April 05, 2018 Rating: 5

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