A new trailer’s out for Westworld Season 2 and it hints at some of the themes that we’ll see in series ahead. In this trailer, Dolores talks about burning down the human world and building a “new world” where the hosts – the robots – can be free. So Dolores seems to be waging war against the humans remaining in Westworld – we see her gunning down fleeing people, like something outta Planet of the Apes. Her victims run away – which makes the Kanye soundtrack all the more appropriate. Dolores isn’t alone in her war. She’s got her sidekick Teddy, who mostly just follows her around and looks upset, but she also has these mysterious masked men.
We’re actually told who these guys are back in Season 1. Charlotte mentions that as part of his final narrative, Ford created “a horde of masked men” who support Wyatt. And Wyatt, remember, is like the big bad guy role from years ago that’s now been embraced by Dolores. So presumably, these masked men help Dolores in her fight for freedom against the humans. But that raises the question – if this whole story of Wyatt and the masked men was planned out by Ford – is Dolores really free, or is she still under Ford’s control, even after his death? Maeve also attacks humans.
She uses robot bulls to kill security guys in the Mesa Hub, and there’s also a fight in the Control Room where Maeve meets Sizemore last trailer. The bull thing calls back to something Dolores said last season – when you herd cattle, there’s a “Judas steer” that all the others cows follow. Maybe Maeve is the Judas steer leading the other hosts to consciousness and freedom. But thing is, while the cattle follow the Judas steer, the Judas steer is controlled by the human cattle rancher – just as Ford seems to be controlling Maeve and Dolores.
So again, Ford’s ghost looms over the story still. Another explanation for the bulls is that last season, Maeve is upgraded with the ability to control other hosts – she uses this on a sheriff, and even on Bernard. This power might be how Maeve controls these bulls, which is super cool – for her to control an animal army like she was Ant-Man or Squirrel Girl or some homicidal version of Snow White. But if Maeve represents freedom, isn’t it wrong for her to control other hosts like this, to take away their freedom? Again it’s kinda like how Ford gives hosts freedom by manipulating them. Anyway. Maeve’s goal, at the end of Season 1, is to find her host daughter somewhere in a park. What will happen when Maeve finds her? What kind of relationship can you have with a daughter who’s a robot, whose memories and behaviours are programmed? How do you love a machine? There are lots of cool questions to explore around relationships among robots and humans.
While Maeve and Dolores cause chaos and violence, some surviving human staff are with Bernard. It’ll be cool to see how these humans react if they find out their boss Bernard is a host. The staff see bodies on the shore of Westworld – which might be what’s left after Dolores’ massacre last season. We also see Bernard with a big faceless host who attacks someone. Is this like an experimental robot, maybe a military thing? We keep hearing last season that the Delos company has some special secret business interest that goes deeper than tourism. Maybe this creepy robot is related. We also see the host Peter Abernathy captured in the Mesa Hub, which is weird – cause last we saw Peter, he was sent out of Westworld by Charlotte and Sizemore, who were using Peter’s brain to smuggle data.
If Pete left the park, why’s he back here? Maybe this shot happens in the past. Because there’s also this shot of Logan, young Logan, as he looked thirty years ago with William. It looks like Season 2 continues to tell this story in multiple timeframes at once – there’s the present, with Maeve and Dolores’ uprising, and the past with William and Logan in early Westworld thirty years ago. Maybe we’ll find out more about how Delos bought Westworld, and how William took control over Logan. This particular shot looks like Logan’s in the real world, outside of Westworld, cause there’re city skyscapes behind him. This might be New York, like in the photo of Logan’s sister Juliet. But the people around Logan in this shot appear to be hosts, cause they’re all frozen – so this is not only the first time we’ve seen the real world outside Westworld, but we’re seeing hosts in the real world.
What kind of role do robots play in this future society? What kinda technology, and culture might we see? This shot also might be in the past – it looks like Arnold with an early Dolores, so maybe we’ll see more of their backstory. Dolores wears a dress and hair similar to Angela in Season 1 Episode 2. Maybe Dolores was originally gonna be a greater host like Angela. Also, remember that Peter is Dolores’ host father, so maybe we’ll see more of their relationship. We’ll also see more of young William, and his present self, the Man in Black. Last season, William wanted real danger and violence in Westworld, and now with Dolores’ war he’s got his wish. His role last season was to show how dark and empty humans can be. Maybe next season will be an opportunity for William to change – to believe in something more than just fighting and winning. We see hosts from Ghost Nation, a mysterious tribe of native Americans in the Westworld park.
They captured Stubbs last season, and might have him still. But their role in the story could go deeper – we saw last season that these guys know things about the maze, and about shades. They also scalp people, which is interesting cause it was in a scalp that we first saw the symbol of the Maze. So it’s not clear what side Ghost Nation will take in Dolores and Maeve’s conflicts, but it’ll be cool to learn more about what they know. We also see this dog or “wolf” walking around. It looks like the same one that appears in the Season 1 finale and in Season 1 Episode 2. Why does this wolf keep turning up at massacres? Is it wandering across from the Game of Thrones set? You can actually see a wolf’s head in this shot of Arnold and early Dolores – so maybe this wolf is a host that’s been wandering round for the last thirty years? It’s very odd.
So there are lots of little miscellaneous mysteries in this show, and we might not get good answers to all of them. But there is a grand broader story. The central image of this trailer is the clash of these robot bulls against human soldiers, which perfectly captures the conflict explored in this series. It’s about freedom versus control, and the real versus the artificial – and it’s increasingly hard to tell which is which. The robots are machines but they seem wild and free, like Dolores and Maeve.
These soldiers are the real humans but they seem cold, faceless and dehumanized – like the Man in Black. Westworld Season 1 is described as a “prequel” or a “prologue” to the greater story – it introduces the characters, world and themes. But Season 2 is where the clash happens. Man and machine, Westworld and East world, present and past – all come together at last. Season 2 begins on April 22.