After a Super Bowl tease, an elaborate immersive experience, and a twisty online game, HBO has finally premiered the full trailer for Westworlds mysterious second season. If youd prefer to take everything at face value (though wheres the fun of that in Westworld?), then go ahead and soak up the stunning visuals, ominous voice-over, and the cover of Nirvanas “Heart-Shaped Box” we told you was coming back in February.
But if youre interested in dreaming a little bigger, darling, then we have some tantalizing clues about the series co-created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy here. Lets break it down by character, shall we?
Maeve: Everyones favorite saloon madam eschewed freedom in order to return to the park and find her daughter at the end of last season. This seems like it may still be her primary mission in Season 2. In the trailer, Simon Quartermans Lee Sizemore appears to tell Maeve that the daughter of her flashbacks has been “re-programmed” and is not “real.” This does not deter Maeve one bit, and its possible that the search for her daughter is what brings her to one of the parks newly-revealed attractions: a Japanese fantasy called “Shogun World.”
Its doubtful Maeve will find exactly what shes looking for; elsewhere in the trailer, we see her drawn away from a potential pursuit of her daughter and into whatever kind of vengeful liberation plan Dolores has cooking. Maeve does not look entirely comfortable with Doloress blood-soaked revolution.
Logan and William: If youve been following the promotion for Season 2 closely, then you already know that Ben Barnes as Logan and Jimmi Simpson as William were slated to return. Well see, via flashback, how William went from the wide-eyed innocent of the past to the ruthless Ed Harris version we meet in the present. From the trailer, it looks like Logan and William will spend at least some of that story line still at war with each other over what happened in the park . . .
. . . with Dolores stuck in the middle. We see a flashback version of Dolores in modern dress, putting on her clothes after what looks like an orgiastic night with Logan. (You can see Barnes still snoozing in the bed.)
We can also see William coming to possibly angrily confront her in a similar setting. Whether this takes place in the rumored third “World” (possibly “Future World”) that is a high-tech modern fantasy, or out of the park entirely and in the “real” world, remains to be seen.
But most heartbreaking of all for lovers of the Dolores and William narrative, we see young William confronting her in her naked host form in the Delos labs. Thats going to be nine kinds of uncomfortable and harrowing as the jilted (in his mind), bitter William works through his anger.
It also looks like young William might possibly go back into Westworld at least one more time—though we know hell end up traveling through several times—with Dolores in the role of the villain. We see her threatening someone that looks an awful lot like him. (You cant miss that hair, right?) So perhaps he thought he could get over Dolores by making her be cruel to him—or perhaps this is just another patron in the park about to meet a grisly end at Doloress hand.
But one last thing on these two Delos executives before we return to their A.I. creations. If William wants to get back at Logan, he appears to have an ally in new Season 2 character James Delos (Peter Mullan), who is likely both the founder of the company and Logans father. You can see him walking away from his son (?) in evident disgust.
Dolores: It looks like Season 2 will still operate in multiple temporalities. We should see both Doloress flashback scenes with Logan and William and her even earlier one-on-one flashback conversations with the real Arnold, not to be confused with his host doppelgänger, Bernard. But, hey, this is a Nolan family production. After watching Inception,Interstellar,Memento,Dunkirk, etc., did you really expect the timeline to straighten out in Season 2?
While Dolores plays the innocent for Arnold in the first timeline, and is a victim of William and Logans petty squabbles in another, well see her go full righteous, avenging angel in the modern plot. Look on her body count and despair.
Bernard: For all of Doloress revolution and Maeves bullish quest, it looks like, for now, Bernard is a host still in pursuit of peace. We see him appearing to work willingly with Luke Hemsworths Ashley Stubbs (head of security in the park and definitely not dead!) and Tessa Thompsons Charlotte Hale (hard-nosed Delos board member) to potentially track and stop Dolores on her mission of death and destruction.
Will they succeed in stopping her? Well, I wouldnt bet any money on it. But in one of the trailers most stunning visuals, we do see Hale uncover an entire back catalogue of Bernard hosts in the deep freeze.
Well, thats enough to make even the most gentle host pop off.
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Joanna RobinsonJoanna Robinson is a Hollywood writer covering TV and film for VanityFair.com.