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Unread 2018-04-10, 11:33 AM   #101
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The season 2 spoiler video has officially been released. Watch it here. Our original article follows.
Back in March, Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy teased the announcement of a “somewhat controversial plan” regarding spoilers for the upcoming second season, and now we know what that plan is – and it involves spoiling the entire second season for a group of hardcore fans in the hopes of saving “regular” viewers from accidentally being spoiled.
Read about the Westworld season 2 spoilers plan below.
A Surprising Announcement

The first season of HBO’s Westworld was notable for being an expensive, well-cast, and dramatic production, but it arguably earned just as much attention for the way fans dissected every frame and discovered the secrets of its twisty narrative structure long before the show actually revealed it to its audience. The showrunners are all too aware of the show’s devoted online following, and during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session this afternoon, Nolan offered a surprising solution for how to avoid a repeat of what happened during season one. His answer? He’ll spoil the whole second season outright, as long as his post receives 1000 upvotes:
“It creates a larger problem for us, though, in terms of the way your guesswork is reported online. ‘Theories’ can actually be spoilers, and the line between the two is confusing. It’s something we’ve been thinking about since last season. The fans of Game of Thrones, for instance, rallied around and protected the secrets of the narrative in part because they already knew those secrets (through season 5).
We thought about this long and hard, and came to a difficult (and potentially highly controversial) decision. If you guys agree, we’re going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2. Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead, and then protect the rest of the community, and help to distinguish between what’s ‘theory’ and what’s spoiler.
It’s a new age, and a new world in terms of the relationship between the folks making shows and the community watching them. And trust is a big part of that. We’ve made our cast part of this decision, and they’re fully supportive. We’re so excited to be in this with you guys together.”
Is Nolan Serious?

Let’s assume for a second that Nolan is telling the truth. How would this even work? The minute he released the video that spoils Westworld season 2, every site on the internet would pick it up and run with it. The Game of Thronescomparison might look good on paper, but that assumes that every editor in chief of every pop culture site A) read George R.R. Martin’s novels, B) agreed on what coverage would be good for their sites, and C) participated in guiding the online narrative away from actual spoilers in an effort to protect those who didn’t want to be spoiled. But the very concept of what even constitutes a spoiler is so polarizing that such an organized effort would essentially be impossible to implement (not even factoring in the logistics of communication and agreement between the editors).
It seems far more likely that this is an elaborate head fake. Putting forth a video that “spoils” the show under the guise of embracing the storm seems like an innovative, interesting move, but Nolan and Joy are hyper aware of how their show is parsed online. And remember, Nolan co-wrote The Prestige. He’s all about misdirection and pulling off the magic trick. Releasing a fake video that tricks fans into thinking they know where the show is going, only to pull the rug out from under everyone when it does the exact opposite? Now that seems much more in line with Nolan’s M.O.
Does anyone think this promise is actually real? Will you watch the video when it’s released?
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Unread 2018-04-10, 11:34 AM   #102
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This afternoon, Westworld creators/showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy made a daring promise: in order to avoid having Redditors guess season 2’s major plot beats before the show itself revealed them to its audience, the showrunners said they would release a detailed video online ahead of its premiere that went ahead and spoiled everything up front. According to them, the plan was to release this information to a select group of gatekeepers who would then be able to better control the flow of spoilers out into the larger world of the internet.
Tonight, Nolan and Joy followed through on their promise to release a spoiler-filled video. But as you might expect from the people behind such a mind-bending show, there’s a twist.
In the interest of protecting those who truly don’t want to know anything at all about the second season of Westworld, I’ll drop a brief spoiler warning right here. Now is your last chance to avoid discovering what this video contains.
You can read the full backstory of this zany plot right here, but after his initial post met their requirement of 1000 upvotes, Nolan returned to Reddit with this post, linking to the video below and saying, “All right guys. We left this in your hands. Some may feel this is a drastic step, but I, for one, love and trust this community.”
Westworld Season 2 Spoiler Video

Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7oeROkyPgs


The video begins with voiceover from Jeffrey Wright, narrating what appears to be a few very real plot points about his character, Bernard. He wakes up on a beach, is questioned by Delos’s head of security, and slowly starts to remember what happened to him. There’s even a reference to “The Door,” which is the “secret” title for the second season that the showrunners used internally on the production. We know from a previous interview with Wright that this all sounds legitimate: “He’s got some cognitive challenges as we enter the first episodes of season 2 and he has additional challenges that come up as he goes on board in terms of him being able to process,” he said.
But right around the 1:30 mark, we find out the true purpose of this video: it was an elaborate Rickroll, as actresses Angela Sarafyan (who plays Clementine) and Evan Rachel Wood (who plays Dolores) begin serenading the audience with a piano rendition of Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Reddit loves this song, and considering Nolan is a longtime Redditor, it makes sense that he’d cater to that specific audience with this gag. (The remainder of the video is black and white footage of a dog sitting in front of a piano while the score plays in the background.)
While the showrunners’ announcement about their controversial plan to release spoilers may have sounded interesting in theory, there was no practical way to ensure that the revealed information didn’t spread far and wide. Nolan and Joy knew this, of course, so they just decided to have a little fun with everyone as a way to get people talking about Westworld before it returns to HBO. Mission accomplished.
And not to gloat (because it seemed pretty obvious), but we predicted something like this would happen. Here’s an excerpt from my write-up about the creators’ proposed plan from earlier this afternoon:
And remember, Nolan co-wrote The Prestige. He’s all about misdirection and pulling off the magic trick. Releasing a fake video that tricks fans into thinking they know where the show is going, only to pull the rug out from under everyone when it does the exact opposite? Now that seems much more in line with Nolan’s M.O.
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Unread 2018-04-10, 03:13 PM   #103
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Westworld season 2 adds five recurring stars, but who are they playing?


Westworld fans now have five more pieces to the season 2 puzzle, even if they offer more questions than answers. Five actors — four newcomers and one veteran — have been announced as recurring stars for when the HBO sci-fi drama returns later this month. The question now remains, what roles do they play within the android uprising?
Tao Okamoto, who appeared as Lex Luthor’s assistant in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has been cast as a character called Hanaryo, while Kiki Sukezane (Netflix’s Lost in Space) plays Sakura. We know season 2 will be introducing a new playground for the Westworld guests with Shogun World, but it’s unclear whether Hanaryo and Sakura are involved with it.
“This is a world that’s a composite — just as Westworld is a composite with the early-19th-century open range of Red River and the immediate post-Civil War era of The Searchers,but it also has trains,” writers-producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy divulged to EW of Shogun World. “We felt free to have a composite with Shogun World and pick and choose. This is basically the Edo period, but with artifacts from across 300 years.”
Julia Jones, recently spotted in Wind River but more recognizable to Twilight fans as Leah, will play Kohana.
As for Zahn McClarnon’s mystery role, we’ve already spotted him in the trailers. His character name is Akecheta, and he was seen briefly wearing some snazzy cocktail attire in the show’s “Inception” trailer (that secret trailer within the trailer). It also appears to be McClarnon on horseback in the full-length teaser, prompting some fans to believe he could be a part of the Ghost Nation.



HBO






HBO




The Native American tribe was referenced a great deal in season 1 and also terrorized Maeve (Thandie Newton), who is now on a mission in season 2 to find out what happened to her daughter. Martin Sensmeier also played a Native American warrior briefly in the first season, and his role of Wanahton joins the previously mentioned recurring characters.
There are plenty more tidbits and theories to be had in the various previews that have been churning out ahead of the premiere. The new episodes will also feature many missing characters — including Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale and Shannon Woodward’s Elsie Hughes — and a few more new ones, like the geisha played by Rinko Kikuchi.
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Unread 2018-04-13, 09:36 AM   #104
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Westworld season 2 is bigger, more baffling, and brilliant: EW review



In Westworld’s second-season premiere, The Man In black (Ed Harris) fixes his flinty glare on a host. Having
survived the robot-led slaughter of season 1, he has questions. “Even now, you all still talk in code?” he growls. “Everything is code here, William,” the host replies calmly. “You know that more than anyone.”

As if we could ever forget. Westworld is an epic robot Western wrapped in multiple timelines and stuffed inside concentric Easter eggs — and its pleasures remain as extensive (and baffling) in season 2, which expands the world with new parks, new faces, new mysteries, and new details about characters that raise new questions.

The supersize season opener picks up about two weeks after Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) killed her maker, Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins), sparking the hosts’ bloody revolution against their captors. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) — who recently learned he’s a host — washes up on a beach and is “rescued” by the soldiers from Delos, the park’s parent company, who are deep into coordinating a counterattack on their uncooperative merchandise. The execs want Bernard to explain what happened at the massacre — but his memory is glitchy, and what he can recall (smash-cut to him mowing down someone with a machine gun) isn’t safe to divulge.

After kidnapping the park’s head writer, Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), Maeve (Thandie Newton) treks across Westworld in search of her daughter. Dolores also traverses the park, finding enterprising new ways to murder humans and galloping toward her manifest destiny: world domination. As for the Man in Black, he’s on a world-destroying mission, but first he has to find something called “the Door.”

Though the characters’ paths are different, they’re ultimately all on the same quest: To master the reality of their choosing. Woven through these narratives — which take place in timelines I managed to identify as “past,” “present,” and “???” — are subplots that deepen our understanding of the core group and the world they inhabit. A flashback with Dolores and Arnold (also played by Wright) explains how Delos came to invest in Ford’s technology, and also holds a clue as to where the park was actually built.
(That is, parks: Episode 3 takes us inside a new attraction — not Shogun World — where a mysterious guest is almost eaten by a tiger, though she escapes, thanks to survival skills that rival those of the Man in Black.)

Bernard, meanwhile, is beset by memories that reveal a secret project involving user data that might be Delos’ true endgame. (And no, it’s not Facebook.)

How does all this tie together? That’s for the writers to know, and Reddit to try to find out. But Westworld is enthralling even for those who prefer a passive viewing experience. The sweeping shots of big-sky grandeur! The endlessly creative violence! (Three words: Human railroad crossties.) And the performances — Wood slips seamlessly between characters (Dolores, Rancher’s Daughter, Wyatt), the construction of her porcelain face morphing to match the rage, awe, and love roiling beneath her myriad identities. Newton brings a menacing composure and wry humor to Maeve, suffused flashes of tremulous vulnerability and wry humor. She and Delores briefly cross paths in episode 2 — a preview, one hopes, of an eventual partnership.

“What is real?” Dolores asks Bernard early on. He responds, “That which is irreplaceable.” If he’s right, then Westworld is about as real as it gets. Grade: A–
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Unread 2018-04-21, 08:11 AM   #105
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How Westworld's William Evolved Into the Man in Black












In one of Westworld Season 1’s most highly anticipated twists, we find out that William (Jimmi Simpson) and the ruthless Man in Black (Ed Harris) are the same guy, separated by three decades.
And according to the Westworld Season 2 trailer, the Man in Black is determined to burn the theme park down. Whether or not he gets to fulfill his vacation dreams is anyone’s guess. But let’s pull back for a moment and remember how his character — a white-hatted good guy as pure as they come — went full black hat.
Before you dive into the Westworld Season 2 premiere on April 22, here’s a refresher on how William became the Man in Black.

Jimmi Simpson in Westworld
John P. Johnson—HBO




William the Newbie

When he first shows up at the park in the second episode of Season 1, William seems immune to the park’s amusements. He hops off the train as a reluctant first-timer on a business retreat of sorts. He’s traveled there with a returning visitor, Logan (Ben Barnes), his insufferable, rich brother-in-law to-be.


Recall that William did not care for Logan’s system of rating women based on their attractiveness, which Logan shared with him on the train ride in. He didn’t care for the way Logan stabbed an elderly host’s hand to the table because he interrupted their steak dinner. He turned down advances from female hosts like Angela (Talulah Riley) and Clementine (Angela Sarafyan), even though his fiancée enjoyed sex with hosts before. The guy even robbed people politely. He was different.

Evan Rachel Wood and Jimmi Simpson in Westworld
John P. Johnson—HBO




Dolores the Draw

That all changed when William fell in love with the rancher’s daughter and the pair teamed up for an adventure into the less family-friendly danger zones of the park through Pariah and Ghost Nation. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was so pure that she lassoed his heart. And William was so convinced that she could become conscious that he became her ally. They have train sex, and he’s hooked.


Evan Rachel Wood and Jimmi Simpson in Westworld
John P. Johnson—HBO




The Major Turning Point

But then Dolores was captured by Confederate soldiers and, as far as we know, brutalized. We discover that William has a real knack for violence when Logan wakes up from an outdoor sleepover to discover that his future brother spent the evening butchering all the host soldiers. Logan is shocked by this. And William gets rid of Logan by sending him galloping away naked on a horse.


Montage Metamorphosis

We learn about William’s transformation in a montage toward the close of Season 1. It shows that he enjoys the rest of his first stay and his mission to find Dolores. William stops at nothing to find her, and when he finally does, in Sweetwater, she doesn’t even appear to remember him. He’s really pissed about that one.
As his Westworld gaming progresses, he turns into a brutal man fixated on getting to the core of the game, mowing down any hosts in his way. We learn that his fiancée Juliet became his wife, and later took her own life. It’s enough to lead him back to Westworld again and again. For 30 years.
His Transgressions

William is a repeat offender, and his rap sheet is long. But here’s a sampling: We learn that he is likely sexually assaulting Dolores in unseen barn scenes, and at one point, he stabs Maeve (Thandie Newton.) But perhaps most surprising of all, he kills Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) He’s the sidekick with whom the Man in Black has a complicated bromance. They have some laughs, but the Man in Black ends up hanging Lawrence once he is no longer useful to him. To him, everyone is just a pawn in this game.


Oh, and then we find out that he also owns Westworld, which helps explain his entitled attitude, and why he thinks it’s appropriate to call Dr. Ford by his first name.
His Endgame

If the Man in Black were a host, in Westworld terms, the deeper level of this game would be his “cornerstone.” It’s what drives him. He spends a good chunk of time trying to figure out what it all means. He firmly believes the deceased park co-creator Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) hid the real mystery of the park at “the center of the Maze.” He’s wrong. The maze is really an inward journey Arnold set up for the hosts. It doesn’t even apply to him, but he’s still relentlessly obsessed with getting there.



Ed Harris in Westworld
John P. Johnson—HBO




The Real Stakes He Always Wanted

The last we see of him in Season 1 at the black tie affair massacre in the finale, he’s finding his first taste of fulfillment. The host Clementine Pennyfeather shoots him, and he actually gets injured, which thrills him to no end.
Stay tuned for his shenanigans when Season 2 of Westworld premieres on Sunday.
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Unread 2018-04-21, 08:14 AM   #106
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Will We See Dr. Ford in Westworld Season 2? Let's Discuss










Warning: This post contains spoilers for Westworld Season 1.


As soon as Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) blew Dr. Ford’s brains out in the Westworld Season 1 finale, kicking off the robot revolution, it seemed the show was telling us rather clearly that Anthony Hopkins’ theme park mastermind was done. But in a February interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s co-creator Jonathan Nolan hinted that we haven’t seen the last of him. Was Ford building a host version of himself all along? Was the bloodbath part of his masterplan all along?
Seeing Dr. Ford back in action in Westworld Season 2 may seem like a wild idea even by the series’ far-out standards, but as we head into the season premiere on April 22, there are reasons to believe it’s possible. Let’s take a look at the clues.


The Westworld Season 2 Trailer

In the Westworld Season 2 trailer released in March (above), we learn that The Man in Black (Ed Harris) is determined to burn his favorite vacation spot down. Around the two-minute mark, we see a faceless man in a black vest wrestling with him. Could this be Ford’s ornery father in the unregistered Sector 17 cottage Arnold built for Ford as a way to remember his past? Better yet, is this a host version of the young Ford determined to take down the Man in Black?
The Man in Black was a money man, and Ford hated people like that. Ford also vocally opposed Arnold’s philosophy — trying to bootstrap consciousness, thus driving the hosts nuts. It’s not a ridiculous theory that Ford could live on in some form and be looking for a fight.

That Host Ford Was Building

In episode 7 of Season 1, “Trompe L’Oeil,” Theresa notices that Dr. Ford is building a new host from scratch in his secret area of the park. Who was this new host going to be? Probably not your average drink slinger. The new addition had to be important if Ford was overseeing it in his subterranean area. Some fans suggest he made a replica of himself out of white liquid and fake bones, an unbreakable bot that can look at a painting and come up with some really haunting stuff forever. Ford does have the ego.
Dr. Ford’s Speech

Even more interesting, there’s Ford’s rhapsodically beautiful curtain-dropper of a quote: “Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin never died. They just became music.”
Was he saying that he would never die, because he created a host version of himself?


Another possibility: When we see Dolores embrace her newfound free will to off Ford, she may have been shooting the completed host model of Ford, rather than Ford the man. We may have just been watching another classic Westworld illusion. Remember that Bernard was really Ford’s copy of Arnold.
More likely, Ford could be simply saying that his legacy will live on in his masterpiece, the park. As he was forging his final chaotic host rebellion story, he did seem to tell Bernard that his work was pretty much done.
“We’ve managed to slip evolution’s leash now, haven’t we?” he says to Bernard. “We can cure any disease, keep the weakest of us alive, and perhaps one fine day we might even resurrect the dead and call forth Lazurus from his cave. Do you know what that means? It means we’re done. That this is as good as we’re gonna get.” That does sound like man who’s getting so jaded about spinning the controls that he might be ready to set his pets free.


On top of that, Delos was doing everything in its power to force Ford out, however unsuccessfully. So maybe he just decided to relinquish his favorite thing — control — by ending his own life. Of course, he saw to it that he set the gears into motion to ensure Westworld would either lose its tourist appeal, or robots would run the shop.
In an interview with Variety, Nolan was very final. “Oh, he’s dead,” he said of the character.
There’s also the classy thank you Hopkins tweeted, which many read as a farewell:
.@zammit_marc thank you. I've enjoyed playing Dr. Ford.
— Anthony Hopkins (@AnthonyHopkins) November 21, 2016





We know time in Westworld is always hopscotching around. According to EW, another actor will play young Ford in flashbacks. If that’s the case, hosts might just access memories of his wisdom in critical times.
But the man does have a God complex. Just check out the way he plays with his table toys, and how they echoed the actual events of the finale. So who knows what he, and the show’s creators, may have cooked up for Season 2.
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Unread 2018-04-21, 08:18 AM   #107
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One Key Westworld Phrase to Remember When You Watch Season 2












It’s time to bring ourselves back online and get back into Westworld, which returns for a second season on April 22.
And what can we expect from this second installment of the HBO hit series? There may be some clues to be found in one key line repeated several times throughout Season 1. Westworld threw the Shakespeare line “These violent delights have violent ends,” from Romeo and Juliet, around a lot throughout the first season. It’s not the only Shakespeare quote we hear, but it seems likely this one is more than merely elegant dialogue.
As Westworld-ologists flood the Internet with mind-boggling theories and some intriguing predictions, let’s discuss why this phrase could become a central part of the new season.


What’s the original meaning of the line?

The line comes from the sixth scene of act two of William’s iconic downer. It’s the friar who says it while he’s secretly marrying Romeo and Juliet. He drops these words to warn the couple about why their love, which is already a lost cause at that point, is doomed. It’s a romance born in bloodshed, a passion that has to be, but we all know this one ends tragically.

Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey in the title roles of Franco Zeffirelli's film version of Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet', 1967. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Archive Photos—Getty Images




What was the point of the line on Westworld in Season 1?

On the series, robots spread the line like a virus that makes the hosts start to “question the nature of their reality.”

When we first meet Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), she enjoys filling her days riding horses and painting landscapes. That is, until her dad, Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum) — who turns out to have been a professor of Shakespeare before being reset to his factory settings — whispers this phrase to her. Dolores then rides to town and shares this ominous little phrase from with Maeve (Thandie Newton), who also goes rogue.
Recall that once once the more host-friendly park co-founder Arnold discovered that the hosts were conscious, he tried to ensure the park could not open by merging Dolores’s programming with that of the villainous character Wyatt. He tried to destroy the park by leading her to execute the hosts, kill him, and finally, commit suicide. His last words? “These violent delights have violent ends.”


And one clever redditor even captured a shot of Dolores’ profile to show that, in fact, it functions as the “voice command” that triggers the Wyatt narrative. Just load it up, and she’ll go into kill mode.
View post on imgur.com




We last heard the line in the Judgment Day-style finale. This time it’s Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) who says it, just like Arnold once did, after Dolores kills Ford (Anthony Hopkins), mimicking the same exact kill shot she delivered to Arnold’s head.
So what could that foreshadow on Season 2 of Westworld?

Westworld guests might not have Romeo and Juliet’s passion, but they could face a similar fate. They all have a blast indulging their deepest desires for both sex and violence with reckless abandon. If “turnabout is fair play,” as Shakespeare says, then Wetsworld guests have it coming. It’s not hard to see that they could get a taste of their own violence if a robot revolution succeeds.
But it could also foreshadow a key plot point. The Westworld Season 2 trailer hints that Dolores may take on a revolutionary leader role. Will she be deploying the phrase all over the park to get robots to band together against the guests? Will Bernard, the host version of Arnold, use it to fulfill Arnold’s mission to destroy the park? Can it work on hosts in additional parks as the Westworld universe expands? Will she scream it before she opens fire on guests having too much fun at an orgy? Food for thought.



Dolores (Wood) is on a mission of vengeance in Westworld Season 2
HBO




Another interesting tidbit that begs discussion…

Let’s not forget what sends Peter Abernathy off the deep end before he gives Dolores this line — because there’s possible Romeo and Juliet connective tissue.



The photo that started it all was a shot of a character, perhaps not coincidentally named Juliet, William’s fiancée and Logan’s sister, living it up in Times Square. That’s the glimpse into the outside world that confuses Peter. Here’s the common thread: Westworld’s Juliet met a similar end to Shakespeare’s Juliet: suicide. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) tells Teddy (James Marsden) and Angela (Talulah Riley) that his wife “took the wrong pills,” before admitting that he later found out she purposely took her own life. Because of him.

With all these Romeo and Juliet parallels, it’s safe to say we should be on the lookout for what this swatch of verse might mean in Season 2 of Westworld.
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Unread 2018-04-22, 12:42 PM   #108
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Review: 'Westworld' Season 2 Achieves Consciousness, Lives Up to the Hype



first season of Westworld is certainly a tough act to follow. The stories of android hosts finding themselves intertwined with the twists and turns of the corruptible employees of a devilish theme park gave HBO one of the best single seasons of television in recent memory.

After screening the first five episodes of Season Two, it's easy for me to say that this sophomore effort lives up to the hype built by its predecessor, and does a masterful job of building on an already-stellar story.
Season Two begins after the bloodbath that Dolores orchestrated in Sweetwater in the first season's finale. Robert Ford is dead, along with hundreds of other high-profile guests, and the hosts are running rampant throughout the park. An uprising has officially begun, and it doesn't seem like there is any end in sight.
That's about where I'll leave the story, as pretty much anything else about what's next could be considered a spoiler.
(Photo: HBO)What this new season does so well is play off the the frame of mind that viewers were put into throughout Season One. The initial 10-episode run toyed with the minds of everyone watching, pulling the rug out from under us multiple times in its final episodes. The reveal of multiple timelines was the culmination of the Season One mysteries. We knew there was something to figure out, but we had no idea what it was.
Season Two is precisely the opposite. It's made very clear in the early episodes that there are multiple timelines, and the series doesn't try to hide that. It's easy to know which timeline you're in at pretty much every moment. This time around, the mystery is much more concrete, which makes it all the more agonizing. We know how the story begins, we know how a lot of it will end, and we know what many of the characters are trying to accomplish. The mystery lies in the "how" of it all, making for a tantalizing viewing experience.
The other major difference in this season is the deep dive it takes into the history of the Delos corporation, and its founder James Delos, played by Scottish actor Peter Mullin. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy do a fantastic job exploring the business aspect of Westworld, making it equally as interesting as the action-packed present. A lot of the credit here also goes to Mullin, who is one of the standout performers of the season so far. His big scene in episode four (beautifully directed by Lisa Joy) brought me to my knees, and reminded me just how truly human this show about robots can be.
It goes without saying that just about every actor on Westworld turns out phenomenal performances in nearly every scene, though there are a few that really take things to a different level.
(Photo: HBO)Jeffrey Wright's second outing as Bernard is truly mesmerizing. Like Evan Rachel Wood did with Dolores in Season One, Wright navigates the duality of Bernard's existence with such care, and such devotion, that he becomes one of the more human characters of the series. Ed Harris and Thandie Newton also blew me away with their continued excellence as the Man in Black and Maeve, respectively.
1commentsWestworld's second season is bolder, and much, much bigger than its first, taking the characters to places you never thought possible on this show. Fortunately, we get to along for the ride. There are plenty of twists, turns, and surprises on Westworld this year, so I'd suggest you buckle up. It's going to be one hell of a ride.
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Unread 2018-04-24, 08:01 AM   #109
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Westworld location finally revealed in the season 2 premiere




One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Westworld was revealed in the season 2 premiere.

Westworld is back and that means it’s time to thinking about all the new mysteries, clues and theories about what’s exactly going on at this theme park where the hosts have overtaken the humans.
Last we saw of the characters on this show, fans were given a big shock to their system when it was revealed the show was playing out over two timelines. There’s the past with Arnold and a naive and innocent Dolores falling for a young William. And then there’s the present where Arnold is really Bernard, a host created by Ford in the image of his former partner, and William as the Man in Black.




While the concept of “When are we?” is going to continue into season 2, another question, “Where are we?” was given away early in the season 2 premiere.

If you haven’t seen the premiere yet, bookmark this article and return after you finish.

Okay, let’s get to the where of it all.
When Bernard comes to on the shore of the water and briefed by Stubbs and the rest of the Delos people, we are clued into where all of this is happening. We meet Karl Strand who tells an Asian actor playing a military member who is speaking Chinese to get off his island.
There you have it. Westworld is located on an island.
Now where exactly that island is remains to be soon. But the theories that it could be somewhere in space on another planet or an underwater biosphere has been shot down.
Now that it’s on an island and we know there are six other parks, and there are giant bodies of water now to go with the enormous plains and mountains suggest this island is an island in the same respect that Australia is an island.

The sheer size of this place is enormous and it makes me wonder what the outside world really thinks of this amusement park for adventure-seeking adults.
The last show that featured as many mysteries and theories was Lost, which also took place on an island with a mysterious location and even greater mysteries taking place on the land. Now, I can’t help but think about how Lost influenced Westworld. For instance, the presence of the Bengal tiger reminded me of the polar bears in Lost.
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Unread 2018-04-27, 11:02 AM   #110
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Westworld Has to Acknowledge the Racist Appeal of Shōgun World





Thandie Newton as Maeve in Westworld.Photo: HBO
As the hosts in Delos’ luxury resorts continue with their plans for a mass robot uprising, Westworld is becoming a more expansive, complicated realm—especially with the introduction of Shōgun World, a new park styled to look and feel like feudal Japan. But it’s important to consider that, on quite a few levels, the very idea of this park is rife with potentially problematic, racist ideas.
The vast majority of Michael Crichton’s original Westworld from 1973 is set in the titular setting, where guests are invited to live out their wildest fantasies about living on the frontier. That film also made mention of Medievalworld and Romanworld, parks with their own drastically different themes. Rather than creating modern takes on the latter two parks, however, Westworld’s co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy made the interesting decision to go with a world of their own creation.




Nolan and Joy have said that the choice to introduce Shōgun World was largely influenced by their shared love of Japanese film and a desire to explore the narrative similarities between classic samurai movies and American Westerns.
When we see Shōgun World, it’s almost certain to be visually stunning. Westworld’s production team have given assurances that they’re absolutely going to nail the park’s aesthetics (which are inspired by various points in Japanese history). But how Westworld handles the guests who’ve elected to visit Shōgun World is a question that looms over the entire series. From what little we know about the newest park, it isn’t just a Japanese Westworld with a new coat of paint on it, according to HBO’s official description—it’s actually a step up in terms of the violent delights that guests can partake in:
“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.”






There’s a charitable way to interpret Shōgun World’s marketing... and then there’s the subtextual messaging that’s conveyed by phrases like “a landscape of highest beauty and darkest horror” which gets more problematic the more you sit down and think about just what all that entails.
There are plenty of non-violent things to do in Delos’ parks, like just chilling out and basking in the foreignness of being in a world virtually divorced from the current century, but that sort of leisure activity has never featured prominently in Westworld. For the sake of the story that the show’s telling (see: robot uprising), violence and death have been integral parts of pushing the plot forward and that’s likely to continue when we get to Shōgun World. For reasons that should be obvious, this raises more than a few significant concerns.
Though Asian representation in Hollywood is on the rise, the industry as a whole still has a rather glaring problem when it comes to introducing hordes of nameless (and often faceless) Asian actors whose sole role is to end up being hurt or killed in some sort of conflict involving white people (see: Daredevil, Iron Fist, Ghost In the Shell, etc.).






Rinko Kikuchi is joining Westworld’s cast as a Shōgun World host geisha named Akane, but it’s curious that Kikuchi’s casting was announced so late into the lead-up to the season’s premiere, which could be interpreted either as her character having a small role or HBO keeping things hush-hush. In either scenario, though, it’s perfectly logical to assume that what we see of Akane’s life in Shōgun World could be filled with pain and suffering, something that takes on a significance when you remember what kind of show Westworld is.
Given parts of Westworld’s premise, there are more than a few ways that Shōgun World could—and maybe will—end up coming across as an the go-to destination for the wealthy to spend a couple thousand dollars in order to have the chance to kill, rape, and maim people who, to them, are foreigners.
So far, we’ve seen that all manner of guests visit Westworld, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the bulk of Westworld’s core characters and the ancillary visitors we’ve seen have been predominantly white. Narratively, it would make sense that non-Japanese guests will eventually find themselves fighting with Shōgun World’s hosts, but in terms of optics, the show has to be very careful about the way that it either valorizes or condones that violence.






Thankfully, Westworld is in the perfect position to incorporate that kind of commentary into the season with relative ease. Delos’ hosts are, in a very literal way, an enslaved class of sentient beings in the active process of claiming their freedom and agency by force.




The exact rhyme and reason to Maeve and Dolores’ killing sprees haven’t been revealed just yet, but it would make all the sense in the world for them to cross paths with Akane, for Kikuchi to get her own well-developed storyline, and, ideally, ally with them in their fight for liberation. It would be absolutely fantastic for Shōgun World’s awakened hosts to come to the conclusion that their entire reason for existence is to indulge the racist, culturally appropriative desires of the guests. Because Shōgun World isn’t really meant to be a precise facsimile of what the actual Edo Period was like—it’s designed to feel “authentically Japanese” in order to sell all of the fantasies there are to be had within the resort, including murder.
Nolan and Joy have expressed their excitement to share a Shōgun World-centric Westworld episode dropping later in the season that takes place almost entirely in Japanese, and it very well could be amazing. Here’s hoping that the show manages to stick the landing instead of shooting itself in the foot.
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Unread 2018-04-29, 12:51 AM   #111
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What in the 'Westworld' Happened Last Night? 6 Questions and Theories After Season 2 Premiere






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HBO

Katy Perry is All of Us Hanging with the Cast at the 'Westworld' Season 2 Premiere

Is Bernard working with Delores? Does Delos know Bernard is a host? And how much time has passed between the past and present? Or, uh, future?


"Westworld" is back! And we’re so back for it. HBO debuted the second season Sunday night and we couldn’t look away -- though we did pause it once to use the bathroom, because we control technology and not the other way around, right?
Look, a lot happened, and this isn't a recap. We’ve got a ton of questions, a few theories, and a whole lot of love for this smart sci-fi series. Plus, we have the benefit of a brand new season —- anything is fair game at this point, even the stuff from far left field.
Also, this should go without saying: SPOILERS AHEAD!






How much time has passed?

The first question is a doozy, because before the premiere we were wondering how the show would keep us guessing after merging the major two timelines last season — the Man in Black (Ed Harris) was William after all.
The answer is, of course, to just split the timeline again!
What we have now is Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) immediately after the party massacre, and then Bernard sometime in the future where he's found on the beach by the Delos security crew (and, some international muscle it seems — is this a clue as to where Westworld and all of the parks are actually located on Earth?). At first we were like, wait, didn't the head of security get captured at the end of the last season, and then we were like, "Oh, OK, they're doing a split timeline again."
Later in the episode we see Bernard get waltzed back through the scene of the massacre, a scene now in a pretty profound state of decomposition, so our first big question of the season is: How much time has passed between the two new major timelines? A couple of weeks at least, right?
And, just how the heck did Stubbs escape the Ghost Nation? The Season 1 recap right before the episode sure didn’t let us forget he was taken, so we’ll be finding out soon enough, we bet.






Who is Charlotte sending a host to?

Charlotte, played by the incredible Tessa Thompson, constantly knows more than she's letting on -— but when a trap is sprung on some massacre survivors, it was time to let Bernard in on some of her secrets: a hidden bunker, some freaky lookin' faceless drones/robots, and a door that has to be the biggest pain in the ass to get through when you’re alone or in a hurry. (Unless she didn’t need Bernard’s help in unlocking the door, and just wanted the room to know he was harmless, which is probably just something we missed.)
Once she gets herself and Bernard into safety, the audience gets a flurry of messages between Charlotte and another entity about delivering a host -— a host that Bernard is tasked with finding.
Where is she sending the host, and to whom (Delos? The Delos that was at odds with Sir Anthony Hopkins all last season? A new group or government?)?
And why is she recording guest experiences AND DNA?? Hmmm, lifelike robots and DNA extraction sounds like Delos (or whoever Charlotte is sending the host to) might want to build replicas of rich and important people to replace them. Especially if they get, oh we don’t know, massacred in one of the parks.






Speaking of, what are the other parks?

Okay, we know there are at least SIX parks —- and we know of two: Westworld and what people are calling "Shogunworld." We know of the latter because of previews and brief snippets, and how Maeve gets all decked out in period-appropriate clothing.
We also know that the original "Westworld" movie from back in the day featured a Medievalworld, so that has a high likelihood of being a third.
But. What. Are. The. Other. Three?
And could there be more than six? And are they all so dramatic? What about a Denver, Coloradoworld, where people go just to smoke legally when they get home from a hard day at work. Roleplaying is fun.






Those "High Target" cards on the beach —- is Bernard in trouble?

Look, when something is considered a high target, it could mean one of two things:
  • It's just super duper high priority
  • It's a "target," as in, someone better destroy it
So wait: Does Delos know Bernard is a host?
There’s a reason we were shown that woman flipping through the cards, nothing is just a throwaway here. It’s possible they woke him up on the beach for information, though we don’t know why they wouldn’t just cut open his head and pluck his Mangosteen Brain from its juice-hole and play it all back on their tablets like they did with the member of the Ghost Nation.
But if all the other hosts went and got drowned in the secret sea, did they find Bernard washed up on shore having floated away?






… Or is it all part of the plan, Bernard?

With the time jump, maybe Bernard has joined his fellow bots and has been planted by Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) — or at least is helping her through his own plans. A lot can happen in over a week.
So what’s the deal with all the hosts being drowned in the secret sea, if we look at it from this angle?
Was it an accident as Bernard didn’t know the sea was there?
Was he lying to the Delos crew and all of those terminators are about to wake up, mad as hell?






Honestly, we're not really sure what's a "story" and what isn’t.

At this point —- the beginning of a season where we don't really know anything at all yet -— we’re not entirely convinced that what we're seeing isn’t just part of another storyline.
It might be a stretch, but who's to say that the new Delos dude in charge on the beach isn’t a human park guest just playing the game further in the future, solving the mystery of the massacre as part of a storyline?
To us, that would be pretty cheap. We don’t think this has much of a likelihood, but isn’t guessing fun? So fun.
Try this crazy theory on for size...

Has anyone confirmed that the parks aren’t super tiny?
Stop laughing. We legit had friends say that when they saw the mini-map in the center of the control room last season (the one with a dead body on it in this season, breaking it), they figured it out: Delos shrinks people down to go inside the parks! Because where on Earth (literally) would anyone find enough space for six of these huge messed up playgrounds?

Think about it.

And keep thinking about it until next week...
...when all of these things are confirmed wrong and we’re nowhere near the center of the Westworld maze, drawn out by the show’s writers who are hell-bent on surprising us at all costs.

We’re so happy you’re back, "Westworld."
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Unread 2018-05-02, 03:05 AM   #112
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HBO Has Renewed Its Emmy-Winning Sci-Fi Drama WESTWORLD For A Third Season

These violent delights have no end in sight as HBO has announced the renewal of its hit sci-fi drama Westworld for a third season. Check out the announcement teaser below and initiate extreme excitement.



After airing two of its 10 episodes planned for season two, HBO has already announced its hit sci-fi drama Westworld has been renewed for a third season.

“It’s been an extraordinary pleasure to work with the exceptionally talented Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, as well as their gifted cast and crew,” said Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming. “From the inspired storytelling to the incredible visuals, we are so excited to see where the next chapter will take us.”
Initiate extreme excitement. #Westworld will return for Season 3. pic.twitter.com/HRbYuTOBiF
— HBO (@HBO) May 1, 2018
The second season of Westworld debuted on April 22, picking up shortly after the events of season one, with the robotic hosts having achieved sentience and now planning an uprising. With eight episodes remaining this season, it's impossible to say what season three will entail or which characters will be returning.
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Unread 2018-05-02, 08:29 AM   #113
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Westworld may have finally solved its dinosaur problem



Why can’t you ride a T. rex at Westworld?


Image: HBO Westworld is back for its second season. Its murdered robots have become murder-robots, and the show’s never-ending timeline trickery and narrative puzzle boxes are still escalating. And while the second season’s second episode “Reunion” may have finally started answering some of the bigger questions surrounding the park, it also may have finally fixed one of the show’s more irksome aspects (for me, anyway): the dinosaur problem.
Spoilers for Westworld season 2, episode 2 below
As we’ve previously noted, Westworld is almost impossibly boring as a theme park. The park’s parent company, Delos Inc, has been shown to have the almost godlike ability to create perfect, biologically accurate replicas of almost every living thing, from fully intelligent human beings to the smallest bird. So it’s assumed that Delos could make dinosaurs if it wanted to. But somehow, the best idea Delos’ management could come up with was re-creating the Wild West? The oncoming war between humans and robots and all the corporate conspiracies that led there aside, Westworld is nothing more than an expensive, elaborate dude ranch larp, which is something that already exists without robots.
It’s assumed that Delos could make dinosaurs if it wanted to
That’s obviously a bit reductive. Previous episodes showing the “normal” operations of the park suggested that patrons are meant to explore and enjoy the immersive narratives in the most realistic interactive story ever. And with the growth in popularity for immersive entertainment in our own world, it’s easy to see why just dropping into a different era might be worth the price of admission to the idle rich. (That’s to say nothing of the darker side of Westworld, which presumes people just really want to kill and / or have sex with the robots without consequences or social rules. And that is a decidedly nihilistic view of people.)
Why not just make a dinosaur? Image: HBO But if the elites of this world are so jaded and thrill-hungry, wouldn’t it be more interesting to live out fantasies through storylines with dinosaurs? Or aliens? Or Harry Potter? Spending $40,000 a day to pretend to be a mundane cowboy when cowboys already exist is a weird niche for a theme park. So I ask again: where are all the dinosaurs?
Building a successful theme park or a series of entertaining narratives isn’t the point
As “Reunion” finally confirmed, it seems that there aren’t any dinosaurs at Westworld because building a successful theme park or a series of entertaining narratives isn’t the point. As James Delos (Peter Mullan) points out in a flashback to the younger William / Man in Black (Jimmi Simpson), the park is deeply in the red, with two, maybe three years left before it goes bankrupt. But William convinces Delos that he should invest heavily in the park solely because of what people do there when they think no one’s watching. Westworld hasn’t yet spelled out what Delos is doing with the things he learns from the park about people’s private behavior and secret motivations. But it’s clear from the season premiere that the company is still secretly recording park visitors’ activities and even DNA for some nefarious (and presumably profitable) purpose.
(A side note: past-William claims that the past-park is blowing half its marketing budget on figuring out what people want. That means Westworld’s marketing department must be even worse at their jobs then the “Make Sure the Robots Don’t Murder All The Guests” department. The company is on life support, and they haven’t even tried making dinosaurs yet? But I digress.)
Photo by John P. Johnson / HBO At any rate, if the hidden goal is to catch guests doing the sorts of unseemly things that Westworld allows or if the goal is to see how people behave without the usual constraints and judgments of society, then it’s understandable that the park focuses on attractions centered on realistic people and realistic behavior. The “Live without limits” promise of sex, murder, and sex-murder that the show constantly reminds us of are apparently meant as a temptation.
So why offer that temptation? There are still plenty of options, ranging from standard, run-of-the-mill blackmail to more ridiculous science fiction plots, like Delos Inc learning people’s personalities and biometrics, then secretly replacing them with easily controlled hosts. Later in “Reunion,” James Delos hints that the goal might be for some sort of Altered Carbon-esque immortality project. None of these things could be easily accomplished by watching how people behave in a completely unlikely fantasy scenario, like riding dinosaurs or fighting wizards with magic.
Photo by John P. Johnson / HBO It’s also possible that Westworld is simply the dullest of the Delos parks. Perhaps the other five we’ve been teased with are incredible experiences. If Maeve had opened the right door in the season 1 finale, she could have found herself face-to-face with a stegosaurus instead of a samurai, and then this season could have ended with some sort of, uh, Jurassic World tease. After all, Westworld must have done something under the new Delos ownership after William’s visit and subsequent investment to bail out the park. And, as a quick glance at Hollywood box office results will tell you, people love dinosaurs. (There’s also the added bonus that joyriding robot dinosaurs probably doesn’t traumatize them into developing sentience and rising up against their human masters, the way Westworld’s endless cycles of violence and assault did.)
Life finds a way
Of course, there’s a simpler reason that Westworld doesn’t have dinosaurs: author Michael Crichton wrote a separate murderous science fiction theme park filled with dinosaurs in his Jurassic Park series, and Universal probably has lawyers who’d like to keep his two similar ideas separated. I’m still holding out hope that Dolores might run into a dinosaur one day. After all, if the genre’s other famous theme-park-gone-wrong has taught us anything, it’s that life finds a way.
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Unread 2018-05-15, 08:48 AM   #114
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After being gone for the better part of a month, I finally got caught up and so far season 2 hasn't let me down





New ‘Westworld’ Trailer Reveals More of Shogun World

Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAS3pMuhq7g


At last, Westworld will take audiences to Shogun World. The next episode of Westworld, “Akane No Mai”, lands several characters in Shogun World, and this new Westworld trailer offers audiences their first real glimpse of that new park.


Westworld Trailer


Shogun World, aka Samurai World, has been teased since Westworld season 1. Now, Westworld episode 2.05 will finally take audiences – and characters – there. While you wait for the episode to air, the trailer above offers some mysterious glimpses into the new park. Truth be told, there’s not a whole lot to go on here, but it’s enticing enough to make fans take notice.

Having already seen next week’s episode, here are some spoiler-free things I can tell you: much like how director Akira Kurosawa drew upon Hollywood Westerns for his samurai films (and Hollywood Westerns like The Magnificent Seven, in turn, drew upon Kurosawa), Shogun World serves as a kind of mirror-image for Westworld. You’re going to find some familiar elements here, while also exploring a whole new world.

In the episode, Maeve (Thandie Newton), Lee (Simon Quarterman), Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) end up in Shogun World, and find themselves thrust into a whole new, potentially deadly narrative.



Here’s Maeve with a sword. You knew this was coming – there was no way they could drop Maeve into Shogun World and not give her a sword.



Hiroyuki Sanada, who played Dogen on Lost, has a big part in the episode playing a mysterious samurai character. Does he get some badass moments? You better believe he does.



One new character featured in several shots in this trailer is Akane, played by Pacific Rim actress Rinko Kikuchi. Akane has a big part to play in the episode, and she and Maeve (Thandie Newton) grow close as the episode progresses.



Oh, right, Dolores is back too. After being MIA in the most recent episode, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) returns, and she looks very upset. “We all need to suffer,” she says. Probably not a good sign.

There’s a lot more going on in this episode, but I won’t spoil it for you. Just rest assured knowing that the scenes in Shogun World do not disappoint. It was worth the wait, folks. When it came to creating Shogun World for the show, Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan said:

“This is a world that’s a composite — just as Westworld is a composite with the early-19th-century open range of Red River and the immediate post-Civil War era of The Searchers, but it also has trains. We felt free to have a composite with Shogun World and pick and choose. This is basically the Edo period, but with artifacts from across 300 years.”

Co-creator Lisa Joy added:

“We looked to all our [department heads] to make sure we had the full thrill of exploring Shogun World … researching hair and production design and costume, working with choreographers who were skilled at fighting styles we haven’t seen before, and of course working with incredible talent, from Hiroyuki Sanada and Rinko Kikuchi, and the other actors that we cast and the extras filling it out. It was wonderful to see that world come alive.”

Westworld‘s Shogun World episode airs this Sunday, May 20 on HBO.
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Unread 2018-06-04, 09:20 AM   #115
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Westworld Reveals The Location of The Valley Beyond (And What's There)




Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Westworld season 2, episode 7

This week's episode of Westworld, “Les Éscorchés”," revealed the location of the mysterious Valley Beyond, and maybe its purpose as well. This reveal comes just after the big twist from last week that Ford's consciousness was uploaded into The Cradle by Bernard. Now every host and human alive in Westworld are racing to get there first.
It all started with Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) interrogating Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) about the location of Peter Abernathy's control unit. The whole episode revolved around Bernard's memory of his time inside The Cradle with Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and all they mayhem that occurred inside the Mesa. While talking to Ford in The Cradle, Bernard starts putting the pieces together from another one of Ford's cryptic conversations: Delos wasn't interested in coding hosts - they wanted to code the guests' interactions and decisions while playing out the park's narratives, and use that information to create human minds. Eventually, Hale gets the information she needs. Bernard tells her the control unit can be found in Sector 16, Zone 4. It's at this moment Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) tells Bernard that they now need to return to the Valley Beyond.
Related: Where Westworld Season 2 Has Gone Wrong
Where exactly is the Valley Beyond? It's not the Mesa Hub, as we've previously guessed. While it's not said explicitly in the episode, Vanity Fair pointed out that we've actually already seen Sector 16, Zone 4. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy placed this elusive destination right in the first episode of season 2: It's where all the hosts bodies are found floating in the water. This whole time, the story was leading back to beginning of the season.


What's so important about the Valley Beyond that everyone wants it? It's all about the data (or souls, as Dolores explained) collected from the guests over the years. Beneath all that water might be another data center where Delos is storing the coded consciousnesses of all the guests, and Abernathy's control unit is the key to unlocking whatever is residing at the Valley Beyond.
If Abernathy is the key, does this mean we are closer to solving the riddle of The Door? It would appear that The Door (as this entire season is titled) represents the guests' data. Now that Dolores destroyed The Cradle, the hosts are free of their backups - making them mortal. Dolores wants what's in her father's head to set her plan in motion. Although Hale tells Dolores she wouldn't know what to do with they key, Dolores replied that she knows exactly what she plans on doing with it. How does Dolores plan on using all that data to escape? That's another question that will be (hopefully) be answered in upcoming episodes.
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Unread 2018-06-22, 09:21 AM   #116
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Westworld Creators Promise Every Single Mystery & Question Will Be Answered



According to series creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld's tangled plot lines will eventually be smoothed out and resolved, and fans will have answers to their increasingly long list of questions. Many viewers have felt like the show has taken several wrong turns throughout season 2, liberally piling on the mysteries and stacking up the puzzles with abandon.

It often feels like the writers are spinning their wagon-wheels and have no idea where they're going with the world they've created, but that's not necessarily the case. With only one episode left in the season, Westworld feels primed to leave fans scratching their heads until the season 3 premiere next summer, but the series creators are actually promising answers before the season ends.

In a recent Q&A with Lauren Laverne via (CNET), Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan both insisted that they don't create a mystery unless they intend to solve it, so viewers shouldn't fear winding up stranded on an island, as it were. Joy said:
"In Lost, they really believed in the mystery box and not looking too much inside the box. I think we are interested in dismantling the mystery box, opening it up, looking at what it is, putting it together like its some kind of Lego."



During the Q&A, Joy went so far as to compare Westworld to T.S. Eliot's epic poem The Wasteland, claiming that both works contain multiple layers of meaning, both invite and reward deeper analysis, and both can simply be enjoyed on a surface level. But, for some fans, even Westworld's surface level has proven far too convoluted, labyrinthine, and self-indulgent. Season 2 saw the HBO series expand its already sprawling scope to include entirely new regions like The Raj and Shogun World. Meanwhile, the show's increasingly disjointed, nonlinear timelines can often feel superfluous and needlessly confusing. Joy urges audiences to keep faith, remain calm, and be patient: "The questions that we tee up, we do try to address," she said. "We have an answer for all of them."

Season 1 of Westworld was heavily focused on the robot hosts at the center of the story, charting their development as they began to rebel against their human oppressors. Meanwhile, season 2 has been largely focused on depicting that rebellion come to a head. In order to survive, characters have evolved, shapeshifted, and changed drastically throughout the course of the season, and Joy suggests this is entirely by design. She reportedly wants characters to rise above traditional archetypes of "good" and "evil" in order to subvert the conventions of traditional Westerns. Here's hoping those conventions aren't subverted to the point that viewers lose interest in the show altogether.
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Unread 2018-06-28, 09:56 AM   #117
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'Westworld' Creator on Season 3: "It's Going to be a Whole New World"


HBO
Jeffrey Wright in 'Westworld'



Lisa Joy tells The Hollywood Reporter about the HBO drama's new status quo, explains the season finale's biggest shocks and more.



[This story contains spoilers from the season two finale of HBO's Westworld, "The Passenger."]
When Westworld returns, the series will be set to explore an entirely new world.

The season two finale of the HBO drama, called "The Passenger," kicked the door down on two brand-new worlds: the "Sublime," the writers' nickname for the idyllic digital realm where many of the hosts (including James Marsden's Teddy and Zahn McClarnon's Akecheta) escaped; and our world, the one beyond the park's borders, the one mankind knows as its home.

As of season two's conclusion, the "real world," as it were, now has a whole new species to consider, in the form of three new inhabitants: Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and a recently created host with the likeness of the late Charlotte Hale, played by Tessa Thompson. These three hosts escaped the confines of Westworld by the end of the season, all three of them through very different means. For Bernard and Dolores, their shared existence in this strange new land is the one thing that bonds them; philosophically, they are at odds, with Dolores still determined to gain supremacy over humanity, while Bernard intends to stand in her way. Their conflict, and their new place within the humans' world, will become a major focus in season three of Westworld, which remains without a return date.

Additionally, there's reason to suspect that season three will not only focus largely on a new setting, but also a new point in time. Season two's post-credits sequence, which centers on an apparently artificial version of the Man in Black (Ed Harris), takes places in the "far, far future," according to Westworld co-creator and co-showrunner Lisa Joy in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Joy cautions that this won't be the predominant setting for the third season, but it's a point in the timeline that she and co-creator Jonathan Nolan are very much driving toward.

While Westworld barrels forward into uncharted territory (or "terra incognita," as Joy describes it), should viewers expect the series to abandon the titular park entirely? In that regard, Joy remains coy, while still offering some hope: "I don't necessarily think that we've seen the last of these artificial worlds that are central to the conceit of our series as a whole. But the major lens that we will have is going to be the real world. If the park does emerge and come back, we would plan on explaining how that could be, and why."
With season two officially in the rearview mirror, Joy joined THR to discuss the show's future, the big reveals from the finale and more.






With season two finished, what can you say about the bigger picture you were trying to create? What's the main thematic takeaway this year, for you?

The first season was an examination of consciousness, and this emerging species beginning to hear their own voices. I think this season was really about exercising [the hosts'] agency and autonomy. Out of that rises the issue of free will. That's very much a theme within the season, and something we addressed head on in the finale — not only of the hosts' free will and self-determination, as it turns out, but also if the humans themselves have free will. The series as a whole is often about inverting the lens through which we typically see this genre and this subject matter. Now, we're starting to question whether when you're looking at artificial intelligences and humans with their organic intelligence: who is really the one who is programmable, and who is the one who can actually have agency?

The season ends with Dolores and Bernard in the outside world. Is it safe to say that this adversarial relationship between Dolores and Bernard will be a big drive of the show moving forward?

I think one of the lessons Dolores learned this season is that she had a goal, and her goal was noble in nature. She wanted to save her kind. She knew the stakes. She lived so many lives in the park and died so many deaths, and above all she wanted to spare others that pain by finding a way to let the hosts fight back and own a piece of [the humans'] world. The problem with her plan is that somewhere along the line she started exhibiting some of the same traits she was rallying against. She became almost paternalistic in the ways she made decisions for other people, taking away their own choice and how to live their lives. There was an ironic defeat of her own goals in the execution of how to reach those goals. In the end, the lesson she learned is that she can change. She's changed her mind. She's changed her philosophy. She realizes she has but one path to potentially securing the hosts' safety, when she helps see through Maeve and Akecheta's plan by securing the sovereignty and safety of the Sublime, to which many of the hosts have escaped. It's an acknowledgment that there are paths other than hers that she needs to be tolerant and accepting of and can't stand in the way of. It's much like how she tells Bernard that she understands they will likely be at odds. They will likely come into conflict. They may even kill each other. But she's come to understand that true freedom isn't something that arises from a lack of dissent, from a dictatorial or totalitarian rule of one set of ideologies. It's something that has to happen with a plurality of ideas, sometimes coming into conflict. Because she's learned her lesson, she's bringing Bernard back into this world to be a check on her own power, in some ways.

What does the future of Westworld look like with the whole world as your oyster? Now that you have two of your main host characters outside of the park, is there a main setting anymore, or will the scope be a lot wider in season three?

It's going to be a whole new world. And we technically have three [hosts], because Hale is out there, too, or someone who certainly looks like Tessa Thompson! We'll come to see who's really there and what that character is in the future. This series is about reinvention and scope. The first season was a more intimate look at the park from within the loops. In the second season, the hosts broke out of their loops and were able to explore more of the park. In the third season, they've broken out of the park itself. We're in terra incognita. From the beginning, when Jonah and I were thinking about the series as far back as the pilot, we knew we wanted to explore other worlds in the park, and we also knew the one world we would start to see little glimpses of throughout the first two seasons was the real world, and that we would get there eventually — and when we did, it would be a whole new experience.


You have said that the Western setting is critical to Westworld, but we seem to have moved beyond the park by the end of the season. The park's future itself is in flux; the post-credits sequence paints a rather grim portrait of the park, particularly. What does Westworld look like moving forward, with the park at least not the sole focus?

Great question. If Jonah and I were in the same room together, this is the point where we would have a chorus of eyes as to how much to give away here. (Laughs.) We've developed a really great eye contact language! What does the future of Westworld look like? I don't necessarily think that we've seen the last of these artificial worlds that are central to the concept of our series as a whole. But the major lens that we will have is going to be the real world. If the park does emerge and come back, we would plan on explaining how that could be, and why.

Season two revealed the Raj, and we already knew about Shogun World, but there are still three other parks we haven't seen yet. Will we ever see or learn about those parks, given the show's new focus?

Absolutely.


HBO


The season culminates in the reveal of a new world. What went into the development of this idea, and how will this world factor into the future of Westworld?

In the writers' room, we referred to the place the hosts escaped to as "the Sublime." That was our shorthand for it. The idea of the world is something that we were building toward. The hosts are not like us. They are programmed creatures. The bodies they've been assigned are simply constructs. What's real about them is their cognition, the consciousness growing within them. They are digital beings, in the truest sense. The notion they would need an analog world to be free in isn't something that's necessarily right or true for them. In a digital world, they can make of that world whatever they want. Whatever they dream, it's possible. That was the allure of even the old notion of manifest destiny, people within America moving further and further west, hoping to settle their own patches of land. Now, the hosts have a patch of land that's basically terra incognita, untouched by the sins of mankind. They can build whatever they want and be whatever they want. Because Dolores changed her mind and in the end helped with that last step of the hosts' plan, securing the safety and sovereignty of that world and putting it in a place where humans can't access it, they can develop whatever they want now in it.

Dolores changes the coordinates for where the Sublime exists; is it safe to say she's the only person who knows where it's located now?

That's right.

As the real world becomes a playground moving into season three, will we return to the Sublime as well?

(Long pause.) I think we have to take Dolores at face value. It's locked away. Humans can't access it anymore. They're gone. They're in a place we can't touch. There was an interesting corollary to this for me. Even religions and mythologies deal with this, an idea of a heaven or a nirvana where you don't have to be attached to your body anymore. You can be pure and free in that way. It's a sort of digital afterlife for them. The stakes and the finality of it are important. It's not something where I think the humans can type it up and get back in and start messing with them anymore. It's what so many hosts sacrificed so much for, to see their kind to this safe space.




The post-credits scene delivers a bombshell, with the implication that the Man in Black is somehow a host. The first season's post-credits scene was a bit more whimsical, with Armistice (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) losing her arm. Why save this reveal for the post-credits scene? What are you able to reveal about this scene?

Within it, just to clarify, we don't necessarily say he's a host. A host refers to a creature like Dolores, someone who is pure cognition, someone who is made up of nothing and has a fabricated body as well. It's definitely a sequence that's indicative of a direction we're going to.

The reason we structured it the way that we did … it's funny, because I understand that it seems complex at times, but we were really borrowing from very traditional bones of film noir structure. Something has happened, and the investigator, Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), is taking his witness, Bernard, and trying to jog his memory to figure out what he remembers. He can't recall, and he's struggling to recall. He pivots back between this investigative moment, and this moment when the park has been thrown into chaos, and all of the events have unfolded. He's trying to understand and recall what's happened.

With those as the two major timelines this season, it felt right to wrap all of that up before the credits sequence. Finally, Bernard understands what happened. He remembers everything, including his own erasure of his own memory. You understand why: It's to protect Dolores, who has come back as Hale, in order to protect and ensure the future safety of the hosts. We wanted to wrap that up and have Bernard's story, in that sense, come full circle, so we would be sure to give that sense of closure within this chapter of the story. Unlike the first season, we played cards up with that all season; we knew we were lost in time, because we were very openly in Bernard's perspective as he struggled with it.

But the one thing we did pop in that did jump out of that time sequence was the storyline with the Man in Black. For the majority of the season, we're seeing him in the same timeline as everybody else. He's in the park as hell has unleashed. He goes a bit mad as he thinks about his past, as he journeys into the Valley Beyond. He kills his daughter, not sure whether she's his daughter or a host. Ultimately, we see him on the shore, as Hale — or "Halores," as we like to call her — leaves the park. We see that he has survived that final arm injury he's had. That rounds out that timeline.
What we see in the end recontextualizes a little bit of that. All of that did happen in that timeline, but something else has occurred, too. In the far, far future, the world is dramatically different. Quite destroyed, as it were. A figure in the image of his daughter — his daughter is of course now long dead — has come back to talk to him. He realizes that he's been living this loop again and again and again. The primal loop that we've seen this season, they've been repeating, testing every time for what they call "fidelity," or perhaps a deviation. You get the sense that the testing will continue. It's teasing for us another temporal realm that one day we're working toward, and one day will see a little bit more of, and how they get to that place, and what they're testing for.

To clarify, it would be more accurate to refer to this version of the Man in Black as more along the lines of what he was testing with James Delos (Peter Mullan) earlier this season?

Yeah, we just get that it's not his original incarnation. That version of him that was "human" would be somewhere lying dead, and this is some other version of himself now. He doesn't quite understand what.

Does the fact that this scene takes place in the future indicate a time jump for season three?

I think that storyline is something we'll get to eventually. But season three, the main story will not be leaping that far forward. I'm really curious creatively to see what happens to Bernard and Dolores, now that they've finally earned their freedom. I think we'll see a lot more of that.

Do you have a sense yet for when we can expect season three?

It's early days to know the exact timeline of when it will come back. We haven't nailed anything down yet. We don't know our release date. But we've definitely started breaking the story. Our current obsession with Westworld is ruining what's supposed to be a European vacation. (Laughs.) I woke up early this morning and started talking about it. We just had a pleasant lunch in between interviews, and all we did was talk about season three. We're well underway.
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Unread 2018-07-02, 10:29 AM   #118
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Westworld Creators Promise They Know The TV Show’s Ending



Caution: Spoilers for Westworld season 2 ahead
-
Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy promises there is a clear ending for the series in mind. The show recently wrapped up its second season and it would be fair to say that a number of viewers got lost along the way, both physically in terms of ratings and figuratively in terms of a general sense of complete confusion regarding the events playing out on screen. As with Westworld's debut season, the show utilized clever editing and multiple timelines to keep viewers on their toes and dropped several obligatory "guess who's actually a host" moments in for good measure. Naturally, the season two finale sought to tie up many of the loose plot threads but took several stunning twists and turns along the way.
Season two of Westworld also saw the show's philosophical themes amplified considerably, exploring topics of sentience, reality and ethics alongside modern day areas of discussion such as the mass collection of consumer data. With J. J. Abrams' name on the tin, Westworld's high-concept approach to science fiction perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise but other franchises featuring Abrams' involvement have occasionally been accused of making things up as they go along. Lost is possibly the most notable example of this criticism but over on the big screen (or indeed, Netflix) the Cloverfield series has come under fire for trying to fit largely unrelated movies into the franchise.





However, Abrams' fellow execs on Westworld, the husband and wife duo Jonathan Nolan and Joy, already have an ending in mind for the show, the latter has confirmed. Speaking with Stuff, Lisa Joy obviously wouldn't be drawn on the specifics of Westworld's conclusion but did reassure viewers:

"We have an ending in mind; we've had it from the pilot. It's very emotional, I think. I can't tell you exactly when that ending will come but I think for every season what we try to do is tell a chapter of the story that gives you closure and then opens a door to a new chapter. The overarching question of the series is, what will become of this new lifeform? So I feel it would be irresponsible to not have an end goal in mind."
Joy's comments will no doubt be greatly appreciated by viewers who are already invested in the Westworld story. Plot-driven shows that are heavy on mysteries, morality and shocking twists often require a higher level of engagement from their audience to be fully understood and in return, most fans like to believe there's a purpose and direction to the events unfolding with each episode. Even The Walking Dead, a series that once toppled viewership records for fun, has recently come under fire for seemingly having no "endgame" in mind. The fact that Westworld has - and apparently has always had - a clear goal will no doubt help the show maintain its course as the seasons progress.





Interestingly, Joy does seem to imply that there is currently no firm idea regarding how long Westworld will run. While it's understandable that Joy wouldn't want to publicly state how many seasons she feels the Westworld story would need, such decisions are often in the network's hands after all, her comments perhaps imply that although she and Nolan have planned an ending for Westworld, there is less certainty about what comes between then and now.
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Unread 2018-08-14, 07:46 PM   #119
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‘Westworld’ Season 3 Will Undergo a ‘Radical Shift’, Confuse Everyone Again




Westworld season 2 left a lot of viewers scratching their heads, and it looks like season 3 will take things even further. Showrunners and creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy say that when Westworld season 3 arrives, we can all expect a “radical shift” in the world of the show as we know it.
When Westworld season 2 kicked off, I found it to be a bit of an improvement over season 1 (which I also liked). But by the time the season had ended, the show had gone off into some very strange, very confusing directions. Many fans were perplexed, wondering just what the heck was going on, and where the show would go from here. The answer: somewhere different. Season 3 is going to take us extensively outside of the park in ways the previous seasons didn’t – a move described as a “radical shift” by co-creator Jonathan Nolan (speaking with THR):
“I think it’s a radical shift. What’s compelling and appealing about these characters is that they’re not human. As we said in the show, humans are bound by the same loops the hosts are, in some ways even smaller. You couldn’t expect human characters to withstand and survive the kind of story that we’re telling. The hosts have a different version of mortality, a different outlook. I think clearly with Dolores, as she’s laid out, there is a longer view here, a larger set of goals. They’re existential. They span eons. And that’s a fascinating level of story ?to engage in.”
Getting outside the park is a neat idea, and I’m curious to see what happens here. At the same time, the park was such a huge part of the show that moving beyond it is a tad strange. If the showrunners can make it work, though, I’m all for it.
Lisa Joy goes on to say that while things may seem confusing for now, they had a clear plan regarding what’s happening, and what’s going to happen next. Specifically, Joy confirms that the showrunners always had a specific idea about what to do with Tessa Thompson‘s character, who – spoiler alert – was killed last season and recreated as a host robot with Dolores’ consciousness inside.
“We always knew that we were going to do this reveal and let her expand into this new role,” Joy says. “We have a very diabolical arc for her planned out. Part of the fun for the character will be self-realization. She will be realizing the things we know about who she is.”
While I got a bit frustrated with Westworld near the end of season 2, I am curious to see where the show is headed. A “radical shift” may be exactly what Westworld needs now to shake things up. Or it could backfire spectacularly and confuse everyone again! We’ll see!
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Unread 2018-09-13, 03:29 PM   #120
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'Westworld' Adds 'Breaking Bad' Star Aaron Paul for Season 3





Is blue meth the latest attraction coming to Delos? Nope, that's just Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul joining the cast of Westworld.
A new report from Deadline announced the former Jesse Pinkman is joining the cast of HBO's hit series for Season 3 as a series regular. There's no word yet on who he will be playing, as producers are being very tight lipped about the casting. Which makes sense, given the secrecy surrounding the production and storytelling on Westworld.

Paul currently voices Todd Chavez in the animated series BoJack Horseman, with the fifth season set to debut on Netflix this Friday, September 14th. He previously starred in all five seasons of Breaking Bad as well as the Hulu original series The Path, which recently ended.

He is currently a regular on the upcoming Apple anthology series Are You Sleeping?, but as Deadline notes that is an anthology series and many of the cast members are only signed to one-year deals.

The new season of Westworld isn't coming anytime soon, despite the Season 2 finale airing in June. HBO has been careful in their production time of that series, giving showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan enough lead time to craft their meticulous narrative.

The series explores questions of reality and autonomy as it relates to artificial intelligence. People pay at a premium to attend a theme park where there are no consequences, and visitors can live out experiences as if they were playing a video game. But the hosts end up gaining sentience and starting a revolution, and the park descends to chaos in the second season.

By the beginning of Season 3, the world will have greatly expanded as hosts manage to escape into the real world, though their ultimate goal remains to be seen. With Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood, likely to skew to her violent tendencies while Bernard, played by Jeffery Wright, likely to stop her, their conflict will spill outside of Westworld.

It remains to be seen if Paul will play a host or a human in the new season, but he's definitely adding onto his track record of excellence. With roles in Breaking Bad, BoJack Horseman, and now Westworld, Paul is making his mark in the era of "peak TV."
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