Westworld’s Back: What To Expect From Season 2

Westworld’s Back: What To Expect From Season 2

It was one of 2016’s most talked-about TV series. Now viewers are being taken back to the Delos Inc. lab for what’s sure to be another twist-filled season. Here’s a (relatively) spoiler-free take on where the HBO series ended and what to expect in Westworld now that the android hosts have taken over...

Remind me – what happened last series?

Based on the 1973 film of the same name, this sci-fi drama takes viewers deep into the heart of Westworld, a Wild West-themed playground for rich men with a penchant for shooting and shagging. The objects of their desire? A collection of mechanical, but lifelike ‘hosts’ who replay the roles they’re programmed to perform every day. At the end of each session, the visitors go home, and the ‘hosts’ are wiped clean – physically and technologically.

Routinely raped, shot and murdered, the android hosts’ existence is, thankfully, one they never recall. Until one or two of the hosts suddenly begin to get flashbacks to situations they’ve never experienced. There’s a glitch in the system and suddenly the androids have memories, and can remember the suffering inflicted upon them.

While we’re shown what goes on within the world of the hosts, we’re also given behind-the-scenes access to Delos Inc., the company that owns the park and manufactures the androids. We’re introduced to Dr Robert Ford, the park’s sole surviving co-creator and his assistant Bernard and learn that there’s a plot afoot to remove the elderly Dr Ford from his position of power.

Meanwhile the mysterious Man in Black trawls the park on an obsessive hunt for the ‘centre of the maze’, which he believes will give him access to a hidden level of the ‘game’. A veteran guest, the Man in Black weaves in and out of the narrative, and is revealed to be at the centre of the series’ biggest plot twist.

What happens next?

At the end of the series one finale, a number of key players were gunned down. But are they actually dead? In a series where no one is certain about who’s human and who’s a robot (and that’s just the viewers), we can never truly be sure if a refresh and reboot will revive them or not.

We can also be sure of a more bloodthirsty series. Right at the beginning of the show, the hosts were unable to wound or exact revenge on the park visitors. But by the end of the season, we see humans being shot through the skin by androids. Now that the robots are rising, we can finally expect the wealthy guests to get a taste of their own medicine.

But perhaps most intriguing of all is the prospect of Shogun World. In the series finale, while Maeve escaped from the Delos Inc. labs, we were treated to a glimpse of samurai warriors training behind the glass walls. It’s a dead cert that this new theme park will make an appearance in series two.

Who stars in it?

First up, there’s Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, True Blood) as gun-toting farmhand turned vigilante Dolores. Then there’s Thandie Newton (ER, Pursuit of Happiness), who stole series one as Maeve, a brothel host who becomes self-aware as the narrative develops. Elsewhere, Ed Harris (Apollo 13, The Truman Show, The Hours) plays the formidable Man in Black, while Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs, Meet Joe Black) stars as Dr Ford, Delos Inc.’s co-creator. James Marsden (27 Dresses), Luke Hemsworth (Thor: Ragnarok), Tallulah Riley (Pride and Prejudice), Jimmi Simpson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Ben Barnes (Chronicles of Narnia) and Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games) will all make a return in series two.

Will I like it?

This is definitely a good series to binge-watch, particularly as its weaving plotlines can occasionally be hard to recall when viewed weeks apart. And don’t even think about double-screening – you’ll need to be fully alert as the series spans timeframes and locations.

That being said, there’s ample reward for viewers who persevere with the occasional head scratchers. Like writer Michael Crichton’s other works – Jurassic Park, TimelineWestworld is a richly visual world that really comes to life on screen. Add in the fact that it’s filled with a host of strong female characters who aren’t just used to develop the plot of the male leads, and you’ve got yourself a show that continues to intrigue and challenge the norm.

Where can I watch it?

Episode one of Westworld series two is available to stream on NowTV now. A new episode will be added to NowTV and shown live on Sky Atlantic at 9pm every Monday.

Visit NowTV.com

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