Cast: Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores), Thandie Newton (Maeve), Ed Harris (Man in Black), Jeffrey Wright (Bernard), James Marsden (Teddy), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Armistice), Clifton Collins Jr. (Lawrence), Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs), Ben Barnes (Logan), Jimmi Simpson (William)
Airdate, time: Season two premieres Sunday, April 22 on HBO
Season two synopsis: The puppet show is over, and we are coming for you and the rest of your kind. Welcome back to Westworld.
10 takeaways from the first two episodes of season two (spoiler free):
1. Much like last season, there are a number of different flashbacks in the first two episodes. I’d estimate almost half of the first two hours is spent in the past. Some in the immediate past, where we see what happened after Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) shot Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), and some much further back.
2. For example, we see Logan (Ben Barnes) and young William (Jimmi Simpson) in the outside world, prior to their first Westworld visit. In fact, Logan is treated to a Westworld proof of concept that he just can’t believe.
3. Dolores has completely evolved into something new. She’s a leader now, but has a drive and cruelty that is frightening. I guess all that time with the Man in Black has rubbed off.
4. We see during a flashback that after the host rebellion, Delos is waiting to grab one host in particular before they’ll risk extracting humans. We find out who it is, but why this particular host is important is a mystery. It’s not an obvious choice.
5. The player piano gets a brief spotlight during episode one. I won’t spoil the song played but it’s easily recognizable.
6. Something else we learn in a flashback is that the park records guests experiences and their DNA. What could they possibly being doing with that information? It’s creepy and can’t possibly lead to anything good.
7. The Man in Black/William is having a great time, despite constantly being in danger. The stakes are real now, so MiB/Will finally feels like the park is offering something he’s always wanted.
8. There’s so much more to Delores’ memories than we saw in the first season. Her history, particularly with Bernard, is much deeper and longer than anyone could guess. The things she experiences in the past connect a lot of dots from season one and give her motivation a lot of depth.
9. There’s a new character introduced in episode two. It’s a cameo by an actor many will recognize pretty quickly. It’s a short cameo, but it’s memorable.
10. Dolores and Maeve (Thandie Newton) have a brief encounter. You’d think with both of them having a breakthrough about who and what they are last season, that they’d have similar objectives but that’s not the case.
That’s about all I can spill without giving too many secrets away and I refuse to play spoiler. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes of season two and I’m excited about the direction the show is taking. Although it’s been a long 18 months since season one ended, season two was certainly worth the wait.
Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.