It’s almost time to go back online.
After nearly a year and a half off the air, Westworld is primed for a comeback, with season two launching April 22 on HBO. All season long, The Hollywood Reporter will bring you analysis of the show’s twisting-and-turning narrative, complete with cast and creator interviews, theory roundups from across the web, podcasts and our own deep dives into the stories of the hosts.
Before the season returns, a quick primer on where the show left off: Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and her fellow hosts had begun the journey toward consciousness, some of them more advanced than others, and all at the expense of the safety of the park’s guests. In the season finale, Dolores activates one of her old builds, a killer called Wyatt, and proceeds to murder not only park founder Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) — seemingly at his own behest, at that — but also various human guests, all while her lover Teddy (James Marsden) watches in equal parts horror and awe.
Other host updates: Maeve (Thandie Newton) embarks on a journey of her own, nearly leaving the park but instead opting to remain to search for her daughter. As for Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), he is revealed to be a host, unbeknownst to himself, modeled after Ford’s late partner, Arnold Weber. In non-host news, there’s another man in the park: the Man in Black (Ed Harris), alias William (Jimmi Simpson), ready and eager to engage Westworld’s new status quo now that the safety protocols are off and the stakes are life and death.
Entering season two, chaos has descended upon the parks — and that’s “parks,” plural, as the first season finale reveals the existence of at least one other robot playground: Shogun World. There are at least four other parks yet to be named.
With a handle on those basics, Westworld viewers should be primed and ready to go for the season premiere. For anyone who feels they need an even closer look at what’s come before and what lies ahead, please peruse our coverage of the past week in Westworld:
• Westworld Creators Troll Internet With Season 2 “Spoiler” Video: During a Reddit AMA, co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy promised to spill the beans on season two ahead of time, if they received enough support. Support came swiftly, and so did the “reveal,” such as it was.
• Westworld Season 2 | TV Review: THR‘s Tim Goodman provides his review of the new season, based on the first five episodes, released to critics in advance. According to Goodman: “On the basis of five episodes, the intriguing groundwork it lays for the future should more than satisfy fans from the first go-round.”
• Westworld | Where Everyone Left Off and What’s Next: Need a deeper primer than the one provided above? Look no further; here, you’ll find all the details on how season one ended for the main cast, and what lies ahead for those characters in season two.
• Welcome to Westworld | Inside the HBO Drama’s Season 2 Hollywood Premiere: The cast and crew unveiled the first episode of season two in Hollywood this past week, followed by a star-studded afterparty. THR has all of those details, including insight into what to expect from the new season’s story.
• Westworld Creators Set Futuristic Drama Series The Peripheral at Amazon: In the week leading up to the new season of Westworld, Nolan and Joy’s next venture has been revealed: an adaptation of the William Gibson novel as a script-to-series project for the retailer and streaming outlet.
• Westworld | What Lies Beyond “The Door”?: Nolan and Joy have given season two an unofficial title: “The Door,” which follows season one’s unofficial title, “The Maze.” What does it mean? TBD! After a rewatch of season one, however, we have some ideas for other unofficial titles that could apply to future seasons.
• Westworld Cast Reveals What Won’t Happen in Season 2: Given the nature of the story, the cast and creators are understandably tight-lipped about what’s ahead. However, they are much happier to discuss what viewers won’t see in season two, providing THR with a litany of highly enjoyable fake spoilers.
• Westworld Stars Preview Season 2 Premiere: “Expect the unexpected,” says Louis Herthum, who plays Dolores Abernathy’s father, Peter, last seen with his mind wiped and a parkload of classified information embedded in its place. Herthum, as well as other members of the cast, provide words of their own on what exactly to expect from the coming episode.
• Tribeca | Westworld Cast Says They Are in the Dark About Season 2 Time Line: Rounding out their week of preseason press, the four central stars plus Nolan and Joy hit the Tribeca Film Festival to preview the new season, including some teasers for the highly anticipated Shogun World.
Check back every Saturday all season long for continued roundups of THR‘s week in Westworld, and in the meantime, keep following our daily coverage at THR.com/Westworld.