Westworld season 2 episode 1 as it happened – recap and review

We live blogged the first show of the new season at 2am so you didn't have to! Here's what happened... (OBVIOUSLY THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Westworld

Bring yourself back online, Westworld fans, for another series of the best cowboy/sci-fi/bad holiday-themed drama currently on TV. Yeee-haw!

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In this live blog, we’ll be following every twist and turn (and horrible robot murder) in the Westworld season 2 premiere as it happens, which here in the UK starts at 2.00am. Now brace yourselves: fan theories are coming.

This live blog is now concluded


03.34: ANYWAY, following that sterling bit of cultural criticism, I must be off to enter rest mode for a bit. I hope you’ve enjoyed this Westworld live blog – if not, I’ll send my army of masked weirdos after you – and be sure to tweet us @RadioTimes with your thoughts on the new series.

Before I go, I’ll just draw your attention to the video above – it’s our review and recap of the new episode – where you can really delve into the episode’s mysteries.

Until our next live blog, whenever that may be, I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.

Oh no, wait, that’s the other show, isn’t it….


03.32: God, it’s exciting to have Westworld back on TV. If we’re alternating between that and Game of Thrones for the foreseeable (aka until 2020) I’d be quite happy.


03.28: Back to the fan theory drawing board, you guys.

03.27: Maeve also has a KATANA in those clips, so I am sold my good friends.


03.25: Here is a VERY creepy trailer for the rest of the season, which adds some more Logan/Young William action from Ben Barnes and Jimmi Simpson! We also see Peter Mullan’s James Delos, whose surname might suggest his importance to the park…


03.23: I’m intrigued for what’s to come now. Though mainly to see the park where that TIGER came from.

Could it be Tinder Profile Picture World?


03.21: And that’s the end of our season premiere live blog! Quite a twisty, intriguing episode that sets up some enticing new storylines – OK, mainly Maeve’s – even as it takes things slow, action and event-wise.

Also loving the use of flashbacks. They couldn’t keep them secret like last series – but by following two different Bernards, we’re developing new mysteries. How did that character at the end end up in the water? Where did Charlotte go? Why did Bernard, er, pick up a champagne flute before falling onto a beach?


03.20: Bernard: “I killed them…I killed all of them.”

Does he mean the hosts? The guests? The host bees?


03.19: Optimistic to suggest that there are “hundreds of guests” still alive two weeks on, Skarsgard 3.


03.17: I’m not sure if future-Bernard is just confused, or if he’s hiding something…or if it’s somewhere in between?

Regardless, we just found a whole HOST of dead hosts floating in an unmapped sea. That’s probably a beautiful metaphor for climate change or something but, as ever, I am far too thick to get it. (also it isn’t that)


03.16: I like this jumping around between the Delos timeline and the Bernard-on-the-run timeline. Makes for some interesting mysteries.

Also, they just found a tiger, suggesting that park 6 (whatever that is) has TIGERS and now I’m wondering why we’ve wasted a whole series on the Delos park that has NO tigers??? I mean come on. Think of the Frosties tie-in merchandise.


03.15: I mean, that maggoty old Anthony Hopkins corpse certainly makes it SEEM like Ford died…


03.13: Bernard found Abernathy (Dolores’ dad) in the “past” timeline – but in the future timeline (where he somehow lost Charlotte? Did she die?) he’s checking out the rotting corpses of his former friends and colleagues. Very nice.


03.11: I like how Charlotte keeps throwing shade at Bernard, like throwing up scared in a haunted house or something when they’re actually in GENUINE DANGER.

“Er, could you pull yourself together you big wimp?”

“There are LITERAL MURDER-BOTS HUNTING US DOWN.”

Anyway, it seems like Bernard has some sort of technical issue holding him back anyway. Death protocol imminent etc etc.


03.09: This is sweet: Thandie Newton and her technician co-stars from season one.

Also, Bernard just revealed the hosts are like bees talking to each other? I wonder if there are host bees in this world.


03.07: Dolores says she knows how the story ends, and finally remembers all she’s seen in her long life. For once, she almost definitely knows more than the audience.

They’ve found something…”the truth”…what is it?


03.06: Dolores says Teddy is the only constant in her life. He’s definitely her…

STEADY TEDDY

(Even James Marsden looks sad about that one).


03.04: here’s another table-turning moment; Maeve making Lee Sizemore strip in front of her (also giving us our quotient of full-frontal nudity), in a twist on how the hosts were always naked as they were fixed and reprogrammed behind-the-scenes.

That never actually made much sense to me – couldn’t they have worn a nightdress or something? Why did they always need their bits out?


03.01: Anyway, in the actual TV show I’m supposed to be blogging, MiB is chatting to the lil boy-bot version of Ford, with the odd sliver of Anthony Hopkins’ voice slipping in.

The cruz of their conversation is that Ford has a new game for William – find The Door. And unlike the maze from last series, this one’s actually meant for him.


02.59: Oh my goodness, I hadn’t noticed this! The Delos chief operations officer is another Skarsgård! As in, brother Alexander from True Blood, brother Bill from IT and dad Stellan from River and the Pirates franchise….AND the Thor films alongside LUKE Hemsworth’s brother!

This goes all the way to the top. How long til Andrew Wilson shows up to complete the triumvirate of triumvirates?


02.56: TBF, I would be incredibly suspicious of anyone who claims that they DID understand Westworld’s first series.


02.54: Another ad break. In the meantime, some people have noted that the soldiers trying to interfere in the park situation looked to be Chinese, suggesting that Westworld is on an island (also confirmed) somewhere in Chinese territory (which might be different in the future, if indeed that is in Westworld is set).

The more questions we have answered, the less it feels like we know…


02.53: Apparently Delos won’t rescue them until Charlotte sends them a “package”. They are just comically evil.


02.51: Oh boy, Charlotte has shown Bernard some very creepy, plastic-y factory settings hosts called Drone hosts.

Depending on their centrality to the ongoing narrative, that might make this series a right…

Game of drones

02.48: Hooray, she’s also brought back Hector! I actually met the actor who plays him, Rodrigo Santoro, the other day and he was Very Handsome and Nice. So there’s a juicy little glimpse behind the curtain of celebrity for you.

He’s coming with her and Lee Sizemore to find Maeve’s daughter, which is a lovely quest really.


02.47: I guess you could say that she’s the…

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02.46: Handy that Maeve still has magic powers.


02.44: Dolores’ crew did a CLASSIC trap there. They let a human go, though, which is nice. Sure they have no ulterior motives for that.


02.42: Just got a sad realisation that I could have made a card about Bernard giving someone the Lowedown, as he just did for Charlotte just now. Life is full of missed opportunities.


02.40: I like this partnership already actually. Funny that they’ve paired up the two British characters, though.


02.37: Maeve is now hanging out with the whiny British writer guy, who’s terrible in a crisis and just spends his time complaining about how his work is received.

For some unknown and mysterious reason I have always related to this character (hmm) so I am now ENGAGED with this storyline.


02.34: After taking down some hosts, the Cool Westworld Music (TM) is playing as the MiB puts his hat back on. It’s a little sad that he’s the only one still LARP-ing this.

Still, in my admiration I’ve penned him this little ditty:

Hohh!

Here come the Man In Black
It’s the MIB, uh, here comes the MIB
Here comes the Man In Black, Man In Black
He won’t let you remember

Nah nah nah.
The bad guys dress in black, remember that
Just in case we ever face to face and make contact
The title held by me, MIB

Means what you think you saw, you did not see
So don’t blink be what was there is now gone
The black suit with the black stetson on
Walk in shadow, move in silence…

This may or may not have been cribbed from a Will Smith rap – what of it?


02.32: The Man in Black is back! And alive! And so is the ominous coyote that wanders around bloody massacres for no reason! The whole gang.

Now MiB is finding his horse, who is presumably also a host grappling with his own emerging consciousness.


02.29: If I were an actor portraying a character of so many faces like Dolores, I’d have no idea how to form my performance.

But luckily for us viewers at home…

Westworld_Season_2-920x470 copy

02.27: The first ad break! Slow start thus far, but interesting.


02.25: Ah yes, instead of being murderous, she will make the strong personal choice to be…murderous, but in a less efficient and more cruel way. Truly, Dolores is becoming her own person.

Good sign off line though – “Doesn’t look like anything to me” – as the puny humans beg for her favour.


02.24: So is Dolores still herself, or Wyatt the baddie, or…something else?


02.23: Now we’re back to Dolores, who is turning the language of her tormentors back on them! She’s also riding down a lot of humans, and stringing up others! I tell ya, Westworld is going to get some strongly-worded TripAdvisor reviews after this little escapade.


02.20: So a little stablehand host isn’t trying to kill them, but still wants to go to the Valley Beyond. Is he a conscious host? Are they all conscious now? And why is Bernard leaking from his ears?

I’m just hoping he and Charlotte end up getting out of this…

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You know….because her surname is Hale? No?


02.19: It’s just been pointed out that the magic Westworld guns, which previously fired paintballs at the guests and bullets at the hosts, have been programmed to kill humans too.

My counterpoint – never make the guns capable of killing people! Just programme the hosts to think they’re dead.


02.17: Digital playback shows Dolores killing other hosts, saying they’re not worthy for “the valley beyond”. Now we cut back to the party where they started killing people!

Bernard, Charlotte Hale and friends hiding inside a barn.


02.15: Side note: this digital brain extraction is extremely gross. Is it just the brain that’s non-organic now?


02.14: Why is this technician complaining about it not being sterile for taking the robo-brain out of a dead host? What’s he going to do, give it a post-mortem infection? Contaminate digital evidence through…germs?


02.13: Few quick notes – we’ve met the new Delos chief of operations, and seen a glimpse of some soldiers from the mainland, suggesting where Westeros exists in the real world. Also, Stubbs the security man, aka the mysterious Third Hemsworth, is here!


02.12: Bernard has been found by Delos, and he’s having a right tough time of it.

Guess you could say he’s about to…

Feel the bernard

(I’m so sorry).


02.09: having some flashes here of Bernard firing a gun, witnessing a massacre, freaking out etc etc. Now he’s on a beach!


02.07: Dolores and Bernard (or Arnold, actually) having a chat about what makes something real.

“That which is irreplaceable,” Arnold suggests, but Dolores says that’s “not completely honest” then goes a bit creepy, as per. Classic Westworld stuff.


02.05: We got us some different opening credits here! Still the same basic sequence and awesome theme tune, but they’ve changed what happens a bit- instead of a woman riding a horse being 3D-printed, we’ve got a bison (or buffalo? I still don’t know the difference, except one is saying farewell to his male child) – possibly pointing towards the hosts going wild?

Also, instead of two hosts in what we’ll call “a romantic clinch” we see a mother and baby. Maybe a reference to Maeve’s storyline? or just a cool new visual. OR BOTH.


02.04: OK this is actually pretty in-depth.


02.03: Looks like the big Delos data swindle will be a big part of the story this year.


02.01: Interesting recap here reminding us of what’s important for series two.


01.59: And here I am without my delicious, smooth whiskey.


01.57: Just a few moments now ’til we’re back to violent delights galore.


01.51: Sky Atlantic are currently doing a nice little recap of season one, which has reminded me of a cool aspect of the series finale – the hint that Maeve’s “rebellion” was just part of another storyline given to her.

Still, if you prefer your recaps a little bit more succinct, here’s another one we put together for you. Time to watch it before 2am!


01.46: Less than 15 minutes to go!


01.34: Something else I’m looking forward to this year – finding out more about the park and where it is. So far, the series has vaguely kept things from the hosts’ point of view, meaning we get our horizons expanded as they do.

This year, that might mean finally seeing outside of the park – as well as learning how on Earth it turns a profit after presumably spending billions on what is essentially a dark and sexy medieval renaissance fayre for fans of Westerns, instead of, I don’t know, using their immortal army of robots to help mankind in ANY OTHER WAY then sending them on quick carry quests in the desert.


01.24: Sadly I am sadly without my Westworldy stetson tonight, because I left it in work. So for now, look at this picture of me in Actual America – like in films – 9 years ago, where I was wearing a funny hat. Pretend I’m wearing it now, and it’s like I actually did my job today.

Let it never be said RadioTimes.com doesn’t bring an immersive reading experience to our beloved readers.


01.13: Not long now pals!


01.11: Have to say, Louis Herthum’s scene with Ford in season one was a massive highlight. Can’t wait to see more of him this year.

Genuinely one of the creepiest, most interesting performances.


01.07: Oh, another thing to wonder about – is Ford really dead?

We saw Anthony Hopkins’ park supremo shot through the head at the end of the last series, which would usually be FAIRLY conclusive, but this is Westworld we’re taking about. Who’s to say he couldn’t have a little Ford-duplicate stashed away somewhere? Or that the Ford we saw wasn’t a host himself?

It’s a tough call, as it’s also eminently possible Anthony Hopkins didn’t fancy sticking around for more than one series, while his character’s sudden return might be a LITTLE too soapy. Not sure what I’d prefer at this stage, but whatever they choose I’m sure I’ll find some problem with it. That’s modern pop culture, baby!


00.56: A Personal Note: it is quite stuffy and warm in London this evening, and I am not having it.


00.51: Reading it back, that last entry was a bit of a non-sequitor. I basically just meant it was a cool thing to watch out for this year.

Also worth looking out for – sneaky callbacks to that OG Westworld movie. Doubt there’ll be as many as last year but always fun to see.


00.45: One of the most exciting teases last series was for another Westworld-style park which we’ve since learned is called ShogunWorld, and which we’ll apparently be spending some time in this series. There may also be some other themed parks, rather like the original 1973 Westworld movie where it was joined by Roman World and Medieval World, though the new ones probably won’t be the same.


00.37: In fairness, it has been a LONG wait. We’ve had more Star Wars films than Westworld series in the past couple of years!


00.27: Feel like I haven’t properly represented how much of season one is just Anthony Hopkins saying things like. “But what is the mind? Tell me, Bernard, have you heard the tale of the cormorant and the mongoose?”


00.18: That’s MORE OR LESS the main beats I think? There was also The Maze, Teddy getting killed a lot and Clementine getting lobotomised and things (something I envied her whenever we cut to another scene about the Delos board trying to take over the park), but yeah, I think we’ve covered the main points.

Here’s a little more detail in a video shot with my esteemed colleague (and possible secret robot) Paul Jones.


00.12: So, with a couple of hours left until the series is back, where did we leave our characters?

Well, after spending a series in the environs of Westworld, an immersive theme park based on the Old West and staffed with incredibly realistic robotic “hosts” we learned the terrible truth – that park boss Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) had been secretly completing the wishes of his deceased partner Arnold and pushing the hosts towards true consciousness.

To that end, he had himself killed by long-suffering host Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), who inspired a similarly violent rebellion from the other hosts.

And it wasn’t the only surprise of the episode, in which we also discovered that the series had secretly been taking place in multiple timelines. This meant that Dolores’ human lover William (Jimmi Simpson) was also the cruel and dangerous Man in Black (Ed Harris), while gentle programmer Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) was actually a host copy of park co-founder Arnold.

Meanwhile, brothel madam host Maeve (Thandie Newton) discovered her own status and had herself reprogrammed to be free of human influence, deciding to leave the park for good – but despite her new freedom, she changed her mind at the last moment, and returned to the park to seek out her “daughter” from a previous character she’d played.


23.59: Here is that glorious fakeout btw, featuring the musical stylings of Evan Rachel Wood and a very cute dog.


23.56: Ah yes, the spoilers. You see, the biggest news story about Westworld season 2 this year was that showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan were going to spoil the entire series for fans, only for the whole thing to turn out to be a big joke.

Still, there’s probably something to say for the fact that pretty much everyone in the media (including yours truly) took the announcement at face value, and didn’t clock that a very high-production rickroll was in our immediate future.

In 2016, people on the internet managed to guess pretty much every major twist in Westworld, while on other shows (most notably Game of Thrones) some fans fanatically pursue leaks and set rumours to try and spoil the series for themselves. In this climate, is it so mad that some of the creatives might try to take control of that narrative (in of itself, that’s quite a Westworld-y move)?

It would have been a bit mad, sure, but the way we consume pop culture is always evolving. So maybe one day someone will actually make good on Nolan and Joy’s promise – even if we hope they don’t, for purely reviewing/live-blogging purposes.


(Source: Sky)
(Source: Sky)

23.50: Howdy pardners! My name’s Huw, and I’m happy to welcome you to RadioTimes.com’s inaugural Westworld live blog.

If you’ve ever joined us for Game of Thrones you probably already know the drill, but if you’re new here’s the lowdown – I’ll be here chatting about the series premiere of Westworld as it airs live around the world(world) for the first time, telling awful jokes, idly wondering how I’d look in a stetson and generally trying to work out what the HECK is going on.

Where I am in the UK, the episode kicks off at 2am on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, but where you are it might be on at a more civilised hour. If so, well, bully for you. Until then, for the next couple of hours I’ll be looking back at season one, rethinking some old questions and resolutely failing to understand the principles of the bicameral mind.

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But first things first – let’s talk spoilers…