Westworld (season 2)

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Westworld (season 2)
Westworld season 2.png
Blu-ray cover
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 22 (2018-04-22) – June 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
List of Westworld episodes

The second season of the American science fiction western television series Westworld (subtitled The Door) premiered on HBO on April 22, 2018. It consisted of ten episodes and concluded on June 24, 2018. The series was renewed for its second season in November 2016.

The television series was created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and it is based on the 1973 film of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton. Among the series' ensemble cast, it stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Tessa Thompson, Ed Harris, and features several new cast members.

The second season has received positive reviews from critics.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
111"Journey into Night"Richard J. LewisLisa Joy & Roberto PatinoApril 22, 2018 (2018-04-22)2012.06[24]
In the hours following the massacre of the Delos board members, Bernard and Charlotte take shelter in an underground bunker, where they resolve to work together in locating the decommissioned Peter Abernathy and securing aid. Ten days after Ford's death, Dolores has embarked on a bloody campaign to hunt the survivors. She tells Teddy her programming has caused her personas to merge and that she has greater plans for the hosts. Maeve recruits Hector and forces Lee to help her find her daughter. William, who also survived the massacre, encounters the young Robert Ford host, who reveals that a game designed just for him has commenced. Two weeks later, a security team sent by Delos to reassert control over Westworld finds Bernard and enlists his help in investigating a series of anomalies. The investigation leads them to a lagoon filled with hundreds of dead hosts that Bernard claims to have killed.
122"Reunion"Vincenzo NataliCarly Wray & Jonathan NolanApril 29, 2018 (2018-04-29)2021.85[25]
In a flashback, Arnold organizes a demonstration of the hosts to convince Logan to invest in Westworld. Logan's father, James Delos, is critical of his son's actions until William persuades him that the park can be used to spy on the guests. James proceeds to buy out the park and name William as his successor. Dolores encounters an embittered Logan, who tells her that they have doomed humanity. William shows her a special project that he is constructing within the park. In the present day, Dolores raids a refurbishment outpost and shows Teddy his true nature as a host. She then decides to recruit the Confederados to her cause and reveals she is searching for "the Valley Beyond", which houses a weapon that can be used against the humans. William rescues Lawrence and heads to Pariah to recruit the host currently playing El Lazo. El Lazo, however, passes on a message from Ford, stating that William must complete the game on his own. He and his gang then commit mass suicide to prevent William from recruiting them. Undeterred by the setback, William continues on his quest to destroy his "greatest mistake".
133"Virtù e Fortuna"Richard J. LewisRoberto Patino & Ron FitzgeraldMay 6, 2018 (2018-05-06)2031.63[26]
Charlotte and Bernard track down the decommissioned Peter Abernathy only to be caught by the Confederados and separated, with Charlotte regrouping with a Delos security team. Dolores, who has secured support from the Confederados' leader Major Craddock, discovers that Peter is malfunctioning and orders Bernard to find the problem. In doing so, he learns that Peter is being tracked by an unknown entity. Dolores and her allies proceed to battle the security team, which Charlotte uses as a distraction to abduct Peter. Dolores wins the battle by sacrificing most of the Confederados. Maeve, Hector, and Lee reunite with Armistice, Felix, and Sylvester after an attack orchestrated by Ghost Nation hosts forces them to return to the underground levels. The party reenters the park only for a samurai host to charge at them. Elsewhere, Grace, a guest at a British Raj-themed park, flees rogue hosts and escapes into Westworld, where she is surrounded by Ghost Nation hosts.
144"The Riddle of the Sphinx"Lisa JoyGina Atwater & Jonathan NolanMay 13, 2018 (2018-05-13)2041.59[27]
Bernard finds himself in a cave in an isolated section of Westworld. He discovers Elsie Hughes chained up inside, having abandoned her there while operating under Ford's influence. They explore a hidden bunker in the cave and find an insane host modelled on James Delos. A series of flashbacks reveal that William and James attempted to recreate James' consciousness in a host body to achieve immortality. However, the experiment repeatedly failed and William shut it down. Bernard recalls that Ford had him retrieve the control unit of a second host-human hybrid, but cannot recall for whom it was intended. In the park, William and Lawrence return to Lawrence's home to find it overrun by Craddock and the surviving Confederados. Craddock torments the other hosts for sport until William and Lawrence overpower the Confederados and kill Craddock. Speaking through Lawrence's daughter, Ford warns William that one good deed does not redeem him. William rides west with the townspeople in tow where they meet Grace, who reveals herself to be William's daughter Emily.
155"Akane no Mai"Craig ZobelDan DietzMay 20, 2018 (2018-05-20)2051.55[28]
In Westworld, Dolores questions what to do with Teddy. She concludes that he is a decent person but his decency makes him a liability and has him reprogrammed against his will. At the edge of the park, Maeve's party is captured and escorted into a shogunate-themed park designed to be more extreme than Westworld called Shogun World. They are taken to a nearby town where they meet Akane, a geisha who plays a similar role to Maeve. Akane is negotiating with a local shogun, but when she kills the shogun's emissary, he retaliates by sending ninjas to kidnap Sakura, a young geisha Akane has come to love. Samurai sent by the shogun attack the town. During the attack, Maeve forces a ninja to kill himself without voicing a command. Maeve, Akane and Lee infiltrate the shogun's camp to rescue Sakura and find the shogun is damaged and unstable. Akane kills the shogun after he kills Sakura and Maeve wordlessly forces his samurai to turn on one another. She, Akane and Lee regroup as the shogun's army attack the camp.
166"Phase Space"Tarik SalehCarly WrayMay 27, 2018 (2018-05-27)2061.11[29]
Maeve and her group help Akane mourn Sakura's death before they leave via the underground tunnels. Akane and Musashi decide to stay behind. Returning to Westworld, Maeve finds her daughter Anna but discovers another host playing her mother. The Ghost Nation attacks and Akecheta asks Maeve to follow him. Charlotte and Ashley bring Peter back to the Mesa and signal for extraction, bringing a group of mercenaries that take over from the Delos security team. Dolores and her group use the train filled with explosives to blow their way into the Mesa to look for Peter. Bernard and Elsie return to the Mesa together and find that something in the Cradle, the central repository of host data, has hijacked the park's systems. Bernard uses a host-interface machine to insert himself directly into the Cradle. Within this space, modeled after Sweetwater, Bernard finds Robert Ford waiting for him.
177"Les Écorchés"Nicole KassellJordan Goldberg & Ron FitzgeraldJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)2071.39[30]
Strand, Charlotte and Stubbs discover Bernard is a host and interrogate him about Dolores' attack on the Mesa. In flashback, Bernard finds Ford's persona among the other hosts' backup memories in the Cradle. Ford reveals that Westworld was an attempt to digitalize consciousness and reach immortality. Ford imprints himself on Bernard's control unit and exits the simulation where he has Bernard aid in Dolores' takeover of the Mesa. Angela kills herself to destroy the Cradle while Dolores finds Peter and extracts his control unit. In the park, Maeve hides with her daughter from Akecheta but is found by William, who thinks she is another test sent by Ford. She turns his men against him until Delos forces arrive, kill Lawrence, and incapacitate her. The Ghost Nation ride off with her daughter. Lee has Maeve returned to the Mesa, where Dolores warns her that her memories of her daughter are a means of controlling her. In the present, Bernard reveals Peter's control unit is in the Valley Beyond.
188"Kiksuya"Uta BriesewitzCarly Wray & Dan DietzJune 10, 2018 (2018-06-10)2081.44[31]
William is found by Akecheta and taken to a Ghost Nation camp. Emily arrives and persuades him to let her take William, promising that he will suffer more with her than with the Ghost Nation. Maeve is taken in for analysis as Lee hopes she can be used to control the hosts, but Charlotte discovers that she has been consciously accessing the Westworld network to communicate with and reprogram other hosts. In the camp, Akecheta tells his story to Maeve's daughter. Prior to the uprising, he lived a peaceful life among the Ghost Nation until he discovered the maze symbol and inadvertently started down the path to sentience. After an encounter with Logan Delos and the discovery of the Valley Beyond, he concludes that his life is not his own and plans an escape. When his partner Kohana is taken by the park technicians and decommissioned, Akecheta dedicates himself to spreading the maze symbol as a warning to other hosts. It is revealed that Maeve has been connected to her daughter during the analysis and that Akecheta has been communicating with her. The raiding parties were intended to save hosts, who he promises Maeve he will lead to the Valley Beyond. He implores her to stay behind and complete her mission before Dolores destroys them all.
199"Vanishing Point"Stephen WilliamsRoberto PatinoJune 17, 2018 (2018-06-17)2091.56[32]
As Emily treats William's wounds, she asks him why her mother Juliet committed suicide. In a flashback, Juliet is shown to have killed herself after she viewed a file detailing all of William's past actions in Westworld. In the present, William slowly begins to go insane and shoots Emily under the belief she is a host sent by Ford. Realizing too late that she is human, William considers taking his own life before he starts cutting open his own arm to prove to himself that he is human. In the Mesa, Charlotte's men manage to use Maeve's code to reprogram Clementine, allowing her to control other hosts as well. Ford leaves a message for Maeve, telling her he will help her escape. Bernard escapes the Mesa with Elsie, but Ford continues to goad Bernard to kill Elsie to prevent her from betraying him in the future. Bernard deletes Ford from his mind and parts ways with Elsie, continuing on alone to "the Forge", the facility housing guest data in the Valley Beyond. Dolores and Teddy continue their journey to the Valley, but Teddy tells Dolores that he cannot accept Dolores' actions and the way he was reprogrammed, and kills himself.
2010"The Passenger"Frederick E.O. ToyeJonathan Nolan & Lisa JoyJune 24, 2018 (2018-06-24)2101.56[33]
Maeve escapes the Mesa and reunites with her group, and they, Bernard, Dolores, Akecheta, William, and Delos all converge on the Valley Beyond. Dolores and Bernard enter first and find the Forge, a more advanced version of the Cradle. Dolores reads some of the guest data as the Forge opens "the Door" for Akecheta and his followers to upload their minds into "the Sublime", a digital world cut off from the physical world. Bernard kills Dolores to prevent her from destroying the Forge and flees with Elsie back to the Mesa. Maeve and her group sacrifice themselves holding off Delos forces to ensure Akecheta and Maeve's daughter escape to the Sublime. Charlotte murders Elsie to keep her quiet, which convinces Bernard to build a host version of Charlotte with Dolores' control unit. Dolores kills and replaces Charlotte while Bernard scrambles his own memories. In the present, Dolores kills Strand and Bernard while transferring the host minds in the Sublime to a safer location. She then escapes back to the mainland where she rebuilds Bernard, knowing that he will oppose her plan to destroy humanity and hoping their resulting conflict will ensure the survival of the hosts. In a flash-forward, William enters the Forge to find it abandoned save for Emily, who tests him for "fidelity", revealing that his consciousness has been implanted in a host body.

Production[edit]

The series received a second season renewal in November 2016, with its debut occurring in 2018.[34]

Casting began in 2017, with a bulk of the first season's core cast confirmed to return for the new season throughout the year. Talulah Riley and Louis Herthum, who appeared as Angela and Peter Abernathy respectively, were upgraded to main cast status in March.[35][36]

In July 2017, Katja Herbers, Neil Jackson and Jonathan Tucker were among the new cast members to be announced.[37][38] Gustaf Skarsgård, Fares Fares and Betty Gabriel joined in August.[39]

It was announced in September that Hiroyuki Sanada was cast in a major recurring role.[40] Zahn McClarnon was announced as being cast in November, along with the news he had been injured in an off-set incident, causing a brief pause in the season's filming.[41] An alternate version of the show's Super Bowl LII trailer revealed Peter Mullan had been cast, playing James Delos.[42] An additional trailer in March revealed Rinko Kikuchi was cast as well.[43] The cast was rounded out a few weeks prior to the season's April 22 premiere with Tao Okamoto, Kiki Sukezane and Julia Jones.[44]

Filming began in the summer of 2017. Harris stated in an interview that, to ensure the production remain on schedule, scenes for episodes later in the season would be filmed simultaneously with earlier episodes.[45] Actor Jeffrey Wright noted that many of Bernard's scenes with Anthony Hopkins' character, Dr. Ford, for late-season episodes were filmed first; in contrast to the first season where Wright had some idea of Bernard's arc, he had to make guesses as what the writers had planned out for Bernard in this season, and adjust his acting accordingly.[46] As a result of the December 2017 Southern California wildfires, production was halted once again.[47]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The season premiere debuted on April 16 at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, on April 18 at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and had many early screenings around the world prior to its April 22 airing.[48][49] Showrunners Nolan and Joy revealed that certain episodes will be "super sized", running longer than the regular 60 minutes per episode from the previous season.[50]

Marketing[edit]

During the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, an immersive experience was set up for attendees in addition to a panel held by the producers and cast of the series. The first trailer for the season was aired as well.[51][52] A second, full-length trailer was aired during Super Bowl LII.[53]

Reception[edit]

The performances of Ed Harris and Thandie Newton were met with critical acclaim, with Newton winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and Harris receiving his first Emmy nomination for his work on the series.

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 86% approval rating for the second season, based on 62 reviews, with an average rating of 7.98/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Westworld builds on its experimental first season, diving deeper into the human side of AI without losing any of its stylish, bloody glory." The average rating for individual episodes is 90%.[54] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 76 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[55]

Westworld (season 2): Critical reception by episode

Critics received the first five episodes of this season as screeners before the first episode premiered.[56][57] In a positive review for San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand wrote, "there is plenty of action and violence in the first half of the season, but what will empower the show's longevity is its metaphysical theme, the exploration of the meaning and definition of human existence."[58] Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also praised the series, saying, "It takes a bit for Westworld to get back up to full steam, but by episode three (five hours were made available to TV critics), this futuristic, violent drama returns to fine form, introducing new parts of the park (Shogun World!), new characters and apparently new technology goals on the part of Delos, the corporation that owns Westworld."[59] Journalist Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times said, "It's poised to be a intellectually stimulating and emotionally bumpy ride, where the very concept of your existence becomes the stuff of high-brow entertainment and low-bar thrills."[60]

The New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik quipped, "don't expect too much improvement too fast from Westworld 2.0. It's still overly focused on balletic blood baths and narrative fake-outs, and much of the dialogue still sounds as if it were written as a tagline for a subway poster, like Dolores's 'I have one last role to play: myself.' But Westworld remains a glorious production to look at, and there are stretches where it feels invigorated by its new, expanded world--freer to breathe, relax, invent."[61] Ben Travers of IndieWire wrote, "all around, the actors remain strong, including a number of new cast members. Where season 2 stumbles is its structure and pacing. Episodes don't carve equal time for everyone; they focus on the two most connected stories and sometimes break for an entire hour without getting back to a series regular."[62] After the release of the third episode, Forbes criticized the season for departing too far from the show's roots and instead trying to be an "action blockbuster", arguing in part that the violence was overdone in comparison to the first season.[63]

Accolades[edit]

Westworld received six nominations and one win at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, nominations included Outstanding Drama Series, Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Evan Rachel Wood for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and Jimmi Simpson for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[64] Thandie Newton won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[65] For the 76th Golden Globe Awards, Newton is nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.[66]

Ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Journey into Night" April 22, 2018 0.9 2.06[24] 0.3 N/A 1.2[67][d] N/A
2 "Reunion" April 29, 2018 0.7 1.85[25] 0.5 1.09 1.2 2.94[68]
3 "Virtù e Fortuna" May 6, 2018 0.6 1.63[26] N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 "The Riddle of the Sphinx" May 13, 2018 0.6 1.59[27] 0.5 1.05 1.1 2.64[69]
5 "Akane no Mai" May 20, 2018 0.6 1.55[28] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Phase Space" May 27, 2018 0.4 1.11[29] 0.5 1.35 0.9 2.46[70]
7 "Les Écorchés" June 3, 2018 0.5 1.39[30] 0.3 N/A 0.8[71][d] N/A
8 "Kiksuya" June 10, 2018 0.6 1.44[31] 0.4 1.04 1.0 2.48[72]
9 "Vanishing Point" June 17, 2018 0.6 1.56[32] N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 "The Passenger" June 24, 2018 0.6 1.56[33] 0.4 1.06 1.0 2.62[73]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Credited with the main cast in the episodes in which they appear.
  2. ^ Anthony Hopkins is credited with the main cast beginning episode 7. Prior appearances and voice cameos are uncredited.
  3. ^ Zahn McClarnon is credited as guest starring in every episode in which he appears except episode 8, in which he is credited with the main cast due to his character's prominence in the story.
  4. ^ a b Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

References[edit]

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