Spoilers For Westworld Season 2 Ahead
It appears that viewers weren't the only ones left confused by season 2 of Westworld, as the show's star, Evan Rachel Wood, claims that she too found the plot difficult to keep up with. Westworld's eagerly anticipated second run proved as divisive as it was intense and came to a suitably eventful end, as Wood's character - the robotic purveyor of blood and destruction, Dolores Abernathy - finally managed to escape the Westworld park and make her way into the human world, albeit in another host's body. The finale episode seemed to set up a future confrontation in the outside world between the humans and the androids, as Dolores squared off against fellow host, Bernard, who also found his way to freedom.
Perhaps the foremost criticism of Westworld season 2 was just how hard it was to follow at times. As with its debut run, the show flicked between two separate timelines and multiple locations and featured several host factions with varying levels of awareness, all while deliberately using clever editing to misdirect viewers. Consequently, many were left perplexed at the events unfolding on-screen and this was compounded by the final moments of the finale, which saw Dolores escape in Hale's body...but then recreate her original body. But 'Hale' was still there. And it was the future. An after-credits sequence went even deeper down the rabbit hole, appearing to take place further ahead in time, showing William (sporting the same injury he sustained in the season finale) being put through a fidelity test by his daughter who, presumably, was a host.
Surprisingly, some of the people actually working on Westworld were none the wiser as to what was going on. Actor Ed Harris recently claimed as much and in a recent interview with Vulture, Evan Rachel Wood shared his stance. Asked whether she, like Harris, had no idea what was going on, Wood replied:
"I had no idea what was happening in season two. At all. And we shot out of order, so most of the time — I mean, it was insane to be an actor on season two. I don’t know how I feel about it. [Laughs.] But it was a ride. We stopped reading the call sheets. We would show up and Jeffrey and I would ask what episode we were in. It was kind of that level of — we just lived in the moment in whatever scene that we were doing and that’s how we made it."
Those outside of the TV and film industry might expect actors to have a greater understanding of their projects than the viewers, since they are deeply involved in the creation process and have access to the original scripts. However, it appears that this isn't always the case, especially in the age of spoiler prevention measures. While filming out of sequence is nothing new, Harris claimed previously that Westworld's cast were sometimes asked to shoot scenes without knowing the context of their actions - a process that likely made the story even more confusing than it was for viewers.
The complexity of Westworld season 2 certainly contributed to a less enthusiastic critical reception compared to season 1 and with even actors now admitting that they aren't completely sure what was going on over the last 10 episodes, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Westworld tone things down a little in season 3.
Westworld has been confirmed for a third season. More news as it arrives.