HBO's Westworld emerged as one of the most popular new shows of 2016, which broke ratings records for the premium channel. After ending season 1 with a cliffhanger, fans have already begun wondering what direction the series might take in season 2 and beyond. Luckily, a second season has already been announced, though production requirements likely mean the series won't be returning until 2018.
Ending with a robot uprising, it seemed like the only possible future for the characters in Westworld was chaos and mayhem. Apparently, however, the second season may be presenting parts of the upcoming storyline from an entirely different perspective.
In a recent interview with TVLine, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy say season 2 will show the full experience of a common guest at the park before it heads back to the finale's chilling final moments. Apparently, this will include answering a number of fans' most burning questions about how guests experience the park. According to Nolan, this was broken down in the writers' room ahead of time, but once they realized the show would be much more focused on the hosts than the guests, that part of the story was ultimately left out. Nolan said:
"It didn’t feel appropriate to spend too much time illuminating how unreal this place is, because the hosts believe in it so much up until that horrifying moment when they realize that it’s an artificial world. So we didn’t get bogged down in it. [We] will spend a little bit more time next season shining a light on those aspects of the park — what does it feel like to come to it as a guest? — just a little bit before the mayhem starts.”
The interview mentions that this change in perspective could address questions about the inner workings of Westworld as a park, including what happens when a guest disassembles a host (like Ed Harris' Man in Black did), how the park deals with child guests, and more. For those who thought the series skipped over too many of those details during its first season, this should finally put a rest to some of the show's (biggest) minor mysteries.
Once again, it shows an unexpected change in direction for the series to take, further subverting expectations as it did during season 1. Where most might have thought the logical start point for season 2 would be to begin during the hosts' massacre, it sounds like Nolan and Joy have a different plan in mind for the future. Whether or not that means viewers will have to wait longer than they might have expected to discover the outcome of the finale's biggest cliffhangers, though, remains to be seen.
Westworld returns with season 2 in 2018 on HBO.