The episode title for the second season premiere of Westworld has been revealed.
When a fan on the Westworld subreddit posted a topic asking if the endless maze image posts could end in the community, Co-creator of the hit sci-fi western series Jonathan Nolan simply responded with “nope”, hyperlinking the text to an image which revealed the title for Episode 201 as “Journey Into N…”.
You can check out the image Nolan shared below.
While the “N'” gets cut off, the full title is presumably “Journey Into Night”, the same title as Dr. Ford’s new narrative.
In addition to the reveal of the title, Omega Underground is reporting that production on season two is set to begin this July as it was expected. Filming will commence on July 10 in both California and Nevada. Unfortunately, the cinematic series will not make its return until sometime during 2018 due to the entire second season being written prior to filming in order to avoid the production delays that plagued the first season.
Westworld stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Clifton Collins, Jr., Talulah Riley and Luke Hemsworth.
Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on Season 2 of Westworld as we learn it.
9 Mind-Bending Theories About ‘Westworld’: Mazes, Immortality And Robot Armies
Like a certain malevolent, black-hatted guest, viewers are already trying to suss out the deeper levels of Westworld.
HBO’s much-promoted new genre show is a testament to the power of week-to-week episodic storytelling and the water-cooler theories that are born out of it. After only two episodes, a bunch of theories about the burgeoning androids-run-amok tale sprang up, some ridiculously plausible and others just plain ridiculous (no, Westworld is not a stealth biopic about American actor Ed Harris).
I tried to keep the list here to the safe side of crazy, but I also injected some of my more wild, out there thoughts. With so little to go on, it’s fun to assign meaning to every little thing to project where this awesome show could go next.
Click Next to scroll through the gallery.
1. William is the Man in Black, 30 years in the past
This is probably the biggest theory out there – that new visitor William (Jimmi Simpson) is actually the Man in Black, in a flashback depicting his arrival to Westworld 30 years prior (the pilot also mentioned that the last park “critical failure” happened 30 years ago as well. Coincidence?). Such a bait-and-switch twist would echo season 3 finale of Lost. Vulture broke down some of the cited evidence: Teddy, seen in the pilot living out his loop of entering Westworld by train, is missing when Logan and William first get off to the town. Plus, the station itself looks newer.
I don’t buy this one, not because I don’t think the showrunners won’t play with time or perception in this way, but because it doesn’t make sense in storytelling terms. Using the hosts unchanging appearance to fake a timeline is smart; robbing the show of creative momentum is not. It’s possible that seeing the Man in Black’s origin story play out without our knowledge helps set up the central premise of the show, which is robot rebellion, and there’s no doubt Ed Harris’ character is fascinating.
But unless this is just a season-long detour into the past, I don’t see how they could sustain such a device, one they specifically made a huge part of the show’s launch. Lost was up-front about its flashbacks, time jumps, and “centric” episodes. Are we going to watch flashbacks of the Man in Black raping and killing in Westworld over and over again? Divorced from the horror, it would be simply repetitive, especially since we know the “real story” doesn’t begin again until the timeline put forward in the pilot.
2. Ford is purposely engineering self-aware A.I.
Anthony Hopkins is past caring (i.e. Solace, Misconduct, Transformers 5) about, well, anything. But here, his casual indifference pays dividends as the God figure of Westworld, the creator of the hosts who feels Dr. Manhattan-level disassociation from humanity (and androids, seemingly). Another consequence: we have only clues about what his impenetrable Dr. Robert Ford actually up to.
The first episode told us the self-aware glitches occurring in the hosts like Dolores and her “father” Peter were the result of an update code written by Ford. He asked Bernard to forgive his mistake . . . and later in a discussion said mistakes were evolution’s single, great tool. The end of episode 2 was also deliberately ambiguous about Ford’s new “quite original” narrative he’s promised, which is so meta it hurts. At the end of human evolution, what is left? And Ford seems to think it’s “start again.” Personally, I believe this one without dispute*.
*Following up on the previous Lost reference, this show seems similar in placing main characters as pawns between an apathetic, behind-the-scenes good against an evil, nameless Man in Black. I wonder what, if any, history exists between Ford the creator and the Man in Black the eternal guest and can’t wait to see Harris and Hopkins match wits on-screen.
3. Dolores is already self-aware and hiding it
This theory goes that Dolores is already self-aware, at least to a much larger degree than we can see, and is acting out subservience as she collects data and information. As the oldest host in Westworld, with the most of amount of personalities papered over in her programming (aka her subconscious), it makes sense.
Another point in this theory’s favor comes courtesy of SlashFilm and is based on what is called a Turing Test. You may be familiar with the term if you saw Ex Machina last year or Transcendence the year before. It basically tests a computer to see how human it is. What A.I. pioneers fear is not a computer who can pass the Turing Test, it is a computer that can fake a failure. SlashFilm also compiled quotes from Nolan showing his fascination with and research into the concept, making it a likely, if not definitive, feature of the show moving forward.
4. Bernard and/or the other staff are hosts, too
This theory (or at least some form of it) is almost guaranteed to be true. They did a version of this in the pilot, which used 15 minutes to introduce Teddy (James Marsden) seemingly as a guest before he’s revealed to be a host. I eye Bernard in particular due to his closeness and worship of Ford, his social awkwardness. Perhaps Ford took inspiration from the idea of machines making machines.
I don’t know if the whole staff would be hosts, but it certainly can’t be ruled out yet. We’ve seen no evidence of anything outside of Westworld and all dialogue should be taken with a grain of salt. Hell, Ford might of died a long time ago and used a host replica of his body to continue on. We just don’t know yet, but there is plenty of reason to assume a reveal like this is coming.
5. The hosts were based on real humans
This one is a little more nebulous (and tied in with number 9) but it goes that the park’s hosts are actually created using DNA material from real humans, essentially “cloning” them. This theory built up steam after episode 2, which showed Ford interacting with a host child in private, leading myself and other reviewers to conclude the host was Ford himself as child.
If (big if) the hosts are based on real people, could they be the same people? With fragments of their consciousness buried within? From a practical standpoint, it would be easier to create a copy of someone than an entirely original being. Then again, who knows exactly how advanced the future is in Westworld? This theory also opens the door for the oft-villainous goal of immortality. Could Ford be the only human amidst his creations, using them in some form of Freudian exercise? We probably won’t know for a bit, as revelations like these are best saved for season finales.
6. The flies are the canaries-in-the-coalmine
The flies were a cool metaphor in the pilot. Seemingly the only non-synthetic beings in Westworld (apart from the guests of course), hosts don’t respond to flies, even if they crawl on their eyeballs, making them a dead give away someone is a robot. But, like the canaries that coal miners would use to warn them of a carbon monoxide leak, they could actually serve as a dire warning.
The theory goes that the flies aren’t just there by chance or accident. They are a purposeful early warning system for park critical failure i.e. robots harming the living. Now, a mark against it is obvious: why is no one freaking out about Dolores killing one? Well, it could be that they’re also a construct of Ford’s, a “test” if you will, that only he is aware of. If robot sentience is his “original narrative” as I proposed, it could be his way of monitoring the experiment.
7. Westworld is underwater or interstellar
The showrunners have refused to confirm the time and place of the series, saying it will be revealed in time. Our only hint is a slip by Nolan placing it in 21st century America. Given the advancement on display and the timeline established, it’s likely close to the end of the century. But what gets people really interested is where, exactly, Westworld is. Some think it could be in space, perhaps even on the moon or another planet entirely. Others take Nolan’s inspiration from BioShock, extrapolate, and place it under the ocean a la Rapture.
The team spent a lot of time designing the structure of the park, which they said is like an underground skyscraper, which is just unspecific enough to keep us guessing. Given the series’ plot, I imagine this is a layer that will be peeled back slowly, and then all at once, probably before this season ends. For my money, it’s right here on Earth, in the heart of America, the implicit “Westworld” of the title.
8. The Maze hides the secret to immortality
There last two theories are Sam Flynn originals and come from my spit-balling. Here’s what we know about the Maze: 1) its supposedly the “deepest level” of Westworld, an Easter egg if you will 2) hosts, for some reason, have a map tattooed underneath their scalps 3) the Man in Black discovered it, wants to find it, and doesn’t intend to go back to the real world once he does.
So, whatever is in the Maze is big enough for the Man in Black to give up everything inside-and-outside Westworld (or perhaps, his line about “never going back” refers to a change in his role or power in Westworld). This leads me to conclude he knows what is in the maze and isn’t seeking it out for simple curiosity. What could be so big?
Well, I think the show foreshadowed its intentions when Ford lamented humanity’s progress had reached its end – except for curing death. “Call Lazarus from the cave” I believe he said. Who’s to say immortality isn’t already here, as I mentioned earlier? Uploading consciousnesses into robots would Earth-changing – and lucrative. The Man in Black made clear in episode 2 that his nihilistic view of the real world is what makes the constructed reality of Westworld so appealing. Could his misanthropy drive him to become a host himself? Whatever happens, men in black hats tampering with forces they don’t understand typically doesn’t end well.
9. Management (aka Delos Corporation) wants an army of robot infiltrators
This last theory is more of a guess, based off a conversation in the pilot and the pre-existing mythology of the Westworld franchise. In the premiere, Sizemore confronts Cullen about “Management’s” plans for Westworld, claiming they couldn’t just be interested in rich people using their technology as disposable toys. They must be looking into medical or military applications. Cullen implicitly confirms it.
In Futureworld, the 1976 sequel to the original 1973 film, the park bosses at Delos Coporation used the park as lure for the wealthy and powerful so they could harvest their DNA and use it to clone them as obedient robots, who would then replace the actual person in the real world. In the Westworld contract in the show’s ARG (credit to Peter Sciretta at SlashFilm for finding it), it says explicitly that Delos owns everything upon a guest’s arrival at the park, from their skin flakes to their loose hair. Here is excerpt:
By entering the Delos Destinations Port of Entry, you acknowledge that Delos, Inc. controls the rights to and remains the sole owner of, in perpetuity: all skin cells, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, hair samples, saliva, sweat, blood, and any other bodily functions not listed here. Delos, Inc. reserves the right to use this property in any way, shape, or form in which the entity sees fit.
Westworld is evolving as quickly as the hosts at the center of the story. What do you think the most likely theory is? Where do you think HBO’s newest hit goes next? Sound off in the comments!
Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. My review of tonight’s third episode “The Stray” will be up shortly after it ends. See you then!