Westworld season 2 premiere confirmed some major fan theories

Thankfully, season 2 of the HBO show gave fans some answers right away. Spoilers, spoilers everywhere.

Caitlin Petrakovitz Director of audience
Caitlin Petrakovitz studies the Marvel Cinematic Universe like it's a course in school, with an emphasis on the Infinity Saga years. As an audience expert, she rarely writes but when she does it's most certainly about Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Westworld, San Diego Comic-Con and great streaming properties. Or soccer, that's a thing she loves, too.
Caitlin Petrakovitz
4 min read
John P. Johnson/HBO

The rebellion in Westworld has truly begun, and it's getting bloody. 

With multiple hosts off their loops (we think), we have one gunning for serious revenge to the point of leaving some friends behind; one who can't remember what he really needs to; and one hell-bent on giving reality the middle finger to risk it all for the one thing real to her. 

We didn't stray too far off our usual Westworld loop (no glimpse of ShogunWorld yet), but we did learn some things tonight, and resolved some lingering season one questions.

spoiler alert

Turn back now if you don't want episode one spoilers!


The parks are on an island

Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) wakes up and heads toward new Delos Head of Operations Karl Strand (played by new cast member Gustaf Skarsgard) who's arguing loudly with a man in Chinese military fatigues. "It's an official document giving Delos complete control over this island," Strand says. 

Stubbs says about the Bengal tiger, "we've never had a stray cross park borders," further proving at least two parks are on this single island (from an Indian world maybe?). While some people may say none of this precludes the parks from being on a different planet, coupled with multiple references and Easter eggs in season one, all signs point to a single, huge, terraformed island in the South China Sea.

Questions remain though: If all six parks are on this island... just how big is it? And how do they keep those "strays" from wandering into each park if they all exist smushed up against each other?

Watch this: The highlights (and lowlights) of the new season of Westworld

Delos is an alt-universe Facebook and collecting all your data

We do mean *all* of your personal data -- seems some people still don't grasp the true intentions of Delos Incorporated, even after reading the Terms & Conditions of the park.

Bernard even asks Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) if she seriously means that "Delos is willing to let us die in order to retrieve one host?" "In a word: yes," Charlotte tells him. Delos wants all the information it feels it's entitled to: especially the guest data those shady drone hosts seemed to be harvesting.

We got a brief look at the more nefarious uses of hosts in season one with the Charlotte-Hector-Theresa-Ford game of telephone: Charlotte told Theresa (RIP) something creepy about Delos in front of Hector the host, and Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) knew it later because of that recording.

Delos is all about data, legality be damned. Remind you of anyone else? Recently Facebook has been under fire for its handling of data, especially regarding improperly obtained personal details from millions of users without their permission, and how the company's partners accessed it. The company has also faced questions over how those partners used the data to manipulate large groups of people.

Additionally, much has been made about how it costs way more than $40,000 per day to visit Westworld, but I'm going to take a wild guess that the bespoke nature of the world-building at Delos parks would burn through that number before breakfast. 

Instead, guests are subject to the same line we've all been kicking around in our brains these days: If it's free or you can't find the hidden costs, you are the product. Visitors' deep dark desires are being mined for clues and hints at what all of humanity wants. And what better place to do that than a no-holds-barred world of deception and truth? William in season one said the park showed him who he was, perhaps he wants to share that with the masses -- and steal their secrets.

At Westworld's Tribeca Film Festival screening, co-creator Jonathan Nolan told CNET's Joan Solsman, "I would hasten to point out that any similarities to any social media companies that may or may not be photocopying our fucking brains, may or may not be coincidental."


Charlotte says she wasn't "reading [Bernard] in," but it feels like she will soon.

John P. Johnson/HBO

Ford is 100 percent dead

Not that that means we've seen the last of him, but yeah, he ded. If you're still not convinced, check out those flies *in him* if you really need proof -- we know Ford's body has been out there even longer than the host whose brain Strand opens up, and yet the insect activity plainly shows that those buggers know the difference.

While I'm confident in saying Ford is dead-dead-dead, I'm less confident that means we've seen or heard the last of Anthony Hopkins on this show for forever. We saw Ford's consciousness appear to be in the Young Ford host, and we know the writers don't stray from alternate timelines...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bodily harm is possible... bc code

All it takes is a line of code to change permissions for injury, apparently.

Bernard tells Charlotte Hale after the uprising at the party that, "Ford must have altered the code to read all of us as hosts." Since we know the entire park (sans the flies) was built to spec, it sounds less like humans were protected by the code and more like the programming wasn't even seeing visitors to the parks. 

Now, every host of every species can see the hosts as potential food or target practice, and with tigers crossing unseen borders, who knows what else awaits guests and hosts alike in the rest of the parks. 

Updated, Monday 1:28 p.m. PT: Adds CNET Morning After After Show.

Westworld season 2 images: New episode three photos

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Westworld season 2 airs Sunday nights on HBO. Check your local listings for timing and channels.

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