Westworld Returns With Dolores’ Guns Blazing in Season 2 Premiere

Both the rancher’s daughter and former brothel madam Maeve are each on a rampage in their own charming ways, Bernard hides in plain sight, and there are just so many bodies to bury – or reanimate (depending) – in “Journey Into Night.”

by | April 22, 2018 | Comments

Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Anyone confounded by the second half of season 1 of HBO’s robot horror show Westworld will have been heartened by the kickoff of season 2, “Journey Into Night” – provided they bothered to rewatch the season 1 finale before taking the season 2 plunge.

What’s in store? More death. More mayhem.

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals details of season 1 and the season 2 premiere of Westworld.

Westworld Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

With some big twists revealed in season 1 – finding out, for instance, that William (Jimmi Simpson) is the Man in Black (Ed Harris) at a younger age and that Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is a Host version of one of the park’s founders, Arnold – season 2 starts off on relatively stable ground.

The season 2 premiere currently has a healthy 89% Tomatometer score on 36 reviews (updated), in fact, while the season overall is Certified Fresh at 92% on 42 reviews (updated).

We also know that Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) has been a Host for decades, has crossed paths (again and again) with the Man in Black, and that her major malfunction – ahem, growth – is happening after enduring repeated abuse at the hands of bloodthirsty and violently lustful guests.

Time for a reckoning — which Dolores undertakes to the plucky player-piano tune of “The Entertainer.”

Here are some highlights of the season 2 premiere.

1. Bernard Continues Wearing His Human Disguise

Westworld Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Despite some nearly fatal “brain” fluid leakage, Bernard is still being mistaken for human by everyone, including Delos Board Executive Director Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). He even gets the scoop from Charlotte that Delos is recording guests’ experiences and harvesting their DNA.

Gung-ho security guard Maling (Get Out‘s Betty Gabriel), who first found him on the beach and threatened to take him out, was the only one who questioned his humanity. They should’ve listened to her. Maybe. Who knows what Bernard is capable of now.

Speaking of what Bernard is capable of, fast forward to the end of the episode and Chief of Operations Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) who says (basically) when facing a sea full of floating Hosts: “WTF happened here?”

Bernard: “I … killed them. All of them.” (Leaving us with a major cliffhanger there.)

2. The Party Fallout: Who Survived, Who Died Horribly

Westworld Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Evan Rachel Wood. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Ed Harris. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Simon Quarterman, Thandie Newton. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Ed Harris. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Backing up (as you do on Westworld), we find out who made it through the VIP party in which Dolores summoned the Wyatt side of her personality and, with her robot minions, blew everyone away.

The Man in Black
His horse, Ned
Teddy (James Marsden)

Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins)
A horde of gun-toting Hosts
So many privileged humans

3. Maeve Is on a Rampage (and Hector Doesn’t Hold a Grudge)

Simon Quarterman and Thandie Newton in Westworld season 2 (John P. Johnson/HBO)

Maeve (Thandie Newton) returned to the park, terrorized park scriptwriter Lee (Simon Quarterman) – facilitating a gratuitous full-frontal-male-nudity moment – and offed a few security personnel. Running into lethal weapon Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), she discovers he doesn’t begrudge her leaving him to die, that he’d “expect nothing less” from her.

4. The Park Is Somewhere Off the Coast of China

Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Luke Hemsworth. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO
After Chief of Security Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth, pictured) saves Bernard from Maling on the beach, we find out that Westworld (and, presumably, the other Delos park “worlds”) are on an island when military officials speaking Chinese confront COO Strand, who tells the official that Delos has an agreement with his country that grants the company authority over the island and that the guy can feel free to pack up his friends and gtfo.

5. The Timeline Is Still Confusing

Westworld Season 2 Season 2: Jeffrey Wright. photo: HBO

Westworld continues to present fragmented moments in ways that disorient viewers: Is Bernard telling Dolores about his dreams in the past, present, or future?

So…there’s more of that to look forward to.

7. Park Six!

Westworld Episode 11 (season 2, episode 1), debut 4/22/18: Betty Gabriel, Luke Hemsworth, Gustaf Skarsgard, Jeffrey Wright. photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

“We’ve got Bengals in Park Six. We’ve never had a stray across park borders,” Ashley says about the drowned tiger discovered on the Westworld shore. Park Six — that’s kind of like, say, seven kingdoms of Westeros.

8. New Opening Credits Impressed

And a final thought:

What did you think about the season 2 premiere of Westworld? Who are you rooting for: Hosts or humans?

Westworld airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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