In Season 2 of Westworld, everything has changed despite it all feeling very much the same. There’s still sexually-tinged violence at every turn, but the stakes have ramped up tenfold now that a robot revolution happened in the park and the Delos facility. Death is a concern for all of the humans trapped inside Westworld after the events of the Season 1 finale. But Westworld the show is still as inscrutable as ever, riddled with mysteries and secret identities that only get more confounding as time passes.
You’d do well to remember the many head-spinning twists from Season 1 that changed everything you thought you knew about the nature of this reality. Who is the Man in Black? Who is and who isn’t a Host? What’s a “narrative”? Nobody, not even the makers of this show or the creator of the park, seem to know.
Anyway, here are the 5 most important plot threads to remember from Season 1 to help you make sense of the journey you’re about to embark on in Season 2:
5. Ford Introduced a New Narrative that Got Himself Killed
Anthony Hopkins’s creepy-as-hell Robert Ford is the co-mastermind behind the technology that made the creation of Hosts and therefore the entire park a reality. He made a big deal in Season 1 about this “new narrative” that was supposedly a real game-changer, hinting at a villain named Wyatt. He even terraformed huge portions of the park to make way for his new ideas. In the Season 1 finale, Ford threw a big reveal party to debut the narrative, and under programming he gave her, Dolores shot him through the head. This triggered a deadly rebellion from the Hosts as led by Dolores.
4. William and the Man in Black Are the Same Person
William underwent a startling transition over the course of Season 1 from innocent White Hat to a ruthless Black Hat.
In the Season 1 finale, he was in Westworld for the same party as all the other members of the Delos Board. He took a bullet in the chaos, and it looks like he’ll be in his element in Season 2 trying to survive in a park he’s dominated for decades that finally has some real stakes.
3. William/Man in Black Was Partially Responsible for Funding the Park
The last thing that William did in the Season 1 flashbacks was a vow to invest in Westworld, having finally seen what it was truly capable of. As such, many years later he enjoys VIP treatment whenever he enters the park, which explains why the Man in Black got all those privileges throughout Season 2.
2. Bernard Is a Host Based on a Real Person
Other than Dolores and William, Bernard is perhaps the most important protagonist on Westworld. Season 1 included the huge revelation that he was a Host made by Robert Ford as a replica of Westworld co-founder Arnold Weber, who was killed by an earlier version of Dolores.
Bernard is originally presented to us as the head of the Westworld Programming Division, but he learns the truth from Ford fairly late in Season 1. Like the many other Hosts, he’s seemingly freed from his programming at the end of the season. It’s unclear how he’s going to reconcile his identities moving forward and whether or not he’ll be able to hide the fact that he’s a Host forever. Season 1 focused on Dolores’s identity crisis, but now it might be Bernard’s turn.
1. Dolores Has Two Personalities and Is a Very Old Host
Don’t trust Teddy’s memories about a male captain named Wyatt, because the truth is that Dolores was Wyatt all along, the villain in Ford’s new narrative. This is simultaneously the most important yet most forgettable revelation from Season 1, and it remains incredibly important in Season 2 as Dolores leads some kind of Host rebellion.
We also heard numerous times throughout Season 1 that Dolores is one of the oldest Hosts in the park, if not the single oldest still in operation, which sort of explains how and why she would be the one to assume this important role.
Westworld Season 2 debuts on HBO Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern.