Has there ever been a series as bafflingly beautiful, yet maddeningly nonsensical, as Westworld? HBO’s sprawling sci-fi epic, the brainchild of married creatives Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy is big and bold. Set in the future, it tells the story of a technologically advanced theme park populated with humanoid realistic androids.
Surely you are familiar with many theme parks. There is the Gulfstream Park, in Florida, for horse racing enthusiasts, the Forest Park, in St. Louis, for nature and art lovers, and the Central Park in the heart of New York. Westworld is also a similar theme park, with the difference that revolves around technology and artificial intelligence, spiced with sadistic twists.
A script so complex and intelligently advanced, it easily beats Game of Thrones, especially after the poor reviews of the last season of the latter. So, if you have an HBO subscription, don’t cancel it just because GoT has ended, because Westworld is enough to keep you hooked.
If you haven’t watched Westworld yet, be careful about the following paragraphs. Or just continue at your own risk.
At the end of season one we see the Westworld park turning into pure chaos. People are getting slaughtered, Ford gets shot in the head, Meave leaves the park to infiltrate the real world. In one of the best plot twists of all time, the white hat cowboy turns into the old black hat cowboy. This finale felt like a closure and the series could end as it is, since there is no more Westworld and everything seams out of order.
However, it’s really at the start of season 2 that we see the power of the story. The writers take characters outside of their usual patterns.
Right at the beginning of season 2 we quickly understand we’re going for a wild ride. Every character evolves in ways no one could ever anticipate. And what seamed like complicated nonsense for some in season 1, is actually rich back story for the plot that takes place in season 2.
In a way, it feels like season 2 is the actual story and season 1 was just a prequel or context for the actual real storyline. The network of plot lines in this show is so rich that even small connected details would work as a whole other story and that’s how good the writing is. Westworld, although it is futuristic, feels real.
The series is also brilliant because it entices the technology and culture from the real world. We do have more and more robots working every day, robots that can artificially learn and talk and there’s continuous conversations about the incoming power and future considerations regarding artificial intelligence.
So, even though the show is slightly futuristic, none of it is outside of possible real-world boundaries. Westworld takes the usual zombie apocalypse and adapts to a possible more likely outcome: an AI apocalypse, which is much scarier than regular shows portrait.
In another note, the mental health of some story lines is fascinating. When a host programming clashes with their awaking, we see and hear interesting detailed glitches. The robots struggle to distinguish between what has been programmed and their own original thoughts. A bit like schizophrenia or dementia.
Another point in favor of Westworld is the very strong characters, most of them being females. They don’t treat them with a superficial feminist agenda, instead converting them into strong relatable characters, because of their compelling stories. Something that is often not considered in popular franchises like Star Wars or the Avengers.
Westworld is a mind-boggling piece of art available for the viewer to reflect and compel. Back in February 2019, HBO programming chief Casey Bloy told the filming was set to begin in March, and with a full trailer already out, that means shooting is already well underway, or potentially complete.
With that in mind, it’s possible the third installment could air as soon as the first quarter of 2020. In addition to the outside world, we’ll also get a look at the different parks in the Delos Destinations system. We’ve already seen Westworld, the Raj, and Shogun World, but we know there are at least three other parks we haven’t visited.
Season 3 appears to have some new interesting names in the cast. Besides the return of the characters portrayed by Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright, the new installment will include Aaron Paul – well known for the three-time Emmy winning role as Jessie Pinkman, in Breaking Bad. Vincent Cassel and Lena Waithe are also joining the crew, and even Antonio Banderas is in talks to play an unknown villain.
We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us, and what layered observations about the human condition they might procure once Season 3 hits HBO. It’s sure to be worth the extra-long wait.