Holy hell, you guys. The latest trailer for Westworld isn’t just gorgeous—with an amazing cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”—it’s loaded with new characters, theories, and hints. It seems tailor-made for anyone looking to go frame-by-frame and dissect every moment. Lucky for y’all, that’s my dream job (not to mention my real job). Let’s head to Sweetwater and look over some of the trailer’s bigger moments, and what they mean for the second season of the HBO show.
“I dreamt I was on an ocean.”
We open with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) on a seashore, alone and traumatized, following the host rebellion from the end of season one. Meanwhile, what looks to be a flashback shows Bernard—or perhaps Arnold—telling Dolores about a dream he had where he was alone and she and the “others” were on the other side. Wright has talked about how Bernard’s conflict this season is about him feeling divided in loyalty between the creators and the hosts, and this definitely indicates that’s going to be front-and-center in his character journey.
Bernard is then approached by a man, who’s surrounded by Delos Corporation agents (and a hell of a lot of bodies). Even though a later shot shows Bernard with Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), the clothes and hair of this guy suggest this is new character Karl Strand, played by Vikings actor Gustaf Skarsgård, who’s basically the cleaner for Delos Corporation’s many messes.
The Delos private army readies their plan of attack. All the ships (along with a larger vessel in the back) mean it’s most likely that Westworld is on an island, instead of Mars, underground, or in our hearts as we’ve long believed. Also, what’s up, Ashley? Can you tell us where Elsie is?
The shot of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) riding a horse was seen all that way back in that first teaser trailer at 2017's San Diego Comic-Con. But we get something here we never really saw in the previous trailers: joy. You can see a smile slowly emerge on her face, which means she’s not just in “Evil Wyatt” mode. She’s finding joy in her newfound freedom.
Dolores comes across a library and pores through some books. I’m hoping it’s Dr. Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) private collection, and she’s trying to get to know her creator a little better. But with the information currently at hand, it’s hard to say.
Dolores and her posse are out here serving up what looks a lot like vigilante justice against some of the park’s guests from the finale party (the next shot shows them leaving after hanging the three people, so no mercy here folks). She’s asking the guest if he ever thought he would have to pay for his actions. Seems very Wyatt-esque, which shows that she hasn’t escaped her loop so much as entered a new stage of it. You can also see Teddy (James Marsden) in the back, looking somewhat conflicted. That’s kind of par for the course with Teddy in this trailer.
Angela (Talulah Riley), one of Wyatt’s followers, dons a bloody crown and finds herself a new target.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) and ill-tempered Westworld narrative director Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) look over the damage that wasn’t caused by that one time Lee pissed all over the map. Maeve later demands Lee show her where he’s placed her daughter, and I wonder how long he’ll have to live after that.
Karl Strand, Ashley, and Bernard are joined by a squadron of armed guards heading to the location of the party that triggered the robot uprising. There are a lot of bodies, both human and robot. No sight of Ford anywhere, though. There are rumors he may return this season. The actors have denied it, but they’ve been very clear to deny it very specifically, saying Ford is dead and wasn’t a robot when Dolores shot him. That could mean Ford’s physical body died but he lives on in the clone he looked to be making last season. Tricky tricky.
Meanwhile, over in Sweetwater, Dolores and her gang are looking over the damage. They appear to have a prisoner among them. Not sure who it is—possibly Bernard, given the similar coat and shirt, and the fact that we see him with new Dolores later on in the trailer. But be sure to throw out your theories in the comments.
Guess who’s back, back again? We already knew young William (Jimmi Simpson) would be returning this season, and the trailer suggests we’ll be getting flashbacks about how William convinced Delos Corporation to invest its time and money more heavily into Westworld.
“Here we are, a kind that will never know death. And yet we’re fighting to live.” Nothing spoilery here, it’s just a gorgeous line I wanted to point out.
It’s Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), my man! At the end of last season, he’d seemingly sacrificed himself to save Maeve, but it looks like the wounds didn’t take. Are we going to get another hot sex scene inside a tent? Here’s hoping.
There’s a really brief shot of Bernard (or Arnold) stepping through a door, and it’s a major one. This is the exact same door that young William first stepped through upon entering Westworld, meaning some exploring is going on. Right now, that door is also featured on the restricted section of the Delos Incorporation website, which has started throwing out Easter eggs ahead of the premiere. Given how Bernard woke up thanks to a door, and the secret title of the second season is “The Door,” this shot is small but significant.
Doth my eyes deceive me... could that be Logan (Ben Barnes)?
“Revenge? That’s just a different prayer at their altar, darling.” Another fantastic line. God, I’ve missed Maeve. She knows what’s up.
This looks to be a flashback from one of Maeve’s previous cycles, back when she lived on the farm with her daughter. Other shots from the trailer support the theory that we’ll see more of the original host rebellion, and possibly other “glitches” that have happened between then and now.
Here’s a flashback of Delos Corporation founder James Delos (Peter Mullen), clearly upset at Logan for something or another. This might take place after the events of Westworld, meaning Logan was found (possibly in the desert, like in the above shot) and brought back home... just in time to realize that William is conspiring to take his place. We know that James Delos is currently in Westworld, and he’s looking a bit worse for wear. In fact, a secret code hidden in the trailer points to this video, where you can see a bloody James staring down his inner demons.
Here we have a shot of older William (Ed Harris). I’m guessing this is a more recent flashback, and that we’ll see more of how William grew and changed over time. It’s clear they’re not done telling his story yet, or how it connects to Dolores over decades.
The showrunners previously teased that there were more drone robots than the one we saw with Bernard in the previous trailer. Here, we see them working... and killing. A drone’s job is never done, I guess. According to co-creator Jonathan Nolan, “The drone hosts relate to the corporation’s secret project which is hidden in plain sight in this park.”
Still trying to make sense of this. Building a blood cell, perhaps? Give me a break, I’m not a scientist.
Lo and behold: Our first official shot of Shōgun World. It’s been teased since the end of the first season that we’d be heading to a Japanese-style land next—a decision that has been called into question by some fans and critics for cultural sensitivity. There are six parks in the show’s universe, though Westworld and Shōgun World are the only ones that we know about. Seems like this is where Maeve expects to find her daughter, as this is the next stop on her quest to be reunited with her family.
At first glance, it looks like new Dolores has finally found her way to the Mainland and is getting ready for global domination. There’s a shot of her looking out at the skyline, as well as hanging out at this fabulous party. Others think it could be a park where hosts are trained to infiltrate the real world. But I’m all but certain it’s a flashback. Here we clearly see the back of William’s head, and a shot of the same party (from a previous trailer) includes young Logan, so this definitely takes place when William was working to take his place at Delos. Given how Dolores is Ford’s first host, it could be that William brought her back to the real world as part of a demonstration to the board.
As Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) has learned, every Bernard host body comes with its own pair of downward-tilting glasses.
The trailer included a brand-new casting reveal: Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) has joined the series as Akane, and looks to be a geisha in Shōgun World.
I don’t know why but this is totally doing it for me.
And we end on Dolores asking the most loaded question of all time: “Why on earth would you ever be afraid of me?” I don’t know, Dolores, it might take me about, oh, 30 years to count the ways?
Westworld returns April 22, and we all have plenty of reasons to be afraid.