[The following discusses plot points from the finale of Westworld season two.]
The end of Westworld’s second season made it pretty clear that the narrative would be going somewhere very different: By the time Dolores, in her new body as a Charlotte replicant, gets Bernard and the souls of the other hosts to safety, it was obvious we’d be spending some serious time outside the park in season three. (It’s also pretty clear that, barring some major shakeup, the season’s plot will still unfold with the same start-stop storytelling unevenness of the past two seasons. But hey, that’s Westworld.)
And now, we’re getting hints—albeit very small hints—from showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan about what kind of narrative elements this transition might entail. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan discusses, as cryptically as possible, their plans for the third season:
I think it’s a radical shift. What’s compelling and appealing about these characters is that they’re not human. As we said in the show, humans are bound by the same loops the hosts are, in some ways even smaller. You couldn’t expect human characters to withstand and survive the kind of story that we’re telling. The hosts have a different version of mortality, a different outlook. I think clearly with Dolores, as she’s laid out, there is a longer view here, a larger set of goals. They’re existential. They span eons. And that’s a fascinating level of story to engage in.
The fact the hosts can “span eons” is the most interesting element here. It suggests there may be some toying with the idea of a “lifespan” that potentially could see the show looking far into the future, long after the current crop of humans on the series have died. (It also probably means more fucking with the timeline just for the sake of being cute.) And it suggests Dolores—back as Evan Rachel Wood, alongside god knows what character in the body of Tessa Thompson, now—may have a new frenemy to grapple with for whatever Hale is. “We have a very diabolical arc for her planned out,” says Joy of Thompson’s mysterious identity.
Unfortunately, they also said nothing on the subject of whether season three will bring back Angela Sarafyan—let alone woefully underuse her once again—even if watching her ride a horse through a line of hosts as a sentient rage virus infection was undeniably badass.