'Westworld' Season 2 Premiere: Dolores' 'Reckoning' Is Here -- But What Did Bernard Do?
By Jennifer Drysdale
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched the season two premiere of Westworld. For everyone else, let’s jump into this new narrative, shall we?
Three timelines, two drone hosts and one Bengal tiger -- the season two premiere of Westworld gave us a lot to work with.
The HBO drama returned after a 16-month hiatus on Sunday night, picking up where we left off, and also before we left off… and also slightly after. But throughout it all, one thing was clear: This is Dolores’ reckoning.
Gone are the days of searching for the maze. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) earned her consciousness and sentience last season, and now she’s set her sights on taking over the valley beyond, aka the real world. But one host can’t do it alone, not even Dolores. So here’s where we stand:
Dolores Has a New Personality
...and her name is Dolores. After shooting a bullet through the back of Ford’s head in the season one finale, Dolores and her tribe of hosts unleashed their wrath on the Delos board, leaving few survivors. Those who escaped were hunted down by Dolores, who was set on turning her “dream” -- a concept she learned from Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) in the season’s creepy opening scene and first timeline of the episode -- into reality.
“Under all these lives I’ve lived, something else has been growing. I’ve evolved into something new, and I have one last role to play. Myself,” she hissed before preparing to lynch a few board members.
Teddy Will Finally Learn the Truth
Poor Teddy (James Marsden) has always seemed to be about two steps behind everyone else, but Dolores won’t take it any longer. Now that she remembers everything -- the past, the present and supposedly the future -- she’s taking Teddy with her into the light.
“I need you to see the truth,” she told Teddy, after declaring she knows “how this story ends”: “It ends with you and me.”
Maeve’s on a Mission to Find Her Daughter
After ditching her escape plan to go find her daughter, the madam with a mind of her own (Thandie Newton) found an unlikely ally in Lee (Simon Quarterman), who after a few threats, promised to reunite them in the park.
“We’ll keep him for now,” Maeve told Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), finding him poolside and treating himself to a drink. “I’m going to find my daughter…. Out there, somewhere. But I don’t think the odds are going to be in our favor.”
The Man in Black Has a New Game to Play
While everyone was freaked out about the hosts on the loose, one park guest couldn’t be happier. The Man in Black (Ed Harris) finally got the “realness” he sought out of Westworld, as he set off on a new mission, thanks to young Robert, Ford’s child host self.
“Now you’re in my game… In this game, you must find the door. Congratulations, William, this game is meant for you,” Robert said in a reference to last season’s maze. “The game will find you.”
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How the hosts seemed to escape their programming wasn’t the only problem Delos was dealing with, as they found a deceased Bengal tiger in the park. Where did it come from? “Park six,” according to Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) -- meaning that in addition to the Samurai park we saw traces of last season, there’s probably one based in India.
Bernard Killed the Hosts?
The only character to be featured in all three timelines was Bernard -- and for the sake of keeping things simple, here’s how he spent the episode in chronological order.
First, he was shown in that opening scene with Dolores, discussing dreams in a time when she was just the rancher’s daughter. After Dolores caught a flaw in his answer, he replied that she “frightens” him sometimes. “You’re growing, learning so quickly. I’m frightened of what you might become… the path you might take,” he said forebodingly.
Second, Bernard was shown in the aftermath of Ford’s murder at the Delos gala, trying to find a way out to safety with Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) and a few other board members. Bernard, still obviously struggling after learning he was a host last season, was injured, and after being taken to Charlotte’s secret hatch (and meeting the ominous-looking drone hosts), he discovered he only had 72 hours of “life” left -- and wasn't going to be extracted until he located Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum).
Third, he was shown waking up on the beach presumably days later and taken by Stubbs -- whose absence last season wasn’t addressed -- to meet Delos’ head of operations, Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård). It’s unclear whether Bernard remembered anything about what happened after Ford’s murder, until they came across an area of the park that wasn’t on the map, and a literal sea of dead hosts.
“I killed them. All of them,” Bernard said.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. See what Wright told ET about Bernard's season two journey in the video below.