One of the most highly-regarded prestige television programs to hit the small screen in recent memory is HBO’s Westworld. Created by Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, Westworld premiered on October 2nd, 2016, and just started its fourth official season. The series is an adaptation of the 1973 film of the same name directed by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton.
Much like the source material, Westworld the TV series merges the genres of science fiction & western into a cohesive aesthetic. The show plays with the idea of a kind of adult theme park where the rich & powerful can go play in the Wild-West. Those who inhabit the park are androids whose memory is wiped clean after every day.
If you’re a patron in Westworld, you can kill & rape the androids all you like. However, one of the artificially intelligent beings named Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) starts to suspect that her existence isn’t normal. When Dolores is confronted by The Man in Black (Ed Harris), she realizes there is a dark secret behind the place she calls home.
Westworld up until now
The android “hosts” in Westworld all follow predetermined scripts conceived by their programmers. Guests at the park can live out their wildest fantasies without the worry of vengeance from the hosts, as their programming stops them from retaliating against humans. The co-founder & director of the park Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) wants to keep it this way.
However, the operation’s Head of the Programming Division (Behavior) Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) starts to notice some unsettling behavior from the androids. This leads him to start to question if the hosts are more sentient than people believe. One of the androids he inspects is Maeve Millay (Thandiwe Newton).
Millay is essentially the madam of the park, yet she begins to have unsettling memories from a past role in the program. The programmers realize that the self-awareness that they thought was an anomaly has begun to spread amongst the hosts. One of the hosts even ventures off into the recesses of the park & has to be tracked down.
One of the hosts named Teddy (James Marsden) plays the role of a gunfighter who had a relationship with Dolores in the past. When Dolores asks him to teach her how to shoot, she becomes more aware of her programming when she is physically unable to pull the trigger.
What can we expect in season four?
We eventually learn that some of the hosts gained consciousness due to Dr. Ford having implemented a “Reverie” update. Along with Director of Delos Destinations Board Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), Bernard tries to fix the androids’ increasingly erratic behavior.
They begin to realize that the mysterious Man in Black is searching for a “maze” that he believes was left in the park for him by Arnold, Dr. Ford’s former colleague & co-founder of the park. It’s revealed that Arnold wanted the hosts to be completely sentient, yet he died in the park due to an accident.
In a shocking plot twist, Bernard learns that he is actually an android too, modeled after Arnold. He also discovers that Arnold died while trying to protect the hosts when he sensed they were self-aware & would be exploited. At the end of season one, Dolores kills Dr. Ford in front of shareholders & guests after he reveals a new narrative for the park.
The android uprising continues in the following seasons, as Dolores & the other hosts stand up for themselves by killing guests. Eventually, humanity is taken over by an all-powerful AI named Rehoboam. In the new season, we get a completely new narrative, with some actors playing different characters. It appears there is a new storyline.
HBO’s Westworld just aired its season four premiere. The show appears to be going into new territory, as Evan Rachel Wood is no longer Dolores, but Christina, a writer for Olympiad Entertainment. What’s your favorite season of Westworld? Let us know in the comments!