After delivering a whopping 93-minute-long finale, Westworld has officially wrapped its first season with 12 million viewers in the bank. Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy anticipate it will take a full year to make Season 2 (they're currently writing, will spend 2017 in production, and Season 2 will air sometime in 2018), which gives us a lot of time to unpack its potential mysteries. The finale gave us plenty to speculate over, but here are more Westworld Season 2 theories to obsess over until its return.
Nolan and Joy provided us with ample spoilers for what to look out for in an interview on the Vulture TV Podcast, which aired the morning after the finale. They revealed that they intended for the audience to sympathize with the hosts, using camera work that framed scenes from their point of view. Nolan pointed out that the moment Maeve steps off the train at the end of the finale, shooting switched from Steadicam to a handheld camera, intended to indicate that she was stepping off of Dr. Ford's escape programming loop and finally becoming truly autonomous. They also confirmed that at least one character would show us life outside of Westworld, but considering we learned about the potential existence of multiple parks in the Season 1 finale, we may not be seeing the outside world just yet. This brings us to the first theory.
Westworld Is Not The Only Park Of Its Kind
When Felix presents Maeve with a slip of paper revealing the location of her daughter, the camera shows us a glimpse of its message: "Park 1 Sector 15 Zone 3." In another part of Maeve's escape sequence, she goes through a door marked "SW," behind which there are hosts dressed like Samurais. When she asks Felix where they are, he (infuriatingly) replies, "It's complicated."
Fans have taken this to mean that there are multiple themed parks like Westworld — in this spoiler's case, presumably, "Samuraiworld," with worlds in several different historical time periods. Certainly, this opens up whole new worlds for the series to explore, providing us with fodder for endless seasons.
Dr. Ford Didn't Really Die
Season 1 ended with Dr. Ford programming one of his hosts to shoot and kill him in a spectacular display in front of Westworld's investors. This could be one final act of revenge on his part for being ousted from his own creation. But it also could very easily be that he built a host version of himself to deploy the plan, while the real Dr. Ford hid safely away.
Fans have already picked up clues to support this theory, like that Ford was in the middle of building another host using his secret lab, and that his hand looked strange in the shot of him shaking hands with Bernard right before his death. In the original Westworld film from 1973, oddly constructed hands were the "giveaway" for how to tell hosts apart from humans.
Dr. Ford Did Die, But Immortalized Himself As A Host
The other possibility is that Ford was building a host version of himself to better lead the host uprising, while Dolores killed the real Dr. Ford. This theory also makes sense, but its greatest significance is that it means Anthony Hopkins stays on the show.
The Year Is 2052
The Man In Black Found What He'd Been Waiting For
Fans spent all of Season 1 waiting for the Man in Black to reach the center of the maze, which didn't wind up being a very interesting reveal. The center of the maze is a construct for hosts to reach full consciousness, not a game goal for guests. But with conscious hosts, the Man in Black gets what he always wanted — a game with "real" stakes in which the hosts can actually fight back against the humans, hurt them, even kill them, and win.
The Man in Black wasn't merely hoping to find conscious hosts; he was hoping they'd fight back against guests. And that's exactly what they did when a mob of retired hosts turned against the investor party in the finale, including the Man in Black.
So basically, is it time for Season 2 yet?