Spoilers for season two of Westworld below!
So far, Westworld‘s second season has been all over the place. Not only are we following hosts and humans alike as they navigate the dangers of the park now that all hell has broken loose, but we’re also getting a few substantial glimpses of the real world courtesy of a few flashbacks. The only problem? Well, it’s starting to get a little hard to keep track of where — and when — the events in HBO’s sci-fi epic are actually taking place. The season two premiere introduces a back-and-forth timeline to help explain what’s been going on since Dolores’s brutal massacre in the season one finale, and the second episode only doubles down on adding new storylines to the mix. Confused? Let’s lay them all out ahead, from most current to least current.
Timeline 1 — Bernard Putting the Pieces Together
Season two opens with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) waking up on the beach not far from where Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) carries out her massacre. In other words, it’s the most current (or last) timeline of the bunch. Bernard is accompanied by Westworld head of security Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) and new guy Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgard), Delos Incorporated’s head of operations. Strand spends the whole episode trying to jog Bernard’s memory of what happened the night Dolores goes rogue, but the scientist remains mum. That is, until the last few seconds, when he makes a chilling declaration upon seeing hundreds of hosts floating in a mysterious ocean: “I killed them all.” One of the many bodies submerged in the water is Teddy’s, but there’s no sign of rebel leader Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood). Has she abandoned her one true love? Is she merely floating nearby? Is she working with Bernard? We’re still waiting on updates to this timeline.
Timeline 2 — The Host Uprising Postmassacre
After Bernard wakes up on the beach in the premiere, he begins to have flashbacks to what he went through immediately after the massacre. We see him and Delos executive Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) escaping some murderous hosts and uncovering a secret underground lab, in which Charlotte searches for the Peter Abernathy host (which you’ll recall she hid some top secret within last season). Charlotte also reveals Delos has been stealing DNA from all the guests who attend Westworld and then smuggling it out of the park on the sly, because that company couldn’t possibly get any skeezier, right?
This timeline digs in to what Dolores and the other key hosts have been up to, as well. She and Teddy (James Marsden) have been organizing a revolution within Westworld, with Dolores hell-bent on getting revenge for what the humans put her through and declaring her intent to make it out of the park and into the real world. She shares self-awareness with a select few other hosts, but it’s clear that she’s also enjoying the power that comes with her newfound sentience. She isn’t the only badass woman that’s been busy, however. Maeve (Thandie Newton) is leading Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) and their captive Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) on a quest to find her daughter.
Oh, and there’s also the Man in Black’s story. He teams up with Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) for a trip to “Glory” and relishes the deadly stakes that are finally a part of his beloved park. The only problem with this timeline is we can’t be totally sure if it’s all taking place at once — we see Maeve and Hector bump into Dolores’s crew in episode two, but they don’t appear to have Lee in tow. Still, we have to have faith Westworld wouldn’t try to deliberately confuse us that much . . . right?!
Timeline 3 — The Real World, After Westworld’s Creation
Next on the journey back in time is the real world, outside of Westworld. It’s presumably just a few years after the park has been created, judging from how old Logan (Ben Barnes) and William/The Future Man in Black (Jimmi Simpson) are. That means it’s also after their season one adventure through the park. We see a few things in this timeline in episode two, “Reunion,” which mostly focuses on young William’s rise to power within Delos. He pitches his father-in-law James (Peter Mullan) a sinister reason to keep investing in Westworld (they can keep track of the guests’ activities without their knowledge, then use that information for marketing purposes); later on he and Logan are at James’s retirement party, also attended by a piano-playing Dolores; finally, William wakes (a naked) Dolores up, or brings her “back online” to get technical, in one of the park’s underground labs. He cruelly muses about how he finally realizes that she’s just an object and chides himself for ever falling in love with her.
Timeline 4 — The Real World, Before Westworld’s Creation
Ever wonder how Westworld came to be? In addition to the genius of Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Arnold Weber (Jeffrey Wright), the park needed an investor — enter Logan. An executive and one of the more recognizable hosts, Angela, are sent to dazzle Logan with a cocktail party display of how realistic hosts are, which in turn gets him to put his father’s company, Delos, behind the park. Although it should be noted Dolores isn’t included in this display — Arnold brings her back online at the start of episode two and tells Ford that she isn’t yet ready to go out with the rest of the hosts and mingle with Logan.
Instead, he takes a curious, wide-eyed Dolores out into the human world (it looks like they’re somewhere in Japan) to show her a house he’s building for his family. She remarks at the “splendor” of her new surroundings, and later it’s revealed in timeline two (the revolution, postmassacre) that there’s a good chance she’s remembering this incident. What other important nuggets will she glean from her past?
Timeline 5 — Dolores’s First Interactions With Arnold
The fifth and final timeline appears to be the furthest one in the past so far. In the season two premiere, which should be at least a handful of decades earlier than the most current timeline, Arnold brings Dolores back online and answers a few of her questions about dreams and the nature of humanity. This appears to be long before she’s ready to be paraded around cocktail and retirement parties in the real world, so it’s safe to assume it takes place not long after Arnold first finishes building Dolores.
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