Last night’s season finale of Westworld answered a few questions for fans — including addressing one major theory — but also opened itself up to a couple more, like where the next season would take place.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the entire first season of Westworld including the most recent finale.]
Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have been coy about where the show is headed in its second season. More importantly, it was unclear whether or not Westworld would remain within the confines of the Western-themed park the first season was set in or if it would branch out.
The 1973 film that the show is based on, written and directed by Michael Crichton, had a few other worlds that visitors could explore. There was Roman World and Medieval World, and although there have been a few vague hints throughout the season that other worlds existed, the question was never explicitly addressed.
In the finale, however, viewers finally got their first look at one of the other worlds that exists within the park — one full of samurai. After Maeve turns Hector and Armistice into vicious, murderous artificially intelligent machines with a severe lack of empathy, they’re ushered into a part of the engineering bay where a group of samurai hosts are practicing their sword wielding skills. When Maeve asks, “What is this place?” Felix replies, with some hesitation, “It’s complicated.”
The existence of the samurai is incredibly important to the story at large, however, and opens up the question as to whether the second season will take place in an entirely different world. The finale ended with Dolores essentially becoming Wyatt and opening fire on the group of Delos investors who were gathered in the park for the unveiling of Ford’s new narrative. The scene was entirely chaotic, and it’s still unclear who made it out alive and who didn’t, but it also opened up the possibility to another world being introduced in the second season.
The question now, however, is whether Nolan and Joy take the characters who have been introduced already out of Westworld and bring them into another part of the park. The finale also revealed that Maeve’s child was still alive and in “Park 1,” wherever that may be, so it seems like the goal is to take the characters out of one theme park and have them visit a couple of new places.
At times, Westworld can feel incredibly limited by the fact that there’s only one theme park for hosts and visitors to interact in. This revelation has felt like it was a long time coming but, despite the new information, it hasn’t been explicitly said that the show will continue outside of Westworld. It's the natural direction for the show after confirming the existence of other worlds, and after Maeve almost escaped … Westworld? The entire park system? Something even bigger?
Westworld will return for its second season in 2018.