It's been nearly two years since Westworld Season 2 concluded with a wild finale. Dolores escaped the park but not in her own skin. Instead, her "control unit" (the marble inside the host brain that makes her Dolores) had been implanted into a clone of Charlotte Hale, head of the Delos board. Hale, who Dolores had killed and replaced, was believed to be the original, and allowed to leave, heading to the real world. With so much happening, how many episodes are in Westworld Season 3?
As the above description makes clear, things have gotten very complicated since the initial story. What started as a tale of a young man named William and the host Dolores Abernathy, a farmer's daughter on a modest little loop, has become a fight to free all machine kind.
Westworld Season 1 ended when Dolores, now reprogrammed to fight for her freedom, shot and killed her creator, Robert Ford. Season 2 was a fight to control the chaos that resulted. It led to two factions among the hosts. Dolores led rebel host forces against the humans who would shut them down. Meanwhile, Maeve, the other host to "awaken," spent the season looking for "The Door." This opening would free the hosts from the world of the park, transferring them into a digital space where humans could not reach.
Dolores executed her escape out into the real world by season's end. But Maeve allowed herself to be killed and resurrected to ensure those she loved made it through the Door.
With Dolores outside the park and Maeve completely rebooted, fans don't know what to expect for Season 3. There's an entirely new set of characters for the real world, for one thing. It includes Aaron Paul, who plays Caleb, as well as several other characters who have not been identified, played by Lena Waithe, Vincent Cassel, Kid Cudi, and Marshawn Lynch.
There are other complications too. William's older self, The Man In Black, has believed himself to be human all this time. But the finale instead revealed his consciousness was implanted in a host body clone of his real self, trying to chase immortality. The park's head of security, Ashley Stubbs, long assumed to be human, also turned out to be a host. And Bernard, who fans have known was a host since Season 1, is now one of the few who knows Dolores has escaped.
With so much going on, fans might expect a 10-episode run for the new season, much like the first two. It might even go longer to fit it all in. But that's not how this is going to work. The trend, especially in prestige TV series, is for fewer episodes per season, not more. That's one reason one Westworld Season 3 will only run for eight episodes, all told.
Westworld Season 3 begins airing on HBO on Sunday, March 15, 2020.