When Westworld Season 2 ended, there were a lot of questions about the show's direction going forward. The first two seasons had mainly taken place in the Western-themed park, where android "hosts" first served and then rebelled against their human masters. But by season's end, Westworld was in tatters. Many of the humans and hosts were dead, while others were quietly escaping the park out into the real world. So where does the show go from here? If the new Westworld Season 3 trailer is any indication, the series is about to leave the Old West behind.
At the Westworld panel for San Diego Comic-Con, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were cagey about the show's new direction. Any questions about Season 3, even the tritest were met with stony silence or non-sequiturs. Much of the discussion took a philosophical bend. Cast members Thandie Newton, Aaron Paul, Tessa Thompson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright found themselves pondering their use of devices like Alexa, which could be seen as a forerunner to Westworld's hosts.
But Nolan did agree to give one piece of information. Westworld III, as it is styled, would be subtitled "The New World." And after Aaron Paul demanded the trailer be shown, fans got a look at what that new world looks like.
The first half of the trailer looks to be set in Westworld's "real world." This is the city that Tessa Thompson's Charlotte Hale headed out for at the end of Season 2, with Dolores embedded in her brain and several more characters in marble form in her purse. This is also the world where Dolores will meet Aaron Paul's character, Caleb. It is also, presumably, where Lena Waithe, Kid Cudi, and Marshawn Lynch will be introduced.
It also seems like Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) has escaped into the real world. He is now working as a farmer, trying to track down where Dolores and Charlotte are, and planning to move against them.
But then there's that return to the park. And that's where fans should start to question everything.
As fans will recall Maeve (Thandie Newton) did not escape the park at the end of Season 2. She's been reassigned, to a WWII Park, assumedly in Vichy, France, where the Nazis ruled. But it's how the two settings are juxtaposed to mirror each other as "Some Sunny Day" plays.
"I thought your world would be so different from mine," says Dolores. "There's no difference at all, is there?"
The lack of difference is telling. Did Dolores and Charlotte escape? Are they out in the real world? Or did they simply sail to another park, believing themselves to have escaped? Could this instead be the Futureworld of the original films?
It also makes one wonder if Bernard is in the real world. Or is he still in the original Westworld park? Could this all just be an elaborate wheels-within-wheels simulation?
Fans will return to the puzzlebox of a series that is Westworld III in 2020. Until then, there will be nothing but questions.