Westworld Season 1 was all about the narrative twists and shocking surprises. That was especially true of Bernard, who believed himself to be a real person but turned out to be a Host replica of park creator Arnold Weber. (His name, Bernard Lowe, was even an anagram of Arnold's name.) Bernard has been working for the park for 30 years, but most of what he's done has been erased from his memories, like the Drone Hosts. What's a Drone Host on Westworld? They're only one of the many discoveries that Bernard will make this coming season.
So far, there and Humans and there are Hosts, and without knowing which is which, one might not be able to tell them apart at first glance. That's part of the whole deal with Westworld. The park feels real. The Hosts, for all intents and purposes, are robots made to look, act, and think like real people. (That's the problem. After a while, they gained consciousness and demanded to be treated like real people.)
But apparently, there's another class of Hosts that weren't included in Season 1. These are Hosts who are not given a skin covering and don't work in the park in public-facing roles. These are Hosts, whose job it is to be assistants in some of the labs.
According to showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, these Hosts are referred to as Drone Hosts, and the reason we never saw them is that they work in the parts of Westworld that aren't related to the direct operations of the park.
Jonathan Nolan told Entertainment Weekly all about them.
The drone hosts relate to the corporation’s secret project which is hidden in plain sight in this park. As we talked about in the pilot, the park is one thing for the guests, and it’s another thing for its shareholders and management — something completely different. We’ve used the Google analogy — for consumers, it’s for search and email, yet for the company, it’s for advertising.
Most people assume that "it's something else for shareholders and management" is mostly that of making money. There's also the Facebook comparison, meaning that the park's real money is in the data they collect from their users. But data collection isn't really something one would need drones in labs we haven't seen yet. That's something that might be housed in a server farm, but most server farms aren't inherently creepy.
Nolan says that's because data mining is only the beginning:
There is an agenda here that Delos has undertaken for a very long time. As Bernard is making his way through the wreckage of the fallout from the first season, he’s discovering things about the park that even he doesn’t know and coming upon creatures like the drone host.
Will Bernard remember that he worked with Drone Hosts? Or will they be a total surprise to him? One thing for certain is the show will be taking its time with rolling out the story. According to Nolan, several of this season's episodes are supersized.
The second season the premiere is a little over 70 minutes. The fourth episode — which is one of my favorites — is a little longer than an hour. And the finale is just going to keep going and going — it’s a bit of an epic.
Episode 4, by the way, is the first of the series to be directed by showrunner Lisa Joy and features James Delos (Peter Mullan), Logan's father and William's father-in-law.
HBO's press release on the season premiere stated that it ran from 9 p.m. ET to 10:10 p.m. ET, so make sure to set those DVRs. Westworld Season 2 will air on HBO on Sunday, April 22, 2018.