Westworld comes back strong in season two premiere

The hit HBO show hasn’t gotten any less fascinating since the last season.

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This review contains spoilers.

Watch Westworld.

That’s a sentence that I’ve been repeating to everyone the past week.

In preparation for writing this review, I watched the entire first season in four days. The writing, storytelling and editing had me hooked — I never wanted to stop watching. No one saw me during those four days. The show consumed my life.

Waiting a week for HBO’s media relations team to send me the season two premiere was excruciating. I had missed the show deeply — I can’t imagine having waited for over a year; Westworld finished its first season in December 2016.

Westworld started its first season with incredible storylines, and that hasn’t changed since the season ended.

The season two premiere of Westworld, “Journey Into Night,” picks up about two weeks after the massacre we saw in the season one finale.

Or so it seems at first.

With the big reveal that the first season of Westworld spanned decades, the writers have not stopped toying with the method of depicting multiple timelines. “Journey Into Night” makes a lot of time jumps between the night of the massacre and two weeks later, both from the perspective of Bernard.

To make a comparison: The season two premiere of Westworld is like Jurassic Park when all of the dinosaurs escape to wreak havoc on the humans — Michael Crichton, who originally wrote the Jurassic Park books, also wrote the original 1973 Westworld movie upon which the TV show is based.

The hosts are in control of the park now, and Maeve and Dolores seem to have switched roles. Dolores has grown into a more villainous character, which is conflicting since we saw much of the first season through her perspective. She and Teddy have teamed up Bonnie and Clyde style, going through the park and killing hosts and humans alike.

Maeve, on the other hand, is occupying the sympathetic role that Dolores had last season. When we last saw her in the season finale, she obtained free will and made the decision to get off the train and look for her daughter. All she wants is to be reunited with her daughter. Maeve is a very interesting character — she is the best part of the show. Her lines are delightfully clever; Thandie Newton’s acting is incredible, and she is just an overall badass.

Because the gap between seasons is so long, writers had to include a lot of exposition in the premiere. This is the only negative part of the episode; sometimes, the exposition drags on too long, lessening the emotional significance the events are meant to have.

One exciting new detail from the premiere is confirmation that the Delos company owns six parks. This was teased last season with the appearance of Samurai costumes in one of the company’s labs. It also seems like the show is going to start to explore these other parks very soon. There’s a chance that the hosts in these parks have become self-aware as well.

Ultimately, “Journey Into Night” is a great way for Westworld to come back. Despite the excessive exposition, the episode still manages to be fast paced and jaw dropping. The writers take the man vs. machine trope to new levels, exploring what it means to truly be human. You’re going to be left questioning the nature of your reality.

Westworld season two premieres April 22 on HBO at 8 p.m.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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