‘Westworld: The Maze,’ a first season recap to get you prepared for season two

Charles Rankin

{{tncms-inline content=”<p>As this is a recap of season one of "Westworld," there are spoilers included herein. If you have not seen season one, continue reading at your own risk.</p>” id=”96777e7d-0abe-43c3-ae2a-b42df85197b8″ style-type=”highlights” title=”Editor’s Note” type=”relcontent”}}

After a year-and-a-half absence, “Westworld” returns with its second season premiere Sunday.

If you’re too busy with the end of the semester and have no time to binge watch, or if you just need a refresher, here’s a quick breakdown of the key moments of the first season, retroactively subtitled “The Maze.”

The show, based on a 1973 Michael Crichton film by the same name, begins with Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) being questioned by park employee Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) about the nature of her existence as a “host,” an android whose purpose is to entertain, please and be at the mercy of the guests of the theme park Westworld. Being a host, Dolores’ life runs much like the plot of “Groundhog Day.” She wakes up and goes through the same cycle, in her words, an “order to [her] days, a purpose.”

Almost as soon as the show begins, however, Dolores’ cycle is interrupted by the Man in Black (Ed Harris), a guest with a mysterious past who claims to know Dolores from his 30 years of attending the park.

In another story, guest William (Jimmi Simpson) is traveling to the park with his future brother-in-law. As he arrives at the park, William is given the choice of several hats, in the colors of either black or white. William chooses a white one and, as such, is essentially pitted on a path of good rather than evil. William meets Dolores soon after entering the park and begins falling for her. As William continues on his journey within the park, and as he sees the true nature of what it is- a place where people go to live out their wildest dreams- he begins to understand that he enjoys the wild and violent nature of the park.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, Delos, the company that runs Westworld, is gearing up for a new storyline within the park that is being created by park founder Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). As these preparations mount, issues with some of the hosts begin to occur. The android hosts begin to remember things, have dreams and, as is the case of Maeve, a brothel madam, becoming self aware. As it turns out, Ford has created these malfunctions to purposefully cause chaos. He does this with the help of Bernard, who is revealed to actually be a host created by Ford, living a double life that he doesn’t even know about.

One of the biggest themes of the show, and of the first season particularly, is that not everything, or everyone, is as they seem. Along with the revelation of Bernard as a host, Dolores and viewers alike discover that William is actually the Man in Black, grown up to be a board member of the park whose real desire is for a better and more real experience, one in which the hosts are able to fight back and hurt the guests. That desire is granted to him, as Ford’s chaotic storylines become his last, for he has programmed Dolores to kill him and begin what appears to be a host uprising in the final moments of the season.

The second season of “Westworld,” set to be titled “The Door,” premieres April 22 on HBO. Watch the official trailer here.