[Season 1 !Season 2 !Season 3 ]
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) lives in a small town in the wild west. One day Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ) comes into town on the railroad, and the couple go for a ride together. Unfortunately they run into The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ).
Everyone who is familiar with the original movie Westworld (1973) , written and directed by Michael Crichton , will know that this is set in a simulation. The townsfolk are artificial persons, referred to as Hosts, whose job is to provide interpersonal entertainment for the paying guests. Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ), in charge of the Hosts, knows that they store memories despite a daily mind-wipe. However, neither he nor his boss Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs ) realise how badly things might go wrong.
Somehow this simulation, a sanitised version of the Wild West, is reminiscent of Fair Haven - the sanitised Victorian Irish town on the holodeck of Star Trek: Voyager . After being left to run constantly, the holodeck characters became self-aware. A new software update called The Reverie is intended to make the Hosts more emotional, which will make them appear more human. However, it has unusual side-effects. Somehow it allows the Hosts to access their previous memories. It may have inadvertently started to make them sentient.
The first episode established the show's setting. Now we get a human protagonist we can relate to. William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) arrives as a paying guest. His humanity, as a first-time user, contasts sharply with the inhumanity of the other guests.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ), the madame in the town brothel, is under review by the show-runners. She has been dreaming, and has a plan to wake herself the next time she has a nightmare.
Elsie Hughes ( Shannon Woodward ) the lesbian engineer teams up with Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth - The Anomaly ) the generic security guard to hunt down a stray robot that has wandered off into the wilderness. This is the most recent of many that have been acting very strangely.
Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ), man of mystery, finally gets a backstory. Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs ) has invented a storyline that involves a new arch-villain named Wyatt.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) is beginning to get her memories back. She remembers that The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) attacked her. The scene was filmed to be reminiscent of High Plains Drifter (1973), so Feminists were upset about the implied sexual assault of a robot. They did not care that the villain was later walking about with a scalp, or even question who he cut it from. Now the answer seems obvious.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) joins William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) and Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ) on an adventure. They are part of a posse that wants the bounty on Wyatt.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) continues his quest. His next clue is tied into the Wyatt storyline, even though this is apparently a new storyline and the MIB's other clues involve the oldest parts of Westworld.
Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs (1992) ) has another chat with his robot buddy, Wild Bill (Michael Wincott - The Crow ). Ford's monologue is reminiscent of Attenborough's in Jurassic Park (1993) - which is another version of the same story by the same creator, the late Michael Crichton .
William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) and Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ) are south of the fictional border. Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) gives them some exposition about some former Confederate soldiers. Logan wants to lose himself in the fantasy, and keeps urging William to play on the wild side. Be careful what you wish for.
Dolores wants to be in a story where she is not a damsel in distress. Well, real-life pioneer women were tough and resourceful, like the ones who inspired L. Frank Baum to create the character of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz . The damsel-in-distress trope only exists because Westworld mimics Hollywood movies. By empowering the female character, the system is only becoming more realistic.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) continues his quest. He now has Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ), who cares more about saving Dolores than about taking revenge on Wyatt. Unfortunately, Teddy needs a blood transfusion. Does the MIB have the means to do a field-repair on a robot?
Ford speaks with Dolores, in what seems to be her nightly check-up. The characters move very quickly over vast distances, like in the later Seasons of Game of Thrones . This is very confusing, because unlike GOT there is no clear timeline. It turns out that Ford's partner died thirty-four years previously, just before the Westworld park opened. Yes, they have had humanoid replicant robots for over three decades and nobody has apparently weaponised them in all that time. Only now is artificial intelligence becoming possible, even though the military-industrial complex probably has far better computer hardware. Small Soldiers (1998) anyone?
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) has mastered a work-around, and confronts one of the repair crew. Since she has begun to get her memories back, it must seem like Groundhog Day (1992) . But when she discovers the truth, she gets caught in a logic trap like something in Star Trek: TOS .
Elsie Hughes ( Shannon Woodward ) has informed Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) about the industrial espionage. He discovers that there are five more anomalous robots. Will this end up like the Final Four Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (2003) ?
The corporate woman ( Tessa Thompson ) may be a new arrival, but she certainly makes her presence felt. She illustrates the decadent hedonism that the human race has been corrupted to once the sex robots have made everyone's life easier. In all fairness, the robots have existed for thirty years and they have apparently not been weaponised or commercialised like in Humans (2014) .
Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) suspects something is wrong, but Elsie Hughes ( Shannon Woodward ) is nowhere to be found. He and Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs (1992) ) are called in for a graphic demonstration of what can go wrong with the robots. This is part of the corporate takeover ploy. The board wants to control the intellectual property so they can remove Ford from the park he created. Their end-game is weaponisation and commercialisation.
So far, Dr Ford has only guest-starred in other characters' storylines. Now we get to see what he is really capable - and it is long worth the wait.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) and Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ) close in on Wyatt's gang. Somehow Teddy's memory starts to come back, and he has lost his inability to attack guests. At least we get to the MIB's backstory.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) takes the next steps in her plan. With the ability to make up the story as she goes along, the world is now her oyster. But her memories of the MIB are coming back.
William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) and Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) get to the site of an old village. This may be part of the new narrative that Ford has created. But Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ) has joined his captors, the Confederale gang that is after William.
The inmates start to take over the asylum. Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) confronts Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ), who then sets out to confront Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs (1992) ). Nobody is better placed to bypass the Asimov blocks.
William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) and Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) are in the hands of Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ). They will have to use brutality to get out.
William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) takes Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ) in search of Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ). This leads on to a most unexpected conclusion, which at least explains certain apparent discrepancies.
Meanwhile, she and the Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) are at the centre of the maze, where she has flashbacks of her creator (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ). This gives us further exposition as to Wyatt's original rampage.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) starts her breakout, and is not averse to the use of violence. However, she does not understand that she might still be someone's pawn .
Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins - Silence of the Lambs (1992) ) is being ousted by the corporate woman ( Tessa Thompson ). However, he has a final story to tell. This leads directly on to the next Season.
Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) wakes up two weeks after the massacre. A Special Forces unit led by Detective Kima from The Wire has arrived. This is bad news for Simon from The Walking Dead , but good news for Security Chief Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth - The Anomaly ). Yes, generic blond guy is back without a scratch on him despite being abducted by Native Americans in a velociraptor-style attack at the end of Season One. There is a new corporate executive in charge, Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgard - Vikings ), who pays off the local Third World government so his own people will be in charge. Evidently Westworld is on an island somewhere on the Pacific rim of Asia.
The rescue is a flash-forward, with the main story taking place immediately after the massacre. Bernard and the corporate woman, Charlotte Hale ( Tessa Thompson ), escaped together. She had a secret base underneath the island, which means that the entire complicated espionage scheme in Season One was completely unnecessary.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) also survived the massacre. Now he has what he wants - a game with high stakes. And Robert has arranged it so this game is specifically for him.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) went back for her kid. While looking for her tame technicians she finds Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman - The Devil Inside (2012) ), a selfish weasel who will help her in order to keep himself alive. With his brains and her brawn they might have a chance, although it is only a matter of time before one betrays the other. She has the bandito, her love interest, along for support.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) is leading Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ) around as they kill anything that moves. She wants to show him the truth, so that he understands how the robots have been controlled and manipulated. She describes the humans as creatures that walk among us, but they are not like us. It seems like she is channelling one of the vampires in I Am Legend - the book, not the CGI-Fest movie. After all, she complains about being killed but very few of the robots have ever faced Final Death. Like vampires, they never grow old and never die - just come back with their wounds regenerated.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) and Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman - The Devil Inside (2012) ) finally meet Dolores Abernathy. Dolores is building an army, but Maeve turns her down. After all, Dolores uses her own capacity for free will to deprive everyone else of their own.
In the flashbacks, Logan (Ben Barnes - Prince Caspian ) gets the first pitch for investment in Westworld. William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) then tries to convince his father-in-law, Mr Delos (Peter Mullan - Session 9 ), of the proposal's merit.
The episode's pre-credits sequence is set in a tiger hunt. Nicholas (Neil Jackson - Blade: The Series ) hooks up with a female guest, Emily ( Katja Hebers ). One of them might become a recurring character, if they survive the natives - and the tiger.
Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) and the corporate woman Charlotte Hale ( Tessa Thompson ) go searching for the special host. They run into Simon from The walking Dead . The good news is that they reprogramme him, turning him from a violent raper to a white knight. In fact, this is such a cost-effective solution they should just do this to all the robots they can find and thus secure the island without risking human lives.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) teams up with Colonel Brigham (Fredric Lehne - Supernatural ). She has a plan to wipe out the human counterattack. But she has no respect for the free will of others, so how far can the Confederales trust her? Well, the Confederales are basically American Civil War reenactors but the human security forces use Civil War tactics.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) and her sidekicks team up with a few familiar faces. This should improve their chances of getting to her destination.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) discovers what happened to the Confederales who escaped Wyatt last time. He has to make a decision of his own - team up with the villains, or save a village of decent people.
Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) discovers what happened to Elsie Hughes ( Shannon Woodward ) the lesbian engineer. He also discovers that Ford somehow knew about at least one of HQ's secret labs. Ford even had a way of hijacking the super-secret off-network robots. As with this whole subplot, it asks more questions than it answers.
In the flash-forwards, Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) is with the recovery teams. They think they are making progress. However, they do not realise they are walking into some kind of trap.
Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ) and her group have taken a shortcut through the Samurai zone. The local ronin and geishas have the same personality templates and backstories as the bandito and whores from Westworld. Unfortunately they are now going off the script. Worse, the locals only speak Japanese, which means that Maeve's verbal voodoo will not work. However, the robots regularly get updated by wifi signals they receive from the nearest technician's tablet computer. It seems she might be able to broadcast as well as receive.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) relives her conversation with Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ). However, this scene has a lot in common with the one between William (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter ) and his father-in-law Mr Delos (Peter Mullan - Session 9 ) a few episodes ago.
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) reluctantly accepts his daughter in the posse, for the moment at least.
Charlotte Hale ( Tessa Thompson ) and Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth - The Anomaly ) got their target to the HQ. A few technicians have survived there. They are joined by a team of mercenaries who parachute in, led by a man with a very unusual Scottish/Afrikaans accent.
Bernard and Elise follow the train line to the terminus. They get to the mainframe, without encountering other humans. Bernard tries to interface with the system, and discovers the identity of the person Ford copied into an artifical intelligence.
Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright - Casino Royale ) and Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth - The Anomaly ) are in the hands of the Delos Security team. However, it is not a rescue mission. All the goons care about is recovering vital technology.
Dolores Abernathy ( Evan Rachel Wood ) and Teddy Flood (James Marsden - X-Men ) attacked the main base. This leads on to some Bechdel-passing conversations with Charlotte Hale ( Tessa Thompson ) and Maeve Millay ( Thandie Newton ).
The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) has been shot up pretty badly. Not for the first time, but that is life as a villain. He and Maeve's daughter end up in the hands of a Native American man, who narrates an extended flashback for them. Of course, he does it in his own language so it is not clear if anyone else understands it.
The Native American tribe of robots may be a white man's idea of what they should be like, but the production credits list several Lakota cultural advisors. When the storyline was rewritten, the narrator lost his wife Kohana ( Julia Jones ). His personal quest was to save her. This led him to encounter a couple of characters who have been written out of the main storyline.
The story flashes back six months. The Man in Black (Ed Harris - The Abyss ) had a troubled marriage to Juliet ( Sela Ward ). In the main storyline, he and his daughter Emily ( Katja Hebers ) finally talk about their issues.
This is the climactic finale of the two-Season story arc. And since this is not a feel-good story, the ending is pretty brutal and violent. That said, it is open-ended enough that two years later the show was brought back for another Season.