WARNING: Westworld Season 2 spoilers ahead.
When Westworld’s showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy attended a screening of the Season 2 finale in London last week, they must have regretted signing up for a Q&A. What could the famously secretive showrunners give away after THAT game-changing finale? The answer is not a lot, but more than zero.
Nolan admits that they had the end of Season 2 figured out right from the beginning. “We knew that we wanted to end with one or more of our hosts making it out into the real world,” he says, “and so we started with the end and worked our way towards the most compelling way of telling that story.” That means that season three presents a new and slightly scary challenge.
“The third season is our world,” Nolan reveals, “and we get a chance to see what that world looks like. We glimpsed it at the beginning of this season, but we’re incredibly excited. The story to this point has taken place in this artificial reality, and for this story to move forward we now have this fun/terrifying experience of building out what the real world looks like and what Dolores and the others will find out there.”
While most of the Season 2 finale was spent answering questions and paying off storylines, some of which had been in motion for 20 episodes, the end credits coda threw up possibly the biggest question of all, with a host Man in Black being tested for ‘fidelity’ in what seemed to be the distant future.
“That’s definitely a snippet of something that we’ll come to explore in the future,” Joy says, “and it’s definitely timeline to the nth power. The thing that really appealed to us about a story about artificial intelligence is that it truly is immortal. We’re dealing with an epic timescale at this point, so the end [of the finale] is just a little bit of a tease of part of the scope of where we’re going and part of the characters you’re going to see there.”
Joy goes on to promise that they know where the show is going, and that at the time of writing the pilot she “pitched a scene to end the entire series on and so far we have not deviated from liking that scene”.
But audiences won’t have to wait until the end of the show to get answers. Just as season one resolved the Arnold question, so season two gave us the valley beyond, and the answer to Bernard’s memory loss.
“Each season… the questions that we tee up, we do try to address,” Joy says. “We have an answer for all of them. And then we try to set up a little bit more, like you saw with the scene with the Man in Black at the end, to show where it’s going. But we do intend to answer the questions that we set up.” Which is always good to know.
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