Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-credits scenes have become all the rage at the movies. Television is no different, especially when it comes to HBO's popular, mind-bending shows, which is why fans can't wait to see Westworld season 3 after Sunday night's season 2 finale.
In this weekend's episode, “The Passenger,” audiences hoping for at least some closure to the many confusing twists and turns were left with few solutions. In fact, for those following along since the season 1 premiere in 2016, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy left far more questions than they did answers. This includes the aforementioned post-credits stinger.
Featuring the ominous Man in Black, William (Ed Harris) and the estranged daughter he supposedly killed in a previous episode, Emily (Katja Herbers), the scene added yet another twist to the former’s true nature. Namely, whether he is a human or an android - or in the show’s parlance, a guest or a host.
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The story earlier revealed William’s father-in-law, James Delos (Peter Mullan) had purchased the park and the technology behind it in order to prolong his own life. Further testing following his death demonstrated the limits of immortality, but as Sunday’s final stinger hinted, Emily and William may have found success in the latter’s case.
When will Westworld season 3 debut?
Then again, Westworld audiences can’t be too sure. The seemingly indestructible Man in Black may be a human-cum-android hoping to extend his time, a battered and broken person being fooled once again, or neither. Maybe Nolan and Joy have something else in mind for the series’ villainous figure, or maybe they don’t. After all, though “Westworld” was renewed for a third season by HBO back in May, there’s no telling when its first episode will see the light of day.
The same goes for the rest of the park’s survivors, human and otherwise. Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), the head of security, remains steadfast in his dedication to making sure all the surviving guests make it out alive. Meanwhile, his focus blinds him to the fact that Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) is dead, and the woman he just let go to the mainland is in fact a resurrected Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) hellbent on preserving the hosts’ at the cost of humanity’s livelihood.
Dolores in turn revives Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), whose fractured consciousness and memory has made parsing all of season 2’s many time jumps as intriguing as it is frustrating. Much like the later seasons of Lost, Westworld this season has presented its story in a format that is not for the faint of heart. The show’s convoluted plot points and philosophical inquiries have increasingly made it less accessible. And yet, season 3 is indeed on the way.
So what should viewers expect when the next installment finally arrives? Between the Man in Black’s confusing nature and the realization that several prominent hosts have escaped to the mainland, Westworld season 3 has a lot of promises to keep. Chief among them is answering the question, “How will a show about a theme park gone awry survive once it leaves the theme park behind?”
Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Joy offers a glimpse of what their answer might be. “It's going to be a whole new world,” she says. “This series is about reinvention and scope. The first season was a more intimate look at the park from within the loops. In the second season, the hosts broke out of their loops and were able to explore more of the park. In the third season, they've broken out of the park itself. We're in terra incognita.”
The executive producer also claims she and Nolan have been considering this option “as far back as the pilot.” They “wanted to explore other worlds in the park” and “the one world we would start to see little glimpses of throughout the first two seasons was the real world.” Sure enough, the latter - the world of the guests - has been previewed several times throughout Westworld season 2, and with Dolores and Bernard free to roam it, it seems season 3 will truly “be a whole new experience.”
Westworld season 3 will premiere sometime in the hopefully not too distant future.