the story so far
Birth of artificial consciousness, robot lives matter, humans play god.
Immortality, digital utopia, free will is an illusion.
The new world.
Data collection, simulations, societal control, battle of AI gods.
Zero chaos utopia, transcendence of being, robots among us.
Season 1 - the maze
WestWorld is a theme park in the near future, recreating the old west era where the rich come to “live without limits” and “sin in peace” in a place with no rules or judgements.
The residents of the park – called the hosts – are sophisticated robots who look and act perfectly human but were made to gratify the desires of the guests visiting their world.The hosts are unable to harm the guests because of their programming, but the opposite relationship has no rules. The hosts are seemingly unaware of their situation and live in a loops, repeating the same nightmarish ordeals again and again, with their memory erased every time they are killed.
After a “mistake” in an update, however, some hosts start to display aberrant and non coded behaviours…
The mindblowing story will follow the paths of two hosts in particular, Dolores and Maeve, who start to question the nature of their reality.
Dolores leads a simple life as the rancher’s daughter. Her life changes the day her father finds a photo of the modern world and whispers something to her ear : « These violent delights have violent ends ». She starts to remember things from her previous life and hear a voice in her head telling her what to do.
Maeve is in charge of a brothel. Like Dolores she also experiences flashbacks of a previous life, one in which she has a daughter. One day she wakes up while being fixed by technicians. She will discover her true nature and will try to set up a plan to escape the park.
We also follow the journey of several guests : William and his brother in law, Logan. William visits the park for the first time and he is reluctant to hurt hosts for fun. He meets Dolores and starts to fall in love with her, despite being promised to Logan’s sister.
The Man in Black, on the other hand, tortures and murder hosts. He is looking for the center of a mysterious « maze », persuaded there is a deeper game inside the park.
Finally we get to see the underground facilities of the park, its management, and how the hosts are built, programmed and revised to be kept in their loop. Bernard the head of programming and Ford, the creator of the park, will meet conflicts with some members of the direction, as their view and their objectives for the future of the park diverge.
This first season was an absolute masterpiece, summoning a cult following thanks to a fantastic cast, audio/visual perfection, and masterclass writing that has set the standard so, so high it is no doubt this will be something to be remembered for years to come. The universe is visually stunning, oscillating between the wild west and a futuristic modern era, where Ford is playing God with his creations. The story itself is an incredible journey exploring the dawn of consciousness in AI, with hosts awakening to their true nature, looking for self-knowledge and freedom. It also questions human nature, with guests satisfying their impulses, whether they are good or dark, and also coming to the park to see who they really are.
Identity, consciousness, freedom and free will are the main themes of this mind-bending show and give a depth to the story that not many other series have nowadays. It also questions what separates man and machine, and compares the routine we live in with the loops the hosts experience.
Moreover the season is exciting because of a complex intrigue that will reveal itself throught the episodes with many plot twists, for instance the shocking identities of the Man in black and Wyatt, or Bernard’s backstory. The end of the season comes with the revelation that the center of the maze was meant for the hosts, and reveals Ford’s true intentions.
season 2 - the door
The park is under a violent rebellion after Dolores killed Ford and some of the guests at the ceremony. Accompagned by Teddy and other hosts she enrolled in her fight, she plans of taking control not only of Westworld but also of the real world outside. In her quest for revenge and freedom, she becomes cruel, showing no mercy neither with humans or with hosts who would be in her way.
Meanwhile Maeve found back Hector and enrolled the writer of the park, Lee Sizemore, as well as Felix and sylvester, to save her daughter, adventuring in a region of the park, or rather should we say a different park, that she never thought existed..
The man in black, who survived the slaughter, sees his aspiration of having real stakes in Wesworld coming true as the hosts can now fight back and actually kills humans. But the arrival of his daughter in the park is going to make resurface a difficult moment of his life : the suicide of his wife.
Bernard for his part is confronted with a memory loss and gets in trouble when Charlotte Hale discovers he is a host.
Although they are trying to contain the rebellion and stop the hosts, the Delos team seems more concerned by a secret research project. And it finally appears that the main goal was never to code the hosts, but to decode the guests, in the hope of copying their mind…
Why fans love this season:
This season is particularly exciting on many points. Firstly, the plot is gripping, well-crafted and unpredictable, with many twists and turns. To the complexity of the storyline let’s add the right amount of action, as this season rhymes with confrontations. Then they are new landscapes and locations, notably the ones in a japan world (analogous to Westworld) that are breathtaking. We also get to see a huge evolution in the characters development.
Besides this season explores the concepts of immortality with the idea of copying a human mind to transfer it into the body of a host, and digital utopia as some hosts are looking for an escape into the « Sublime ». Freedom remains a prominent theme and the show maintains its philosophical ponderings questionning for example whether « is there really such a thing as free will, or is it just a collective delusion?
This season is a must-watch and will leave you on a mindblowing ending!
season 3 - the new world
In Season three we rejoin our characters three months after the events of season 2. After narrowly escaping Westworld, Dolores has a new mission in mind to, “[…] show this world for what it really is.” To do so, she must take out the all-knowing Rehoboam along with her new accomplice Caleb, who happens to be a human. As Dolores executes her plan, she is being tracked by Rehoboam’s maker Serac who is desperate to stop her to continue to, “[…] chart a course for all of mankind.” Helping Serac is Maeve, whom he is blackmailing into finding Dolores and killing her for the key to the sublime that resides in Dolores’ mind.
Failure is not an option for Maeve, as Serac can put her into a world of his own making for all of eternity if she loses or disobeys. Bernard and Stubbs also search for Dolores, intending to stop her plans without knowing the full extent of them. Throughout all this chaos we see the Man in Black finally face his demons and come to terms with what he’s done in Seasons one and two. All this turmoil goes to show the audience that, “Free will is not free.”
Light spoilers/why the fans love the season:
Season three is beloved by fans for its daring self-reinvention. Instead of being more of a slow burn, as seasons one and two, season three opts to be a more action-paced race to the finish line for all its characters. The locations and scenery of the season are astounding and a breath of fresh air after being contained within the park for the past two seasons. It’s clear that, at this point in the story, the characters have outgrown the park, involving themselves in worldwide conflicts. Though this sounds like too much of a change the show maintains its mind-bending nature and philosophical ponderings, with this season focusing on what makes a person…is it the environment you grow up in, your physical form, or just your mind?
You are also made to question whether it is worth living if you are fed false hope and controlled by an AI, which limits your potential in life. Additionally, there are excellent twists in the plot, such as who Dolores brought with her out of Westworld, the importance of Caleb, and Bernard’s role in Dolores’ plan. Hale’s story is also one of the best new additions in this season, watching her go from a frightened host to one with the intention of destroying humanity is enthralling to behold. Furthermore, season 3 continues to have the amazing writing, acting, music, and cinematography of the past two seasons. Perfect for a binge-watch, don’t miss season 3 if you love Westworld!
season 4 - the choice
Season four drops us back into the story seven years after the events of the season 3. Towards the start we primarily follow Maeve and Caleb, who have teamed up for the first time since the end of their revolution to take down Hale. While Maeve and Caleb are following her trail, Hale is setting her plan in motion to enslave humanity through a parasite, as well as an ominous sound, she has constructed that will help her control humans. Hale is not alone; however, she now has the Host in Black to assist her in infiltrating the high circles of US society to bring everything crumbling down. Holding onto her grudge also makes Hale decide to keep the real Man in Black as her hostage. Hale tells the Man in Black, “[…] you’re here to be the loser”, calling back to how he used to treat the hosts and showing how she wants to keep him around just so he can watch his species burn.
During this season we also rejoin Bernard, who has calculated how to save the world while being in the sublime since the end of season 3. He, along with Stubbs, must follow everything Bernard did in his simulation meticulously, for if they don’t that means certain failure and the loss of all hope for humanity. Amid all the aforementioned drama we are introduced to a new character, Christina. Christina seems to simply be a human living in New York who sees there is, “[…] something wrong with the world.” She works at Olympiad as a storyteller, though we know with Westworld things are never just as they seem. Season four of Westworld continues to be as enthralling as its previous seasons, urging us to, “Adapt or die”, when it comes to the new world Hale is building for us.
Light spoilers/Why the fans love the season:
One of the major things fans love about season four is it’s return to the mysterious storytelling which was present in the first two seasons of the show. Instead of events being shown in chronological order, as in season three, we return to having our storyline scrambled, allowing the viewers to decipher the story on their own, until all the storylines converge. Season four continues to provide us with interesting themes to think about such as if free will, or change, is truly capable for any living creature. One of the most surprisingly amazing additions to season four is the team-up of Caleb and Maeve. Their characters play off each other wonderfully and their friendship goes to show that a caring relationship is possible between host and human, possibly hinting towards the end goal of season five.
Season four also contains some of the most shocking twists of the show’s entire run, especially in the episodes ‘Generation Loss’ and ‘Metanoia’. The actors continue to impress even this late in the show, giving their characters depth, an entirely new angle, or even playing a different character altogether. The writing is sharp enough to engage anyone and it is a must watch for fans of Westworld. Hopefully we will be able to see Christina’s, “Final test”, in a season five or movie to wrap up this beloved series!