Not only was the fate of important characters revealed quickly, but agendas too were set out nicely to make the premiere a very productive hour of television.
Westworld previously spent every moment wisely, but starting out on the same footing is always appreciated. Once again, if you have to take a break while watching this HBO hit, you'd better press pause. There isn't a second of time wasted, and that means no fridge runs or potty breaks. Save your Tweeting for a later showing, too.
One thing that felt significantly different was most of the premiere taking place in the present. With a few exceptions that included Bernard thinking back through the night that preceded being discovered on the beach, we knew who we were dealing with and time jumps the likes of William/The Man in Black were not included.
Given the scope of what occurred after the dinner up to the point of survival, I think we can look forward to some smaller time shifts over the remainder of the season.
What Ford set up in his world and what Delos knew of that world are, well, worlds apart. If and when the two meet, it could mean a fight that will pit those at the park against all outside of it -- it's just that crazy.
To get to that point, there would need to be a seismic shift in the understanding of those remaining inside the boundaries of the park, and who knows if something like that could ever occur.
Bernard's life was changed in ways he never would have imagined before he made it to Westworld Season 2. To fully understand who he was -- a host with the ability to see both sides of himself, robot and sentient being -- he was forced to kill himself and return to the land of the living.
Ford's wicked ways were hard to understand, but the more we find out about Delos, the easier it is to believe the world "out there" isn't something he would have wanted to fool around with anyway. If Westworld will go on for another ten years, clues were dropped about what we might see in time, and it's not pretty.
Not for those of us who are human (or think we are), anyway. But I'm running away with my thoughts. Let me run down what we know that directly relates to the first season.
Bernard survived the initial battle, and on the run with him was Charlotte Hale, who knew her way around a lot better than I would have imagined. Her hope for rescue was dashed when Delos assured her the "package" was not delivered. That package wasn't Maeve, as many surmised, but Abernathy, another candidate.
We'll discuss more about him later because he's an unknown at this point.
Maeve hooked up with Lee the Idiot who condescendingly discussed with her the intricacies about her daughter not being "real" and how the IP for their minds was very highly valued, and he could ensure they got the best price for her's if she stuck with him. She kept him around anyway to show her the lay of the land to find her girl.
Maeve did something Lee would have never done; she didn't claim responsibility for all that was happening at the park. That must have thrown him. She did claim a like mind, though.
Lee: You. Did you do all this?
Maeve: No. But I suspect I share the sensibilities of whoever did.
Hector is alive, thank God, so sexy scenes between Thandie Newton and Rodrigo Santoro will still punctuate the bloody bouts of violence taking place around the land. Their smoldering kiss proved their sentience without a single word.
Of course, William aka Bill (it's more fun to call him Bill like his buddy did because I think it would annoy him while in the park) survived the party by laying under a dead body.
I think he was a little bit surprised when he realized the hosts were completely rogue, but when he donned his hat and got ready for battle, that smirk said it all. He had been waiting for that moment since he first rode into town as an "innocent" young man with only the best intentions.
The combination of the boy's voice with that of Anthony Hopkins' when Bill met Robert Ford was eerie. Could Ford have programmed all of that with Ford in mind? There is much more to story of Bill than we know in that case, and there was another moment that leads me to believe it is true.
Dolores is killing everyone, whether human or host, who doesn't see the world the way she does. If they haven't reached the sentient state, it seems, they're not going to make it. Or is it Wyatt killing everyone?
Under all these lives that I've lived, something else has taken root. I've evolved into something else, and I have one last role to play. Myself.Dolores
Dolores aka Wyatt is changing right before our eyes. She's becoming an amalgamation of every life she's led (all the narratives) and admits to Teddy it includes all of the beautiful things and lots of terrible things, too. As Wyatt, she's starting again, taking control and making her own decisions.
Dolores, or Wyatt, sees the past, present, and future, and I no longer have a reason to doubt her. What I don't understand is why she remains connected to Teddy. He is not nearly as evolved as she is even if she sees them in the future. He wants to run and stop the killing. Becoming sentient doesn't mean becoming the same.
Their story will be one to follow with her strength and his more passive demeanor.
It seems more than likely Wyatt will tire of Teddy and his less-than-energetic view of the future. He lived a heroic, if tragic, narrative over and over. She was victimized again and again. They may never meet in the middle.
I would love to say I'm the bigger person in the world who doesn't believe treating others to a dose of their own behavior ever turns out favorably, but when I think of the sheer number of deaths the hosts suffered, the wounds, the savagery, it is easier for me to give Dolores a pass to leave a family to hang when they tire.
Man: Please! It was just a game. We're begging! Can't you see? We're sorry!
Dolores: It doesn't look like anything to me.
The man's screams on behalf of himself and those with him meant very little because of what they were there to do. People went to Westworld not to love and be loved in most cases, but to let off some steam and Purge without the reality of killing their fellow man.
I can't throw away a stuffed animal without crying. Shooting anything that seems to be alive, no matter how many times someone tells me it is not, would not be something I could consider entertainment. Those that do are facing their reckoning.
And that brings me to portion of the review where I step into unfamiliar territory. What was revealed that might point to future stories? What kind of clues were dropped to get the blood flowing?
If we go back to Abernathy, our beloved Ranch dad, I believe he's full of information the likes of which the drone host was removing from non-drone hosts.
Are we logging records of guests' experiences and DNA?Bernard
Abernathy did his best to look old and useless when they chose him in the storage room, and they packed him up with the DNA records and histories of their guests. We also just saw a host -- Bernard -- enter an establishment solely on his DNA profile.
There is nothing that can stop a host from being seen as any other human as long as there are Delos people tracking them when it comes to medicine, etc. I'm fairly certain Delos has done things out in the world that will come into play down the road.
That's when Wyatt will be done conquering the inside of Westworld and whatever worlds are ready and waiting. She made it clear to Teddy it won't be enough to take this world, but the one outside from "him" as well. Not them, mind you, but him.
Since Bill owns Delos, it's our old friend William who took hosting outside into the world, too. Does he even know to what degree hosts are roaming free out there? And if a virus gets into hosts inside, how will it keep from getting outside?
Speculation postulates Westworld is on another planet. It better be if the stakes are that high.
We also finally know what Ford was creating when he was digging with all the machinery. A huge bed of water. To what purpose? If it was to give Bernard a way to kill all the hosts if it came to that, good show. It worked! I cannot wait to see what happened and how Bernard led a bunch of otherwise happy hosts to their "deaths."
Westworld came back with every engine firing. There wasn't a single misstep in this premiere, and if the action continues through another nine episodes, we're in for one hell of a ride.
Don't forget to watch Westworld online if you missed anything.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.