The theory of "William is the man in black" is perfectly direct compared to Bernard's experience in the premiere of the second season.
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Who is ready for another cycle around the clock?
Among the many reasons why the first season of Westworld captured the imagination of fearsome fanatics thirsty for theories, the relationship of the show with time was front and center. It was the key ingredient behind some of the most important twists of season one: William of Jimmi Simpson and Man in Black of Ed Harris were the same person, interacting with different periods in the history of the park; Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was immersed in both moments (and then in some) simultaneously, due to the differences between how hosts and humans experience time and memories; Jeffrey Wright was playing not only with Bernard (secretly a host, a big turn in himself), but also with Arnold, the man who co-founded the park and who hosted the technology with Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins).
Given the critical nature of the time for the narration of the series, and given the creators that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy said about wanting to tell stories about Westworld hosts over long periods of history, it should not be surprising that the second season continue with the temporary tradition. Here are some of the ways in which Westworld once again handles time as a weapon, based on the premiere events of the season:
• The first scene of the second season apparently focuses on Arnold (Wright) and Dolores (Wood), talking about the nature of dreams. If Wright is really playing Arnold at the moment, then we are dealing with the remote past, thirty-odd years ago. However, there are reasons to wonder if Wright is playing Bernard in this scene; If that is the case, it is difficult to say exactly when this scene occurs. It could be very far in the future; it could be somewhere within the space of two weeks that Westworld's communications have been reduced (more on that below); it could be a last conversation between Dolores and Bernard before all hell broke loose, even if there is no indication that Bernard had Arnold's special interest in the first host of Westworld. The possibilities are wide open, and appropriately hypnotizing.
• After the first scene, Bernard experiences temporary flashes, glimpses of his own existence, some scenes we've seen before and others that are completely new and likely to be released in the following episodes. The way in which Bernard's cognitive journey is perceived is quite similar to the way in which the program represented Dolores's relationship with time in the first season. Now that the program has established how time and memory work within hosts, Westworld is free to be honest with the viewer when someone like Bernard lives several different memories at once.
• Who knows how many timelines are in the mix, but there are at least two: the time period immediately after Dolores murders Ford, and one that exists approximately two weeks later. On the surface, each story at the premiere takes place in the first of the two options, with one exception: Bernard operates alongside Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) and the largest security team at Quality Assurance, trying to make sense of what happened when all communications with Westworld ceased two weeks earlier. Are there other periods of time at stake that we should consider? Almost certainly, but for now, the series does not hide the fact that two different moments in the history of Westworld are currently at stake.
• With the two set time periods, there is a huge tension in the final images of the premiere: a sea full of dead hosts, apparently all of them, with Bernard identifying himself as the murderer. How and why has this happened? And what is the complete image? Because there is clearly something lurking beneath the revelation. The image is striking for several reasons, among which is to evoke the dream that Arnold and / or Bernard described for Dolores at the beginning of the episode. Is that Bernard in the future, remembering this anguished moment that he is experiencing "now," or is Arnold in the past, telling a story that Dolores is using for a purpose not yet revealed? After all …
• Dolores is still a key piece in the relationship of the series with time. While tormenting a trio of human captives, Dolores evokes her sweet and innocent character "daughter of the rancher" and "Wyatt" inside with alarming ease. Later, talking to Teddy, Dolores says he can "see everything so clearly: the past, the present, the future." With everything else she has learned about the nature of her own reality, Dolores apparently understands how to live at different times at the same time. Could the leader of the robot revolution have access to a past meeting with Arnold, and mount a creepy death that reflects one of his dreams for some unknown strategic purpose? She absolutely could, and there are reasons to believe that she would definitely do it.
• Finally, Dolores mentions that she can see the future … one imagines she is speaking metaphorically, right? There is no chance that she can actually see what will come next, right? Well, we've underestimated the hosts (and Nolan and Joy) before; It would be wise not to do it again.
What do you think of how the second season is playing with the time so far? What else have you noticed about the different timelines of the program? It sounds off in the comments below and continues our coverage at THR.com/Westworld .