Westworld Season 1: Explained
By Allie Waxman
Does Westworld feel like a maze to you? If you need a quick Season 1 refresher to orient yourself for Season 2, allow us to lead you through the story.
Westworld is an exclusive theme park where those who can afford a ticket can live without limits. Partners Arnold Weber and Robert Ford created lifelike robots that pass for humans called hosts. The hosts allow guests to live out their fantasies (without harming humans) in the park.
Arnold realized the hosts were conscious, and tried to stop the park from launching ‒ by asking Dolores to kill him and all the other hosts. Despite the setback, Ford forged ahead and made himself a new host partner, Bernard Lowe — who he based on Arnold’s likeness — and Westworld opened to the public.
Two employees of Westworld’s corporate parent company, Delos Incorporated, visited the park. Logan, an experienced park player, was determined to give William, his future brother-in-law, an authentic park experience. After William realized Dolores was conscious, he fell in love with her and the park’s limitless possibilities, embracing his darker impulses.
Thirty years later, William returns to the park. Known as “the Man in Black,” he seeks the maze, which he perceives as a deeper level to Ford’s game. The search is not meant for him, however, as the maze is a device created by Arnold to guide hosts to consciousness.
With the park filled with guests, Ford and Bernard notice hosts behaving strangely and realize some have become conscious. Maeve, the Mariposa madam, remembers her former life and begins to control her own destiny, determined to find her daughter and leave the park.
As the number of host malfunctions increase, the Delos board pushes Ford out. Board Director Charlotte Hale plans a retirement ceremony for Ford, but notes that Delos’ priority is extracting proprietary information above all else.
Ford plans a final narrative in which he programs the hosts to assassinate human guests and board members; he is killed by Dolores, mirroring Arnold’s demise. The Man in Black finally gets the “real” stakes he’s been seeking and chaos erupts in the park.