It appears the makers of Westworld Season 3 don’t have to worry about the audience figuring out the twists and turns too early this time around. Season 1 of the ambitious HBO sci-fi series famously saw fans—and specifically redditors—correctly guessing major reveals after just the first episode, while the show didn’t get around to these revelations until much later in the season. The show’s second season was a bit more successful in hiding its mysteries, but when it comes to the radically different Westworld Season 3, it appears fans are in for something that’s a bit less of a guessing game.
Speaking with EW, co-showrunner Jonathan Nolan says the third season of Westworld is more experiential and less puzzle-box:
“This is season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers.”
The Season 2 finale of Westworld saw the robot hosts of the Western-themed park staging an uprising against the human guests and technicians, which led to Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores stepping foot in the outside world for the very first time.
The first teaser trailer for Westworld season 3 previewed a very different kind of show this time around, one in which we find the escaped hosts interacting with the world outside. Nolan says the plan was always to change the show significantly from season to season, so don’t expect some sort of reset:
“I love shows that find a groove and hang with it for 100 episodes — that was never this show,” Nolan says. “We always wanted every season to find our characters in radically different circumstances. And with a cast this talented, watching the metamorphosis of all these characters is one of the most fun parts.”
Nolan and co-showrunner Lisa Joy were mum on who, exactly, is returning from the previous two seasons aside from Wood (and they were similarly mum going into Season 2), but the two said that new series regular Aaron Paul plays a Los Angeles construction worker who “has a strong impact” on Dolores. Paul’s character Caleb is described as the type of person who doesn’t get to go to Westworld, teasing an exploration of socio-economic themes this year. Indeed, Dolores has only ever interacted with insanely rich or privileged humans, so it’ll be interesting to see how her view of humanity shifts when she crosses paths with a blue collar individual.
Joy did reveal that Season 3 picks up immediately where Season 2 left off (but that doesn’t mean we stay there):
“We’re looking at the aftermath of the massacre in the park,” Joy says. “After all they went through to get out of the park, Dolores finally got what she wanted, so we wanted to see how she interacts with the world and what her plan is. That’s a part of the story we were excited to tell.”
There are several locations this year but so far modern day L.A. is the only one confirmed. Whether we return to the park, to Shogun World, or get to finally see the other parks is up for debate. But while Season 3 may be a more linear season structure-wise, I’m sure there are still plenty of surprises in store. As a fan of the show for better or worse, I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.
Westworld Season 3 premieres on HBO in 2020.