This new season of “Westworld,” debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, promises another serving of violent delights while exhibiting an increased sense of awareness on the part of series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and its writers.
Joy, Nolan and their fellow producers craft their reply by making the second season's opening episodes feel like one long, bruising shout-out to "Time's Up" via Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton).
Out in the park's synthetic plains and meadows Dolores, the sweet rancher’s daughter who paints landscapes and marvels at the splendor of creation, snarls as she hunts the humans responsible for her torment.
At its start “Westworld” gazes at humanity’s propensity for casual cruelty with regard to artificial intelligence, evolving midway through its first 10 episodes into an existential examination of conscience and consciousness.
And one of this season's smarter strategies involves teaming Newton, playing a queen in love with the new crown she’s acquired, with Quarterman, the show’s version of an entitled male perpetually angling to get ahead.
So if you scoffed at the meandering progression of season 1’s first half, you’re bound to appreciate the firmed-up drive and sense of purpose in “Westworld” 2.0, in the way gamers clamor for expansion packs, and technophiles adore upgrades.
They intentionally cop to leaning on well-trodden tropes; in an upcoming episode a character even admits as much, defending himself when he’s caught in an act of self-plagiarism by complaining about how difficult it is to maintain any originality when dealing with tales that have so many moving parts.
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- 'Westworld' Star Thandie Newton Says She Will Also Receive Equal Pay for Season 3TheWrap
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- Why Westworld Season 2 Will Have Less NudityCinema Blend
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