‘Westworld’ Recap: Episode 2 Introduces New Characters and Robot Nightmares

Two weeks into HBO's new sci-fi soap opera, it's clear that Westworld, the show, is a lot like Westworld, the theme park: You're going to need to spend a lot of time there before you've even scratched the surface of what's really going on.

The mysteries of Westworld deepened in the HBO series' second episode on Sunday, October 9, as characters on both sides of the human/host divide started to get their first glimpses of a world beyond their own. There's William (Jimmi Simpson), a brand-new visitor to Westworld who got his first taste of the park's immersive peculiarities; there's Maeve (Thandie Newton), a longtime host who woke up to find herself in a true-life nightmare. And of course, there's the creepy black-clad gunslinger (Ed Harris), drawing ever closer to the heart of a whole new hidden world-within-Westworld. Read on for Us Weekly's recap.

An a-maze-ing experience

During last week's premiere, we met the sadistic Man in Black, a scalp-taking sexual predator who's trying to uncover Westworld's darkest secrets. This week, we learned that whoever he is, he's kind of a big deal; a Westworld technician observing the Man in Black's murderous rampage through the park was told, "That guy gets whatever he wants." 

And what does he want? To find the ultimate Westworld Easter egg: the entrance to a maze that contains … well, something the guests aren't supposed to see. Whatever it is, it looks like he's going to find it soon — at the end of the blood arroyo, where the snake lays its eggs.

Jimmi Simpson and Ben Barnes in Westworld.
Jimmi Simpson and Ben Barnes in 'Westworld' John P. Johnson/HBO

Welcome to Westworld

If you've been wondering how people get into Westworld to begin with, this week brought your answer in the form of a fresh storyline: William, a soon-to-be-married first-time visitor, arrived at the park with a lot of the same questions we had while watching last week. How do you get in? Is there an orientation? Where do you get your old-timey clothes? How do the guns know the difference between a host and a guest? 

As it turns out, the answer to most of these questions — for both William and the show's audience — is that you'll figure it out as you go along. Fortunately, he'll have help: William's friend Logan seems determined to help him (and by extension, us) skip the Disneyland-esque entry-level Westworld experience and dig deeper into the park's peculiarities.

Thandie Newton in Westworld.
Thandie Newton in 'Westworld' John P. Johnson/HBO

These violent delights have violent ends

Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) isn't the only old robot host in Westworld who's learned a new trick. Maeve, the tough-as-nails brothel madame, was plagued by nightmares of a horrific attack — which seem not to be dreams at all, but fragments of an old Westworld narrative in which Maeve played a wife and mother. 

The twist: Maeve has learned how to wake herself up from her bad dreams, which in this case meant that she regained consciousness back in the lab, right in the middle of having her innards cleaned out by a pair of freaked-out technicians. 

Between Maeve's extended look at the behind-the-scenes Westworld machine, and Dolores' discovery of a gun buried in her yard, it seems inevitable some of the park's guests are about to stop having the time of their lives. (That gun? We're guessing it's *not* designed to only kill robots.)

Tell Us: What do you think the Man in Black will find?

Westworld airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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