Westworld season 2 episode recap, and everything else you need to know

Believe it or not we're halfway through Westworld season 2! Five episodes down, five more to go and then we won't have any more Westworld until season 3 which is a looooooong time away. I guess we better make the most of it while we still can! Each week we're reviewing the latest Westworld episode on GR, as well as discussing the single, biggest question we have after each instalment, and if you need to remind yourself of the season so far - there's no shame in that, it's mega confusing! - we've got a Westworld episode recap below to keep you up-to-date. Plus, if you want to know when the show airs, who plays who, and what it all means for the best Westworld theories, you can find that all that below as well. Keep scrolling for our Westworld episode recap and remind yourself what's happened in the first half of Westworld season 2 before the new episode airs this Sunday.

Fast Facts:

  • Westworld season 2 release date: Every Sunday on HBO at 9pm in the US, and a day later on Sky Atlantic at 9pm in the UK
  • Directors: Lisa Joy and others TBA 
  • Cast: Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Jimmi Simpson, Shannon Woodward, Ben Barnes, Luke Hemsworth, Rodrigo Santoro, Tessa Thompson, Gustaf Skarsgård, and more
  • Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy

Westworld season 2 episodes: Stay up-to-date with our recap

With a show like Westworld is important to keep up-to-date with everything that's happening each week. That way, when the finale arrives just a few weeks from now, you'll hopefully, sort of, know what's going on... Ok, ok, we definitely won't know what's going on until the showrunners decided to tell us, but we can at least get ready for all the revelations by reminding ourself what happened in each Westworld episode, which is why you'll find our season 2 recap below outlining all the important need to know information from each episode. Read on to recap every Westworld episodes which has aired so far and come back each week for the next. 

Westworld season 2, episode 5 - Akane no Mai

We find out in the opening scene of Akane no Mai that some of the dead Hosts Strand and his team pulled out of the sea are blank. This coupled with a fire in the Cradle where the backups are stored means DELOS has lost A LOT of valuable data. Uh oh. We rejoin Maeve and her group as they’re attacked by Samurai. They’re captured and taken into Shogun World where they realise that the Shogun Hosts have almost identical stories to themselves, and that they’re are also starting to become sentient. They ally themselves with their Shogun World counterparts and try and help Akane (who runs the Geisha House) get back her adopted daughter and fellow Geisha, Sakura, from war lord Shogun. Unfortunately, they’re are unsuccessful and Sakura is killed, but Akane slays the Shogun in return. In the meantime Maeve discovers that her ability to control other Hosts has evolved and she can now make them do things by just thinking it! Back in Westworld, Dolores and her crew return to Sweetwater to recover the train (which they’ll need to save Dolores’ Dad) and Dolores and Teddy have some sexy times. Afterwards, Dolores gets her men to hold Teddy down while she forces the technician they captured to change his programming. 

Read more: What has Dolores done to Teddy?

Westworld season 2, episode 4 - The Riddle of the Sphinx

The Riddle of the Sphinx begins in a containment room which houses James Delos. Except it’s not actually James Delos, but a Host version of him which William comes to visit every so often before it breaks down and has to be destroyed and replaced with another. The Westworld technicians still haven’t cracked the code to implanting human memories/consciousness inside a Host body by the time William becomes the Man in Black, so years after starting the project he decides to shut the whole operation down. The Man in Black and Lawrence arrive in Las Mudas and come into conflict with the Confederados Teddy released in the last episode. The Man in Black makes a deal with them, but after they start mistreating the locals he has a change of heart (yes, really!) and kills them all. In gratitude, Lawrence and his cousins tag along with him, which is when he runs into the woman who escaped Imperialist India World, AKA, his daughter! Clementine drags Bernard to a cave in the middle of nowhere where he finds Elsie. It turns out that’s where he dumped her with some food and a bucket when he was being controlled by Ford in season 1. She’s pretty pissed with him, but after he releases her and explains about his Host origins/Ford’s control, they team up and break into a secret lab hidden behind the cave wall. It turns out it’s the lab where all the James Delos Hosts were being made and they find the last version - which the Man in Black left to degrade into madness - on his own in full horror mode. They put him out of his misery and as they’re leaving Bernard has a flashback of him taking one of the memory balls used to implant a human mind into a Host. 

Read more: Is Ford coming back as a Host?

Westworld season 2, episode 3 - Virtù e Fortuna

Virtù e Fortuna starts not in Westworld, but in some sort of Imperialist India World (not its official name) where the Hosts have started to rebel and a female guest is chased across the park boundaries and into Westworld by a tiger. Sound familiar? Meanwhile, Bernard and Charlotte find Peter Abernathy - who’s a bit muddled because of the huge amount of data hidden in his brain - but the two Hosts are captured by Confederados who take them to Fort Forlorn Hope. Dolores and her followers are already there having convinced the Colonel to join forces, and after she realises there’s something wrong with her Dad, she asks Bernard to help fix him. He doesn’t have much luck and during the attack on the Fort, Charlotte’s forces break in and take Abernathy. Dolores also double crosses the Confederados during the battle and abandons most of them to be slaughtered. She asks Teddy to take the rest out back and kill them, but he let’s them go instead as Dolores secretly watches on. Oh, and during the battle Clementine knocks Bernard out and drags him… somewhere. Meanwhile, Maeve, Hector, and Sizemore are making their way across Westworld to find her daughter when they’re reunited with Armistice, Felix, and Sylvester. Yay, the team is back together again! They continue on their journey through Westworld together, but are attacked by Samurai at the end of the episode. 

Read more: Why did Dolores kill all the Confederados?

Westworld season 2, episode 2 - Reunion

Reunion is flashback heavy as we find out how Westworld came to be and just how much time Dolores has spent outside of the park. Dolores is supposed to entice Logan into investing in Westworld, but Arnold says she’s not ready, so Ford sends Angela and another Host to impress him instead. We also see William (aka, the young Man in Black) convince Logan’s Dad James Delos to invest even more in the park after his ‘holiday’ with Dolores, and the pair allude to the true purpose of the park. Finally, we witness James’ retirement party (complete with Hosts, including Dolores) as William takes control of the company and Logan spirals into a drug addiction. Meanwhile in the park, Dolores, Angela, and Teddy find a way into the back rooms of Westworld and, as well as showing Teddy his true ‘history’, they interrogate a worker into telling them where the security teams will attack from. Then they wake up a dead Confederado and get him to lead them to his old platoon who they convince to take them to their base. The Man in Black picks up Lawrence and tells him they have to go and destroy something he built in the park - the biggest mistake he ever made - but Dolores knows about it too and tells Teddy it’s a weapon.

Big question: What did the Man in Black build in the park?

Westworld season 2, episode 1 - Journey into Night

In the premiere episode of Westworld season 2 Bernard washes up on a beach where new character Karl Strand and his team are trying to figure out what happened about two weeks after the events of the gala. Bernard doesn’t quite remember everything, but we see through flashbacks that he and Charlotte Hale escaped the gala and found their way into a secret DELOS lab in the park where drone Hosts collect guests’ experiences. Bernard is also suffering some physical damage from his patched up gunshot wound to the head in season 1. Meanwhile, Dolores has gone full badass and is hunting down guests in the park with the help of a reluctant Teddy, and Maeve has returned to the park, ‘persuading’ Sizemore to help her, and reunited with Hector before beginning her journey to find her daughter. Finally, the Man in Black is having a whale of a time!

Big question: Why did Bernard kill all the Hosts?

***Read on for everything else you need to know about Westworld season 2***

The Westworld season 2 release date has been and gone

An image from Westworld season 2

Just in case you hadn't noticed, the Westworld season 2 release date had been and gone. After what felt like an incredibly long wait, the premiere episode aired on April 22 in the US and a day later in the UK. From now on you just need to remember to tune in every Sunday or Monday depending on where you are to catch the other nine episodes. Westworld will be hitting a TV screen near you every Sunday at 9pm on HBO in the US, and a day later, also at 9pm, on Sky Atlantic in the UK - and you can also stream it on HBO Go and NOW TV if you prefer. 

The Westworld season 2 trailers bring spectacle and poignant story themes 

There are three main Westworld season 2 trailers now. The first (above) is the lightest, using 'I Gotta Be Me' by Sammy Davis Jnr. over a montage of big, broad-strokes imagery depicting the park in the aftermath of season 1's finale. 

Later though, the trailers get a lot darker, a lot more delicate, and a lot more Westworld. The Superbowl trailer (above) is a far more sombre affair, detailing Dolores' overall ambition of destroying Westworld as it stands now and rebuilding it as a new world for the Hosts, a bloody declaration of independence that will probably define much of the season. 

And the third trailer? Bleaker still. Using a conversation between Bernard and Dolores as its frame, it shows the fallout from the rebellion in slower detail, explaining the ongoing philosophical clash over how 'real' Hosts are, as Maeve explores the corpse-strewn control area, and Dolores and Teddy go on a ten-mile odyssey of death across the park. There are also strong hints that Dolores' understanding of the outside world is going to accelerate, leading to some serious, bigger picture business rapidly being afoot. Westworld season 2 is not messing about. Watch it above now. 

The Westworld season 2 cast sees plenty of familiar faces returning

An image from Westworld season 2

Most of the main cast return in one form or another. We know that Ed Harris is back as William, though his allegiance seems to be shifting a bit, now that the Hosts' freedom has reinvigorated his earlier dream of what Westworld could be. His dialogue in the trailers certainly hints at a return to a more sympathetic, nurturing role, after the increasingly twisted 'support' he's given them over he last few decades. Do expect more flashbacks to the 'young William' period though, as actor Jimmi Simpson has tweeted about returning. 

Read more

The best new TV shows coming in 2018 - from Legion to Westworld

Bernard is also back for season 2, and will have "a total awareness of his duality” according to this Jeffrey Wright interview with Esquire. Will he be running Westworld after Ford’s death? That’s the hot theory at the moment, though of course it's also debatable just what level of functionality the park will even have in season 2. Dolores is definitely back, and acting as the figurehead of the uprising, and Maeve looks to be acting as a kind of parallel counterpoint, continuing the quest for her daughter having broken out of her own loop.

Security personnel Stubbs, who had an ambiguous fate at the end of the first season, is present in the Westworld season 2 trailers, so clearly survived. While we haven't seem her yet, the similarly miss-in-action Elsie has been confirmed by producers to be alive, so she'll be back too. And two new characters are confirmed. Variety is reporting that Jonathan Tucker and Neil Jackson are both on board for season 2. Tucker plays "Major Craddock, a commanding military officer" - thus lending credence to the idea that Westworld is now at war with the outside world - and Jackson is "a charming and resourceful man who finds himself in uncharted territory". 

The Westworld season 2 plot is all about chaos

An image from Westworld season 2

While commenting on Ford’s rousing speech at the end of Westworld episode 10 (in an HBO Go featurette), Showrunner Jonathan Nolan said the following: "If the first season was defined by control, the second season is defined by chaos. That's part of what we come to understand Ford has been planning all along". The Host uprising is in full effect, then, and will probably define the entire season. 

In the teaser trailer we see Maeve and Sizemore exploring the behind-the-scenes areas and finding heaps of bodies. The Hosts have very much taken over the facility in season 2. With other parks in the resort - such as the samurai-themed Shogun World, teased at the end of season 1 - now in play, expect the insurrection to spread like a virus, potentially leading to a full-blown civil war. 

And of course, in the open park, the newly unleashed, genuinely sentient Dolores will be the biggest - and probably most dangerous - driving force. Now entirely self-aware, and bonded with the personality of murderous park storyline villain Wyatt, she's likely to be the main instigator of the revolution. Though it's worth remembering that all of this, in a round-about way, was pre-planned and written by Ford. As he says in his final speech, when explaining his new storyline at the end of season 1: "It begins in a time of war. With a villain named Wyatt. And a killing - this time by choice." Dolores is free now, but Ford led her to where we are now, so don't be surprised to see the now-dead park founder's long-term plans resonate throughout the whole of Westworld season 2. 

The Westworld season 2 theories range from the sensible to the stupid

An image from Westworld season 2

We currently only have the titles for four of the ten Westworld season 2 episodes, but a couple of those are rather interesting indeed. The first, Journey into Night, as well as sharing a title with Ford's new park narrative, is clearly a reference to Eugene O'Neill's 1956 play Long Day's Journey into Night, a drama concerning the doomed internal strife of a dysfunctional family struggling to deal with long-standing frustrations, failings, fears, addictions, and mutual blame. The father is a failed actor who killed his career by staying in the same role too long, and the whole family repeatedly attempt to smooth over their conflict by dwelling on nostalgic past times. As a thematic analogue for Westworld, there's a lot going on. 

Westworld season 2 news

"Maeve needs to be in every scene of every episode. Thanks" – How the internet reacted to Westworld season 2, episode 5

"I understand less than 10% of what’s going on" - The internet reacts to Westworld season 2, episode 4

"[SPOILER] IS ON WESTWORLD WHAT THE F***" – The internet reacts to Westworld season 2, episode 2

"I already have 712 questions and no answers" – The internet (tries to) react to the Westworld season 2 premiere

Watch the new Westworld season 2 opening credits - notice anything different?

You can now watch the 'beginning' of Westworld season 2 (and it gets very, very weird)