HBO left “Westworld” fans equally awed and confused when the first Season 3 trailer debuted in March without any of the locations or characters that have become the show’s trademarks. The one-and-a-half minute clip felt less like “Westworld” and more like a radical “Westworld” reboot as it introduced Aaron Paul’s new character making his way around various locations in future Los Angeles. According to creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the major setting change won’t be the only thing that feels different in “Westworld” Season 3.
“This season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. “I love shows that find a groove and hang with it for 100 episodes — that was never this show. 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’s assurance that “Westworld” Season 3 will be “less of a guessing game” should come as a relief to the fans and critics who were annoyed with the show’s divisive second season. While “Westworld” got its start with puzzle-box mysteries involving non-linear storytelling, the show went overboard in Season 2 with so many intersecting mysteries that the narrative left a lot of people baffled about what exactly was going on. From the sound of it, Nolan and Joy have streamlined the storytelling in Season 3 as to not make the same mistake twice.
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As for Paul’s mysterious new character, the showrunners revealed the “Breaking Bad” Emmy winner is playing a “construction worker in Los Angeles named Caleb who has a strong impact on Dolores.” Evan Rachel Wood is back as the fan favorite robot, who is experiencing “culture shock” now that she’s outside of Westworld and in the real world. Dolores’ experiences with Westworld visitors in previous seasons have shaped her outlook on humanity, but Paul’s character will complicate things.
“Aaron’s character will challenge Dolores’ notions about the nature of humanity,” Nolan added. “He’s the type of person who doesn’t get to go to Westworld.”
Entertainment Weekly reports the season will be “a bit more linear” compared to previous ones and will start directly after the events of the Season 2 finale. “We’re looking at the aftermath of the massacre in the park,” Joy said. “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.”
“Westworld” Season 3 won’t premiere on HBO until 2020.