'Westworld' open for bloody business in Season 2 Super Bowl trailer

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Whether you’re a white hat or a black hat, you’ll be thrilled to hear that HBO is reopening the gates to Westworld sooner than anticipated. Season 2 of the network’s hit sci-fi series will premiere on April 22 per the closing moments of Sunday night’s Super Bowl LII sneak peek. Given that the first season debuted in the fall of 2016, a spring launch date for its sophomore year was arguably the biggest plot twist in the minute-and-a-half-long clip that otherwise kept the show’s secrets close to the vest. And Westworld‘s devoted clientele took to Twitter to express their excitement at being able to re-enter the futuristic theme park in only three months.

Narrated by series star Evan Rachel Wood, the trailer kicks off with some of the sweeping Old West vistas that the frontier-themed park is famous for. But then things shift to a darker key as a herd of bulls races headlong into a squad of gun-wielding guards, reminding us how fantasy collided head-on with reality in the Season 1 finale. In the closing moments of that episode, Westworld’s artificial human hosts, led by a newly awakened Dolores (Wood), turn on the actual flesh-and-blood humans populating the park, including their own creator, Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Season 2 appears to pick up in the aftermath of that violent uprising, with Dolores musing, “This world deserves to die.” While an instrumental version of Kanye West’s “Runaway” plays on the soundtrack, we see glimpses of that death unfolding with casualties sure to mount on both sides.

Since the internet was so successful at cracking some of the secrets in Westworld‘s freshman year, it’s no surprise that Twitter is already hard at work gathering up the bread crumbs series masterminds Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy baked into this teaser. For example, here’s visual evidence that Ben Barnes will return as William’s obnoxious brother-in-law Logan, despite the fact that the last time we saw him, he was headed into Westworld’s wilderness. Based on the cocktail party surroundings, he appears to be in the real world… or is he?

In other notable return, Clementine Pennyfeather (Angela Sarafyan) is also back in commission after meeting a violent end toward the end of the first season. “I feel this is the end for Clementine unfortunately,” the actress told us back in 2016. We’ve never been so thrilled to be lied to.

But for sheer coolness, nothing in the teaser could top this shot of Thandie Newton striding into the frame as Maeve, the fan-favorite host who remains a wild card as the battle for Westworld unfolds.

“I found that the character went from this really tragic vulnerability to enormous strength and power,” Newton told Yahoo Entertainment last year. Nothing says power like a slow-motion power walk.

Westworld premieres on April 22 on HBO.

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