westworld multiple timelines
We’ve also split the timeline into two sections: Events from around 2021 up to 2058, and then everything from “current day” in season one to the latest events in season three.
Since some events are not specified within the show, we’ve approximated their location in the timeline. Those events are marked with an asterisk.
Which brings us to this screenshot from a Season 2 trailer, taken by Reddit user “solomars.” In the image, someone (Tessa Thompson) is standing in front of what appears to be no less than three Bernards — all of which are offline.
In comparison to Season 2, the first season of Westworld is starting to look, for lack of a better description, simple as f—k. You’d be forgiven for assuming that, based on the dueling-narrative structure of Season 1, that the series is following a similar structure in Season 2 — but based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, that cannot possibly be the case. It looks as though Westworld is exploring multiple timelines, and may have been doing so since the very beginning.
What makes this all sting is that we know Jonathan Nolan can do better. He has a history of timeline twisted stories throughout his career, mainly in collaboration with his director brother, Chris: he authored the short story on which Memento was based, and co-wrote the screenplays for The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar. Three of those directly use non-linear, time-jumping narratives with finesse to tell emotionally-involved tales of loss (and Rises definitely watches with a similar fluidity). The parallels, especially between the intertwined The Prestige, are right there in Westworld Season 1; both could be told in chronological order, but the complex nature of the inter-character relationships are clearer, and the gut-punch reveals of the multiple twists more effective as a result.
The only aspect that remotely attempts to justify its inclusion is the host memory bleed, but even that doesn’t hinge on it and doesn’t factor into the storytelling anywhere near as much as other forms of time period jumping. That’s why the fact it wasn’t present in the premiere, which cost an extortionate amount and wound up repeatedly delayed, is so interesting: it’s almost like the showrunners never cracked the central consciousness debate and have instead fallen back on Nolan’s tried-and-tested time-muddling to plaster over that deficit.
At the heart of Westworld is Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), a humble rancher’s daughter who also happens to be the oldest “host” in the park. Season 1 was a journey of self-discovery for Dolores, as she slowly peeled back the veil of her reality to find the horrid truth underneath. Programmer Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) was also shaken to his core when he discovered that he himself was a host, designed by the park’s co-founder Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), and that his grief for his deceased son was actually just a backstory borrowed from Ford’s partner, Arnold.
The Maze pattern that the Man in Black keeps finding was actually just taken from a puzzle game that belonged to Arnold’s son, Charlie (Paul-Mikel Williams). Dolores finally reaches the center of the Maze when she realizes that the voice she has heard guiding her is her own voice – not Arnold’s, or anyone else’s.
The episode switches back to the second timeline (the one we saw first) right at the end. Bernard and all the Delos security guys finding a slew of dead Hosts, including Teddy. Bernard has no idea how they all died exactly, except for the fact that he says вЂњI killed them all.вЂќ Now, the season is set up to reveal exactly how and why all this happened. How much time passed in-between Bernard teaming up with Charlotte and the scene where he wakes up on the beach? It seems like it couldnвЂ™t have been more than just couple days, and yet, it feels like itвЂ™s going to be several episodes, perhaps the entire season before we see everything that happened. Hell, who knows? Westworld might not even explain everything missing from BernardвЂ™s memory until season 3.
About a third of the way through the episode, we catch up with the first half of BernardвЂ™s journey, right when the season 1 finale ended. He and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) take refuge in a barn, and then set out on a quest together to find one specific host: Peter Abernathy, who Charlotte refers to as an вЂњinsurance policy.вЂќ In the first season, this guy was a malfunctioning host that was supposed to be DoloresвЂ™s вЂњfather,вЂќ but went psycho and started saying вЂњthese violent delights have violent ends.вЂќ Why this guy is an insurance policy for investors in the park is not explained at all.