Over the past two seasons, HBO’s Westworld has delivered mind-bending, time-jumping, narrative-twisting sci-fi. And it’s been an awesome ride. Now it’s coming back for Westworld season 3.
Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy took the concept of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film about a futuristic theme park full of robots run amok and gave it an elaborate makeover. Full of themes about humanity and technology, with layered timelines, and fantastic performances—Evan Rachel Wood works on some crazy higher plane—it’s simply one of the best, most interesting shows on TV, genre or otherwise. There’s a very good reason the internet lights up the day after each episode with discussions, breakdowns, and sprawling conspiracy theories that parse every last element—there’s a lot to unravel.
Despite the success and acclaim, Westworld takes its sweet time between seasons. The first season wrapped up in December of 2016. Season two didn’t premiere until April 2018, and we haven’t seen any new episodes since June of that year.
Maybe Nolan, Joy, and HBO only like to deliver the good in even-numbered years (there’s probably an in-depth Reddit thread about it somewhere), because season three of Westworld is slated to return in 2020. At some point, we don’t know exactly when.
Those who watched season two know that the robot uprising in a theme park set-up has run its course. As such, season three of Westworld promises major changes: new characters, new settings, old characters in new settings, escaping the confines of the park, and probably some things we can’t even conceive of yet.
With that in mind, we decided to dig into Westworld season three and look at everything we know so far.
When Does Westworld Season 3 Premiere?
The premiere date for Westworld Season 3 was first revealed in the following teaser, which starts with Trump’s impeachment…
Westworld season 3 debuts on HBO March 15, 2020.
We’ve also already seen a couple of teasers and trailers for the new season of Westworld, including one from San Diego Comic-Con back in July. Here’s the most comprehensive Westworld season 3 trailer we’ve gotten so far…
Who’s Coming Back For Westworld Season 3?
The end of season two saw major changes to the fabric of the series. A lot of characters met their end, or at least appeared to—we know how death doesn’t always stick when it comes to Westworld. We’ve heard that the likes of Shannon Woodward, Jimmi Simpson, and Anthony Hopkins won’t return, but we should still see some familiar faces.
Chief among these is Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores Abernathy. The same can be said about Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard Lowe/Arnold Weber. That makes sense, these have always been the two main protagonists, and we’ve seen both in the previously released footage of Westworld season three.
Speaking of key players, Ed Harris will also be back as William, aka The Man in Black. Though the character returns, we will reportedly only see the older, Ed Harris version, not the younger iteration played by Simpson.
Other significant characters set to return include Luke Hemsworth’s head of security, Ashley Stubbs. Tessa Thompson will be back, though not as the true Charlotte Hale. When last we saw her, Dolores’ consciousness was riding around in a Charlotte Hale-shaped host, so we’ll have to wait and see just how big a role Thompson plays.
Perhaps most surprising, Thandie Newton’s Maeve also returns. Last we saw her in season two, she was shot and killed while protecting her daughter and others as they entered the Valley Beyond/The Sublime. But Newton was confirmed to return, and we also saw her fighting Nazis in what appears to be World War II. How that’s possible remains to be seen, but it should be a lot of fun to find out.
New Season, New Setting
Or at least a partially new setting. While season two showed off the world outside the boundaries of Westworld, season three promises to expand on that. It looks like we’ll see more of the other parks under the Delos umbrella—there’s been talk of others, as well as a few adventures in others, like the Raj, but perhaps there will be more on that front.
The most intriguing part, however, is the real world, the world completely outside of the parks. From the trailers, it appears the bulk of the action takes place in the everyday world. And what we see certainly looks like a grim dystopia. We see the exterior trappings of a sleek, slick futuristic society, but that idyllic surface hides something rough and ugly underneath.
Up to this point, we’ve only really seen a few segments of the population. There have been the ultra-wealthy who can afford to spend $40K a day to visit Westworld, those wealthy enough to own Westworld, and those who work for Delos. This last caste is split into two categories, executive and high-level players, and employees lower in the pecking order, security guards, lab techs, and the like.
In Westworld season three we’ll get a glimpse at a broader spectrum of the social caste of this particular future. At least a significant portion of this will be thanks to a new point of view character, Caleb, played by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. Caleb is a construction worker, described as the kind of person who could never go to Westworld. He’s the working-class foil to the tuxedo-clad, champagne-fundraiser crowd we’ve seen thus far.
According to Paul, Caleb offers a new perspective. The actor says, “He takes the audience outside of Westworld and what it’s like to live amongst the people that created Westworld and sort of where we’re at as a society.”
Westworld season 3 also offers viewers a look at a different class of robots. We’re familiar with the hosts, who are designed to mimic humans down to the slightest detail. But they’re not the only ones. The trailers show us a number of more utilitarian automatons—we see what looks like construction bots, security droids, and self-driving vehicles. This could provide interesting thematic ground to cover.
Right now, we don’t know a ton about the plot of season 3 of Westworld. Any guesses at this stage seem like a fool’s errand given the complexity of earlier seasons. Called “The New World,” and slated for eight episodes, it reportedly picks up immediately after the events of season two and deals with Dolores learning how the real world treats robots.
Though we don’t expect Westworld season 3 to be entirely straightforward, Jonathan Nolan indicated it may not be such a tangled maze. He told EW, “This season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers.”
And that’s not all. Because this is Westworld, they’ve already started with the viral marketing push. A video and website introduce a new tech conglomerate called Incite. Their aim is to solve the world’s big, impossible problems, though their role in the show remains in the shadow. Perhaps there will be some corporate intrigue to attend to.
New Westworld Characters
Since season 3 of Westworld opens things up, it stands to reason we’ll meet a variety of new characters to go with the old standbys. Caleb appears to be the most significant one, though Westworld is known for playing things close to the vest, so who knows. He is the only one we have any actual details about, but he’s not the only new face in the crowd.
Though Caleb is a construction worker, there appears to be more to him than just that. In the trailers, we watch him pull off what appears to be a heist or bank robbery. We don’t know if he’s a tried and true criminal or a man pushed to desperate measures by his circumstances. Though a shot where it looks like he’s visiting an ailing elderly relative in the hospital could indicate huge medical bills or an expensive procedure he needs money for.
In his heisting, Caleb is joined by writer/actor/producer Lena Waithe and NFL running back Marshawn Lynch. There aren’t any additional details about their characters, but they appear to be friends or at least part of Caleb’s crew.
In addition, musician and producer Kid Cudi also joins the party. Again, there’s not much information, but the trailers show Caleb visiting him in prison, so they have some sort of friendship or connection.
Finally, French actor Vincent Cassell also joins Westworld season three. Shocker, there’s no information available about his character, not even a name. That said, in the trailer, he looks like a businessman or someone with a substantial amount of power. Perhaps he’s an executive of some sort at Delos or Incite. Like almost everything else thus far, we’ll have to wait and see.
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