HBO’s sci-fi epic Westworld is back for a fourth season and long gone are the days of quaint prairie-living robots and puzzle box mysteries. Over the last three seasons, the show has blown the doors off its own concept, figuratively and literally, unleashing the impossibly realistic “hosts” into the world outside of the unending loop of theme park stories, only to dig into deeper and more troubling mysteries about society at large. In Season 3, we got an up close and personal look at all the ways artificial technology has impacted humanity and hosts alike. Now, in Season 4, the show is attempting to push its boundaries even further.
Put lightly, Westworld Season 4 is just as dense and complicated as the seasons before it. The reality of the vast techno-conspiratorial empire that was Delos (responsible for the host-run theme parks) and Incite (responsible for the massive super AI secretly using people’s data to engineer their lives in the real world) has come to light, leaving the world a more dangerous place for everyone–though, in the intervening time, most people seem to have done their best to get on with their lives and push past any reservations they may have about the tech they use on a day to day basis. Caleb (Aaron Paul) has settled down with a family, Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) has hidden away off grid for a while, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is going by a new name after having apparently lost her memories and been shoved into a quaint civilian life where she scripts NPCs for a video game of some kind.