The most gruesome sequence in the season 2 premiere of Westworld is set to the music of Scott Joplin. As the jaunty song "The Entertainer" plays, the camera pans over scenes of carnage. Bodies are scattered outside the Mariposa saloon, and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) makes her season 2 debut atop a horse, gunning down guests in tuxedos and gowns.
Westworld is known for embedding recognizable songs in its soundtrack. Season 1 featured a string of covers of dark rock songs, like "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones. Series creator Jonathan Nolan said that these modern songs were supposed to allow viewers to "short-circuit or shorthand an idea or feeling." The songs were teaching modern audiences how to read a scene.
What do the other instances of song covers — whether on the player piano or in the background music – indicate for the show? Here's a running list of all the covers we've heard in Westworld, and their deeper significance. Like all aspects of Westworld, the meaning is there, if you know where to look.
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