Westworld, more than any show since Lost, got away with everything. Its first season was one big misdirect that many people figured out more or less immediately, as the show hid the ball from us in increasingly obvious fashion. Unlike Big Little Lies or Girls, which both had episodes this week in which they created legitimate audience distrust and fear, Westworld stuck a kite in a tree and pretended we all weren't looking at it for about half its first season.
Still, the show worked in a way that other shows that rely on a central mystery could learn from. As in: It was about more than just keeping information from the viewing public, it actually told a coherent story that functioned on a moment-to-moment basis without dropping the viewer into a morass of second-guessing and fan theories. That's what recaps are for.
Co-showrunner Jonathan Nolan seems to have taken the success of his first season to heart.
"We are definitely not picking up right where we left off," Nolan told Entertainment Weekly at the show's recent Paleyfest panel.
Co-showrunner Lisa Joy, who is married to Nolan, got more cryptic.
"You're definitely going to see the aftermath and the effects of what happened," she said.
We also know that the show will explore how the park works in its second season. Perhaps that will be as the new company sweeps in and tries to reorganise it from scratch. Or maybe a gang will have the Man in Black strung up by his you-know-whats in the middle of the town square. We legit can't wait for next year.