The fourth installment of HBO’s dystopian drama Westworld will make your head explode — but in a good way. It picks up seven years after the 2020 Season 3 finale, in which clever robot Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) died after freeing humans from the mind control of a massive A.I. (This despite years of abuse at the hands of mortals when she was one of the hosts in the Westworld theme park.) We learn that a human/robot war followed, but the mortals came out on top.
Wood is back, but this time as a new, flesh-and-blood character, Christina, a career-focused twenty-something living in a big city, in a world that’s mostly healed from the conflict. It’s all so…normal: she’s a writer who wants more fulfillment, has a roommate (Ariana DeBose, West Side Story), and has gone on a lot of bad dates. But “like Dolores, there’s this feeling she has that something isn’t right,” Wood says. “She doesn’t know if somebody’s watching her. She doesn’t know what exactly is going on. But she knows she’s searching for a question — not even an answer, but what is the question to ask about what I’m noticing or feeling about my world.”
Uneasiness is a feeling anyone who gets near brutally ambitious bot Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) this season will know well. She was last glimpsed overseeing a facility that was producing an army of hosts. One, a robot replica of William/the Man in Black (Ed Harris), killed his human doppelganger.
“[Charlotte] wants a future for the host kind that honors how special they are as beings,” Thompson says. “She’ll go to great lengths to get us there. If the ethics of the pursuit are very dark or murky, I think she has a very righteous vision.”
Human Caleb (Aaron Paul) who wrapped last season fighting alongside Dolores and gutsy android Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) reunites with the latter. We’ll also see flashbacks to the two of them during the war. It’s a strong “cross-species” bond that’s unusual in the divided world, and Paul hints that the flashbacks will reveal why the two are so close as Season 4 begins.
As the peace reveals itself to be less stable than anyone thought, androids Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) do their bit to save the world — and humans. But the fight could be so bitter that this time no one survives. “Bernard has always been to some extent, unfortunately, conflicted between host and humans,” Wright says. “He has a foot in each grave.”
Check out the video above for our interview!
Westworld, Season 4 Premiere, Sunday, June 26, 9/8c, HBO