Week in ‘Westworld’: The Big ‘Breaking Bad’ Cameo and Timeline Twists, Explained

The Hollywood Reporter rounds up the past week’s news, interviews and more about Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s genre-bending HBO drama.

For the first time in its existence, Westworld launched right into the action at the start of “Reunion,” with a cold open set in the distant past.

It was a jarring way to start the second episode of the series, as the opening credits sequence didn’t even begin until nearly 10 minutes into the hour. And it was far from the only surprise of the episode. Indeed, for a show so steeped in an ever-twisting narrative, “Reunion” was notable for just how much it revealed and implied. 

With that in mind, there was more than enough to cover over the past week in Westworld. Catch up on all of our stories here on THR, before the season’s third episode airs on Sunday night:

• The Park’s True Purpose Stands Revealed: Since the start of the series, the true motivations of the Delos board responsible for funding the park have remained a mystery. “Reunion” pulled the curtain back on that sinister agenda, if not quite all the way. Our recap covers those revelations, and more.

• What That Secret “Weapon” Means for Season 2: The Man in Black (Ed Harris) calls it his greatest mistake. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) views it as a weapon. Whatever it is these two parties seek, it seems clear that an informational nuclear bomb is in play, at the very least. Here’s our analysis of what that means.

• How That Big “Bad” Cameo Came to Life: It’s the crossover almost nobody expected: Giancarlo Esposito, alias Gus Fring of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame, launching into Westworld with an unanticipated cameo appearance. THR spoke with Esposito about how it all came together.

• Has Westworld Blasted One Major Theory Out of the Sky?: Where exactly is the park? Many fans have held onto the belief that it exists somewhere off-planet. “Reunion,” however, seems to dispel this theory, grounding Westworld firmly on Earth. 

• Another Major Reunion is Coming Next: The preview for the next episode of Westworld, “Virtù e Fortuna,” teases the first meeting of the season between Dolores and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) — assuming that’s even Bernard, and assuming the first scene of the season wasn’t Dolores speaking with Bernard instead of Arnold. Wow, this show is confusing.

Evan Rachel Wood Previews “Chilling” New Mystery: The star of Westworld joined THR for a conversation about the current state of Dolores, and the theories she developed on set about the secret “weapon” at the heart of the park.

• How Jimmi Simpson Became Season 2’s “Dark Element”: The man behind William spoke with THR about how he brought a new form of menace to his character in season two, now that viewers know all too well his true identity: a younger version of the Man in Black.

• All the Details About Ford and the Man in Black’s New Game (So Far): Speaking of the Man in Black, several new details emerged this week about the game he’s playing. We’ve updated our running list of the game’s details with remarks from the Man in Black’s conversation with Lawrence, his encounter with El Lazo, and more.

• Westworld Renewed For Season 3: Not a shock, of course, but exciting news all the same: HBO confirmed a third season of the Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy drama this week, though there’s no word on when to expect the series’ return once it goes off the air in eight weeks’ time.

• Season 2 Shoots Into War With New Photos: The first set of images from the next episode have arrived online, and by all accounts, Dolores is about to set forth into the war she’s been courting against the park’s human forces.

• Westworld Podcast | A Closer Look at the Ghost in the Machine: Josh Wigler and Jo Garfein continue along in “Welcome to Westworld,” the recap and theory podcast from Post Show Recaps, co-hosted by THR. This week, Josh and Jo dive into the Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) of it all, among other mysteries.

• Ben Barnes on Season 2’s Confusing Timeline: “You never know when you are.” That’s how the erstwhile Logan Delos describes the twisting and turning narrative of season two, an exciting way of framing a classic question. Barnes spoke with THR not only about the show’s use of time, but also the many different sides of Logan being depicted this season.

Check back every Saturday all season long for continued roundups of THR‘s week in Westworld, and in the meantime, keep following our daily coverage at THR.com/Westworld.

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