In one action-packed, 90-minute episode, the Westworld Season 1 finale, "The Bicameral Mind," had it all: blood, death, twists, answers, cliffhangers, and rousing robot rebellions. Somehow, in the midst of all of this chaos, the episode also found time to casually drop in one of the biggest bombs of the show's history to date: namely, the fact that Delos also operates theme parks other than the Wild West-themed one we're familiar with. The revelation that there are other parks in Westworld, including Samurai World, apparently, has massive ramifications for where the show might be headed in its sophomore season.
This bombshell was dropped in the course of Maeve's escape from the bowels of the park, as she — along with Felix, Hector, and Armistice — fought her way past a series of armed guards towards the exit. At one point, the ragtag team entered a different part of the complex, this one emblazoned with a new circular "SW" logo rather than the stark "W" icon we're so familiar with. Inside, they found another series of labs identical to the ones where they have been repaired and programmed and troubleshooted… but this time, instead of being filled with cowboys playing cards and naked women practicing their seduction techniques, the glass rooms were packed with rows and rows of armor-clad Japanese soldiers.
Although we never actually see or hear the name of this second park, it's safe to assume that we've just caught our first glimpse of "Samurai World." Not only is the prospect of a theme park set in ancient Japan super exciting in itself, but the reveal also promises explosive things for Westworld Season 2. We thought we might finally get a look at the outside world in this finale, as both Peter Abernathy and Maeve were supposedly heading there; but in the end, neither made it, with the former waylaid by Ford's nefarious plans and the latter sidetracked by her mission to find her daughter.
But even though it doesn't look like Westworld will be heading to the outside world just yet, that doesn't mean the show won't be getting bigger next season. It seems that the way the writers have found to expand the possibilities of their show is to introduce even more sandboxes for their characters to play in… since I highly doubt that Samurai World is the only other park. (On Felix's note to Maeve with her daughter's location, the first phrase was "Park 1," implying that there are multiple themed installations within the apparently massive complex.)
So what other parks will we be introduced to next season? Sadly, we won't be seeing Roman World or Medieval World — the other two parks from the original 1973 film — since showrunners Jonathan Noland and Lisa Joy already dismissed that possibility at New York Comic-Con. But the reveal of Samurai World promises that the team has plenty more ideas up their sleeves that they can't wait to unveil in Season 2. And I can't wait to go along for the ride.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO, HBO