At long last, the turbulent, scary, violent universe of Westworld is returning to the small screen. The last time fans were immersed in this world, the hosts had begun revolting against the humans who created them and profited off of their abuse and misery. And it seems like Westworld Season 2, which premieres April 22 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, will pick up right where the story left off, with the creators of the park attempting to regain control of the situation. One of those authorities brought in to restore order is Maling (played by Betty Gabriel), a new character added this season. But who is Maling on Westworld, and what will her impact be?
According to Entertainment Weekly, Maling is somone who is on site "to restore order on the ground," but that's about all the details fans are getting before the second season of the show begins. And Maling is not the only new character being added to the sophomore season of the show. The same EW report states that the new additions will include a character named Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgard), described as "a white-collar guy who’s comfortable in the field" and another named Antoine Costa (Fares Fares), "an objective-minded tech expert" who is also brought in to help fix the robot rebellion. This team of experts will be fighting against the hosts to regain control of the park.
The actor who plays Maling might look familiar to horror fans, because Gabriel both played Georgina in the Oscar-nominated Get Out, as well as Laney Rucker in The Purge: Election Year. So the actor is no stranger to putting herself in frightening situations. The Season 1 finale saw Dolores shoot Ford dead, and the trailer for the new season shows the humans locked in a what looks like a violent struggle against their own increasingly conscious creations. Gabriel can bring the acting chops needed to these perilous situations, and it seems like she'll be the perfect fit as a corporate park "fixer".
And the park is going to need all the help it can get. After it was revealed that Ford's plan for a new narrative was to have the hosts rise up in rebellion, and that these hosts were slowly figuring out how to gain consciousness, it was only a matter of time before chaos descended on the hedonistic park. After all, once these robots start to become aware of the despicable behavior that guests in the park enact upon them day after day, it's only natural that they should want to fight back.
If the trailer for Season 2 is any indication, the hosts do fight back, with vicious determination. The preview features shot after shot of bloodbath, as armed guards walk through a landscaped littered with the bodies of dead hosts, and those hosts lead what looks like an armed insurrection. "We are a kind that will never know death," Dolores says over shot after shot of violence and destruction, "and yet we are fighting to live." But Maling and her team have been brought to the park to make sure that those hosts never achieve that goal, and it seems like they might fight to the death to ensure that Dolores and her friends never achieve full consciousness.
This entry into Westworld marks another step for Gabriel towards becoming a household name. She captured the attention of America with her infamous crying scene in Get Out, and since then she has been noted as a scene-stealer by The Los Angeles Times. By joining the cast of Westworld, Gabriel is sure to capture the attention of even more fans, who will see her not just as a one-note horror actor, but a versatile performer who can tackle science-fiction too. Although, fans might be rooting against her character, since Marling is trying to compel the hosts into submission.