I imagine that somewhere, in a secluded HBO writer's room in California, there are a dozen massive whiteboards that spell out the sprawling story of Westworld Season 2. How else could the creators keep it straight? We're only in the second episode, and already, there are five different timelines to account for.
Though not much happened in the "present" storyline--the one where the hosts have rebelled against the humans and are killing them--we received a lot in the way of contextual information, including more clues about the park's "real purpose." We saw an awkward interaction between Dolores and Maeve, which raised more questions than it answered. We learned that Ford is a troll of massive proportions, whose presence still dominates Westworld, despite his apparent death.
Here are the latest theories circulating about Westworld: Season 2. Two episodes down, only eight more to go.
5. The Jim Delos Is Abernathy Theory
In this thread started by Reddit user sam_rock_well, fans are theorizing that Jim Delos, seen coughing and ill during his birthday party, was transferred into a host before his death. And perhaps, that host was Abernathy, Dolores's "father" in Ford's storyline.
This would explain why Abernathy malfunctioned when he found the modern photo in Season 1; the woman in the photo was Juliet, Jim's daughter (and William's wife). Perhaps when he saw the photo, part of him remembered the life he used to have.
For this to be true, it would mean that William (The Man In Black) is truly evil--that he's imprisoned his father-in-law in a storyline where he's forced to watch his host daughter murdered on a semi-regular basis. But even this would not be all that surprising; given the contempt that William feels for Logan. Father and son share the same mentality, and thus, William might share a similar disdain for Jim as well.
4. The Body Snatchers Theory
In "Reunion," we learn, definitively, that the Delos family has been deliberately collecting information on its rich clientele--their preferences, likes, dislikes, and depravities--while they are guests at Westworld. Young William theorizes that Delos could use this information for targeted advertising. But data mining for marketing purposes doesn't seem nearly ambitious enough, given the sheer amount of information the company is collecting.
Reddit user jasongill posits that unbeknownst to the outside world, the rich guests who enter the park are killed and replaced by lookalike hosts who exit the park. All the data and information mined from a guest can be used to form a personality/psychological profile. The hosts can look and act like their originals, making the switch that much harder to detect. Although what purpose this would serve--William and Delos's master plan--isn't known.
3. The Lawrence is Ford Theory
During the scene where El Lazo's entire gang commits suicide, Ford, speaking through a host, tells the Man in Black that he must play the game on his own. Apparently, that doesn't include Lawrence, MiB's reluctant, trusted accompaniment.
Unless, of course, Lawrence is not who he says he is. Imagine, instead, if Lawrence is host to Ford's consciousness. What better vantage point to keep tabs on the MiB than on the horse right next to him?
2. The Future World Theory
We get our first glimpse of the real world at the beginning of "Reunion." Apparently, Dolores has been outside of Westworld before, as part of a host demonstration for potential investors. She overlooks the skyline of the city she's in, and she later visits a home that Arnold is building for himself.
The clean, polished sheen of the environment is making fans wonder: Is this actually the real world? Or is this Futureworld, a long-rumored theme park separate from Westworld? If what we're seeing is not a real city, this was foreshadowed during Logan's tech demonstration with the hosts. Remember how Logan couldn't tell who was a host and who was not? The rest of the city might have a similar level of seamlessness.
1. The Door Theory
And lastly, fans were somewhat disappointed when they learned that the Maze in Season 1 turned out to be merely that--an old child's toy maze that once belonged to Arnold's son.
In the moments before MiB shoots him, young Ford tells him, “In this game you must find the door…The game begins where you end and ends where you began.” And some fans, still stinging from the anticlimactic reveal from last season, speculate that "The Door," might be an actual door. The way to win this new game is to simply leave the park and walk out the door. It's seems a bit simple. But as demonstrated in Season One, Westworld's creators like to leave a few solutions hiding in plain sight.