As it turns out, even humans can cease all motor functions in the face of Westworld.
At Comic-Con, HBO unleashed the first official teaser footage for the second season of the Western/sci-fi mash-up about an amusement park in which robots (called "hosts") exist at the pleasure of the guests. Sex, violence and other assorted deviant behavior ensues. As of the end of the first season, however, there's a shift in who's in charge: Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores has assassinated park founder Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), paving the way for this veritable virtual reality to become all-too-real for the guests moving forward — exactly as the Man in Black (Ed Harris) wanted it.
The teaser unleashed Saturday at Comic-Con speaks directly to the new status quo. It begins on the familiar image of a player piano, usually one of the show's foremost sources of joy. Here, it's a haunting sight, as the piano barely creeks to life, the mechanic nature of the device never more apparent. Soon, the sheet music starts to spool into vision: it's covered in blood. A twisted song starts to breath out of the piano, before the sound shifts to the actual song it's trying to emulate: "I've Gotta Be Me," by Sammy Davis Jr.
From there, we see a series of quick cuts, including:
- Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) standing in a field, dirty and beaten and disheveled. He stands over a tiger's corpse, sprawled out by a riverside.
- A man hanging from a tree by the legs, grasping wildly at a nearby revolver, unable to snatch the weapon he so desperately needs.
- Inside the Mesa, Maeve (Thandie Newton) — still wearing her civilian garb from when she was trying to escape the park — stands side-by-side with an unexpected character: Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman). They're not alone: bloodied bodies are sprawled all over the room.
- Teddy (James Marsden) rides alongside an incredibly fierce Dolores, wearing a white shirt and an ammunition belt across her chest, as they thump round after round after round into a pack of human guests they're running down.
- A fleet of vehicles rip through the park, containing a few familiar faces: Bernard, Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), and someone who appears to be the long lost Elsie (Shannon Woodward).
- The Man in Black stands front and center in the final image, blood splattered all over his face. The music reaches a crescendo as the camera stays on the Man in Black's face, his lips slowly but surely curling into a snarling smile. This is the face of a man who is living his best life.
It was an impressive amount of footage, considering it was said during the Westworld panel that season two has only been in production for a single week. If this is just a week's worth of shooting, then the wait until 2018 for new Westworld episodes should be well worth it.