Warning: This post contains spoilers from Westworld's first season. Head to our show hub for more recaps, theories, interviews, and deep dives.
When HBO opened the doors to Westworld in 2016, viewers fell into a tizzy. Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy had breathed new life into Michael Crichton's 1973 sci-fi classic by turning a story about artificial intelligence and consciousness into one giant, 10-hour puzzle.
The "maze"? The bicameral mind? All that, uh, raunchy robot sex? Almost immediately, fans and critics alike demanded to know what the hell was going on in Dolores' Old West-inspired adult theme park. Their questions led to no dearth of theories; their theories, in some cases, became prophecy. For here was a new obsession, and maybe -- just maybe -- a worthy successor to the network's other titan, the soon-to-be-gone Game of Thrones.
Now, after more than a year-and-a-half wait, Westworld's back, with promises of more of the dizzying existential questioning that made the first chapter so addictive to boot. If you're wondering what you need to know before the madness continues, no need to scream-cry "Freeze all motor functions!" Just prep with our Season 2 guide below.