OK, but what will the plot actually be about?
We know that Dolores has entered the real world in the host body of Charlotte, but also re-created a copy of her original, Evan Rachel Wood form. Does this mean Dolores now exists in two bodies? "Ehhh, not really," Nolan told EW. "The question of who's who and what we're looking at is something we're excited to play with." We do know that whatever form she's in, she's at odds with Bernard, who's also out of the park at season's end. Where we find them and what their story looks like going forward is still a mystery, and one the showrunners aren't spilling just yet. But Joy did tease that Dolores has "come to understand that true freedom isn't something that arises from a lack of dissent, from a dictatorial or totalitarian rule of one set of ideologies. It's something that has to happen with a plurality of ideas, sometimes coming into conflict. Because she's learned her lesson, she's bringing Bernard back into this world to be a check on her own power, in some ways."
As for Charlotte, we can expect a big Season 3 for Tessa Thompson. "Tessa is such a fun, amazing and versatile actress," Joy told THR. "When you have someone like her, it just opens up limitless possibilities. So we always knew that we were going to do this reveal and let her expand into this new role. We have a very diabolical arc for her planned out. Part of the fun for the character will be self-realization. She will be realizing the things we know about who she is."
We also know that at some point in the future, the Man in Black is a host, or rather a human copy, like his father-in-law, James Delos. The purpose of that post-credits scene, where host-William is given a fidelity test by his daughter Emily -- also, presumably, in host form -- remains unclear, though Joy commented that is has to do with the cyclical nature of William's story. "He realizes that he's been living this loop again and again and again," she told THR. "The primal loop that we've seen this season, they've been repeating, testing every time for what they call 'fidelity,' or perhaps a deviation. You get the sense that the testing will continue."
What exactly that looks like and how it fits into Westworld's new conceit remains to be seen, but the show's attempt at new heights was a part of its genesis from day one. And, according to Nolan and Joy, they know where this story is headed, which should inspire some confidence in the audience. We can't wait to see what they have in store for us, and what layered observations about the human condition they might procure once Season 3 hits HBO. It's sure to be worth the extra-long wait.