Westworld Season 4 New Theme Park Story Explained By Writer

Westworld Season 4 writer Alison Schapker explains the sci-fi show’s new theme park story and reveals how it relates to the series’ larger themes.

Westworld Season 4 writer Alison Schapker breaks down the series’ final park story and how it connects to its recurring themes. The HBO sci-fi series returned for its long-awaited Season 4 on June 26, debuting just over two years later. Westworld Season 3 is coming to an end. The series stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Tessa Thompson, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Aaron Paul, and James Marsden, who returns after being absent from Season 3. Due to its ambitious and twisted storylines, Westworld has often been the subject of criticism for its approach to its storytelling; so far, however, season 4 offers a newer world.

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Westworld season 4 is set seven years after the events of season 3 and continues to explore the show’s thesis of artificial life on a dystopian Earth. The series started mostly in an immersive Old West-style theme park, before moving out of it in the third season. Westworld season 4 featured the introduction of the Golden Age 1920s Prohibition-era gangster park. At the end of Westworld season 4, episode 2, Newton’s Maeve and Paul’s Caleb arrive at the new park thanks to the machinations of Charlotte Hale (Thompson) and are expected to stay there for a while.

Related: Wait, How Is Clementine Back In Westworld Season 4?


Asked by io9 (Going through Gizmodo) How? ‘Or’ What WestworldThe new park will overturn tropes, Schapker ties it to the main themes present throughout the show. She talks about the familiarity of returning to a park unlike the characters’ development since their introduction, and how it affects them returning to a simulated environment, largely hinting at what that means for the entire season. Read his full quote below:

I feel like in some ways the show’s metaphors really apply to the writing process. We kind of take each season a loop and that loop gets bigger, and it almost starts to feel a bit like a maze in terms of the obstacles in that path. But I think we wanted to tell a bigger story this season; [creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy] really had this vision. They could tell you what all the seasons are about. And this one was very much about now that hosts have left the park, now that we’ve freed ourselves from that kind of — I mean, like a more nascent time of being controlled by algorithms and big data and all that . We think we may have put the genie back in the bottle, but can you ever? And if you can’t, where will it go? Where could this go? These are really questions that are almost like a loop, but hopefully more in that spiraling sense where you get something new with the turn of each season. I think in season four, I hope the fans go for a ride, and I think we’re going somewhere new and bold.


Golden Age in Westworld

With Westworld with season 3 being criticized for its confusing plot and lackadaisical world-building, it’s a smart move for the writers to have a richer setting reminiscent of the show’s early days. Schapker explains how WestworldThe stories often loop, and the new Prohibition-era setting suggests a return to familiarity through simulated history. At the same time, the additional character growth and world building from Westworld Season 3 can add expanded context and make it less of a repeat of what came before.

Although it is too early to say whether Westworld will be able to regain the audience it lost with its final season, the writers’ continued commitment to ambitious storytelling and important themes is to be commended. Science fiction has always been a useful tool for exploring where society is going and what steps will need to be taken to get there, and Westworld remains a fascinating example, despite some narrative gaps. As long as Westworld as season 4 commits to being more accessible and continues to expand its compelling package, Schapker and the other writers can continue to explore the show’s big themes with the ambitious drive that made the show a success. With a new park now open, it will be interesting to see where Westworld will go next.


Next: Why Meave’s Powers Don’t Work In Westworld Season 4 Episode 2

Westworld season 4 releases new episodes Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

Source: io9 (via Gizmodo)

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