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If you tell me there's a TV creator out there that wants viewers to know all of a given season's secret plots and twists before it airs, then I'll tell you I have a worm that wears earrings. But I don't actually have that kind of worm, and Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are legitimately considering the release of a video ahead of Season 2's premiere that lays out the entirety of the upcoming storyline and its mysterious mechanics. This is something only evil robots would come up with, doesn't it?
While it sounds like Westworld's masterminds Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are trolling the show's most spoiler-friendly fans -- and to be fair, they might be doing just that -- the co-creators seem to genuinely want to upend the existence of online fan theories in the wildest way possible. Taking part in a very entertaining Reddit AMA, the husband and wife posted their bonkers pitch for how to quell the deluge of Reddit "theories" that can sometimes be seen as "spoilers," which they see as a problem. Their solution is releasing a video that gives away the whole kit and kaboodle. In their words:
We thought about this long and hard, and came to a difficult (and potentially highly controversial) decision. If you guys agree, we're going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2. Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead, and then protect the rest of the community, and help to distinguish between what's 'theory' and what's spoiler.
It's a new age, and a new world in terms of the relationship between the folks making shows and the community watching them. And trust is a big part of that. We've made our cast part of this decision, and they're fully supportive. We're so excited to be in this with you guys together. So if this post reaches a 1000 upvotes we'll deliver the goods.
I believe I'm being perfectly reasonable by saying there are a zillion things to address here. For one, it goes beyond traditional logic that a twist-driven drama on HBO, the home of Game of Thrones' spoiler-thwarting efforts, would take this route as a means of stopping spoilers from getting out. I can totally understand how intentionally leaking the entirety of eye-popping plot details could help to specifically help Redditors moderate the Westworld boards to keep legitimate spoilers from creeping in with the theories. But I dare say there are millions of Westworld viewers that have never taken any subreddit dives in search of multi-layered theories, and the existence of said video would infringe upon everyone else's chances of making it through the entire season unscathed. It wouldn't necessarily happen, of course, but the real world is cruel.
For a second (related) point, it is magnificently insane that the fate of Westworld's Season 2 spoilers rests in the hands of at least 1,000 Reddit members. Not with HBO's exec. Not with the producers beyond Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Not with the cast members, who apparently agreed to this even though some have been vocally against people spoiling themselves on plot points in the past. But to the Redditors themselves. Regardless of one's feelings on the matter, it can't be denied that the line between TV shows and their fanbases has never been thinner, and it's looking to be breached in unprecedented ways if this goes through. (Although it stands to reason that people will just stop reading Reddit theories if they know ahead of time that the spoilery ones will get deleted.)
The third point, which cannot be ignored, is that Jonathan Nolan has already teased the idea of planting fake spoilers on Reddit (where he's been an active member for years), which kind of waters down the heft and weight of this video proposal. Especially since the message itself relies on the idea of trust so heavily. What if enough people agree to it, only to have Nolan and Joy release a video that's full of red herrings and "Gotcha!" falsities? That doesn't sound like something they would do to all the head-scratching fans who love the show so faithfully. But then what if it wasn't Nolan and Joy who wrote that, but rather their A.I. hosts? Oh, wait, star Jeffrey Wright actually popped into the AMA to ask about that.
Wright: What did I whisper to Abernathy? I...I forget. Also, are you two human, AI, or AI evolved to deny it?
Nolan: Jeffrey...cease all motor functions and perform a global reset.
If there was a way for Westworld's creators to turn viewers into sleeper hosts just by watching the episodes, I do not think they would do this, because Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are a wonderful and compassionate people, and they are nice and kinddd to fellow hunam bee-ings. No hosts here. No hosts here. Error. Error. [reboots] I'm okay now.
With returning characters taking part in brand new moments that we'll no doubt obsess over, regardless of when we find out about them, Westworld Season 2 will finally make its way to HBO on Sunday, April 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way soon, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule.