The second season finale of “Westworld” will premiere on HBO this Sunday, June 24. Little is known about the episode, titled “The Passenger,” beyond its trailer (watch above) and its brief log line: “In the season finale, everyone converges at the Valley Beyond.” Like the first season finale, it has an extended run time of 90 minutes. Most episodes of the show have run about 60 minutes, with both season premieres and the episode titled “The Riddle of the Sphinx” clocking around 70. Also like the last finale, which was titled “The Bicameral Mind,” this one was written by showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. The married couple wrote three episodes together from the first season, which was subtitled “The Maze,” but this is their only scripting collaboration of the second season, which is subtitled “The Door.”
Nolan was nominated at the Emmys for Best Drama Directing for “The Bicameral Mind,” but he did not direct this season. Taking over finale directorial duties is co-executive producer Frederick E.O. Toye, who guest-directed consecutive episodes in the first season and was made an in-house director for the second season, although this is his only explicit directing credit of the season. After the first season of “Fringe” (2008–2009) and the fifth season of “Alias” (2005–2006), this is the third time that Toye has served as a producing director on a show executive produced by J.J. Abrams, who has also frequently employed Toye in a guest capacity, on “11.22.63” (2016), “Person of Interest” (2011–2016), “Believe” (2014), “Almost Human” (2014), “Revolution” (2012–2014), “Undercovers” (2010) and “Lost” (2007).
“Trompe L’Oeil,” the last “Westworld” that Toye directed was the episode that Anthony Hopkins submitted for Emmy judging upon being nominated for Best Drama Actor last year; Hopkins now contends in Best Drama Supporting Actor. Featuring prominently in the trailer, Ben Barnes has already submitted “The Passenger” for Best Drama Guest Actor consideration this year. “The Passenger” also numbers among the episodes of the show that have been submitted for Best Drama Writing, Directing and Editing; the show received a single nomination in each of those categories last year. The first season finale won Best Visual Effects and “The Passenger” is currently the “Westworld” representative on the 15-strong shortlist.
Although “The Passenger” and the three “Westworld” episodes before it premiered after the normal eligibility deadline of May 31, they are eligible for the 2018 Emmys under the “hanging episodes” rule because they will have aired by the time that nominating ballots are due on June 26. Airing so late proved no obstacle last year to the “Veep” season finale, which also aired on the Sunday two days before the close of voting. Titled “Groundbreaking,” it was nominated for Best Comedy Writing, Directing, Editing and Sound Mixing. However, there is risk inherent by airing 12 days after voting opens, not to mention voters only having a two-day window to watch the episode, as opposed to the over six months that they had last year to watch “The Bicameral Mind” before voting.
“Westworld” is expected to reap a second consecutive Best Drama Series nomination, but do not look for it to three-peat at the 2019 Emmys. Supporting actor Simon Quarterman speculated in his recent interview with Gold Derby that the third season would not begin production until 2019. “The Door” began filming in June 2017, ten months before it premiered in April 2018. That ended a 16-month hiatus and the wait for the third seems to be just as long, with the show on track to return to the fall timeslot of its first season.
Make your Emmy predictions, so that Hollywood insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.