News spread yesterday that Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were planning to tackle online spoiler culture by essentially spoiling the second season of their own show in advance. It didn't sit right at all (though most places did run with it). Nolan, in a Reddit AMA, wrote that fan theories about future episodes of the show were often so close to the actual plot that they became spoilers in themselves. Laying out the plot now in an explainer video, he suggested, would solve that problem. Nobody would need to guess about the plot of the next episode if they already had the answers. Everyone would be free to enjoy the show without having to wonder about what was coming next:
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.
That video did, as promised, come out today. It's just a wonderfully elaborate Rickroll.
It opens convincingly, with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) regaining consciousness on the beach, disoriented. Wright narrates the whole thing, third-person: "He can't remember what happened or how he got there. Something's wrong with his mind." The mess of dead bodies on the beach jolts a rush of memories; it's up to Bernard to figure out who he is, what he did, and why.
He walks off the train and back into Westworld itself, and the town freezes. A piano breaks the silence, and we cut to a plain-clothed Angela Sarafyan (Clementine) and Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores) playing Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." As the song ends, a note appears onscreen: "Dear Reddit, From all of us here at Westworld, thank you for watching. We hope you enjoy season two." The rest of the video is just a Very Good Boy sitting at a piano while the Westworld soundtrack plays in the background.
This is a good own. But it's also a really good cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up," a song that became a prank because it was so grim and kitschy to start with. Evan Rachel Wood has a great voice! Westworld's commitment to turning modern songs into old-timey piano covers really works here! This might be such an ambitious and successful Rickroll that the meme is altered forever!
When you really think about it though, Westworld is a show about sentient memes and our innate desire to destroy them. I'm being told that we don't have time to get into that here. Watch the video at the top of the page.
Alex Robert Ross is never gonna make you cry on Twitter.