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What to know as HBO's twisty thriller returns

With a TV series as complex as HBO’s “Westworld” and an almost two-year time gap since we last saw Dolores, Maeve & Co., a refresher course is definitely in order as the sci-fi drama approaches its Season 3 premiere (Sunday, 9 EDT/PDT).

Much of Season 2 focused on an uprising of android hosts who rejected  their subservient roles as they gained more power and memory of their pasts. The revolt resulted in many deaths, both of hosts and human guests, culminating in a season-finale slaughter.  

Here are the most important things to know before Season 3 of “Westworld,” a series that has expanded far beyond the boundaries of an Old West fantasy theme park:

Coming up:‘Westworld’ escapes theme park: “I was anxious to get out and see what the world was like”

Hosts Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), left, and Teddy (James Marsden) finished Season 2 in separate worlds, with Teddy likely gone for good.

Dolores Abernathy escaped Westworld 

By the end of Season 2, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), perhaps the most powerful host, entered the real world, ready to move forward with her plan to destroy humanity. 

She escaped by disguising herself as an android version of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), a human theme-park executive killed by her synthetic double, and slipping past theme park security. She was helped by park security officer Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), leading observant viewers to figure out he is a robot, too.

In her purse, the Charlotte Hale version of Dolores, nicknamed “Halores” by fans, smuggled five “pearls” – digitized balls that contain the psyches and essence of other hosts – that can be inserted in other manufactured bodies.

Theme-park memories:‘Westworld’ androids embrace their humanity, if not humans, amid Season 2 chaos

Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) underwent and external and internal makeover in Season 2 from 'Westworld,' shifting from human to android host and incorporating the personality of Dolores.

A copy of Charlotte Hale made it out, too

Dolores had an ally in the new world, an android copy of Charlotte Hale, although her internal identity is not clear. The duplicate version appears able to resume her corporate role with Delos, the powerful but suspect company that operates Westworld and controls the guest psyche data that is part of a larger immortality project.

Charlotte and other executives will have their work cut out for them trying to save a company staggered by the Westworld fiasco.

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) survived Season 2 of HBO's 'Westworld,' but his jumbled memories caused him major problems. He makes it to the real world in Season 3.

Dolores saved Bernard, but why?    

Conflicted host Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), who long thought he was human as he supervised the development of Dolores, clashed with her in the season finale, arguing against her mission to destroy humanity. 

Dolores revived Bernard and brought him to the real world, explaining his presence was necessary even though they wouldn’t be allies. Stay tuned for the evolution of this close but conflicted relationship.

Maeve (Thandie Newton), left, and ally Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) were dead at the end of the Season 2 finale, but don't count out a revival for the android pair.

Maeve is dead; long live Maeve

Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton), the only host who rivals Dolores’ power, was one of the lifeless bodies littering the Westworld landscape after the slaughter led by Delos’ security team. Maeve died happy, however, as her beloved daughter made it to the “Valley Beyond,” a digital sanctuary for hosts that Dolores made sure was beyond the reach of human predators.

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