Even without the great Anthony Hopkins, the cast of Westworld is uniformly excellent in its second season.
The four defacto leads - Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright - all give even better performances this time around, which is helped by the fact their roles are less enigmatic and can come fully into their own. Wood's Dolores is less sweet-natured now after her turn into Wyatt, which allows her to give off more range, and she makes switching between the various roles look effortless. The same goes for Wright and Newton too. The former gives a particularly compelling turn as the series twists and we feel all of his confusion and conflict, and the latter is the most charismatic and funny of the bunch, but also, underneath it all, the most vulnerable.
Harris, meanwhile, is even more despicable this time around, a role he plays with relish, but between Harris and Jimmi Simpson, there's much more symmetry that outlines how their characters merged and brings new layers to him.
Outside of those, most of the supporting players all perform well too, Clifton Collins Jr. and Steven Ogg getting to shine in their character moments, and even Simon Quarterman - a weak link in Season 1 as Lee Sizemore - is much more enjoyable this time around. Of the new additions, meanwhile, it's Katja Herbers and Peter Mullan who get the most chances to shine in these early instalments, with the latter particularly good as James Delos.