WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 4, of Westworld, “The Mother of Exiles,” which aired Sunday on HBO.
Westworld Season 3 kicked into high gear following the reveal of who Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) had working for her in the real world. Although there were many theories about just who was inside Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) and Martin Connells (Tommy Flanagan), the shocking truth was Dolores put copies of her own mind into them, along with Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada). The reveal, especially Charlotte’s, was well worth the wait for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is because Charlotte is such a big player this season. It’s just more enticing knowing Dolores has a “little sister” running around. Charlotte is no longer a human trying to steal Delos’ data from the park off. Instead, she’s now in corporate espionage working to get more intel on Serac’s movement. There were theories she could be anyone from Teddy to Clementine to Angela, who were all trusted by Dolores at some point. With Charlotte, seeing as she was such a major part of infiltrating Incite and figuring out how to stop the A.I. known as Rehoboam, it made sense it’d be one of Dolores’ associates leveling up to help her. This was cleverly hidden as we saw the original Dolores teaching Charlotte as if she were a kid so — creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s way of throwing viewers off the trail.
It’s a puzzle few could have unlocked. Fans even wondered if Dolores hid a trump card in Charlotte in the form of Maeve’s daughter, which could protect her when they eventually clash. But again, this sleight of hand works, especially as the show made viewers think Dolores removed her mind from Charlotte’s body after Season 2 ended and she escaped the park.
The breadcrumbs were there, though. Dolores talked about needing the right army, and she’s struggled with losing partners. Plus, following Teddy’s suicide, she just can’t rely on anyone. This also allows Dolores — the show’s most intriguing character — appear opposite key characters like Serac, Maeve and William (the Man in Black).
Notably, a major clue to the truth may well have come when Charlotte almost killed a sexual predator in the last episode for preying on her son, Nathan. Dolores was assaulted in the West, so this definitely triggered something in her, causing Charlotte’s avatar to kill the man. It also played into the theme of parenting, which Dolores knows all too well after Delos made her in-game father, Peter, suffer time and time again. In fact, finding the Abernathy patriarch drove her mission last season after human Charlotte hid data in him to smuggle out, so when we saw Charlotte becoming this fierce parent, it should have clicked this was Dolores.
And what makes this so interesting is that this reveal now means Dolores may have inadvertently created her biggest enemy: Herself. Nolan and Joy said there’s a risk in making copies like this because they aren’t the same Dolores, they have to be conditioned and learn to become her. Some do so faster than others, but if there’s a chance motherhood might make Charlotte/Dolores think twice about eliminating humanity, then this reveal will be even more worth it. And who better to turn out such a riveting performance as Thompson, who will surely have eclectic chemistry with her colleague if the time comes for a battle of the Doloreses.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, Westworld stars returning cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman and Rodrigo Santoro, joined by series newcomers Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Lena Waithe, Scott Mescudi, Marshawn Lynch, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Ealy and Tommy Flanagan.
Westworld made fans wait four episodes for the truth of who was inside Charlotte Hale's, and it was worth it for a few reasons.