The creators behind “Westworld” discuss the huge twist revealed in the latest episode that changes everything for the series moving forward…
When Dolores Abernathy escaped the park at the end of “Westworld” season 2, she took five memory pearls along with her that could eventually be placed inside new host bodies.
Through the first few episodes of “Westworld” season 3, Dolores has been using those hosts to replace real people as she continues to engage in a war with humanity with her focus now aimed at a company called Incite, which employs an advance piece of artificial intelligence that literally predicts a person’s entire future from birth to death. Dolores had already replaced Charlotte Hale but now she’s also taking over Incite security chief Martin Connells and in the latest episode it was revealed that she also brought back Musashi — a character first introduced in Shogun World during “Westworld” season 3.
But the biggest question that has surrounded these new hosts has been who is actually living inside them?
There have been all sorts of guesses from Dolores bringing back Teddy to take over one of the host bodies to a resurrected Clementine after she was transformed into a harbinger of the apocalypse last season. As it turns out, Dolores decided that if she wanted a job done, it was better to do it herself — so she copied herself several times over and placed those memory pearls into the copied hosts.
So that means we now have Dolores Prime (played by Evan Rachel Wood) and then Charlotte-Dolores (Tessa Thompson), Martin Connells-Dolores (Tommy Flanagan) and Musashi-Dolores (played by Hiroyuki Sanada).
According to “Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the decision to bring in clones was something that was carefully plotted after avoiding that concept through the first two seasons. Now that cloning technology has been revealed, Dolores’ latest move changes everything going forward.
“We very carefully avoided the idea of clones and copies of hosts in the first couple of seasons,” Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter. “When you apply the idea that digital information wants to be free to your characters, it’s a very dangerous idea. If Dolores is infinitely copiable, then is she still Dolores? One of the ideas we’re most fascinated with is identity, agency.
“Is Dolores a computer program? Or is Dolores a collection of her experiences? It’s one of the questions that’s the origin of the series: nature versus nurture. If we indulge in the idea of copies of the hosts too early, then the rules get threatened, and your affinity for and investment in Dolores — this Dolores — is threatened.”
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of introducing clones will be how each individual Dolores changes and evolves while going through different experiences than Dolores-Prime. That has already been witnessed with the Dolores clone living inside Charlotte Hale, who is now a mother to a young son and struggling to adapt to wearing a different face than the one she’s always known.
“Now, in our third season, a fascinating thing for us to explore is this other way of approaching the question of identity,” Nolan said. “If you take two copies of the same person but set them on slightly different trajectories but with the same goals, would they remain the same person? Would they maintain the same goals? Or would some part of the character — the version of Dolores who has been forced to pretend to be Hale (Thompson) — in pretending to be Hale, has she absorbed any of her methods of thinking? Is she absorbing any of who Hale was? Or could a natural consequence of being in a different circumstance than the original Dolores be that they may not remain the same person anymore — that they may not even be allies?
“It’s a larger question that we think is a lot of fun to play with.”
On the surface it looks like Dolores may end up with versions of herself that have truly deviated from the original plan she laid out for them and it could ultimately lead to a revolt. Then again, all of these clones have Dolores’ memory in them, which means they know all the vile atrocities they faced while working at the park and this plan to crossover into the “real world” may be more important than any individual goal.
Plus, Dolores knew to enact her plan she needed help — and no one could be more trustworthy than herself.
“Maybe it’s the ultimate act of hubris to say, ‘I’m going to make and populate the new world with me,'” Joy said. “On the other hand, if you’re about to engage in something very dangerous, there’s something quite selfless in saying, ‘Nobody gets hurt anymore except me.’ There are so many ways to interpret the action. We won’t understand Dolores’ motivations fully until later on.”
“Westworld” will return with a brand new episode this Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on HBO with a full recap to follow on NerdcoreMovement.com!