For most of her existence, Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) didn’t have much of a choice in wardrobe. That’s because Dolores didn’t have much of a choice in anything. As an android host in the theme park Westworld, Dolores’ sole purpose was to serve as a plaything for sadistic guests with an excessive disposable income. She (and the many cosplayers she inspired) began the season wearing a scoop-neck, floor-length blue dress with a brown belt. Then, when she went into vigilante mode, she wore khakis and a button-down — and that’s about it for wardrobe variety.
But no more, baby. Dolores spent the entirety of last season inching her way towards achieving consciousness. With the assassination of her creator, Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), Dolores made her first “big girl” choice, and is now a free bird. Somewhere, Pinocchio is glowering with jealousy.
Now that her mind has been liberated from its coded cage, it’s likely that her body will be physically liberated from the confines of the Westworld park, too. There’s one major clue about the role Dolores will play in season 2, and it has to do with what she’s wearing. For a split second in the trailer (2:09), Dolores is seen sitting in front of a piano wearing a white bodycon dress with a collar — the exact same dress that Angela (Talulah Riley) wears when she greets William (Jimmi Simpson) during his Westworld orientation. At first, Angela just strikes William as an extremely well-coiffed human. William only realizes that Angela is a host when she propositions him, saying, “Do you really understand, William? All our hosts are here for you: myself included.”
As we know by now, Westworld hosts are outfitted with different uniforms for different settings. The Westworld hosts who work at Mesa Hub — and, like Angela, are seemingly aware of their android status — wear stark white dresses. Only an android could keep this dress clean, am I right?
The dress’s plainness, especially contrasted to the elaborate 19th-century costumes seen in Westworld, is significant in its own way. Guests enter Westworld expecting to be pulled into an 360-degree, all-immersive illusion. Hosts are the central messenger of that illusion: They wear historically accurate costumes and aren’t aware that they’re androids. But Angela is aware she’s a robot, and her sleek, futuristic outfit conveys another message to human guests about to enter the park: “You are in a technologically-advanced future, where things like self-aware robots are possible. Prepare to be amazed.” According to the photo of her in the dress, Dolores is now on that sentient side of the fence.
So, what does this sartorial choice imply for Dolores’ future? Ostensibly, after the host-led massacre in the season finale, Westworld has been thrust into chaos. After the massacre, did Dolores manage to break free of Westworld? Is she in disguise as a greeter host, and is carrying out a plan to take over the control center? Have other hosts stormed the Mesa Center? Or, if the host rebellion was quelled (which seems unlikely), was Dolores “reassigned” to the Mesa Center?
Charlotte, if you’ll recall, is the Executive Director of the board of Delos Destinations. She’s a big-shot human executive, right? So what is she doing wearing a host outfit? Remember, this is Westworld and one’s humanity is never a given. There has been been speculation that Charlotte is actually a host.
Perhaps Thompson's dress is a coincidence. But are there any coincidences in Westworld? Not if you look closely enough.