Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld season 2 finale, “The Passenger.”
Well, we all officially made it through 10 long weeks of Westworld season 2. After all the surprise Jedi mind tricks, blood, and “When am I’s?,” the HBO epic technically ended where things started so long ago: Arnold’s (Jeffrey Wright) house, where he once took Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) before she reached true sentience. Now, Arnold is dead, his clone-ish host Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright, again) has been rebuilt after Dolores shot him, Dolores has been rebuilt after Bernard shot her, and a Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) host clone is patiently waiting in the background.
This tableau — which follows about 80 minutes of pure sci-fi madness — is overwhelming to say the least. And, when you pair Westworld with overwhelming twists, lots of wild theories soon float into possibility. One that immediately captures the imagination is whether the sci-fi drama will finally give viewers a queer couple in season 3.
That question all comes down to Dolores, clone host Hale, and whether Teddy Flood (James Marsden) is living in Charlotte’s body.
As a knee-jerk reaction, that theory sounds absolutely impossible. After all, one of the final scenes of “Passenger” shows Dolores uploading Teddy’s black brain pearl to the Forge and leaving it there following his “Vanishing Point” suicide. In the last we see of Teddy, he is smiling in the heaven-like Valley Beyond, where hosts like Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) and Maeve’s daughter (Jasmyn Rae) will apparently live in robot bliss forever. But, this is Westworld. Nothing is impossible.
To understand how Teddy could be living as Hale in the latest Westworld “present” it is necessary to remember two important facts. First, there is the very Westworld-y quote that is such a major theme in “Passenger,” it is the official plot description of the episode: “You live only as long as the last person who remembers you.” That is what Dolores tells New Bernard when he wakes. “I remembered you once before, so I remembered you again,” she adds. The only person Dolores could remember better than Bernard is, in fact, Teddy, for whom she served as his entire “core drive.”
Considering that fact, it’s entirely possible Dolores could recreate Teddy in Charlotte’s body (since, if Dolores' whole robot domination plan is going to work, Delos can’t start wondering where their star employee disappeared off to). The obvious question that arises here is, if Dolores wanted to bring Teddy with her to the “real world,” why would she go through the effort of building him from scratch when she had his brain pearl totally intact back in Westworld? Well, we all have to remember that brain pearl wasn’t exactly the Teddy that Dolores initially fell in love with — the Good Teddy. No, the Teddy of that brain pearl was the one she brutally reconditioned to be a killing machine, and one who could no longer live with the new darkness inside of him. That’s why he took his own life in “Vanishing Point.” Poor Reconditioned Teddy deserved to enjoy heaven after Dolores completely scrabbled his brains.
On the other hand, the original Teddy would be the perfect ally for Dolores in the real world. He could still be her loyal and protective body guard, with the added bonus that Dolores “The Death Bringer” Abernathy finally appreciates him. When you think about host Hale’s behavior at the end of the finale, it certainly already seems Teddy-like. The robot stands in the corner, unseen and unheard, until Dolores speaks directly to her. Then, you notice she is holding a gun. When Original Teddy was alive, he too was never without a weapon. When Dolores goes to leave, host Hale quietly follows behind her, in the same way Teddy always dutifully followed Dolores. Then, the pair disappears out of Arnold's house, leaving Bernard to slowly walk out after they've already left.
While Angela (Talulah Riley) also displayed a similar type of loyalty to Dolores, you have to remember she blew herself — and her mind pearl — up in “Les Écorchés.” If Dolores were to recreate Angela or Teddy from scratch, love interest Teddy is obviously more appealing candidate.
If this theory comes to be true, it would mean that Teddy and Dolores would be exploring their new relationship through the bodies of two women. That seems especially fitting as both the actresses who play Dolores and Charlotte, Evan Rachel Wood and Tessa Thompson, respectively, are major advocates for queer visibility in pop culture. On top of that, Westworld season 2 cut a mysterious bisexual scene this year, which Wood confirmed on Twitter earlier this month.
The possibility of Dolores falling in love with Teddy as a woman would only further a thread brought up in Netflix’s hit-or-miss sci-fi drama Altered Carbon. While the series had many highs and stunningly deep lows, one of the best themes of the streaming adventure is that when your consciousness can be dropped into any body at all, the boundaries of “straight” or “gay,” and, really, any of the vestiges of heteronormativity, fall away. As the inhabitants of Westworld would say, all that does matter is “souls” and whom they connect with. After 20 episodes of focusing on baffling puzzles over consistent character development, that is a meaningful topic worth exploring in season 3. Especially when you take Teddy's unwavering devotion to Dolores into account.
While only time will tell whether we’ll get a queer love story in Westworld 3.0 at last, we do know that in upcoming episodes we seemingly follow the Dolores (And Whomever Is In Host Charlotte’s Body) vs. Bernard showdown. As Dolores explains to Bernard in the final seconds of “Passenger,” the tension of their opposing views on humanity and host-dom is what will help them both survive. We have no idea why, or where, Dolores and “Hale” go after their meeting with Bernard.
If there is any justice at all in the Westworld world, the season 3 premiere will reveal the duo left to go have a very serious conversation about their relationship. Now that's something worth watching for 90 minutes.
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