‘Westworld’: Who’s Inside Those Pearls? Evan Rachel Wood Provides Clues & Talks Tonight’s Episode 4

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SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains details about tonight’s Westworld season 3, episode 4 “The Mother of Exiles” on HBO.

Dolores took over tonight — in more ways than one. In the jaw-dropping final moments, we witnessed her having complete sway over Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale (turns out, we don’t know her that well, even after last Sunday’s deep episode) as ‘Halores’ (the combined version of Dolores and Charlotte). Halores seized the reigns of Delos by throwing the Man in Black in an insane asylum. His support was needed in order to block Serac (Vincent Cassel) from taking over Delos. With the Man out of the picture, we’ll see how that all plays out soon. As Dolores was beginning to wage her kickass revolution with the support of Caleb (Aaron Paul) tonight, we got to learn a lot more about the hosts hanging around in the real world, i.e. Martin Connells and former Shogun World master Musashi, who leads Thandie Newton’s Maeve to a bloody fate. Dolores herself, Evan Rachel Wood, is here tonight to make sense of it all for us.

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We saw a lot of Dolores tonight — inside her own body and Charlotte Hale’s to say the least. Given how Westworld is known to have two timelines going on at the same time, all of the moments in tonight’s episode — did they occur in two different timelines? Halores and Man in Black in one and then Dolores and Caleb in another?

No. I think a lot of this happened simultaneously. I think we did jump a bit at the beginning of episode 3, kind of going back to when Dolores first sort of rebuilt Hale, probably months before Caleb, but no, I think, as far as I know, for now, and what the audience should feel is that they’re all in the same timeline.

So, Dolores can coexist in different bodies at the same time?

Yes. I believe what we’re going to be playing with this season is showing the audience that, you know, they are code, and their bodies are not who they are. And we explore that a lot also with Hale’s character and the feeling like you’re in the wrong skin, and there’s a lot of metaphors floating around, but yes, I think she can exist in multiple ways.

There’s that ongoing gesture-motif –the caressing of the face–we continually see in Westworld. We saw it here tonight when Dolores caresses the Man in Black’s face at the end of the episode. Going back to season one, we saw Bernard caressing Dolores’ face. Expound on that significance of that recurring gesture in Westworld-speak.

It’s a bit of a trademark of Dolores, which started with Arnold, and it’s something that I grew into the character, like she has certain gestures and certain movements that are hers. I think it’s also to show that AI (artificial intelligence) is able to connect in that way. Be tender, and this is their way of reaching out and connecting. At least I feel like that’s what it means for Dolores. Or it’s either Dolores being tender or she’s giving you the kiss of death. It’s one or the other. There’s no middle ground.

Catch us up on Dolores and the Man in Black. His younger self William (Jimmi Simpson) so loved Dolores. But in later days here, Dolores truly has an ax to grind against him, down to throwing him in an insane asylum, largely because of how abusive he’s become in the game.

Yes. I think the Man in Black could be seen as somebody who was a sociopath or a psychopath in that way. And a lot of times, those people can seem really normal on the surface, but obviously when you put them into a setting where nobody’s watching, and he can be who he really is, this other thing is unleashed. I think what’s so tragic about the relationship is that she really did come alive with him, and he knows that, and he knows that it was real, and he has no idea how to get it back, and that’s why it’s devastating for him. And I think what’s so devastating for her is not only did he become this abusive nightmare to Dolores, but I think he’s convinced himself that it wasn’t real, and she knows, deep down, that it was, and it’s just wells of grief and sorrow with those two.

Indeed, it’s a complex relationship.

Yeah, but I think he also fell in love with himself through her, and I think she mentions that in the first season. You know he said you’ve unlocked something in me, and she says I’m not a key. So, I don’t know if she ever would’ve been on an equal playing field with him or if it ever would’ve worked, but it is a tragedy all around.

Do we know yet what Dolores wants with the big prediction supercomputer, Rehoboam?

We don’t know yet. We know after episode 3 that she wants to start a revolution. And so I think that’s the first time as an audience we’re going, ‘Oh, okay, a revolution is not domination. What is she talking about, and what does that look like?’ And I think given her conversations with Caleb and revealing to him that the system is plotting out people’s lives for them and that free will doesn’t exist, she’s seeing that the real world is a lot like Westworld, and she says she’s going to cut the cord to the system and show the world what it really is. Now, again, this is either heroic or a nightmare or both because revolutions are bloody, and revolutions are scary, and revolutions are not always what they are or how they’re portrayed. They’re not always heroic. The change is difficult and change is painful, and so I think it’s still up for debate whether or not Dolores is there to help or hurt. We’re not sure yet.

Does Dolores have a deeper history with Serac we don’t know about yet? He’s so threatened by her.

Because the system can’t read her, and he lives his life by the system, and I think that’s why he’s really afraid of Dolores, because she has the processing capability that his machine has, maybe not as many thoughts per second, but she’s really the only one that can go toe to toe with it, because she probably relates more to that piece of machinery than she does to any human. She understands it. She speaks its language. So, given the power that she has and the books that she read in season 2 that were, you know, decoding the humans, and given that access, I think we’re really going to see things blow up.

Dolores tells Caleb ‘we’re going after the person who took your future’, this is before they embezzle the money out of Liam’s account. Will we see that plotline play out?

Absolutely. You know, again, Caleb is still kind of a mystery to the audience. We keep seeing these flashbacks, and he has this sort of tortured past, and you know he served in the military, but we don’t quite know what it means.

So, there’s a connection between Liam and Caleb?

I don’t know if there’s a connection between Liam and Caleb, per se, but I don’t think we’re done delving into Caleb’s character, and I don’t think we’ve gotten to the center of his maze yet.

OK, let’s name the five pearls that Dolores has. Charlotte is one. Do we know the other? Is one of the pearls Dr. Robert Ford?

Well, who do we know is a host now? There’s one in Charlotte Hale, one in Martin Connells, Tommy Flanagan’s character. Bernard is one. So, there’s one more unaccounted for, I believe.

Dr Robert Ford would always call Bernard “old friend”, but tonight, Connells calls Bernard his “only friend” at the end of the episode.

Well, it is wise to pay attention to dialogue on Westworld because everything can tie back to something else, and there’s a lot of repeated imagery and a lot of repeated lines, a lot like code, so little differences like “only friend” and “old friend” can actually mean a lot.

And then Musashi, we don’t know who’s inside him, right?
We do. We know who’s in everyone.

Is it Teddy?
It’s Dolores. Dolores kills Maeve as Musashi. She’s in Musashi, she’s in Connells, and she’s in Hale. She’s all the pearls that were copies of her. And if you’ll notice, Connells’ tie is this blue that matches the blue dress, and Musashi is also dressed in blue. They all have these little hints of blue in there.

Well the reason why I was leaning toward Dr. Ford inside Connells was because of the “friend” reference.

It was definitely Dolores. Yeah, she’s his (Bernard’s) only friend. No, Dr. Robert Ford and no Teddy.

How are you doing during this whole coronavirus climate?

All right. I’m more worried about people who are going to lose their houses and don’t have healthcare and how we’re going to recover from this just as a country with the economy and everything. But me, personally, I’m okay. You know I have a close family unit and have been homeschooling my kid and trying to just garden and take piano lessons and do all the things that I always put off that now we all have plenty of time to do and just keeping my spirits up. But again, I think it’s the extroverts that are really freaking out right now. Like me and my introvert friends are like ‘we’ve been preparing for this our whole lives.’ As terrifying as it is for a lot of people, and I’m definitely not downplaying that at all, you know, the silver lining is a lot of people have gotten to hit the reset button and gather themselves a bit, which is nice.

One of the questions I’ve been asking those associated with Westworld is with everything that’s going on, how has the meaning of the show changed for you in the current COVID-19 climate?

It’s kind of terrifying, because when we were shooting season three, in the future, you know, everyone was wearing masks, and this is before the pandemic, obviously. So, on set we feel like we’ve already kind of lived this in a weird way, and then now it’s happening in the real world. They (the creators and writers) have done a really good job of being able to predict sort of where we’re going, and so while this is a science-fiction show, it is very much based in reality, and if people don’t understand it, they should because they need to learn about what’s going on. It’s actually affecting them now, and the repercussions of it later could be something quite terrifying. Obviously Westworld is a fairy tale and a cautionary tale, but you know these things are really happening, you know? In some ways, the system does determine our destinies, and right now it’s not determined by a giant machine. Or is it? I don’t know. But the show has changed the way I look at the world. It’s changed the way I look at social media. It’s definitely made me slightly more paranoid and ask more questions, which I don’t think is a bad thing.


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