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SYFY WIRE Westworld Season 3

HBO takes Westworld behind the scenes as fans buzz over who’s the real Charlotte

By Benjamin Bullard
Tessa Thompson as Charlotte Hale in Westworld

The third episode of Westworld’s third season was mostly the Charlotte Hale show, even as fans lit up Twitter trying to speculate about what familiar character, exactly, might be lurking inside the once-human Delos suit’s new host body. Well, HBO kept those kinds of revelations close to the vest Sunday, even as it teased that the answers are coming. But in a behind-the-scenes featurette that aired just after the episode, we get to hear a little more from Tessa Thompson on what it’s like to play multiple personalities inside one character.

Depending on which fan theory you follow, Charlotte’s already straddling two or even three worlds as she shifts from human, family Charlotte to Delos Charlotte and even, perhaps, to yet another key persona that Episode 3, “The Absence of Field,” revealed in a twist at the end. But one thing’s for sure, says Thompson: There’s still plenty of mystery left to play out in Season 3’s remaining five episodes. In fact, we're not even sure that Charlotte herself knows who the "real" Charlotte is ... yet.

**Spoiler Warning: There are light spoilers below for the third episode of Westworld Season 3.**

“The character of Hale is one that I’m so eager to explore,” says Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy. ”We’ve seen her as human, and now we get to see her as a host, living as an impostor among her family.” We could add, judging by Charlotte’s meeting with the elusive high-level manipulator Serac (Vincent Cassel) at the episode’s end, we might just be seeing her as the “mole” inside the company whom Dolores is using as a double agent to jump-start the robot revolution with human sidekick Caleb’s (Aaron Paul's) help.

Playing android Charlotte is “a new discovery that is endlessly fascinating,” says Thompson. “This Hale that we see now is a complete new invention. The ‘pearl’ is the thing that obviously encases the data, but it’s their soul; it’s their spirit that is then housed just in this physical body … There’s a lot of mystery as to where she goes from here.”

In one key Episode 3 scene, Charlotte begs Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) to assure her they’ll one day get to drop the façade and just be who they really are — but in a synth world like this, who exactly would that be?  Which identity will step forward to become — or overtake — the real Charlotte? Is it Teddy, or William, or someone else (or perhaps even a facsimile of Dolores herself?). It’s an intriguing question as Thompson continues to slide from one personality to the next, and it’s all the more reason to stay looped in until Westworld brings itself back online for Episode 4 next week.