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Hey, Dolores did say she wanted a revolution. But in the aftermath of Sunday’s twisty, nail-biting Season 3 finale, Westworld fans may just be ready to revolt themselves if the series really and truly just said goodbye to one (or maybe more!) of its biggest players for good.
Twitter was all aflutter in the wake of “Crisis Theory,” the eighth and final installment in a third season that found Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) on the warpath to right humanity’s wrongs after finally breaking free of the park. It’s safe to say that fans still running on adrenaline from last week’s sword-slashing showdown between Dolores and Maeve (Thandie Newton) were expecting something epic for the final episode. But we’re not sure anyone was quite ready for a potentially for-keeps sendoff to a character whose identity has seemed inseparable from HBO’s dystopian drama since the series’ earliest moments.
**Spoiler Warning: There are huge, seismic, oh-no-they-didn’t spoilers ahead for “Crisis Theory,” the Season 3 finale of Westworld. If you don’t want to know what happens, cease all motor function and turn back now!**
Yes, Dolores appears to power down for good in the Season 3 finale, essentially sacrificing herself so that Caleb (Aaron Paul) — with Maeve at his side — can reacquaint the world with the old-fashioned concept of choosing your own destiny (for the first time in forever). But because she didn’t exactly go out kicking and screaming in a blaze of glory, the moment came as a quiet shock in the episode — and the fan reactions to Dolores’ “death” seemed positively mournful online:
Oh, did you catch that other big farewell? In a mind-bending post-credit scene, William (Ed Harris) meets his maker in a shocking face-to-face confrontation with a host who’s the spitting image of the Man in Black himself — right down to that part about murderous intent.
While the light did indeed fade from Dolores’ eyes, we’ll have to wait and see what HBO has planned as the show looks ahead to its already-confirmed 4th season. No casting announcements have been made, which means we don’t yet know if either Wood or Harris will officially be back in the starting lineup. The reappearance of William, at least in some version, feels like a safe bet, since apparently he’s now part of the host ecosystem. And if Dolores were to somehow reappear as Westworld soldiers on, it wouldn’t exactly be the first time one of its android hosts has come back from the dead. Sure, some plot holes would have to be filled in to make it work — but again, this is Westworld we’re talking about.
In the meantime, now that the Season 3 picture is complete, we can at least take comfort in knowing that Dolores’ earth-scorching motives weren’t as dark as they first appeared … and that Caleb holds the keys to what may even be an optimistic future, for humanity and hosts alike.