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What the heck is Dolores' plan on Westworld anyway?

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Apr 20, 2020

At the very beginning of Westworld, the robot host Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) — and her "father," Peter Abernathy — told audiences that "these violent delights have violent ends." Now that Dolores is seemingly trying to take over the "real world" outside of the Delos parks in Westworld, she's apparently making good on this ominous threat.

Or is she?

At the end of Season 2, we assumed Dolores was trying to destroy human beings in the real world, but now that we're six episodes deep into Westworld's third season, it's not entirely clear that Dolores wants to kill every organic at all. 

So, what is Dolores' masterplan in Westworld Season 3? Here are three viable options.

**Spoilers ahead for Westworld Season 3, Episodes 1-6.**

Westworld Season 3

Dolores wants humanity to destroy itself

In Episode 5, "Genre," Dolores released the profiles of everyone's INCITE data to the general public. This means everyone suddenly became aware of the various ways in which their lives were being planned and predicted by the super-computer Rehoboam. In that episode, we saw this lead to massive rioting, and in Episode 6, "Decoherence," in many cases, the data leak is resulting in suicides. 

Dolores is selling this data leak as a kindness, telling people like Caleb that the system has made decisions for them, and now, people can start having free will again.

But maybe Dolores has a more cynical goal. Based on her experiences with humans in Westworld, Dolores might assume that giving humans free will just result in massive war and destruction, which, might be what she wants. If her goal is to get rid of the human race, it might be handy to just have humans do some of that work for her. 

Ed Harris William in Westworld

Dolores plans to replace everyone on Earth with existing host data

Without a doubt, the biggest wrinkle in Westworld Season 3 so far is the idea that one version of Dolores — the one inside of Charlotte — stole and transmitted the old Host data from Delos, seemingly, to the Man in Black.

Why Dolores wants this data so badly isn't clear, but it's a good assumption that it has something to do with creating more copies of Hosts we're familiar with. When Dolores escaped at the end of Season 2, she only had a few "pearls" with her containing various minds of different Hosts. This season, we've learned those were mostly just copies of herself, and, conveniently, Bernard.

So, wanting all that extra Host data makes sense. Why she's sending it to the Man in Black is a little unclear. In a post-credits scene for Westworld Season 2, we saw a Host version of the Man in Black in what Lisa Joy described a "far future" setting. This, combined with Dolores transmitting the data in Season 3 seems to imply, at some point, "regular" people will be replaced by Hosts. Maybe.

Westworld Season 3 Episode 5 Caleb Dolores

Dolores wants humanity to survive and live in peace with hosts

What if Dolores doesn't want to take over the world?

In both Seasons 2 and 3, the series has made a big deal over the fact that Dolores brought Bernard back to life, too. In Episode 5, and elsewhere, Bernard reiterated the idea that he thinks Dolores wants him to "stop her." But what's that all about?

Here's a possible explanation: Dolores might want to destroy all of human life, but she also might be aware that such a goal is impractical longterm. So, what does she need? She needs a world where the Hosts can actually live in peace, or maybe in relative safety, among humans. But how could that happen?

Well, one way could be to incite (pun intended) a full-scale war between humans and Hosts by manipulating Serac, Bernard, and others. If Bernard and Maeve end up fighting for human beings, this could make people, in general, not view Hosts as good or bad.

In other words, if Hosts are fighting on both sides of a massive conflict, the notion of non-organic lifeforms being evil kind of goes away. Instead, the big takeaway could simply be this: Hosts are very dangerous, so let's not mess with them.

And if that happens, Dolores could get what she wants: a safe world for her kind. Right now, it just remains to be seen if she'll get what she wants, and just how many violent ends will be necessary before the next brave new beginning. 

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