***WARNING! The following contains major spoilers for this week's episode of Westworld!***
In the closing minutes of Episode 4, fans learned that all of the androids operating in the human world — be they Tessa Thompson's Charlotte Hale or Tommy Flanagan's Martin Connells — are simply copies of Dolores herself. Even Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada), who we haven't seen since Maeve's adventures in Shogunworld last season, returned as a yakuza boss with a Dolores "pearl" inside his robotic noggin.
“It’s one of those amazing Westworld revelations where they’re so good at leading you down the rabbit hole when the answer was right in front of you and quite obvious,” Wood recently told TheWrap. “Of course she would copy herself. She is the oldest, most advanced host in that park. Why would she think that anybody else would be of value? She would want the best of the best and she would want as many as possible.”
As Maeve (Thandie Newton) points out before taking a katana to the belly, Dolores doesn't really have the hosts' best interests in mind. Her decision to carry out her revolutionary plans alone is a signifier of the very selfishness and arrogance Dolores claims to detest in humankind.
"[It] takes the story to a completely new level and raises the question of, 'Ok, now there’s multiple Dolori — as we call them — and what does that mean and are they autonomous? Are they a piece of her, but still on their own path?' And that’s another thing we’re going to explore,” Wood added.
Also chatting with The Wrap, co-creator Lisa Joy acknowledged the character's hypocrisy, while also noting that "there’s a few ways to look at her plan."
“Obviously, there’s the hubris of coming out of the park and leading a revolution and it was just yourself the whole time," Joy explained. "Another way to look at it is, she’s put a lot of people through a lot of pain already and caused a lot of hurt. And there’s an element of self-sacrifice in having it just be her. Looking at Dolores’ actions, it’s sort of a Rorschach test. Who is she? What’s motivating her? Is she good? Is she evil? In a world full of cascading nuance, it’s hard to see. I think everybody always believes they’re the hero of their own story; nobody believes that they’re our villain. So we’ll see what we believe as we progress."
For director Paul Cameron, the trick of effectively pulling off the twist was being able to achieve a sense of fluid convergence as Hale, Connells, and Musashi all remove their masks (metaphorically speaking), one by one, to uncover their true identities to the world.
"I think we stuck to the script pretty well, and when we went to the edit I think the final tweak that Jonathan and I did was to try to tighten up the moment of the reveals between all the characters," Cameron said during an interview with Collider. "Outside of that, we didn’t change much, but it was a big question of like, what aspects of these characters actually have the aspects of the Dolores character? I spoke with Jonathan at length to really simplify a couple of nuances with each character, to tonally make the reference to that character being Dolores during the reveal, but to keep it very subtle and not expand on that too much."
At the time of filming Episode 4, the cast had no idea how the twist would affect the rest of Season 3.
"The interesting thing to me was not only directing it, but once the actors realized what the reveal was, I think they were all probably — outside of Tommy, I guess, because he’s new to the series — but they were all very, very also challenged by, 'What is this reveal going to be? What was it going to be like? Am I playing her as a character, what parts of her character am I taking on? Where’s this going to go down the road?' Of course I knew where things were going down the road, but I couldn’t reveal anything except for what pages they have at any given time. So, that was interesting," Cameron continued.
Westworld returns this Sunday night to HBO with Season 3, Episode 5; check out the teaser for the new episode above.