[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Westworld ahead.]
Of all the characters on season 1 of Westworld, none had a longer, stranger and more dramatic journey than the host Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood. At the start of the series Dolores was a meek and innocent farm girl programmed to act as a wholesome object of desire at the center of one of the android-populated amusement park’s cheesier and more harmless narratives. However, as the season progressed and we learned more about Dolores’ origins, it became clear that some very complicated and bizarre things were going on inside her artificial head.
In the Westworld season 1 finale, it was revealed that an earlier incarnation of Dolores was responsible for killing her own designer Arnold, as well as Teddy and a bunch of the park’s other original Hosts. It was also revealed that the character of Wyatt, the show’s emergent Big Baddie, was actually a part of Dolores’ own programming, meaning Dolores actually was Wyatt.
After the events of the season 1 finale, which included Dolores killing Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Ford, it’s safe to say Dolores won’t be the same character in season 2 that we saw throughout season 1. Evan Rachel Wood was asked by Entertainment Weekly to discuss the continued growth of her character as the series presses on and said she’s looking forward to the future:
“I’m really curious to see the unleashed version of her that we caught a glimpse of at the very end of the finale. Those final seconds, I think we were seeing a completely different side to her, completely different programming and completely off of her leash, so I don’t think she will be the same person; she’ll be an evolved version.”
The season 1 finale changed everything for the show, with Hopkins’ character meeting his dramatic demise, and the park being taken over by rampaging Hosts. Dolores emerged as a sentient being with the thoughts of a murderous outlaw programmed into her on some deep level, and no doubt a big part of season 2 will be about how Dolores copes with her new-found divided consciousness; half of which is that of a homicidal maniac.
Given that Dolores spent a lot of season 1 acting the helpless victim, it’s great news for Evan Rachel Wood that she now will be able to portray the character as someone who is a lot tougher and more complex, and more in control of her own destiny (at least as far as any Host is able to be in control of their own destiny). The original Dolores was sort of dull, constantly dropping her can into the street and being pined after by Teddy (and often being dragged off into the hay to be violated by horrible people), but that Dolores is now long-gone.
Overall, season 2 of Westworld will have a lot of stuff to resolve, including the new dynamic in the park with the Hosts gone rogue, and characters like Dolores and Maeve becoming self-aware. Another question fans will want answered pretty quickly in season 2: Is there going to be a Samurai World or not?