(We’ve got some big spoilers ahead for the April 5 episode of “Westworld”)
Four episodes into season 3, “Westworld” answered the single biggest questions anyone had this season: which hosts were in those five pearls that Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) stole from the park in the season 2 finale? And the answer is, uh, not really what anybody would have expected before the season began.
We already knew that one of them was Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), and that fact doesn’t appear to have changed based on this big revelation. But it turns that the other four control units were not any of Dolores’s old confidantes or other hosts she knew. Instead, she had made copies of herself.
So, yeah, the other four pearls were just other Doloreses. If you’re wondering how this is possible, the answer is easy: the Cradle. The Cradle facility in Westworld contained backups and memories of all the hosts in the park, as well as the scan data that Delos had on the guests. The purpose of the backups was to enable the company to replace a host whose pearl was damaged — they could just drop the backup into a new pearl and that’s that. So presumably, while Dolores was fiddling around in there in season 2 this was one of the things she was doing.
Beyond just that revelation, we now have confirmed where four of the five pearls went. Bernard, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and Connells (Tommy Flanagan) we already knew about. This episode added Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) to the list as well — he apparently had some kind of host production facility going, what with all those barrels containing that milky cortical fluid that the hosts need to survive.
The final Dolores remains a mystery, but this episode also provided us with a pretty clear candidate: William’s daughter Emily (Katja Herbers). “Westworld” spends a lot of the episode trying to make William (Ed Harris) seem like he’s just totally lost it since he killed the real Emily in season 2, with a hallucination of his daughter popping up to torture him. But this could very well be a plot.
I also can’t help but wonder if Bernard is, well, actually Bernard. He could actually just be another Dolores. The blood on his pearl last week indicates that it’s really him, but she might have added an extra Dolores into his pearl to keep him doing what she wants him to be doing: acting as a foil against her ambitions.
That might seem outlandish, but the idea of Dolores making copies of herself to assist in her revolution was pretty out there as well. And we all know how much “Westworld” bosses Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy like to mess with the audience. As I’ve said every week, season 3 seems entirely too straightforward thus far, and I expect to have the rug pulled out from under me at least a few more times this season.
As of this episode, we are officially halfway through “Westworld” season 3, and all the various plotlines have finally converged. This should get really real from here on out.