Since the end of season two, Westworld has made it clear that somebody is impersonating Charlotte Hale, the murderous Delos executive and double agent for the company known as Incite. That character is hiding inside a body that looks like Charlotte, which means that Tessa Thompson remains an integral part of the cast in season three, but which character is she playing, exactly?
The show is holding that particular card very close to its chest. All we know now is that whoever is masquerading as Charlotte is falling apart — haunted by memories of the real Charlotte’s past, carving symbols into her skin as a sign of self-harm and her own struggle. After the third episode, “The Absence of Field,” laid bare how rough this character is finding this moment, the question of their identity has become an even more important one.
Dolores, let’s remember, left the island where Delos built Westworld with five memory cores, one of which was Bernard’s. Who else did Dolores rescue? And who among those personalities is currently pretending to be a high-level executive who also happened to be trying to screw over her own company? Westworld has never shied away from a mystery, so there are a number of options. Here are six of the most popular theories about the Charlotte question — and why only one of them is really convincing.
Why It Makes Sense: From the beginning, Teddy was Dolores’s paired partner, a sweet gunslinger whose programmed dark past didn’t keep him from trying to connect with her. Whoever is inside Charlotte’s body, Dolores feels extremely comfortable with them — and with the exception of William, a human, we’ve never seen her more comfortable than when she’s been with Teddy.
Why It Doesn’t: For one thing, if the show was going to bring back James Marsden for a cameo or two, it’d have to juggle his busy schedule being the best friend of an alien hedgehog and an enemy of the women’s movement. But also, the season-two finale made it clear that Teddy was one of the fortunate souls to make his way to Robot Heaven.
Why It Makes Sense: Whoever is inside Charlotte definitely began life as a Westworld native, which means Clementine fits the bill. More important, Clementine’s status remains undefined as of now. Is that because Dolores smuggled her memory core off the island and now she’s hiding in Charlotte’s body?
Why It Doesn’t: Dolores isn’t nearly as intimate with Clementine as she is with other hosts, and her scenes in “The Absence of Field” indicate that whoever is inside the Charlotte host body is someone Dolores knows very, very well.
Why It Makes Sense: Dolores has a tremendous amount of empathy for the personality inside Charlotte, and who would she say she knows better than her father figure?
Why It Doesn’t: Abernathy was largely being used as a data repository when the park began its shutdown, so it’s unclear if his memory core is even salvageable. There’s no sense that his identity was considered to be worth preserving for Dolores’s battle with the forces outside.
The Man in Black (a.k.a William)
Why It Makes Sense: William is violence-driven, business-savvy, and his data was definitely available to Delos, thanks to decades of visits to the park.
Why It Doesn’t: Human minds don’t work when implanted into host bodies, so the fact that “Charlotte” is struggling with her corporal form would tie into that issue, but it feels more likely that the issue lies somewhere else. Also, it’s simply hard to imagine Dolores ever spooning William — though they fell in love when he was a young man, he tortured her untold times during his later visits to the park.
Why It Makes Sense: Maeve is not afraid to cause mayhem and murder, and she and Dolores know each other pretty well.
Why It Doesn’t: Maeve’s memory core is currently in the possession of trillionaire businessman Engerraund Serac. While the show has not yet explored the question of whether memory cores can be duplicated, Maeve’s current personality seems fairly singular when it comes to the coming battle.
Why It Makes Sense: Who knows yourself better than yourself? As a refresher: “Wyatt” is the host personality who was grafted onto Dolores to deliver ultraviolence on the creator of Westworld as well as its shareholders. Dolores is comfortable with that sort of violence because Wyatt has been integrated into her programming for years. She’d also trust a version of herself, of course. And the fact that “Charlotte” murdered the man threatening her son in episode three, while trying to maintain her cover, indicates that she does not flinch at the idea of death.
Why It Doesn’t: It’s still not clear how copying technology might work for memory cores. Also, it’s a dark idea, the thought that your personality could not just be copied and downloaded into a new body, but also split apart. That, however, could explain why the personality occupying Charlotte’s body is struggling so hard to hold things together. After all, living someone else’s life is never easy.