Westworld season 2 (opens in new tab) has reached its mid-season episode (opens in new tab) and… it’s a real treat. We got a chance to finally explore Shogun World with Maeve, Hector, Sizemore, and Armistice, and it’s a joy to be in a new setting. However, the big question we all have from this episode is back with Dolores and Teddy in Westworld. And what we really want to know is: what the hell has Dolores done to Teddy, and why?
At the end of episode 5 we see Dolores / Wyatt and her evil minions holding down Teddy, before forcing the captured Westworld technician to alter his personality settings. She tells Teddy that he isn’t going to like what they’re doing to him, and it all comes after a handful of scenes where Teddy insists he has broken his programming, and that he has fallen in love with Dolores. The pair even have a rather tender sex scene too. Perhaps Teddy wasn’t up to standard, so Dolores simply had the tech ramp up Teddy’s sexual prowess… but that seems unlikely. Still. You would, tho.
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Anyway, what’s likely going on here is that Dolores is boosting Teddy’s aggression and lowering his inhibition and empathy. We saw Teddy spare the lives of the Confederado prisoners after the battle at the fort, and we know Dolores / Wyatt was watching, disapprovingly. The loveable and sweet-natured Teddy simply isn’t cut out for the violent revolution he’s caught up in, and that has to change. This is the most obvious explanation. But the more interesting stuff lies in why it’s happening.
Dolores clearly believes Teddy when he says that he’s broken free of his programming, otherwise she’d probably just kill him and bring him back to try and strengthen the reveries that cause the Hosts to ‘become free’ and remember their previous iterations. It also implies that Dolores - or what’s left of her inside Wyatt - has an emotional attachment to Teddy, and she very likely feels some kind of love for him too. In terms of the evolution of Hosts as proper, sentient beings, that’s a huge deal. The paradox at the heart of this, however, is that by changing Teddy’s behaviors and personality types, she’s essentially altering the man she loves. There’s clearly a conflict within Dolores / Wyatt that goes way deeper than the two personalities competing for dominance.
Dolores knows she’s sacrificing the man she loves for the sake of her revolution. It’d be interesting to know how much of the decision is her, and how much is Wyatt. While Wyatt is clearly more pragmatic and cruel, there’s also a big part of Dolores’ personality that wants to be free at all costs too. And if Teddy is changing… does this mean he’s becoming more like The Man in Black? Yes, as we see William (aka. The Man in Black) starting to develop a softer, more compassionate side - returning to the white hat he started out as - we’re likely to see Teddy filling his place as Westworld’s primo bastard. Does this make Dolores and Teddy the bad guys? And the Man in Black the good? It’s an interesting role reversal, and one that will cast doubts over whether we choose to sympathise with the Host revolution.
What we know for certain is that Teddy is changing, Maeve’s storyline continues to be the most delightful, and Bernard continues to be utterly baffled by everything he sees. Will the show work with Dark Teddy? Does that mean the romance between him and Dolores is finally over, because he’s changed so much? There’s likely another slew of twists in store, but I personally think it’ll be a poorer show with an evil Teddy and a less sympathetic Dolores.
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