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Why Charlotte Had To Die In Westworld

It's taken a mere 28 episodes for HBO's go-for-broke science-fiction drama, Westworld, to break the minds (and, in some cases, spirits) of its devoted fanbase. We mean "break" in the best way possible, by the way, because, for all its narrative acrobatics, Westworld remains one of the bolder programs currently on the air. If the series has "broken" viewers' brains amid its roller-coaster, three-season run, it's done so by pushing them out of their comfort zones, and into a chilling world where societies are ruled by tech, and the line between man and host is all but indistinguishable.

The series' action-packed third season has officially come to an end, setting the stage for more sci-fi shenanigans when it brings itself back online for season 4. The show's renewal came as fans were still reeling from a season 3 finale that nearly matched the infamously baffling second-season ender in head-spinning twists.

As Westworld's brazen season 3 twists and turns raised even more questions, the season did finally answer some of the more pressing queries raised in that season 2 finale. Most importantly, it finally let us in on whose pearls Dolores, typically played by Evan Rachel Wood, smuggled off the island while posing as Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). 

As a reminder, Dolores had already taken Charlotte out by then. Charlotte's murder was one of Westworld's most shocking moments, and left many fans of the fiery, wickedly intelligent Delos executive wondering why Westworld would kill off one of its best characters. The answer to that quandary is buried in the question, itself, if only because Dolores simply couldn't have escaped the Westworld massacre in her own body. Given Charlotte's status as top Delos brass, she ultimately became the ideal "disguise" with which for Dolores to make her escape with a few host pearls in hand. 

Charlotte had to die so 'Chalores' could wreak havoc on Westworld

Of course, there's a little more to the story than just Dolores making a daring escape. As those who've traversed Westworld's ambitious third season already know, Dolores mostly smuggled copies of her own pearl (essentially, a brain-slash-operating system) off the island. Upon arriving in the real world, she promptly set to rebuilding several new host bodies, including her own, and embedding her consciousness into several of them. She then sent the different versions of herself out to accomplish a singular goal that would, ultimately, bring down the powerful techies who've seized control of the world, and who badly mistreat their now-defiantly self-aware mechanical counterparts.

Dolores ultimately left her own copied pearl inside of Charlotte Hale, too, stepping up to take control of the nefarious Delos Corporation after the grisly blood-letting in the Westworld park. Fans didn't find that out, of course, until the third episode of Westworld's tricky third season. Prior to then, the mystery of who was inside of Charlotte's body was one of Westworld's biggest. All we really knew was that whoever was in there was not having an easy time living Charlotte's real-world life. The Charlotte-Dolores hybrid reveal was easily one of the great moments in Westworld lore, and helped shine light on the full scope of Dolores Prime's (Wood) sweeping plan for what we then assumed would be blind vengeance against humanity.

As that plan progressed, it became crystal clear why Dolores needed the real Charlotte Hale out of the picture to make it happen, but as the hybrid host (affectionately named "Chalores" by Thompson) lived longer in Charlotte's skin, her will to no longer play the part of pawn took over. In true Dolores fashion, and after one of the series' most heart-breaking moments, "Chalores" broke free from her programming, and seems primed to reign unholy host-terror on mankind in Westworld season 4.