‘The Absence of Field’ was primarily a Charlotte focused episode, which is delightful because I was hoping we could see Tessa Thompson stretch her wings a bit more on Westworld.
‘The Absence of Field’ introduces a new mystery into the mix – which host is sharing Charlotte Hale’s body? Based on how Dolores interacts with her, it has to be someone she was close to, which makes me think Teddy, William, or perhaps an older and less Wyatt-leaning version of herself. The scene where Charlotte kills the man who was grooming her son, however, makes me want to cross Teddy off that list. Besides, bringing him back in such a way would negate his story line from last season.
This process of elimination leaves just William and the older version of Dolores. I would honestly lean towards the latter, as I feel like William would rebel against her from the outset. Charlotte has been acting far too docile for me to believe it’s him under there. It has to be Dolores. Nothing else fits.
Whoever it ends up being, seeing Tessa Thompson show off just how great of an actor she is has been fantastic. I saw a lot of people say that Charlotte felt like a flat character, which is understandable. A large part of Charlotte’s character is just being smug and self assured, which doesn’t lend itself to much acting nuance. However, now Tessa Thompson has an added layer to portray, and we’re reminded that she’s actually an incredibly talented actress. We’re blessed.
In fact, this entire cast is blessed. Aaron Paul also knocked it out of the park this week, and I’m interested in seeing where his character, Caleb, ends up going in this whole mess. Caleb has been written off by the powers-that-be who control society, and this has made him a sympathetic ally for Dolores. So maybe Dolores is no longer Team Kill All Humans, but Kill All Humans, Except Caleb.
This bond between Caleb and Dolores that’s becoming obvious in ‘The Absence of Field’ is another thing that makes me think it can’t possibly be Teddy inside Charlotte. While I’m often annoyed by extremely obvious heterosexual romances, I get the feeling that’s what they are setting up between these two characters, and having an old lover around would throw a wrench in that. Of course, I could be wrong and maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised when they don’t go the obvious romance route, but it’s a gut feeling. We’ll see.
I would be completely remiss talking about stellar acting talent and ignoring Evan Rachel Wood, who has tied the two aforementioned characters together. She was the backbone of ‘The Absence of Field’ and continues to blow me away. I am ride or die with Dolores now, just like I was with Daenerys in Game of Thrones. And maybe this stance will lead to similar heartbreak, but I don’t even care anymore. At least I know I’m going into a risky relationship with this character at the beginning and know that a violent and heartbreaking death is a likely outcome.
Once again, thank you Westworld for taking me away from all this real world terror for an hour. I almost didn’t even think about our current situation in the world at all, which has been hard to do since it’s been practically all consuming. I look forward to next week.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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