Westworld season 4: Who is Evan Rachel Woods Christina? Is she Dolores?

Evan Rachel Wood is back in Westworld season 4, but not as Dolores Abernathy. At the end of the last season, the avenging android was killed when villain Serac hooked her up to Rehoboam, the world-controlling AI machine, and erased all of her memories in his pursuit of the encryption key to The Forge, a lab that stored all of Delos’ guests’ data along with the virtual nirvana The Sublime.

Now, life is not always a finite thing when it comes to the HBO show – robots get rebooted, humans become hosts, and different timelines play out at the same time – but co-creator Lisa Joy has confirmed that “Dolores is absolutely dead”. 

Who is Evan Rachel Wood playing in Westworld season 4?

So, who is Evan Rachel Wood playing in Westworld season 4? She’s Christina. As revealed in the premiere, which kicks off seven years after the events of season 3, the “new character” works for Olympiad Entertainment, creating video game storylines for non-player characters – a nod to Dolores’ life in Westworld before she became self-aware. In her downtime, she’s dragged out of her swish-but-small apartment by her admittedly suspect roommate Maya (West Side Story‘s Ariana DeBose), and set her up with various men.

“We’re just along for the ride with her as she experiences the city, dating, being a writer,”  Joy previously explained. “It’s really nice to be able to not speak wholly in metaphor, to be able to do something contemporary and human, to write roommates, banter, and bad dates. I haven’t been able to do that yet. It’s always been a period piece in Westworld.”

Evan Rachel Wood as Christina in Westworld season 4

(Image credit: HBO)

This is Westworld, though, not Sex and the City, and it’s obvious there’s something else going on. Personality-wise, Christina is the polar-opposite of Dolores; timid but optimistic, where the latter was violent, forthright, and jaded. Her nervousness is exacerbated by a man named Peter, who leaves her threatening voicemails in which he claims she’s controlling his life. In episode one, Peter accosts Christina on the street in the middle of the night and ominously asks, “Why are you doing this to us? 

“I need to ask you to leave us alone. This isn’t who I am. This is important. I lost my job, my wife. I thought it was the Tower, it was you. You made me do those things. All these people do what you want them to,” he shouts, as he pulls out a knife. “How did you know so much about us? The game – you wrote us into it. You need to help me. I need for the story to change. I need the ending to be different.”

Fortunately for Christina, a shadowy figure shows up and beats Peter just as he slices her arm with his blade. Seconds later, the brawling men inexplicably disappear. The following morning, Peter calls Christina again and when she answers, he asks her whether she’ll help him. When she fobs him off, he tells her to “look up”, and she spots him standing on the edge of a nearby building. “Is this up to me, or did you write this, too?” Peter ponders before he jumps. 

In episode 2, Christina’s investigation into his death leads her to a closed-down mental health clinic that had a wing dedicated to him after he made a hefty donation, and has sketches of the Tower on some of its walls. How is that possibly when he died so recently? We know that Westworld likes to play around with timelines, but for Christina specifically, this is obviously the same, continuous one. We know she’s not stuck in a loop, like Dolores was, as her days differ, but might her confrontation with Peter have happened before, or someplace else, and the repressed memory is only now coming to the surface?

The mystery surrounding Peter and his accusations, as well as Christina’s ultra-modern environment, have led some fans to believe that her narrative takes place in Futureworld, the park that acts as a base in the sequel to Michael Crichton’s 1973 film Westworld. There’s also the fact that the first episode of season 4 is titled ‘The Auguries’. Augury is the ancient Roman practice of using the behavior of birds to predict the future. Are both Peter and Christina ”birds” trapped in a cage? And if so, by who? Perhaps the fourth season’s big bad and vengeful copy of Dolores, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), who is hellbent on controlling humans after decades of them doing the same to hosts.

Ariana DeBose as Maya in Westworld season 4

(Image credit: HBO)

Those are not the only clues that her universe could be a make-believe one, either. Seconds after we meet Maya in episode one, she asks Christina whether she would put on black or white heels for the day if she were her, much like how first-time guests of Westworld were asked whether they’d prefer to wear a black or white cowboy hat for the duration of their stays. Additionally, Christina’s sequences frequently see her gazing into or through reflective surfaces, as if to suggest that her world is a [slightly off] imitation of another. They often begin with a shot of Christina waking up, too, much like Dolores’ loop did back in Westworld.

Fans have also flagged that Olympiad Entertainment’s logo – glimpsed in an ad for the fictional company (opens in new tab) – is just like Delos’, the organization that operates Westworld, Shōgunworld, The Raj, and more, only mirrored and duplicated. The promotional video also suggests that “it’s a dream come true to work there,” which harks back to Dolores’ “I’m in a dream” moment from season 1.

Others reckon she is a version of Dolores, despite Joy’s insistence that she isn’t. Not a copy as we’ve seen in previous seasons, where Dolores Prime has put her mind insist other host bodies, mind, but rather a redo of her pre-revolution self. “I wanted a really great actor to play this girl, Christina, and I’m hoping people don’t notice because I changed her hair color, but we just cast Evan again,” she joked before the premiere aired. “I’m thinking the hair color is going to fool them. They probably won’t recognize her.”

Beyond aesthetics, Christina’s world has links to Dolores’; both paint, for starters. In Westworld, Dolores’ father is named Peter, and when he stumbles across a photo from the real world, he starts spiraling. Ultimately, his code gets so badly corrupted that he is decommissioned. Might Peter, the man who was stalking Dolores, have seen something he shouldn’t, too? It would go some way to explain his erratic behavior. Then there’s the return of James Marsden, who is presumably playing a copy of Teddy Flood. The actor has a silent cameo in Christina’s narrative at the end of episode 1, before returning later on in the season, where he jokingly describes himself as a “bounty hunter with a heart of gold.” Sounds familiar, huh?

There’s another plausible theory, and that’s that we are watching Dolores’ subconsciousness exist as Christina in The Sublime – or the Valley Beyond. One of Dolores’ most iconic lines in the show is, “I imagined a story where I didn’t have to be the damsel,” and well, Christina is an author. Much like how Dolores “liberated” her fellow hosts by inciting a war with the humans who oppressed them, is Christina imagining herself as a freedom fighter in another way? In episode 1, Christina is asked what she does for a living by a date, and when she tells him, he replies, “For most players, the background characters are just cannon fodder.”

“I’m not doing it for the players, I’m doing it for myself,” she snaps back. “Real-life can be disappointing. Not that it’s so bad, there should just be more to it.”

We’d say we’re likely to find out more in episode 3 – which is set to air on HBO on Sunday, July 10, in the US and the following day on Sky Atlantic in the UK – but this is Westworld and the mysteries are sure to unfold slowly. While we wait to find out what’s really going on with Christina, bulk up your to-watch list with our picks of the best new TV shows coming our way, this year and beyond. 

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