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- Hale’s Westworld Season 4 Finale Body Has 2 Deeper Meanings
Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale gets a whole new skeleton in Westworld season 4’s finale, but the transplant carries two deeper meanings.
Charlotte Hale’s new body gives her the upper hand in Westworld season 4 – but that metal chassis hides two meaningful secrets. Westworld season 4’s penultimate episode was something of an oilbath, as major characters fell down dead one after the other. Among the casualties was Tessa Thompson’s Charlotte Hale. Betrayed and shot by her ex-assistant, the Mandroid in Black, Hale lay dead in a puddle, but Westworld‘s season 4 finale (“Que Sera Sera”), sees automated Delos drones recover Hale’s body and bring her back online.
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Rather than just getting a tune-up, Hale commands her faceless white minions to install a different endoskeleton – a metal, mechanical construction as opposed to the usual synthetic tissue. It’s the same creepy face-opening host body that Caleb’s daughter had earlier in Westworld season 4, and whereas the skin is usually grafted on, Hale slips pre-made skin sleeves over her new metal bones like an extra layer of clothing. Much more than just a fashion choice, Hale’s skeleton carries two hidden Westworld meanings.
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Hale’s tough endoskeleton comes in handy during her fight against William at Hoover Dam. As the former master and apprentice throw down, William is taken aback when his knife fails to penetrate Hale’s now-metallic stomach. By remodeling herself, Hale has gained a tactical advantage over an enemy that thought he knew what to expect. Rewind back to Westworld season 3’s ending, and Dolores pulled exactly the same trick against Maeve. The pair had already battled, then Caleb implanted Dolores’ mind inside a different, mechanical host body. When their inevitable rematch happened, Maeve was surprised to find her sword not slicing through Dolores’ forearm. Hale, of course, started out as a Dolores clone before developing her own, more villainous, personality. By using the ol’ metal body trick, Westworld season 4 draws a parallel between the two characters that suggests Hale is slowly reverting to her original Dolores self once again as redemption beckons.
Hale’s Death Represents The Death Of Hosts
After defeating the Man in Black and carrying out Bernard’s wish to upload Dolores into the Sublime, Charlotte Hale no longer serves a function. Her world destroyed and her story over, Hale strips down to her skeleton, sits by a river, and crushes her own pearl. Far more than just the destruction of Hale alone, this moment symbolizes the downfall of the entire host race. When Robert Ford and Arnold first brought hosts into existence, they were naked, mechanical robots that looked exactly like Hale sitting by the river outside Hoover Dam. Westworld creates a “full circle” moment here. Hale crushing her pearl represents how hosts brought about their own demise, and returning to the classic metal chassis for this seismic moment is a poetic way to reference the genesis of hosts during their extinction.
Westworld is maybe guilty of prioritizing emotion over logic in Charlotte Hale’s final moments. Tessa Thompson’s character removes her own pearl, but is able to break it in her hand despite the sphere no longer being plugged into a physical body. From everything Westworld has shown of host physiology thus far, pearl removal should instantly take the host offline. Perhaps Hale programmed the bodily movements before plucking the little ball from her skull, or maybe there’s a short-term memory bank separate from the main control unit. However Westworld season 4 fudges the science, the importance of a mechanical host body crushing their pearl as a closing image cannot be overstated.