Most healthy romantic relationships feature some measure of balance. Each partner brings something to the table the other can't, making both more stabilized. In the case of Westworld's Dolores and Teddy, the contrasts were always pretty clear. She was too cognizant to be happy in her situation and too perpetually let down to hope without reservation. He brought unrelenting optimism, devotion and consistency. He was far too dumb to ask deeper questions and too naïve to even know he should. She brought vision and meaning beyond the superficial. They may not have had a reasonable power dynamic, but the puzzle pieces still fit.
Now they don't, and it feels like it's all heading toward HBO giving us a bloody and traumatic conclusion.
The following article contains spoilers for Season 2 of Westworld. If you're not caught up, there is absolutely no reason you should be reading any of this.
So, for a quick recap: Dolores, worried about Teddy's lack of killer instinct and overabundance of common decency, decided to basically have his code rewritten or reprogramed or whatever. She wanted him to be stronger and to have the skills to survive the coming war, which all sounds well and good. Unfortunately, those skills (ruthlessness, aggression, agency etc) are in direct contrast to everything that made Teddy, Teddy. So, as we saw in tonight's episode, he's not the same person at all. He's not even close to the same person. He executed a man because he was annoyed he didn't give up information he probably didn't have. He made a few snippy comments to Dolores about her decision-making, and he basically outright said the prior, weaker version of himself is as gone as Robert Ford. Wait, bad example. How about as gone as that tiger that got shot and fell off the cliff earlier this season.
All of this solves the power imbalance Dolores and Teddy had in their relationship before. He now has the ability to stand up to her in a way he didn't before. That may even do the two of them some good for awhile, but ultimately, it's really hard to see this Teddy being subservient to anyone. It's also really hard to see this Teddy being blindly and eternally devoted to the same person. He's not going to follow her around like a puppy if she's making decisions he doesn't agree with or treating him like garbage. He's going to stand up for himself, and there's no reason to think Dolores will put up with that at all. She was manufactured to be a leader, and while she might stomach people's shit for awhile, she's always scheming and always planning. In fact, Westworld has kinda sorta set her up in an almost 'chosen one' storyline with all of the backstory about Arnold taking her outside the park and her ordering Bernard around. In some ways, it has always been about her.
It's hard to imagine her being subservient to anyone in the end. It's even hard to imagine her standing shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone. So, in my opinion, Westworld is either setting us up for a Game Of Thrones-like twist in which Dolores is killed off and put into storage, or perhaps more likely, her relationship with Teddy is going to end when she kills him.
Dolores may have given lip service to this fantasy that someday she and Teddy will quietly live on a farm together, but that's not her and after this transformation, it's not him either. As such, this is headed to a really dark place, and I predict that place ends with Teddy's death, maybe at the end of Season 2.
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Will Dolores Eventually Kill Teddy?