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Westworld’s Christina Explained: Best Timeline Theories from Season 4 Episode 1

What is the nature of Christina's reality? (HBO)

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Are you questioning the nature of Christina’s reality? There’s so much to unpack from Westworld Season 4 Episode 1. The first episode got off to a tremendous start, and now we’re just struggling to keep up with all the theories and potential timelines. But one of the biggest questions raised in the first episode was the nature of Christina, who looks just like Dolores. There are some amazing theories circulating to explain Christina, so let’s dive in. 

Christina Had Many Callbacks to Previous Dolores Stories

First, I think it’s fitting to mention the many callbacks that Christina’s storyline in Episode 1 had to Dolores’ storyline in previous seasons. 

Dolores’ Love for Painting

In Season 1, Ford talked to Dolores about her love for painting. “You’ve always had a fondness for painting, haven’t you Dolores?” he asked her in S1E10, The Bicameral Mind. Dolores always had a “desire to create something of lasting beauty,” we were told. 

Christina clearly has the same desire, but this time in the form of writing stories. 

Christina with a painting

However, we even do see Christina with a painting, I’m just not sure if it’s hers or a painting she bought. 

Dolores’ Morning Routine

In Season 1, we spent time seeing Dolores’ morning routine, starting with the moment she woke up. Interestingly, we saw the same thing with Christina when we’re introduced to her in Season 4. Her morning routine, from the moment she wakes up looking peacefully beautiful, is portrayed in a similar way. 

The Can That Rolled Away From Her

A big part of Dolores storyline involved her dropping a can, which rolled away and was picked up by a kind stranger and given back to her. We saw that a younger, pre-evil William was the original one to do this, but Teddy later did this too. 

Then in S4E1, we see her drop her phone and it’s picked up by a man who appears to kindly give it back to her. But then, in a William-esque type way, he ends up attacking her. 

Of course, the appearance of Teddy at the end of S4E1 is in itself a callback. 

The Man Who Stalks Her Is Peter

The name of the man who stalks Christina throughout S4E1 is Peter. That just happens to also be the name of Dolores’ dad. 

Choosing Between Black & White

Even choosing between her roommate’s black shoes or white shoes was a callback to Season 1, when guests had to choose between a black hat or a white hat. 

These are just a few of the callbacks, but there are surely more. They can help point us to theories that might explain the nature of Christina’s reality. Here are the top ones. 

Theory #1: Christina Is Writing Stories for a Park

The top fan theory, which I’m leaning toward the most at the moment, is the idea that Christina is a reprogrammed Dolores who is now writing stories for hosts at a park. If this is the case, we would still have to wonder if this is a park of hosts or a park of humans-behaving-like-hosts. We saw at the very beginning of the episode that bionic flies can be used to control human actions. We also saw in Season 3 that Rehoboam was controlling Sirac almost as if he were a host (along with controlling the fates of millions of humans.) 

So this leaves us with the possibility of Christina writing stories that she thinks are just NPC game plots, but are actually stories that determine the lives of actual hosts (whether they be bionic or human.)

One of the Dolores pearls that survived at the end of Season 3 may be used in this role, but was reprogrammed to believe she’s human. 

Or maybe there was always another Dolores pearl being used for this very purpose, and no reprogramming was even needed. 

My guess, if this theory is correct, is that we’re seeing a reprogrammed Dolores, not a brand new pearl. That’s because of the strange moment when Christina’s boss told her that her best story was the one where a guy lost everything, stalked a girl, and everyone died in the end. This could be Dolores’ real-life experiences leaking into her reprogrammed Pearl’s subconscious. 

She actually is writing stories that are programmed into either hosts or humans-as-hosts, and Peter was one of them.

This would mean that the New York that she’s living in is actually a park, perhaps Futureworld. 

One piece of evidence for this theory is the two guys who are seen walking past Christina and talking about the city like it’s a park. One guy says, “That was insane!” Another says, “That was f**ing wild!” The first replied, “I can’t believe this is your first time.” (Of course, this could just be a red herring and they were just talking about an exhibit they went to.) 

Theory #2: Christina Is a Human in a Pre-Westworld Timeline

Another major theory imagines that Christina is an actual human living in a pre-Westworld timeline, and the series is once again using the two-timelines-method. 

This theory supposes that Christina was actually the inspiration for Dolores, thus she had to exist before Dolores (one of the very first hosts) was created. Perhaps Dolores was designed in homage to Christina, who is no longer alive. And because of that, many of Christina’s storylines later served as the inspiration for Dolores’ own stories, including her real-life story with Teddy. 

This would give the series a chance to bring Anthony Hopkins as Ford back into the show, which would be nice. Maybe Christina actually helped Ford and Arnold create the park at one point, before she tragically died. 

A point in favor of this theory is that Evan Rachel Wood said in an after-show video (the “making of” clip) that Christina was human. But do we believe her? 

A point against this theory is Christina’s encounters/visions of Peter. However, if Peter is a hallucination of Christina’s, then it could still be an accurate theory. 

Theory #3: Christina Is Dolores Within Rehoboam

Another theory is that when Dolores was subsumed into Rehoboam, she turned into Christina. Now she’s writing “stories” for humans’ fate, and those are being carried out by Rehoboam. Although this is an enticing theory, I don’t think it’s true because Caleb commanded Rehoboam to destroy himself. 

However, we did see a flash in Maeve’s memory of Caleb blowing up another Rehoboam. Maybe that was Solomon, or maybe there are smaller Rehoboams throughout the world and Rehoboam was not completely destroyed. 

Theory #4: This is Dolores’ Heaven

Perhaps Dolores (or one of her pearls) was loaded into the Sublime after all, and we’re seeing Dolores write her own version of Heaven. In which case, Teddy would be alive and well, saving her like he did in Westworld, only they could finally have their happily-ever-after.

Theory #5: Christina is the First ‘Human’ Dolores

Here’s an odd one… Much of the earlier seasons focused on the idea of turning humans into hosts. Not just modeling hosts after humans (as seems to be the case with Host William.) But literally creating a host-body and putting the human’s consciousness into it. This never worked out, however. 

Now, instead, they’ve found a way to grow actual human bodies, genetically designed to match a host body, and put the host’s pearl into that body. This would mean that Christina is a human with a host pearl and the first of her kind to actually work, just like Dolores was the first of her host kind to work correctly. Christina’s memories were wiped clean, but they’re still leaking into her subconscious somehow. 

As you can see, there are a lot of theories to explain the nature of Christina’s reality on Westworld Season 4. Which one do you think is correct? Let us know in the comments below. 

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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