Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
Westworld episode 7 “Trompe L’Oeil” concluded with a big twist that the whole internet is talking about. But you might not have considered how this reveal changes everything you have seen thus far. Let’s board the train into Sweetwater to the beginning of this loop and reconsider everything.
Westworld episode 7 entitled “Trompe L’Oeil” ends with the big reveal that Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) is actually a host created by Doctor Ford (Anthony Hopkins) sometime after his co-founder Arnold’s death. But there have been many clues planted for this reveal in previous episodes:
In the first episode, Ford while talking about the reveries, tells Bernard: “You’re a product of a trillion [mistakes],” almost like he’s the latest version of a piece of software. In episode 2, Ford tells Bernard “I know how that head of yours works.” As it turns out, he literally knows how Bernard’s head works. Later in that episode, Bernard and Theresa have a bedside conversation about why hosts talk when there aren’t any guests around, and Bernard explains it is because they are trying to error-correct. “Is that what you’re doing now? Practicing?” laughs Theresa in response.
We also see Bernard have a video conference with his wife about their dead child. Showrunner Lisa Joy has explained that scene:
“It’s interesting, because every host, as we’ve talked about before, has a cornerstone and backstory. That’s what tethers them to the truth of their reality and their character. It seems that Bernard’s story is his family. There are also practical things that happen. When he goes and calls his wife and they have this conversation… it’s funny, because the script is written in a way to mimic, in different words, in more naturalistic words, a conversation you would have with a grieving ex-wife. They mimic the diagnostics that the hosts are given down below. She asks him if he ever questions the nature of his reality, essentially, if he’s been having dreams. Basically, while part of it is to reinforce Bernard’s sense of his own backstory, part of it is also a way for Ford to check up on him and make sure he’s not reaching.”
We’ve even seen Bernard have a dream about his lost son and wife, and the piece of music in the background is Debussy’s “Reverie” played by a harp. Of course, “reverie” being also the name of the code that they enacted allowing hosts to see glimpses of past lives.
In the third episode, Ford tells Bernard the story of Arnold, the Westworld co-founder that has been erased from the history books. We hear others, park visitors, reference Arnold, so it’s not like no one knows about him. And yet Bernard, who has been working in the park forever, had never heard of Arnold? Why would Ford keep Arnold a secret from Bernard? We’ll get into that in a bit. It’s also interesting that Ford tells Bernard, “Don’t forget: the hosts are not real. They’re not conscious. You mustn’t make Arnold’s mistake.” Why would he tell a host this? Again, more on this later.
In episode 4, Bernard comments that Theresa looks a little stressed. She responds, “Who says I’m stressed?” to which Bernard responds, “You have your tells.” While Theresa writes this off with a joke, “Oh, yes, Bernard, master of observation,” it seems clear in retrospect that Bernard, like most hosts, are programmed to read human emotions.
But the more interesting thing comes after this interaction. Theresa shares that “Tomorrow I have to talk to Ford.” Why? “He’s creating chaos in the park. And the board will be descending at any moment.” It’s no wonder that Ford is already ahead of her and invites her to a meeting inside the park at the Agave Plantation. Bernard is his eyes and ears.
When Bernard first learns about the anomalies in the park in Episode 6 and enters Ford’s secret home, he is attacked by the host version of Ford’s father. As far as we know, hosts are not allowed to be that physical with park guests and the danger in this interaction may have been a clue that we were actually seeing a host on host confrontation. Ford seemingly appears out of nowhere to break this fight up, but we found out this week he appeared from the door that Bernard is programmed not to see.
In Episode 6, Elsie mentions that Bernard has been at Westworld “forever,” which may turn out to be longer than we first believed. How long has Bernard existed in Westworld? Ford seems to suggest in the latest episode that he was created after Arnold’s passing.
On the next page, we take a look at what you may not have noticed and what it means going forward.