Westworld Theories: Bernard/Ford Inconsistencies, Charlotte’s Role, That Photo, & Elsie’s Whereabouts
Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
As Westworld heads for its season one finale, the theory mill is slowing down a bit, but we’re left wondering how it will end and what the second season might look like. So I have rounded up some new Westworld theories for you to consider before the finale airs this weekend. In today’s Westworld theories, we consider whether the Bernard/Ford confrontation really went down like we think it did, where Elsie may be, if Charlotte is more than she appears to be, the real meaning behind that photo found in the park, and Ford’s new and final narrative. All this and more, in today’s Westworld Theories.
We Were Seeing Multiple Time Periods During the Bernard/Ford Confrontation Sequence
Some Westworld fans have noticed there are a lot of inconsistencies in the scene where Bernard confronts Ford in the cold storage laboratory. You can see some of them above, and more over here. Normally we’d chalk this kind of thing up to continuity errors that happened during filming. This often happens in movies and television shows, especially when a sequence is combined with reshoots, which might involve production having to completely rebuild a torn down set. But there are just too many inconsistencies here to ignore, and Jonathan Nolan is the kind of guy who pays close attention to all these details. Remember when everyone was writing off the Westworld logo discrepancies as continuity errors?
So what might this mean? We don’t quite know. We do know that in this scene, Bernard realizes that he’s had this conversation with Ford before. So it’s possible that we are seeing moments from the current confrontation intercut with moments from the previous encounter. But to what end? Why would these inconsistencies be left in by the showrunners? Maybe just as an Easter egg for eagle-eyed fans? I have to believe there is more to this, but I can’t quite figure out what.
Elsie Is Still Alive
A few weeks back, we theorized that Elsie might not have been killed and that instead, it was Stubbs who stumbled across his old partner in the abandoned theater. This week’s and last week’s episodes of Westworld strongly suggest that Ford sent Bernard to kill off Elsie, but I’m not buying it just yet. We don’t see a brutal murder, and the evidence that Elsie was chasing would have only helped Ford’s position against Theresa, not hurt it. There was no reason for Ford to have Elsie killed. And why not show her death rather than just tease the moment that Bernard snuck up on her?
So if Elsie wasn’t killed, what happened? Donna Dickens at Hitfix theorizes that Elsie could have used her programmer specializations to escape somehow.
But what if Elsie escaped. Either because Bernard malfunctioned and was unable to murder his friend (unlikely, as he murdered his lover with no hesitation) or because Elsie realized what Bernard was and took control of the situation. Using voice commands, brute force, her wits, or a combination of all three, Elsie then fled into the wilds of the park to recover and regroup. Weeks later, she turned on her location knowing Stubbs or another member of security would come looking for her. Not one to be idle, Elsie reprogrammed the Ghost Nation tribe to defend her and/or capture Stubbs without hurting him so she could assess if he’s trustworthy to help her blow this conspiracy wide open.
Maybe next episode we will follow Stubbs’ capture to reveal he is jailed somewhere in the park with his partner Elsie. Or maybe she’s dead, and I’m just holding on to the possibility that one of my favorite characters on the series might survive for season two.
Arnold’s Son Charlie Is Actually… Charlotte?
Okay, I’m not saying this theory has much evidence, but it’s worth mentioning. Though Bernard’s cornerstone backstory we keep seeing flashbacks to his son Charlie dying. We assume that this memory is based in truth, adapted from the backstory of Ford’s former partner Arnold. We know that Arnold suffered a tragedy that sent him into his work. Perhaps that backstory was changed slightly. Just as Bernard Lowe’s name is an anagram of Arnold Webber, maybe Arnold’s son was a girl named Charlotte and not Charlie.
Maybe Arnold’s daughter didn’t die. Maybe the tragic events Arnold suffered was the loss of his wife and mother of his daughter? Maybe that daughter is now on the board of Delos running Westworld. This could explain why someone so young might have such a position. Again, none of the interactions between Ford and Charlotte seem to suggest there is a history. The actress that plays her is 33 years old, and Arnold died over thirty years ago, so if this were true she would have been an infant when it happened. Could it have occurred during childbirth? Maybe this is just a crackpot theory, or perhaps we are being set up for a reveal later on.