How 'Westworld's Big Twist Should Make You Reconsider Everything You've Seen So Far

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 bernard computer

The Clues

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.

bernard video call westworld

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.

westworld agave plantation

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.

westworld basement

In episode 7, Bernard comments to Theresa that "The more I work here, the more I think I understand the hosts. It's the human beings who confuse me." And of course, when he shows her Ford's secret house, she mentions the door that Bernard is programmed not to see, which spawns the response "What door?"

But there is much more to this reveal. Anyone who has watched any movie or television series created by the Nolan brothers knows that things are always much more complicated than they appear. This is all but a bit of misdirection leading up to the grand Prestige. Let's take a look at a few of the loose ends you may have missed:

We've Seen Bernard In This Room Before

This is not the first time we've seen Ford's underground laboratory. We've seen Bernard in this space before, questioning Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood). At the time, most viewers just assumed the space was just a private room somewhere in DELOS' Mesa headquarters, but it turns out it is the underground secret laboratory that Ford has been hiding off the grid.

So if these conversations are taking place in this underground lab, how did Bernard get there?

He doesn't know about the house and isn't able to see the door.

bernard dolores westworld

Maybe We've Seen Arnold Before

Perhaps we are not seeing Barnard having conversations with Dolores, but instead, Arnold having conversations with Dolores from sometime before his death. Remember, this lab was once used for beta-testing in the early days of the park's history. We have been told that Arnold tried to convince Dolores to help him take down the park. Let's reconsider the following quote from one of these scenes:

"I need your help, Dolores. I need to decide what to do with you. I think I made a mistake. I was just fascinated. I was being selfish, but I think it would be better if I restored you to the way you were before."

Is that Bernard or Arnold talking? Even if it is Bernard, perhaps Arnold is speaking from beyond the grave through his programming?

westworld arnold

We have previously theorized that Bernard might be a robotic recreation of Arnold. Logan has mentioned that there isn't a single photo of the former park co-creator in existence, even though we saw one on Ford's desk. Or did we see it? When Ford showed the picture to Bernard, we saw the above photo.

arnold and fords father in westworld comparison

But we now know that the person young Ford is standing next to in the picture is not Arnold, but instead a robotic recreation of Ford's father. Upon entering Ford's secret house, Bernard even asks the host if he is Arnold because that's who he saw in Ford's photo. Remember, we saw this scene from Bernard's perspective, which is the view of a host. It's already been mostly established that hosts can be programmed not to see or ignore certain aspects.

What if when Bernard was shown the photo of Arnold, he like other hosts, couldn't see the piece of the picture that breaks his reality? We've seen this in the past with hosts being presented with the photo of a modern day Times Square portrait, with them admitting that it looks like nothing to them. Ford seems curious of Bernard's response in this sequence. Maybe he's wondering if Bernard's AI has evolved to a point to recognize himself in the right-hand corner of the photo. Notice in the picture there seems to be a lot of empty space to the right, and the framing appears to be oddly off-center. Maybe there is a figure there that Bernard can't see because of his host programming.

There is other evidence to suggest that Bernard is modeled after Arnold. We also know that Arnold, like Bernard, had suffered a personal tragedy which drove him deep into his work.

If we are seeing Arnold, not Bernard, in these flashbacks, this probably means we'll get to see more of this backstory that leads to his death and the critical failure thirty years ago.

bernard whisper westworld

The Unknown Whisper

One thing we don't know about is what Bernard whispered into Peter Abernathy's ear after the host had been decommissioned. I'm wondering how this might come to play in the future. Perhaps the decommissioned hosts in cold storage are something the human staff of DELOS should concern themselves with.

westworld underground lab

What This Means Going Forward

And let's not forget that Ford's secret laboratory contains its own host fabrication machine. While it's slower than the ones at the main DELOS headquarters, it could still create a host in a few days time. This alone should make you question everything you've seen and will see going forward because this machine would allow Ford to recreate host versions of any of the human staff as he sees fit.

I wouldn't be surprised if they replace Theresa with a host version of herself. That would certainly let them get ahead of the DELOS board. They've made such a big deal about Theresa's smoking addiction; perhaps that might be a detail that will clue DELOS executive Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) into the fact that something is up.

When Nolan is asked if the host being created in the fabrication machine in Ford's bunker is going to play a pivotal role in the future of the show, he responds: "No, not in a literal sense. I think there's a suggestion here that Ford has been up to something, that he's slipped the leash of corporate control, and that his secrets permeate the park, in addition to Arnold's. We thought that gave things a creepy sense. We'll return to that much later down the road."

It's also kind of interesting that Doctor Ford seems to surround himself with hosts rather than humans. He chats with Old Bill; Bernard is his second-hand man, and he works in a laboratory underneath a recreation of a vacation home filled with host versions of his childhood self and family.  Ford has self-isolated himself surrounded by his own creations. He warns Bernard to not to make the mistake of believing the hosts are real people.