7:15am PT by Mike Bloom
'Westworld' Sneak Peek Sees Jeffrey Wright Through Different Eyes
[This story contains spoilers through season two, episode six of HBO's Westworld, "Phase Space."]
“When you’ve been in the dark this long enough, you begin to see.”
For an entire season, HBO's Westworld hinged on hosts operating in narrative loops, utterly unconscious to a world going on around them. But in that darkness, the hosts have gained sight, as was the case with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton). And with that vision, they have learned to fight in the dark, and take their human superiors by surprise.
But surprises are in store for both humans and hosts alike in the preview for “Les Ecorches.” The voiceover narration, including the quote above, comes from Dolores. “You made us in your image,” she goes on to say. Accompanied with that is perhaps the most jarring shot from the entire preview. Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) shows Ashley Stubbs (Liam Hemsworth) and other Q.A. members in a room filled with hosts under sheets. But these are not just any hosts: they all resemble Arnold Weber (Jeffrey Wright), the deceased co-founder of the park.
We had previously known of Bernard Lowe, who was initially shown as a staff member before being revealed to be a host created by Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in Arnold’s image. The beginning of the most recent episode, “Phase Space,” already played with this idea. The scene started with what seemed like a routine test between Arnold and Dolores, even in the same room where she was during many flashbacks in season one. But soon Arnold and the audience had the adjudication turned on its head, as it turned out Dolores was testing his response to the conversation they seemingly had before for “fidelity.”
With the revelation that the “Arnold” in that scene was a host, it’s difficult to place it in the Westworld timeline. But the idea of multiple Arnold-like hosts opens up many possibilities. From what we can see, the hosts Charlotte uncovered sport many different wounds. Last season, we saw Bernard suffer a similar type of fatal wound after Ford forced him to shoot himself, an action that resulted in leaking cortical fluid throughout the first half of the second season. Could it be possible that Bernard is not the first version of the Arnold host that was built, and much like William (Jimmi Simpson) did with Jim Delos (Peter Mullan) in “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” he’s the umpteenth iteration after many, many attempts?
Another key player in this, obviously, is Ford himself. After dying in the final minutes of season one, he has returned to the scene, albeit in a more spiritual form. Bernard found him at a piano in the Mariposa after going inside “the Cradle,” a hub of narrative backups, to find the source of the blockage that was preventing attempts to hack the network and get the hosts’ behaviors back to normal.
Ford greets him with, “Hello, old friend,” at the end of “Phase Space,” but is he referring to Bernard or the man on whom he was modeled? In the sneak peek, Ford tells him, “What is about to happen will not be your fault,” hinting that he may still have some control over him, even from beyond the grave. What Ford is alluding to is even more of a mystery, though from the shots we see of Dolores, Teddy (James Marsden) and Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) fighting against several staff members inside HQ, including Teddy donning some Q.A.-brand security gear, there is sure to be violence ahead.
The trailer once again ends on Dolores, saying in a distorted voice, “Open your eyes.” It is accompanied by an extended shot of Bernard’s eyes sans glasses, blinking confusingly, seemingly desperate to see. But the second half of Westworld's second season is beginning to bring things into focus for him, and it’s very possible that Bernard, or any other host version of Arnold, could have a very different view of the world by the end of it all.
What did you think of the sneak peek? Sound off in the comments section below and keep checking THR.com/Westworld for more.