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And so, the truth is out there: Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), the mild-mannered scientist and programmer who oversees the hosts in Westworld, has much more in common with his subjects than he ever knew.
At the end of the show’s latest episode, “Trompe L’Oeil,” Bernard stands revealed as a host, unknowingly working on behalf of Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). In a grand show of power over his host, Ford commands Bernard to murder Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), a startling act of violence that only amplifies the horrific truth behind Bernard’s tragic reality. There’s no telling where the story moves from here, but Bernard’s past actions certainly warrant closer scrutiny in light of the reveal. Really, every single Bernard scene deserves a second look, now that we know that he’s not only a host, but also completely under Ford’s thumb.
For example, here are seven scenes across the series thus far worth revisiting now that we know more about Bernard:
1. The whisper
Let’s begin all the way back with the show’s very first episode, when Dolores’ (Evan Rachel Wood) father, Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), was decommissioned. Bernard accompanied Abernathy on his journey toward cold storage, and before filing him away, he whispered in Abernathy’s ear — words we did not hear at the time, and still don’t know. The whisper becomes much more suspicious and foreboding now that we know Bernard and Abernathy are both hosts. Is Bernard planning something with the decommissioned hosts? And if so, should we presume Ford is in on it as well?
2. “Are you Arnold?”
Bernard asks this question back in episode six, when he stumbles upon Ford’s cottage. He’s speaking to the host we soon learn is modeled after Ford’s father — the same man glimpsed in the photograph of Ford and Arnold that Ford shows Bernard back in episode three. No wonder that Bernard initially mistakes this man for Arnold, then. (Also no wonder he doesn’t see Ford in the cottage at first, since he emerges from the door Bernard cannot see.) But if this guy isn’t Arnold, who is?
3. The photograph
Here’s where we start tripping down the deep rabbit hole of the “Bernard is Arnold” theory. Revisit the scene in episode three where Ford tells Bernard all about Arnold. When Bernard studies the photograph of Ford and his “partner,” who we now know is Ford’s father, notice that there’s enough room on the right side of the picture for another person. Episode seven established that Bernard couldn’t see his own schematics, that he “cannot see the things that hurt him.” It would make sense, then, that he wouldn’t be able to see Arnold in the photograph if Arnold is the basis for Bernard’s physical design.
Sticking with the same episode-three scene, consider the music that the host is playing in Ford’s office when he and Bernard walk in. It’s Claude Debussy’s “Reverie,” a moving piece with a provocative title given the use of reveries in Westworld. It’s also the same piece featured in the opening of episode seven, as Bernard sits with his son Charlie … or, at least, Bernard dreams of this moment, one we now have to question given recent revelations. Unless it’s not Bernard, but Arnold, he’s dreaming about. Given its appearance in Ford’s first conversation about Arnold, and then again here in this scene of a man we believe is Bernard, is it possible that “Reverie” is a music cue the show uses when Arnold’s in the forefront?
5. Through the looking glass
During his visit with Charlie, Bernard reads excerpts from “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s the same book Bernard uses during his conversations with Dolores earlier in the series. But if we buy that it’s Arnold and not Bernard in the scenes with Charlie (and, it’s worth emphasizing, your mileage may vary on whether you buy it), then it’s worth wondering if it’s Arnold in the scenes with Dolores. In other words, are those scenes with Dolores taking place almost 40 years ago when Arnold was still alive? If so, that adds another wrinkle to the show’s already complicated chronology.
6. Mixed messages
Moving away from the Arnold of it all, the Bernard reveal makes every single one of his phone calls or private meetings immediately more suspicious. How often was Bernard tattling on Theresa to Ford? Did he tell Ford all about Theresa’s “belly pose,” or about her fears of the park? And how about Bernard’s secret work with Elsie (Shannon Woodward) to ferret out the mole? Did Bernard report back to Ford, leading directly to Elsie’s abduction? If Bernard becomes responsible not only for Theresa’s death but Elsie’s as well, he’s going to suffer a whole host of heartache in the very near future.
7. The forever man
Finally, there are little lines littered throughout Westworld that feel like nothing more than throwaways at the time, but boast greater meaning once you know that Bernard is a host, like when Elsie makes fun of Bernard by telling him he’s “been here forever.” Bernard doubles down on that claim after he produces some old-school knowledge: “Like you’ve said, I’ve been here forever.” Even Bernard’s final scene before we learn he’s a host gains new layers, when he tells Theresa: “The longer I’m here, the more I understand the hosts. It’s the humans who confuse me.” If there’s a silver lining, it exists in this line: Bernard’s a host, yes, but that means he understands his own nature on an intellectual level better than just about anybody else — assuming he can overcome Ford’s programming and take advantage of that knowledge.
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