Last night’s episode of Westworld gifted fans of the show with a few interesting answers and a ton of new questions. We already covered the (likely) fate of two key characters who ended Season 2 Episode 7 in varying degrees of danger, but there’s one more player worth talking about: Bernard.
Warning: Westworld Season 2 Episode 7 spoilers ahead.
Bernard hasn’t had an easy time in Westworld Season 2 so far, and this episode wasn’t any better. He found out he’s a Host (again), got digitally waterboarded, and, worst of all, had his robot brain taken over by Ford. If you’re already scratching your head don’t worry, we’re here to break down all the important details
We’ve covered this before, but here’s a quick refresher. Similar to the first season, Westworld Season 2 is broken into two main timelines. The first one takes place just after the end of season one at the start of the robot rebellion. The second takes place two weeks later, when Bernard washes up on the beach following some sort of catastrophe.
But as the season progresses, the distance between these two timelines continues to shorten. By now, they seem to be separated by just a few days (or even hours). Bernard spends most of episode 7 in the same Westworld facility in both timelines, which can make keeping track of what’s happening pretty difficult.
The key difference is that in the later timeline, Bernard is accompanied by Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). So if you see the two of them on screen together it means we’re in the post-catastrophe timeline. That includes the waterboarding scene and the room full of Bernard Bots (trademark pending).
Who Was Theresa Again?
In the episode’s future timeline, Bernard, Charlotte, and company head to the facility where Theresa Cullen was murdered in the show’s first season. If you haven’t watched Season 1 since it aired back in 2016, you may have struggled with this reference.
Theresa was a senior manager from Delos who had been clashing with Ford over the park’s direction. She was also having an affair with Bernard. It was in that exact same room that Theresa first realized Bernard was a host. Moments later, Ford showed up and ordered Bernard to kill her. They later covered up the entire thing as an accident, but they clearly didn’t do a very good job.
When we return to the room in Season 2 there’s still blood on the wall. Bernard quickly remembers what happened and visibly starts to panic. Considering what he’s been through, we can’t really blame him.
Soon afterwards, in the same future timeline, Bernard and Charlotte find a room full of Bernard Bots. This is the moment that everyone realizes the Westworld employee is actually a Host. It also opens the door to some interesting new theories.
If there are multiple Bernards, does that mean they could be running around at the same time? It makes sense that Ford might have used a handful of Bernards to keep Westworld operating back before the robot rebellion. Now that everything’s gone wrong, we could come face-to-face with an entire army of Jeffrey Wrights.
On the other hand, it’s possible these are just older versions of the same Host that no longer work. That’s a little less exciting, but until we see multiple Bernard’s in the same room at the same time we wouldn’t rule anything out.
What did Ford do to Bernard in The Cradle?
Now let’s jump back to the earlier timeline, specifically Bernard’s trip to The Cradle. In a classic Anthony Hopkins monologue, Ford reveals that the true purpose of the park is to study and copy the minds of Westworld’s human visitors. He also explains that this copy of his own consciousness can only exist inside The Cradle; out in the real world it would quickly degrade like James Delos’s did.
A moment later, however, we learn that Ford actually has a way to return to the real world by piggybacking on Bernard. After returning to reality he seems to have total control of the shared robot body, though Bernard can at least express his disapproval before he’s forced to pick up a machine gun and mow down a pair of Delos security officers.
I’m not exactly sure how Ford’s simulated consciousness hiding in Bernard is any different from putting it in a separate Host, but I guess we’ll find out. Just don’t be surprised if Ford/Bernard’s brain starts to degrade as time goes on.