Westworld has spun many mysteries in its first season, and last night it solved lots of them for us. Let’s talk about several that are related to Bernard. If you haven’t watched last night’s episode and don’t want to know the really big news that came out of it, stop reading right now. We’re going to start with a biggie, so step away now if you don’t want to know. Here we go.
OK, Westworld fans, here it is! Yes, one of your popular theories is true. Bernard is Arnold, sort of. (Come on, it’s Westworld. You knew it couldn’t be that simple.)
The whole show was really a build up to this revelation. In a scene with Bernard and Maeve, she reminds him that he is not human. She gets him to freeze and places some seeds of curiosity and doubt in his mind before telling him to send her back to the park immediately, an order with which he immediately complies before heading off for a talk with Ford. In the course of their conversation, he flashes back to a scene from a previous Westworld episode in which he talks about the hosts having conversations with an imaginary person named Arnold. Hint number one.
Dolores run into an empty town and then into a church full of other hosts who seem to be thinking or talking to themselves. She makes her way into a confessional that turns out to be an elevator that takes her down to the floor we have seen so many times on Westworld. A younger version of Ford passes her as he heads into a room saying, “Arnold, we have to talk.” She continues walking as they argue. There’s a shot in this scene that, as Huffington Post noted, confirmed another fan theory — Bernard Lowe is an anagram for Arnold Weber. Well done, viewers.
Modern-day Bernard and Ford (oh those Westworld timelines) talk about his tragic backstory, the death of his son, and how Arnold thought tragic cornerstones were the best for making hosts seem really human. Bernard relived this tragedy one last time before re-experiencing the first time he opened his eyes, his birth if you will. The second clue to the host’s true identity came when, upon him opening his eyes, Ford called him “my old friend.” As this memory is running through his mind, Bernard is trying to figure out what he is watching. Until he realizes what Westworld fans have long suspected — he is Arnold.
An awesome reveal, that’s true. But it means there are more mysteries. For one, as Esquire reported, it means that the person everyone thinks is in the center of the mysterious Westworld maze, the person that everyone thinks has all the answers, isn’t in the maze. But wait. “My old friend.” That means that Bernard isn’t the original Arnold? Or does it mean that he was created under the guise that he and Ford had been friends for a long time. The former. He isn’t the original Arnold. So what happened to the original Arnold. Hold on to your white or black hat!
Dolores ends up seated, as she has been many times before on Westworld, as she waits for Bernard. Except when he arrives, she recognizes him as Arnold. She begs for his help in reaching the maze, but he tells her he can’t help her and that she knows why. She remembers that he’s dead. But there’s more. Ready for this one? She killed him! Dolores killed Arnold! What? Why? We don’t know yet. One mystery solved, another created. But this ride isn’t over yet. In the final scene of last night’s Westworld episode, under the direction of Ford, Bernard/Arnold shot himself in the temple and fell to the ground. Let that sink in for a minute. So where do we go from here? Why? Well, Ford said he wants to begin a new story without his interference. But surely the show won’t go on without Bernard! Who knows. There is one more episode in this first season of Westworld. Maybe we’ll learn more next week. Or maybe we’ll be left hanging until next season.
[Featured Image by HBO]