In retrospect, Teddy’s storyline in Episode 1 did a lot more foreshadowing than I first thought. We thought this was going to be a story about a park full of hosts who, after decades of abuse from their human overlords, have decided to take arms against them. That could still be the case with Maeve, but Teddy’s twist at the end of the first episode opened up a possibility that not everyone is as they seem. It was a subtle hint at first. One that could easily be explained away as a showcase to how life-like these hosts really are. Westworld‘s seventh episode not only delivers its first real consequence, but the coinciding revelation breaks our hearts as well. MAJOR spoilers ahead.
There’s been almost no foreshadowing that anyone on an administrative level might not be human. Almost. We met the hosts working on Westworld‘s welcoming committee through William and Logan. As the weeks went on, we became more familiar with Ford’s need to micromanage everything in the park. We also know of his disregard for basically everyone, especially the hosts. We know that Ford is a very secretive man. So why wouldn’t there be a host higher up on the food chain to keep tabs on the people occupying the innermost workings of his company?
Through a private meeting between Theresa and Charlotte, the visiting board member, we learn that the board has been trying to secure the precious data that makes the hosts work. More specifically, their code. Ford has been keeping it from them, and therefore the outside world, as a way to maintain control of the company. The board is fed up with Ford “spare no expense” attitude and are attempting to steal the code so they can maintain everything well after the company’s founder is tossed out. Ultimately, the board’s interest has nothing to do with fantasy role-playing at Westworld. All of the data that they’ve accumulated over the past 35 years has the potential to be used elsewhere. But they need Ford out of the picture to get to that point. Unfortunately, Ford as a vice grip on the majority of that information and could easily wipe it all away in an instant. Hence, why Theresa has been stealing data from the hosts.
Let’s just take a minute and think about what Delos might have planned. Disney parks nurtures innovative engineering which then branches out to other endeavors in the world. We’ll assume Westworld is the same thing, except their version of Walt Disney doesn’t want any of the park’s achievements leaving. Ford’s reason is a little obvious, but what the hell does Delos have in mind for hosts almost indistinguishable from real humans? Are we looking at a Futureworld scenario where body snatching is involved?
To get exactly what she wants, which is to discredit Ford completely, Charlotte makes a move to demonstrate how dangerous Ford’s upgrades have become.
The idea of reveries come back into play this week as Theresa and Charlotte present Clementine to Ford and Bernard. In the demonstration, Clementine is brutally beaten and tossed around. Theresa wipes Clem’s memory and resets the situation. This time, however, Clem is able to anticipate the aggressor’s movements and fight back until the other host is dead. When she doesn’t respond to Stubb’s commands, he shoots her. So here’s the point Theresa and Charlotte what to convey: the hosts are acting on grudges from past builds, a result of the reveries that were previously installed and then quickly removed at the start of the series. Bernard takes the fall for Ford’s code and is fired on the spot.
But Bernard knows better. He, and therefore Ford, saw right through the demonstration and the manipulative nature behind it. He reveals that he knows about Theresa’s sabotage, but for some reason, that is no longer his primary concern. He moves the conversation to focus on the fact that the hosts are on the verge of consciousness. Bernard leads Theresa to Sector 17’s secret cottage. And this…is where the other shoe drops.
As Bernard and Theresa enter the cottage, he discloses to her that hosts can’t see the cottage (or they’re programmed to ignore it). But then, Theresa finds a door that is completely invisible to Bernard. Oh no. No no no no no….
The door leads to a secret diagnostic room where a host is currently in progress of being built. At the far side of the room, Theresa discovers drawings of old hosts prototypes such as Dolores and…Bernard. To further clinch your arteries, Theresa shows the sketch of Bernard. “Doesn’t look like anything to me,” he recites.
Poor, sweet, mournful Bernard. He’s not a man at all. He never was. A fact Theresa learns to regret. Through this shocking revelation, Ford explains the hosts are spared from the burden of consciousness. They are totally free and under his complete control. He goes on to say that the board likes to test him every now and then, but he’s not going anywhere. Instead, he concludes that the situation calls for a “blood sacrifice.” Realizing this means her, Theresa tries to call for help, but her phone won’t dial out. “Like I said,” Ford whispers to her, “I built all of this.” He then orders Bernard to kill Theresa, and the loyal host complies.
Theresa’s gone for good, though I wonder for how long. Both Charlotte and Ford use the “blood sacrifice” line. Is this a dance Ford and Delos has had before? Is the company is only pretending to keep Ford’s megalomaniacal nature in check? Is he merely letting his huge ego do the talking? Will Ford take this opportunity to replace Theresa with a host clone to further out maneuver Delos? One thing’s for sure: all of Ford’s talk of godhood wasn’t just the mere puckish rantings of a old man too embedded inside his ambition. He’s a dangerous, unregulated monster with no regard for absolutely anyone or anything.
Which makes this war all the more interesting. Is what happened to Theresa what happened with Arnold? Did he sick Dolores on him? What did the two men bring to the Westworld project exactly?
Meanwhile, Maeve looked into the face of her gods and has found them wanting. This week, she becomes witness to them at their most monstrous — she watches Sylvester lobotomize Clementine. Watching this unfold, and listening to Sylvester’s trying to worm his way out of guilt, gives Maeve the motivation to leave the park and be her own woman.
Exactly how she plans to escape remains to be seen. So far her storyline hasn’t exactly provided a through line that connects hers with Ford’s MiB’s, and Dolores’. Maybe her looking for a way to free herself from her puppet masters is how she’ll end up looking for the maze as well.
Elsewhere, Dolores and William are still making their way closer to the war front (where Wyatt is). There are few good character beats here. Dolores continues to develop more of a spine, and William admits that he’s one of those people who reads so many stories and longs to take part in them. He’s essentially a Mary Sue (assuming I’m using that term correctly). They also hook up, so there that.
The pair part ways with Lawrence as soon as Dolores discovers a place she’s seen in her dreams. Presumably, this is the next path on her quest to find the entrance to the maze.
- “You think I’m scared of death. I’ve done it a million times. I’m f**king great at it.”
- We’re stepping more and more into Blade Runner territory with Bernard’s revelation. But who, then, was Gina Torres playing if not his estranged wife? I sincerely hope that there isn’t a real Bernard out there somewhere (rotted and buried like Theresa will be) and that host-Bernard isn’t his doppelgänger. I really want that video chat to have been a hallucination (like with the garbage collector in the Ghost in the Shell anime who was unknowingly under the Puppet Master’s influence).
- So far, the only enhanced ability we’ve seen Maeve use is her resistance to the technicians’ commands.
- Elsie’s still missing. I hope she’s not dead, but knowing what we now know about Bernard…. Things aren’t looking good for her.
- Now I’m even more curious about Bernard’s secret meetings with Dolores!