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What Repercussions Will Follow The Climax Of This Week's Westworld?

This story has more echoes than an underground bunker for making secret robots!

Trick of the eye indeed! This week's episode is called "Trompe L'Oeil," which is a nice way of underlining that Bernard has been fooling everyone (including himself) into believing he's human. But he's not, y'all! He's a robot! And apparently, the only one who's known about it this whole time is Ford!

And though Theresa knows Bernard's secret for a few minutes, she won't be sharing it. Shortly after informing her that her little plan to oust him from the park was never going to work, Ford has Bernard kill Theresa in the secret lab underneath his off-the-grid cabin in Sector 17. Bye, girrrrrl!

This short scene has a lot of implications. To wit:

  1. Only one of the remaining female characters is human.

    Think about it: Theresa's dead. Elsie's probably dead, since we can assume she discovered Bernard's secret at the end of last week's episode. In fact, it was probably Bernard who grabbed her in the abandoned theatre -- on Ford's orders -- and quickly dispatched her. That leaves Charlotte, the nefarious board chair, as the only major female player who is also a human being. And considering how easily Ford played Theresa, I'm guessing Charlotte isn't as sneaky as she fancies herself to be. Will she be dead soon, too? And what does it mean for the series that so few of the ladies are flesh and blood? I'm not sure, and I'm not sure it's a bad thing, especially since Dolores and Maeve are both becoming such self-directed characters. But I'm gonna keep tracking this.

  2. The hosts are much closer to independent consciousness than we thought.

    We've seen Bernard enduring private grief over his lost son; having a conversation with his (apparently fake) ex-wife; and (most chillingly, in retrospect) grilling Dolores to see if she's becoming "too human." We've seen him have an affair with Theresa, motivate his employees to do better work, and even sit quietly and think. And yet there's this:

    HBO

    HBO

    If Bernard can reach this level of independence, then the hosts are shockingly close to autonomous existence. It seems like the only thing keeping Bernard from total humanity is the fact that Ford can control him so easily, but I guess you could argue that a cult leader's followers aren't so different from Bernard. Point being: the dividing line between human and robot has gotten awfully thin. Which makes you realize...

  3. Ford probably has robots operating throughout Westworld's management.

    If Ford is willing to kill to keep Bernard's identity a secret, then we should assume he's got plants throughout the Westworld leadership structure, handily spying for him and helping him maintain control. He's likely building in them in Sector 17 and, I don't know, getting them past HR somehow. Or maybe he controls HR! I'm assuming that, by the end of the season, we'll discover at least one more employee is really a host.

  4. Meanwhile, Ford is a batshit, crazyface monster.

    So THAT'S why they cast Anthony Hopkins! Just look at all that madness he's letting bubble to the surface now:

    HBO

    HBO

    Ford is much more than a senescent inventor who wants Westworld to reflect touching ideals about humanity and/or recreate his own family history. He's ALSO a murderous madman who will destroy anyone and anything to maintain control of the world he's created. He's dangerous, he's ruthless, and within the confines of the park, he's apparently all-powerful. We've learned that he alone controls most of the park's coding and data, and we know he has a fascist need to monitor everyone's thoughts and behaviors. All so he can be lord of the theme park.

    And sure, it IS only a theme park. But the very fact that Ford has lost perspective makes him even more dangerous. If I were a human person -- or Maeve or Dolores -- I'd be bouncing out with a quickness and heading to DisneyWorld instead. At least there, they only kill your soul!

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