Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen last night’s episode of Westworld, “The Well-Tempered Clavier”
Last night on Westworld, theorists got another confirmation of what they had been touting for weeks—that Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), revealed to be a host a couple weeks ago, was made in the image of deceased Westworld co-creator Arnold Weber. In the episode, Bernard wanted to meet Arnold, but it turned out that Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) was telling the truth—Ford was Bernard’s maker, not Arnold.
HBO has released a new featurette where showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy along with Wright talk about the reveal, and while they don’t say anything too in depth, it’s interesting to hear what they have to say on the matter. Hopefully, when Westworld is released on Blu-ray, it will contain commentary tracks where the folks behind the show go more in depth on the various themes and twists.
While Westworld is a show that struggles to hook me emotionally, it’s an intellectually riveting piece of entertainment that covers a whole (no pun intended) host of issues. With regards to Bernard/Arnold, it taps into material that was previously explored in the Black Mirror episode, “Be Right Back” where a dead person was basically “resurrected” by a lonely partner. Of course, in “Be Right Back” it’s played for melancholy whereas in Westworld it’s just another part of Ford’s sick need for control. While Ford still won’t admit that he killed Arnold, his cold indifference towards Bernard shows that there’s no affection for any hosts, even one designed to remind him of his former partner.
The Bernard/Arnold reveal leads to questions not only concerning our existence—after all, we spent the first few episodes unable to tell the difference between Bernard and Arnold—but also to how we’ve always treated technology. Ford fears and despises the notion of giving the hosts consciousness because then they’re no longer his playthings. He’s not going to show respect to a toaster. If Arnold was the God figure who wanted his creation to gain consciousness, Ford is the God figure who’s constantly trying to snatch it away.
So what will it all add up to? We’ve got the season finale on Sunday, and I can’t wait to see how Nolan and Joy wrap up their ambitious first season.
Check out the featurette below.