Eight episodes into the opening season of Westworld a couple of questions have been settled, but more have sprung up in their place. We know now that Bernard is a host, and we are around 85-90 percent certain that William and the Man in Black are the same person based on ample evidence from earlier episodes and confirmation of at least three timelines. It seems possible, too, that the Man in Black has a controlling interest in Delos, a company seemingly owned by his late wife.
Beyond pointing to the Man in Black as William, the most recent episode was confusing, to say the least. Out of the episode, however, came a new batch of theories. Is Dolores actually Wyatt? Or is Teddy Wyatt? Is Bernard actually Arnold? Is it possible that Ford is a host? There’s some evidence to support these theories, but some evidence to contradict them, as well.
The only thing that I am certain of at this point is that Abernathy is important. There were a lot of hosts in cold storage that Charlotte Hale could have chosen when she decided to upload 35 years of code into one host, so there has to be some significance to the choice of Abernathy.
Consider this fact: Abernathy was the first host on the series we saw break. We know now that the “violent delights” line was not necessarily the triggering moment. Rather, what causes the hosts to develop sentience is a traumatic episode in their backstory. “She was alive. Truly alive,” the Man in Black said of Maeve, after he stabbed her and killed her daughter, essentially confirming that the death of a close loved one has the effect of waking up the hosts. The key to the bicameral mind is a combination of a backstory that gives the host a heart, and an event that breaks its heart. It’s how Ford made Bernard sentient: He gave him a son and a wife, and then he took his son away.
Knowing that, what provoked Abernathy into waking up seems all the more crucial.