Each week, Brian Grubb and Keith Phipps will attempt to unpack the latest episode of the HBO series Westworld, a show about an amusement park populated by lifelike robots that’s also about… other stuff.
The Horrible Truth About Bernard
Keith: This week starts with Bernard waking up, which seems fitting given how last week’s episode ended. He begins the episode in pain over what he did to Theresa and he ends it having lost that pain, its erasure his reward for doing Ford’s dirty work. It’s a contrast to what we learn about Maeve and her own resistance to having her memories wiped (more on that below). But I’m not sure Bernard would be so quick to surrender that if he thought it was gone forever. When he asks Ford if he’s been made to hurt others before, does he know the answer before he flashes on Elsie? I think something deeper’s going on here. Also, R.I.P. Elsie? She’s gone, right? She’ll be missed if so.
Brian: A few things:
– Ford tries to justify the backstory he gave Bernard by saying the pain gives him heart and heart makes him more “real,” but the biggest thing I took away from it all was how cruel it was, and how flippant Ford was about it. He created a robot to serve as his number two and he gave the robot a tragic story about a dead child that the robot has to live with forever under the impression that it’s real.
– Does Bernard, like, age? None of the other hosts appear to. Seems like it would come up after a few years at the company. “Happy birthday, Bernard. How old are you?” “87.” “Wow. You look… good.”
– The Elsie memory flash is interesting because it means at least two things: One, that Bernard has been Ford’s assassin before, and could have any number of bodies on his list. And two, that if he killed or kidnapped Elsie — this “vacation” story is a very thin and temporary cover, and makes me think Ford could be whipping up a Robot Elsie to take her place — and Ford “wiped” his memory, then Bernard could possibly remember Theresa, too. Both their relationship and the murder.
– Stubbs knows!
– It was very weird that Ford and Charlotte had their passive aggressive argument about the Clementine ruse and Bernard’s reinstatement while standing over Theresa’s dead body. Like, dang. Step out into the hallway for a sec. Also, shouldn’t someone have called the police? Because it seemed like they just had a butcher for the hosts do an autopsy on a human who died under mysterious circumstances and then everyone moved very quickly to “Now, about Bernard…”
– Hale and Lee the Writer are up to something with Dolores’ old malfunctioning dad and yet all I can think about it how much Lee sounds like Jimmy from You’re the Worst and how much I now wish Jimmy had been hired to write a narrative.