Two weeks ago, I wrote of the challenges of trying to figure out Westworld this early, because it’s difficult to solve a mystery when we don’t know the entire premise yet. The premise, however, finally seemed to availed itself in this week’s episode, “The Adversary.” This show is not about a war between the hosts and the humans. The point of the series is not about what’s at the end of the maze, either.
No, Westworld is ultimately shaping up to be about a war between Robert Ford and Delos, the corporation that controls Westworld. Despite what Abernathy might have us believe, the hosts aren’t after Robert Ford and Bernard. They’re not after their makers. They are his army, and my guess is that the final game he is setting up in the park is designed to overthrow Delos and set that army free.
This doesn’t weaken the possibility that Bernard is a host — in fact, it strengthens it. Bernard was likely being used by Robert to spy on an unwitting Theresa, and her decision to break up with Bernard will hasten the battle between Ford and Delos. Ford has lost his inside man and now he’s going to be forced into action against his enemy.
It doesn’t change our theory that Dolores is the one who holds the key to the maze, either. I still believe that Arnold hid the information needed for a full-on robot insurrection at the end of that maze and/or in the mind of Dolores, and that she is unwittingly seeking that out in service of Ford. Bernard is also shaking her down for Arnold’s intel. Having seen Ford take such an interest in the host version of his own family — as built by Arnold — only bolsters the theory. “If you could only see your son again, Bernard, wouldn’t you want to?” Ford asks. He is officially in this now to create sentient hosts. He’s not afraid of Bernard falling down the same rabbit hole as Arnold. He wants him to take that path. Ford may be brilliant, but he also may be a little mad. Ford is “chasing his demons right over the deep end,” as Sizemore suggested in the pilot.
I also think that Maeve’s role in this may be that of Ford’s assassin, mostly because the idea of Thandie Newton playing a super-intelligent robot assassin sounds thrilling. When the war between Delos and the Westworld hosts finally arrives, I’d want a shotgun-wielding Maeve leading the charge.
The lynchpin to this theory was the introduction of Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) in the same episode that Theresa broke up with Bernard. Charlotte is a bigwig at Delos, and I suspect that Theresa — wittingly or not — has been advancing Delos’ interests all along, hence the transmission devices in the hosts uncovered by Elsie. Moreover, Charlotte schmoozed with Lee Sizemore at the bar because she knew exactly who he was. He’s the dim bulb Charlotte wants in charge of Delos, because Delos can control him. Neither Charlotte nor Theresa had Sizemore fired and immediately escorted off the premises for urinating on the Westworld map, after all. As we noted in our discussion earlier this week, Lee is a tool for The Man, and the storyline that he built — all sex and violence, and no emotional depth — is exactly what Delos wants for Westworld. It’s about the bottom line. “Ford and Bernard keep making the hosts more lifelike,” Lee complained to Theresa in the opening episode. But that’s not what Delos wants. “This place works because the guests know the hosts aren’t real.”
For Ford, it’s about more than that. It’s about the world he has created. It’s about bringing these hosts to life. He is Frankenstein, and the hosts are his monsters. In fact, Arnold may have very well discovered the key to the bicameral mind, and he may have died in order to hide that secret from Ford. Ford is using Delores and Bernard to uncover Arnold’s secrets. He’s also designing the big storyline at the end that will free his creations from their corporate masters before the “long overdue … changing of the guard” that Lee warned was coming.
Nobody knows the park better than Ford. Nobody else has the kind of control over the hosts that Ford has. He’s been keeping tabs on Theresa since she was little; he may have even had her installed as Delos’ puppet. Now he’s ready to overthrow his overlords, and Charlotte and Theresa are all that stand in his way, plus all of the hosts that Lee Sizemore had commissioned for his storyline, hosts that may ultimately act as the army for Delos in the coming war.
Now that the enemy has availed itself on Westworld, Robert Ford can finally start executing the end he’s been plotting for 30 years.