Jeffrey Wright Is Mysterious On 'Westworld'

by Caitlin Flynn

In theory, amusement parks are all fun and games — but things are a little more sinister on Westworld, HBO's reboot of the 1973 film of the same name. Set in the future, humans have made such major leaps in the world of technology that robots are indistinguishable from real people. The robots (which are referred to as "hosts" in the series) are placed in a massive theme park for the wealthy — and the elite pay a hefty fee to pretend they’re living in the old West. They are free to treat the hosts however they wish, so we can expect plenty of disturbing interactions. As if the premise isn’t intriguing enough, the stellar cast will surely catch your eye — Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright star in Westworld. It already seems like there will be a lot of key characters to keep track of, so let's get a head start — who is Jeffrey Wright's character on Westworld?

Wright will play key engineer and head programmer Bernard Lowe, who works for Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins), the man who created Westworld and currently plays god at the theme park. Together, they’ve made sure that the “hosts” are as humanlike as possible. However, it appears that Bernard has more of a conscience than his boss — and a conscience combined with his intelligence and programming chops could potentially pose a huge problem for how Westworld is run. According to TVFanatic.com, Dr. Ford will repeatedly remind Bernard to “stop questioning the morality of what they do.”

Forward.com explains that the hosts are on a "loop." In the context of Westworld, what exactly does this mean? Each particular host is programmed for a particular "story arc" that they must act out over and over — some examples include playing outlaws and the lawmen tracking them down, and violent showdowns between farmers and bandits. These activities happen every single night, unbeknownst to the hosts. The outlet notes that there are only two ways to "break out of" a loop — either a programmer or a guest must interfere. So, that's where Bernard will be key — the same article teases that he has "a secret pet project... helping one of the hosts to remember her loops."

However, he may need to tread more carefully than he thinks. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fact that Ford doesn't initially get much screentime may be a clue because this brilliant character "can't possibly be as clueless as all the longtime operations people seem to think." So, Bernard may want to watch his back. And, of course, we can't rule out the possibility that Bernard has his own sinister motives for helping a host remember her loops. Did he simply pick this host at random to assess how he can best help all the hosts "break out" of their loops? Or, did Bernard single her out because he has some sort of evil motive to use her in another exploitative scheme?

We'll have to wait and see how the eerie games at Westworld unfold, but I'm not ready to trust Bernard just yet.

Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (2)