Viewers certainly didn't have to wait very long for things to get intense on Westworld, though I guess we shouldn't be surprised since the series takes place in a fantasy world for the vacationer who craves an experience without limits or consequences. The characters in this series are extremely fascinating, but also unbelievably difficult to understand completely. The flesh and blood humans have melded so seamlessly with the androids that anyone who is being touted as a real person could turn out to be a robot at some point. Of course, with any great series, theories have started to float around about every episode and some of the most interesting Westworld theories are about Doctor Ford.
Robert Ford is a tough guy to fully comprehend. He is played absolutely flawlessly by Anthony Hopkins, who makes the character's god complex both terrifying and understandable at times. Who wouldn't relish having complete control over their own interactive world? The problem arises when the complex turns into a need to control things that no one should be allowed to control. Creating storylines may be fun, but when emotions and memories are being manipulated, major issues arise. Needless to say, the complexity of Ford's personality has spawned some notable theories already and these are two of the most fascinating.
Ford Created Bernard Using A Specific Inspiration
Ford has a very obvious need to control and manipulate everything around him, and Bernard is his right-hand man who he trusts with creating and maintaining his extremely precious androids. Reddit is rife with evidence suggesting that Bernard is indeed one of the original hosts created by Dr. Ford. There was a pretty good hint in Episode 2, pointed out by Reddit user Captain-10, when Dr. Ford says to Bernard, "I know how your brain works." Is this just Dr. Ford suggesting that he knows his employee through and through or does he literally know how Bernard's mind works because he built it?
There is also the fact that when Bernard sleeps with Theresa, they lie in bed talking and she asks why androids bother speaking to each other when there are no guests around. Bernard answers, “They’re always trying to error-correct, make themselves more human. When they talk to each other it’s a way of practicing.” Theresa then asks, “Is that what you’re doing now?” Was this just some flirty banter or does she know he is an android? It seems likely that Dr. Ford created Bernard himself and if this is the case, did he create him from scratch or could, as The Hollywood Reporter theorized, Bernard possibly contain the consciousness of Ford's co-creator Arnold, who supposedly died in the park?
Ford Introduced The Glitch On Purpose
Another theory about Ford keeping robot-related secrets, Reddit user twbrn postulated that he purposely introduced the glitch that is causing all of the chaos in Westworld. The user wrote:
"I think Ford is deliberately trying to introduce glitches in the hopes of making his robots evolve. We’re told how he keeps pushing things, and the last code he introduced was what enabled them to start exceeding limits. I think this dude sees himself as the god of artificial life."
Ford wants to see the robots evolve, but he could be pushing the boundaries too far. This could actually explain the Arnold situation — maybe Ford wanted to do this and when Arnold tried to stop it, he ended up dead. After all, we've only heard Arnold's story from Ford's perspective and he could be lying to make himself look better.
Even if one (or both) of these theories is on the right track, I don't think any of us can know the extent of Robert Ford's personality or origin story, and I am really excited to see what Westworld reveals about him as the season progresses.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (3)