Is Bernard Arnold On 'Westworld'? It's More Complicated Than That
For weeks, astute viewers have wondered if Arnold and Bernard on Westworld were actually the same person. Those with a mind for puzzles pointed out that BERNARD LOWE is a direct anagram for ARNOLD WEBER… and although we didn't yet have confirmation of Arnold's last name, it seemed compelling enough evidence that the soft-spoken programmer was created in the image of Dr. Ford's partner by Ford himself. In the Nov. 27 episode, the truth behind Bernard's origins was finally revealed, and it turns out that in this case the theories were correct: Bernard Lowe is Arnold Weber — although the truth (and the events that brought us to that revelation) were more complicated than they appeared.
We arrived at the truth through two distinct (and distinctly confounding) avenues — both through Bernard's conversations with Ford and Dolores' continued journey to the fringes of Westworld. In the former storyline, the newly revealed host cornered his creator and demanded answers about his own origins. Bernard even brought a tool to help him coerce the truth from Ford: Clementine! Although she had been officially decommissioned from her role in the Mariposa, it turned out that the "lobotomy" of Clementine's personality hadn't reset her prime directives… which you'll remember had been altered by Charlotte and Theresa for their charade in last week's episode, in order to be able to harm lifeforms she read as human.
Following Bernard's orders, Clementine held Ford at gunpoint in order to threaten the architect into telling the truth. With no other choice, Ford allowed Bernard's mind to access memories that had previously been overwritten; memories like murdering Elsie and looking at a picture of Ford and his partner Arnold… who looked exactly like Bernard.
As if that wasn't enough confirmation of who Bernard really is, we also got a new perspective on the host through Dolores' storyline. After escaping from Logan and his horde, the farmer's daughter found her way back to the town with the white church… which for the first time wasn't buried under the desert sands. As she made her way into the church, Dolores continued to glitch back and forth between timelines — apparently confirming the idea that Westworld isn't existing in two timelines but rather Dolores is experiencing vivid memories of her own past — until she stumbled into the confession booth.
The booth turned out to be an elevator that took Dolores underground to the secret lab where we've previously seen Bernard interviewing the host. On her way, Dolores passed a door bearing the name that many viewers had been expecting to hear for weeks: Arnold Weber. Now the truth is clear: those interviews were actually memories as well. And it wasn't Bernard who was interviewing Dolores… it was Arnold himself.
Apart from the revelation that Bernard was modeled in Arnold's image, we learned three important things about the host and his original. For one, Ford told Bernard that he was modeled in both his and Arnold's image — which means he might very well have a bit of Ford's own consciousness within his artificial mind. Secondly, Dolores finally divulged the truth about what happened to the ill-fated Arnold — she killed him, although the circumstances behind the murder are still unknown. Finally, we watched as Ford, concerned by how much Bernard was catching onto reality, ordered the host to take Clementine's gun and blow his own brains out.
Is Bernard really gone for good? Why did Dolores kill Arnold? And what is the full explanation for how Bernard came to exist? We may finally have gotten confirmation that Bernard is an artificial version of Arnold, but there are clearly many more questions left to be answered in next week's Season 1 finale.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (3)