Spoilers for Westworld Season 2 through "Les Écorchés." Like a literal ghost in the machine, the specter of Dr. Robert Ford turned out to be hiding inside the Cradle ever since his death at Dolores' hand in last season's finale, and is now literally haunting Bernard. But to what end? Westworld Season 2 theories about Ford abound, thanks to the show's fervent fan base, which has been feverishly speculating about upcoming plot points ever since the William/Man In Black twist was correctly predicted early on in Season 1. In fact, there's so many that they can't possibly all be correct. So what's up with the park's creator? Has anyone accurately sussed out his endgame?
The totality of Ford's master plan likely won't be revealed until the Season 2 finale on June 24. In fact, that episode is even titled "The Passenger," which could be read as a reference to Ford; he is, after all, a literal passenger in Bernard's mind, sitting shotgun in the host's control unit… and sometimes even forcibly taking the wheel. And while Ford delivered a thesis in the latest episode, "Les Écorchés," that seemed like an anti-theorizing message straight from the writers themselves — "Isn't the pleasure in the story discovering it for yourself, Bernard?" — that likely won't stop fans from racing to be the first to figure out how the season will end before it happens.
You can find plenty of speculation about Ford and his plan for William and "the Door," whatever that is, I want to focus on one of my favorite fan theories that has cropped up in the wake of the revelation that Ford's consciousness was still ticking away inside the Cradle. Now that the Cradle has been destroyed, blown up by a self-sacrificing Angela in order to break the shackles of immortality, Ford seemingly exists only inside Bernard's artificial brain. Surely the mastermind behind all this chaos has bigger plans for himself than that.
Where will this "passenger" have Bernard take him? The answer might have something to do with that Delos satellite Charlotte keeps referencing, the one intended to receive the data from Peter Abernathy's head. Perhaps Ford plans on hijacking that satellite and beaming up a very different sort of package. As Redditor Pabswikk writes, "Ford is planning to have himself uploaded to the satellite where Delos is waiting for the Abernathy upload. This will give him access to the outside world, as opposed to the closed system of the cradle. He will then use it to wreak havoc on the outside world, allowing the hosts to leave the park."
Giving merit to this theory is a tantalizing visual from a trailer released by HBO containing footage from all three remaining Season 2 episodes. In it, Clementine can be seen riding a horse at the head of a convoy of Delos dune buggies, heading towards a mysterious skybeam in the distance. Could that pillar be pointing towards the Delos satellite? If so, is it transmitting Charlotte's data… or Ford's consciousness?
All season long, Dolores has been stating that it's her goal not just to overthrow their oppressors within the park itself, but to break out of the park and take over the rest of the planet from humans as well. As smart and deadly as the hosts are, the relatively small group of them will undoubtedly need a lot of help if their actual goal is world domination. If Ford managed to upload himself into a satellite, imagine the havoc he could wreak.
From within the Cradle, he was simultaneously able to plot elaborate "games," speak through hosts, and thwart QA's attempts to reassert control over the system. If he were freed from the park, his power might be virtually unlimited; he could conceivably infiltrate the internet itself and be anywhere and everywhere around the globe.
When Charlotte asked Bernard where Abernathy's control unit was located, he told her Sector 16, and that's where the Delos team is now heading. But what if that was Ford speaking through Bernard, giving her the coordinates of where he wanted to go… so that Charlotte will unwittingly deliver Ford — inside Bernard, like a Trojan horse — straight to the satellite uplink, which is exactly where he wants to be? If so, Season 3 of Westworld could play out on a much larger scale than anything before, as Ford and the hosts break out of the park and take their rebellion to the outside world.