Westworld Pretty Much Confirmed that [SPOILER] Is an Android

Monday, 17 October 2016 - 1:01PM
Westworld
Reviews
Monday, 17 October 2016 - 1:01PM
Westworld Pretty Much Confirmed that [SPOILER] Is an Android
When Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan adapted the 70s movie/book Westworld for HBO, they claimed that their vision had one major twist: the narrative was going to be "from the androids' perspectives." Although the first two episodes introduced several androids who could fit the bill—primarily Dolores, Maeve, and Teddy—this description of the show may be much more literal than we thought. As many fans have suspected, there's a very good chance that there are more androids hiding in plain sight within Westworld.

Spoilers for Westworld episode 3 follow!



After watching the third episode, it seems pretty clear that Bernard is a robot. Fans have been speculating that the workers at Westworld, and especially Bernard, are androids for a couple of weeks now, but this episode laid on the foreshadowing pretty thick. 

First, Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Ford made fun of the common TV trope of shoehorning characters' backstories semi-late in the game by giving Teddy a brand-new one. Then, he awkwardly reminded Bernard that the latter is still tortured by the loss of his young son. Considering the quality of writing on this show, it seems doubtful that they would make the exposition that clunky (especially after they just made fun of that trope) unless it were making a point. I would guess that Ford was "activating" Bernard's implanted memories of a dead son in order to motivate him to bond with Dolores and keep her newfound self-awareness a secret. 

Then, when Dolores started to question whether something was wrong with her, Bernard repeated Dr. Ford's words from episode 2 verbatim: "Evolution forged the entirety of sentient life on this planet using only one tool: the mistake." Yes, it's possible that Bernard just remembered Dr. Ford's words, but it seemed a little too perfect. Bernard is likely programmed to be subservient to Ford, which explains why he goes along with Ford's crazy plan to make the robots sentient with very little question.

And while some may view the conversation between Bernard and his wife as an indicator that his backstory is real, I disagree. First, the conversation was over the computer, so she could easily be a program. Second (and this is a little bit of a stretch, but bear with me), the wife is played by Gina Torres, a sci-fi veteran who is often cast as not-quite-real characters. And most importantly, during the conversation, Bernard says:

Opening quote
Some mornings when I first wake up, for a split second I forget where I am, what I am. I reach over, half expecting to find him there next to me. Between us.
Closing quote

Granted, this could just be sad and well-written dialogue about losing a child. But it also sounds a lot like something Dolores would say, and a wink to the androids' ability to reset. Dolores' family dies every night, but she still wakes up every morning thinking she's going to find them downstairs. 

All in all, it really seems like Bernard is an android. The show's intent is to empathize with the robots, so it only makes sense that at least one of the relatable "human" characters is actually an android, and will go through the same process that Maeve and Dolores are undergoing right now. Plus, the show is centered around the theme of identity, and since Bernard's identity is clearly build around the "cornerstone" of his son's death, it would be fascinating (and very Dollhouse-esque) to explore the ramifications of building a real identity around a fake memory.

Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi TV Shows
Westworld
Reviews