It seemed inevitable for Westworld to spotlight a Host killing a human, but we assumed it would be of an unsuspecting guest at the park. Instead, it comes off the heels of the HBO series' biggest reveal to date, and holds huge implications for the rest of the season.
(Editor's note: Major spoilers for Westworld ahead.)
It turns out one of Westworld's most popular fan theories was true: Bernard isn't a human, but a secret Host under the control of Ford. Bernard, perhaps unwittingly, leads his former love interest Theresa into a trap, taking her to the cottage where he finds the Host replicas of Ford's family. It's there that Theresa discovers a hidden lab — currently producing a Host, rather ominously — and she finds the blueprints for a few unregistered Hosts.
She sees a sketch that bears Bernard's likeness, and the creeping realization that Bernard was always under Ford's control ultimately hits her once Ford makes his way downstairs and silences Bernard at his behest. Explaining to Theresa that he cannot have her or the eponymous Westworld board of directors getting in the way of his plans, he orders Bernard to kill her. Quite methodically, unemotionally and brutally, he smashes her head against the wall and follows Ford upstairs. Holy shit.
The Bernard reveal opens a Pandora's box for Westworld, when you consider all the important plot points the Host is centered around. His coworker Elsie, for instance, was digging into some of the secrets of the park, unknowingly feeding this information to Ford by way of Bernard. Elsie's disappearance doesn't bode well for her, in any case.
Then there's the intriguing conversations between Bernard and Dolores. They haven't popped up in a few episodes, but knowing that Bernard is himself a Host, the talks have an even deeper meaning. Is Bernard probing Dolores at the behest of Ford, or is he doing it at his own volition? If we want to go even further down the theoretical rabbit hole, could his conversations with Dolores take place in a separate timeline? What's more, in those scenes, is she even talking to a Host?
An extension of the Bernard Host theory is that he is a robotic replica of Arnold, the enigmatic co-creator of Westworld. If this theory proves true, the conversations with Dolores could have occurred prior to Arnold's mysterious death. After all, he invites Dolores to explore the hidden game within the park: the maze, similarly being pursued by the Man in Black.
In other words, instead of Westworld taking place in two separate timelines — another popular theory among fans — we could be looking at three with Dolores' conversations with Bernard.
Going back to Theresa's death, however, we still have some questions. Ford gives off the impression of someone who's successfully tied up loose ends by disposing of her. However, she's not the be-all and end-all to his issues with the board.
One of the members of the board, Charlotte, is still at the park and already fired Bernard. She was conspiring with Theresa to tamper with a Host to ostensibly prove that they are capable of killing humans (oh, the unfortunate irony, Theresa). With Charlotte still around, Ford isn't exactly in the clear.
There are a couple of ways, however, for Ford to get around this. The first hinges on the Host that was being built in the underground lab where Theresa was murdered. Ford could, technically, create a Host replica of Theresa and nobody would know (Bernard is a convincing human!). Alternatively, Bernard may not be the only secret Host working at Delos — could Charlotte be another under Ford's control?
These questions, and more, should be answered in the coming weeks as Westworld reaches its season one endgame. It's a slow-building narrative, but when the reveals are as haunting and effective as Bernard's, we're all about it — and we can't wait for Sunday.