Pretty much everything we've seen in Westworld so far paints a picture of Ford as the park's ultimate Svengali, an obsessive control freak who manipulates everybody and everything to his will — but if Ford has the mother of all ego complexes, it's possible that he might not have seen what was right under his nose.
A new theory shared on Reddit questions whether Bernard might be playing Ford — even if he himself doesn't realize it — and borrows a major plot point from Memento, the twisty memory-themed thriller written by Westworld's creative overlord Jonathan Nolan.
The Redditors Iamadultipromise420 and Lost_the_weight question whether or not Elsie's words as she discovers the modified code while on the phone to Bernard in the abandoned theater ("pretty prolific coder for a dead man") might refer to Bernard himself. He wouldn't have known it at the time, obviously, being unaware that he's a host under the control of Ford.
More 'Westworld' Madness:
- Did Evan Rachel Wood Just Reveal Wyatt's Identity?
- Big 'Westworld' Theory: Was Ford In Love With Arnold?
- 5 Things You May Have Missed In 'Westworld' Episode 9
If Bernard realized at some point in the recent past that his memories were being wiped by Ford, he may have hacked the hosts' codes as a kind of stamp to later rediscover the truth, just as Leonard uses tattoos as a daily learning tool in Memento. Clearly Jonathan Nolan enjoys that concept — we've also seen it used with Maeve and the collection of identical drawings stashed beneath her floorboards. Eventually, that triggered her curiosity enough to seize control of her own attribute matrix in the lab and learn the full truth of her existence.
So, in a way, Bernard is one step ahead of Ford — he just doesn't know it yet. Ford's boasting to Bernard of having created a back-door override (allowing him to seize back control of the gun-wielding Clementine) might be seen as foreshadowing of Bernard having done the very same thing elsewhere. Even if true, though, I don't know how that will come into play in the finale, except that we haven't come this far with Bernard only for him to put a gun to his head and call it a day.
Ford's grip on Westworld has been so resolute that everything has been coolly controlled and almost nothing, with the exception of Maeve's antics in the lab, has escaped his attention. But for the finale to raise the stakes, something will have to happen to threaten Ford's dominance — and I'd be willing to bet on that something being Bernard. Full credit to the guys on Reddit for spinning this theory. You can read the thread in full right here.
The Westworld Season 1 finale airs this Sunday on HBO. Check out the promo below, then tell me...
Has Bernard been secretly hacking the code to counter his own memory resets, or is that a Memento homage too far?