This is it, Chapter 7 of Westworld is the episode that will catapult the series to a whole new level. The show has been enjoyable so far but I wouldn’t have put it on the same level as some of HBO’s best because it has lacked the consistency and turmoil so many of the network’s shows have. This all changed this week, though. Why? Because finding out Bernard is a host was the first truly shocking event of the series and we are now starting to see Westworld live up to its potential.
It was obvious we were going to learn something about Bernard this week because the episode opened on him instead of someone like Dolores or Maeve, but this wasn’t expected. Now, there has been a theory along these lines somewhere, but I don’t like to follow these so I was as surprised as anyone. In fact, it’s still hard to believe. Bernard felt like one of the few characters who was safe, the one who the audience was supposed to connect with. Instead, we found out that Ford had been controlling him, using him as a puppet to keep an eye on what’s really going on in the park.
The events leading up to the reveal were even better. Charlotte, the board representative, brought Theresa in for a meeting, where we discovered why she is actually there. The Board wants to push Ford out of the operation because they are interested in Westworld’s intellectual property and data, not the roleplaying theme park Ford created. To start this process, they fired Bernard because of the glitches affecting several of the hosts but of course, Ford knew what was going on. He had Bernard bring Theresa to his office in the park (where Ford has been building his own hosts no one knows about) and had Bernard bash her head in. Not only did we get our first big surprise, but we also saw our first human casualty. Though, I have a feeling we will Theresa again in some form.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here. We now know hosts are capable of fooling even those who are capable of creating them, so are there more? Will there be more? We already know the board has bigger plans, we’re just not sure what they are yet. One of the biggest questions I have is whether we are going to start seeing things from outside the park, the futuristic world that can create a place like Westworld. This chapter we also saw Maeve threaten Felix and Sylvester if they don’t help her break out of the park so it is a possibility.
Even after all the surprises with Bernard, Ford, and Theresa, Maeve is still the most intriguing character. Her newfound strength has allowed her to avoid shutdown commands given by the technicians. This has allowed her to keep going back to the lab and learning more about the inner workings of the park. This week she saw her “friend” Clementine get a drill up the nose after it was discovered she could hold grudges against people and fight back. Maeve’s storyline might still have a lot of questions that need answering, but I still think she’ll end up being the catalyst for the coming events.
The biggest revelation this week, though, was Ford and his influence on the park. His God complex extends further than just the narratives. The park isn’t just his own little world he has control over, it’s an incubator for something much bigger. How far does Ford’s reach extend? Was he the one who sent Bernard to meet privately with Delores or was this something out of his control? It’s clear that Ford is a monster that won’t allow anyone to get in his way, but how far will he take it?