‘Westworld’: Bernard Learns the True Nature of the Park

Lauren Gallaway
TV HBO
TV HBO

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Westworld Season 2 episode “Les Écorchés.” Proceed with caution.

During this week’s episode of Westworld, the true nature of the park was revealed. The true nature of Bernard was also revealed, as well as which Host had a key role in creating him. Ford also played a hand that no one was expecting, which sets up some exciting events for the rest of the season. Maeve and the Man in Black also got to relive her most tragic and terrifying moment which did not end the way it had originally. Let’s jump into the biggest moments from this week’s episode.

True Nature of the Park

Westworld Ford Bernard Season 2

In “Les Ecorches”, Bernard came face-to-face with his maker, Ford. Ford confessed everything to Bernard. How he backed up his consciousness before Dolores killed him in the Season 1 finale. How he has been living inside the Cradle backup files all this time. How his “resurection” was all part of the function of the park.

He also revealed — rather he helped Bernard understand — the true nature of Westworld. Westworld was not a tourist destination or a place to experiment with artificial intelligence. Those were just the byproducts of the park’s real purpose: to preserve human life after death. As Ford so eloquently put it, it was never about the Hosts learning to become more human, it was about humans learning to live on by becoming Hosts.

Delos was the first experiment in this project, but his mind never fully integrated with his Host body. According to Ford, the program doesn’t work, hence why he was still just living inside the Cradle and not his own Host body. The sentience of the park Hosts turned out to be a fluke, and as Ford explained to Bernard, he confirmed that the Hosts were truly awake and making their own decisions, like Dolores. This refutes the theory that Dolores was just living out Ford’s last storyline and not really making her own decisions.

Dolores’ Surprise Role

Westworld Dolores Bernard

Ford had another shocking truth to tell Bernard. Apparently Delos hadn’t begun his life-extension project when Arnold was still alive. That meant there was no hard back up of Arnold’s mind when he died. But Ford wanted to recreate his partner, so he began to assemble memories of Arnold in the Cradle.

Ford needed help to give Arnold — or Bernard as he is called now — true shape, so he brought in the Host whom Arnold had spent the most time: Dolores. Dolores had been created and programed by Arnold, so she knew him the best. Ford then used her memories with him to help build a mental and emotional construct of Arnold to become Bernard. This explains all the times we’ve seen Dolores testing Bernard at different times this season.

Here’s where things got weird: Ford began to spout on about the purity of the Hosts and their almost sheep-like quality. Ford then told Bernard that the only way the Hosts could regain and use their free will to any sense of purpose was to give it back to Ford. When Bernard woke up, he wasn’t alone: he was carrying Ford’s consciousness inside of him. Whether this will be a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen. Until then, Bernard just became a Trojan Horse carrying Ford to wherever he wants to go.

Maeve’s Loop Comes Full Circle

Westworld Maeve Season 2

After escaping the Ghost Nation and finally reuniting with her daughter, Maeve ended up right back where she started, with the Man in Black breaking into her house. This gave Maeve the opportunity to do what she couldn’t do before: she shot the Man in Black with no mercy.

Meave then used her superpower to get the rest of the Hosts to start firing on the MIB too, which ladened him with even more bullets. Her revenge was interrupted by the rescue team that Sizemore had called. Unfortunately the Ghost Nation picked up her daughter, and the rescue team shot both her and Lawrence. Sizemore saved her body, but it was hard to tell just how much damage she took. Dolores almost killed her, so Maeve’s powers couldn’t be used against the other Hosts, but she spared her life.

The episode concluded with a few powerful moments:

  • Both Maeve and the Man in Black were left for dead.
  • Bernard shut down the entire system.
  • Dolores took her father’s core out of his head.
  • Hale discovered Bernard was a Host.
  • Bernard confessed to the location of Abernathy’s core.

A lot of truths were revealed in this episode and a lot of lives were left clinging to hope. It would appear that a final Dolores/Hale/Ford showdown is on the horizon. What will they find in the Valley Beyond?

Lauren Gallaway
TV editor at FANDOM. Creator of The Marvel Report. Journalist, Comic-Con reporter, Podcaster.
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