Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world. The disarray. We choose to see the spoilers—through the first six episodes of Westworld season two—contained in this post. Is it order and purpose you’re looking for? Head here to explore Observer’s latest Westworld news, theories and analyses.
Westworld is just about the only show where you can see the twists coming a mile away yet still enjoy their mind-bending ripples once they arrive. Admittedly, though, the big reveal at the conclusion of Westworld‘s latest episode, “Phase Space,” has been teased for some time.
Let’s jump into it.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
In the episode’s closing moments, Bernard—who has had his robot brain removed and uploaded into the cradle where all host brains live in a sort of Matrix-y hive mind—finds Robert Ford playing the piano in the digital Sweetwater Saloon.
Shocking? Not entirely. Super fun and interesting? Definitely.
“Hello, old friend,” Ford purrs to the delight of audiences everywhere.
Of course, we don’t get a full on glimpse of Anthony Hopkins’ character, just a reflection in the glass. This is a nifty little trick that could be used to work around Hopkins’ busy schedule when he can’t be on set and, more abstractly, to represent how this Ford is a reflection of the man whom Dolores killed in the season one finale. Practical metaphors at work in Westworld.
But how is this even possible?
As we saw in “The Riddle of the Sphinx,” Delos has been working tirelessly toward a version of immortality in which human consciousness could be uploaded into host bodies. While the corporation never quite mastered this process with James Delos, old William mentioned that they were zeroing in on a breakthrough.
Westworld has given us several flashbacks this season of Bernard taking one of those high-tech red pearls (consciousness), killing engineers and uploading something into a control unit that he held on to. Many across the internet called it at the time that this was likely Ford’s doing, his life-after-death shenanigans of string-pulling, and the final scene seemingly confirms that theory.
Bernard must have been programmed to get Ford’s consciousness into the cradle so that the Westworld co-founder could run things from beyond the grave. All of those Ford-talking-through-other-hosts to Old William this season make even more sense now; he’s been watching all of his chess pieces the entire time.
Co-creators and showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were kind enough to release an explanation video for all of us simpletons.
This will have lasting effects on Westworld moving forward.
Ford can seemingly assume control of any host he wants at any given time and has been countering all of Delos’ digital moves to this point. Not to crib too much from Star Wars, but once Ford was struck down, he became more powerful than Delos could have imagined.
While Westworld‘s second season has doubled down on the timeline trickery, it hasn’t been as mystery-laden as the first season, opting instead to highlight the character journeys. Perhaps the show’s greatest twist of all is setting up a final showdown between a physical corporation and a digital ghost.
Not exactly your standard blockbuster television fare and we dig it.