If you’ve been watching Westworld, by now you should know that things aren’t always as simple as they look. When you’re seeing the world through robot eyes, with no concept of time, it can get tricky to put things together. This season started out with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) waking up on a beach, just in time to talk to the Delos rescue team that has come down. While it may seem like he is in control, some fans believe he is being played by the corporation. Is Delos controlling Bernard? There are a lot of little clues that point to this potential twist.
When Bernard wakes up on the beach, there is something seemingly off about him. He looks disoriented and confused, but begins being hounded by questions from the Delos team. Sure, it’s understandable that they would want to know what exactly happened after the infamous party in which Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) introduced a new narrative, programming Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) to kill him and getting the hosts to rebel.
It’s important to remember that Ford (the mastermind who created the hosts) and Delos (the company now running the park) didn’t agree on how the park should be run, and on the night of the party, Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) had asked Ford to step down after announcing the new narrative. Obviously, Ford chose a scorched earth narrative, but it could be likely that he had hidden some secrets within the hosts -- ones that Delos is now trying to acquire.
Many Reddit fan theories, and this amazing compilation from YouTuber, HaxDogma, point out that there are tons of subtle inconsistencies in the first episode that make it look like Bernard may be in a simulated loop created by Delos to extract information. Here is a breakdown of why and how it looks like Delos is really controlling Bernard in the present timeline:
1. Delos Wants The Code At Any Cost
For starters, it’s important to figure out what Delos’ intentions are. They’re looking for Abernathy because he has some kind of code hidden within him. It could be code related to the guests, whose private information is being collected for profit, or it could be some secret code they need to run the parks.
Back in Season 1, when talking to Theresa about Delos’ priorities, Charlotte mentioned, "This place, the people who work here, are nothing, our interest in this place is entirely in the intellectual property. The code."
2. Bernard Knows About The Code
Delos was looking for the code that was uploaded into Abernathy, and in the third episode of the season, Virtu e Fortuna, Dolores asks Bernard to help him. In reading his code, Bernard figures out that Abernathy has been carrying crucial encrypted files and is actually able to open them to see what’s inside.
Some fan theories suggest that Bernard may have uploaded the files to himself, in an effort to protect them from Delos, but even if he didn’t he does have information about the code that Delos is after, which could be a reason they need to control and interrogate him.
3. He Conveniently Wakes Up To A Delos Team
In the first episode of the season, Bernard wakes up on the beach at the same time the Delos rescue team arrives. Stubbs helps him up and says, “'Bet you're pretty f***ing out of sorts right now, let's get you back to base, Delos brass are gonna wanna talk to you.”
Some fan theories have noted how convenient it was for Bernard to wake up at that exact time, and because nothing happens on Westworld without reason, there is speculation that he has been put into a simulated loop by Delos in efforts to get information about the code.
4. Delos Interrogates Bernard From The Moment He Wakes Up
When Bernard wakes up on the beach, the Delos rescue team, including Karl Strand, are supposed to believe that he is human, but they never ask him how he’s doing, if he needs a change of dry clothes, or if he needs medical attention. Instead, they continuously hound him with questions, which isn’t the normal way humans treat other humans who’ve just gone through such an ordeal.
5. Subtle Changes In Scenes
Honestly, as in-tune with the show I think I am, there are a lot of things I didn’t notice in the first episode. In a video by HaxDogma, you can see that frame-by-frame some of the things are different. For example, while Bernard sees hosts being shot on the beach, each time he looks something is different. This could explain the theory that Delos is putting Bernard through multiple simulated loops, and in each loop one detail is a little different.
6. Charlotte Is Constantly Examining Bernard
When Charlotte and Bernard are on the run, she seems to constantly be more intrigued by him than the danger surrounding them. She is also asking him question after question, like, “What happened back there?” and “How far do you think its spread?”
Again, this supports the theory that Delos is controlling Bernard in a simulated loop, and Charlotte is just trying to extract as much information as she can without letting on that she knows he is a host.
7. Elsie Looks A Little Too Perfect
Another theory that makes it look like Delos is in control is the fact that Elsie looks perfectly intact when Bernard finds her in the cave. She claims that he left her there days before, but her hair, skin, and clothes show no wear or distress. Just like the rest of the Delos brass, Elsie also hounds Bernard with questions, which may be another form of interrogation.