John P. Johnson/HBO

Will Bernard Return To 'Westworld'? His Death May Not Be The End Of His Story

Fans of HBO's Westworld may still be reeling from the machine gun of reveals pelleting bullets their way before the series' first season finale. In the last two episodes, everything seems to have coalesced all at once: there's Maeve's scorched-earth plan to take over the world, the fact that Bernard is a host, and, finally, the fact that Bernard is modeled after park co-creator Arnold, whom Dolores killed 30 years ago. It's a lot. To top it all off, Dr. Ford ordered Bernard to kill himself, leaving his body in an old lab. But will Bernard return to Westworld? All is definitely not lost for his character.

First of all, let's not forget that hosts are literally built to "die" and be reborn every day. A quick trip to the butchers for a tune-up and Bernard could be up and running again in no time. Of course, no one but Dr. Ford and the dearly departed Theresa knows that Bernard is a host. And he's been dumped far out of reach, in a remote and decommissioned lab somewhere in the crypts of Westworld. No one knows to search for him, first of all, or where to look. Of course, he could always be discovered by someone and reset. My money's on Maeve figuring it out and doing the legwork, considering she has butchers readily available and she can control hosts. Then again, if Elsie isn't really dead (which I'm praying is true), then she'd have the capabilities to rebuild Bernard, perhaps even with Dr. Ford's consent if she tweaks his memory and objectives.

John P. Johnson/HBO

The other obvious incentive to keep Bernard around, aside from Jeffrey Wright's stellar acting and the deep shame it would be to lose him from the show, is that Dr. Ford presumably built him primarily because he missed Arnold. There hasn't been any explicit admission that Ford and Arnold were lovers, but the way Dr. Ford refers to Arnold as his "partner" again and again makes it pretty implicit that he means more than business partner.

They obviously shared a close bond and feel intimately connected. It seems unlikely that Ford would bring a mere co-worker back to life via a host built in his image. Maybe the same grief over Arnold's loss that drove Ford to try and recreate him the first time around will kick in again. Once Ford begins to miss his friend, perhaps that longing will drive him to recommission Bernard himself. And if that's the case, then viewers shouldn't go without him for long.