‘Westworld’ Just Confirmed a Major Fan Theory in ‘Trompe L’Oeil’

John P. Johnson/HBO
Jeffrey Wright, Sidse Babett Knudsen in Westworld

This post contains spoilers for the November 13 episode of Westworld. Proceed with caution.

Westworld‘s seventh episode, “Trompe L’Oeil,” just delivered a huge present to all the the Redditors and fans mapping out theories for the elusive sci-fi series. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is a host.

Say it ain’t so? It is, and it’s wonderful. In the final twist of the night, we learn that Bernard is a host created by Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) in his secret cabin-lab. Not only does he follow Ford’s direct orders, but he leads former bed buddy Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) down to the cabin’s basement and kills her under Ford’s command.

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Interestingly enough, “Trompe L’Oeil” is a french phrase for “deceive the eye.” Well, Bernard certainly did that! And now we won’t be able to look at any of the other “human” characters the same again.

The reveal is even more interesting when you consider the opening scene of the episode, where we see Bernard dreaming/remembering, reading his son Charlie Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at his hospital bedside as he died. Upon closer inspection, though, it’s obvious that Ford stuck this bit of backstory in himself, when Bernard reads this bit of Mad Hatter dialogue:

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t.”

This isn’t the first time Lewis Carroll’s classic has come up. In the third episode, Bernard actually gives Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) a copy of the book after she reads aloud a passage of text from Alice’s perspective. Now, is this speeding along of Dolores’ self-discovery a secretly-aware Bernard’s doing? Or Ford’s?


Jeffrey Wright of Westworld

As the rest of the episode continues, it isn’t obvious again until he takes the elevator down with Theresa and says, “The longer I work here, the more I think I understand the hosts. It’s the human beings that confuse me.”

From there, the first huge moment is Bernard not recognizing the door inside the cabin, because he’s been programmed not to (cue gasps). We also learn that Bernard is not only just a host, but one of the first, grouped together with Dolores’ generation. This reveal of course leads us to the second half of the “Bernard Is a Host” theory: Is he actually a clone of Ford’s co-creator, Arnold? It’s very convincing now, knowing what we know, but we’ll have to wait and see!

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Still shocked? Here’s a quick breakdown of the major clues that led viewers to this theory in the first place.

  • Ford, to Bernard, in Episode 2: “I know how your brain works.”
  • Bernard and Dolores’ secret talks throughout the season. He does not report her malfunctions, allows her to remain clothed unlike the other Westworld employees and carries on secret meetings.
  • Bernard was the only Westworld employee with a backstory. Only the hosts have backstories to ground them, and that idea was introduced alongside Bernard’s previous family.

Since we didn’t get any indication about what happened to Elsie (Shannon Woodward) this episode, who was last seen snooping around in the abandoned theater: Could Bernard, under Ford’s orders, have been the one who snatched her?

Also, next up on Who’s Actually a Host, we’re throwing our suspicion towards board member Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), who used the phrase “blood sacrifice” mysteriously in the same episode as Ford. Did Ford build his own board? Yikes.

Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO