Nobody saw it coming.
It was so easy to assume those who watched over them were human. But in a world where hosts thrive in a recreation of a real world,, what reason would we have to assume anything at all? Again, Westworld reminds us that we, the viewers, are more human than we would like to admit.
So why was this sudden plot twist such a shock to the audience?
Because we fail to consider the possibility of anything inhuman being in control.
We assumed that if Bernard was responsible for the code of the park, for working alongside a genius like Ford, he must be one of us. He must be real, not some convincing imitation of life. It is simple logic that makes relative sense, causing us to direct our attention to seemingly more important questions: Who is stealing data from the park? Is William the Man in Black in a distant past? Is Maeve intelligent enough to find her way out?
Meanwhile, Ford spread his technology like a poisonous vine throughout the management in order to ensure total control over his creation. After the audience’s attention is diverted to Teresa ‘stealing’ data from the park, we become so focused on trivial human issues that we are easily blindsided by a twist that should have been evident, or at least considered all along.
It now seems that we are the ones that need to question our reality, as nothing we assumed has held true throughout the season. We assumed that Teresa was stealing data with ill intent, and that the petty alcoholic of a storyline developer was one of our bigger problems. We were thrown off focus by the tension between Logan and William, a dispute of minor gravity compared to the imminent collapse of Westworld.
Now, with a new frame of mind, we can only ponder what else we might have missed: Was Bernard always a host, or had he been killed and transformed for a disagreement with Ford? Is the death of his son a tangible memory, or nothing more than a detail in a fabricated storyline?
At the end of this tumultuous episode we are left with answers for questions we never asked, a powerful tactic that makes Westworld so thrilling in its first season. In recent news, as a result of its success, Westworld has received the green light for a second season, set to continue the stories of the characters and the park and follow the characters we have traced in their pride, heartbreak, and struggle of self-discovery.
Check out last week's review of Episode 6