In less than a week, the season 1 finale of HBO's Westworld will bring all of the events of the past several weeks to a close. Or we may end up with a big cliffhanger, depending on how they decided to go with it. One thing that has been explored heavily in the past few weeks is Jeffrey Wright and his character Bernard, and we will surely get some resolution with that in this upcoming episode. Given the crazy, recent twist, HBO has released a new video to help examine the character of Bernard.
Warning, if you are not caught up on Westworld, this article will contain major spoilers from this point on. You have been warned. HBO recently uploaded the video to their YouTube channel and it features the show's creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, as well as Jeffrey Wright, explaining their in-depth thoughts and Bernard's character and what it means in the grand scheme of Westworld. Thanks to the last few episodes, we now know that not only is Bernard a host, but that he was actually created by Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Robert Ford and modeled after his dead partner Arnold.
In the latest episode, Bernard took a deep dive into his own memories to try and discover some deep truths about himself, specifically relating to his "cornerstone." Something of a defining memory given to all hosts in Westworld and something that was talked about by Elsie (Shannon Woodward) earlier this season, another person that Bernard seemingly killed. Lisa Joy talks a bit about this idea of a "cornerstone" in the video and what that really means, as well as how it relates to Bernard and real life.
"I think in some ways this mimics real life. They're the things that we attribute our selfhood to. Monumental incidents in the mythology making of ourselves. In order to come to the truth of who he is, he has to address head on every painful memory. You realize within the course of this episode it was there as kind of a stumbling block. A myth that he told himself about who he was so he wouldn't see beyond that myth to a deeper truth, which is he is Dr. Ford's creation."
Dr. Ford in a way wanted his friend back, which is why he created Bernard, but his motivations appear to be much more selfish. In the latest episode, he describes Bernard as "the perfect instrument," which is pretty insulting and surely tough to deal with for a robot as aware of his consciousness. The relationship between these two is the absolute definition of complicated, but at the end of the day, Bernard is a very, very tragic character. Especially considering his ultimate fate of having to put a bullet in his own head because he would no longer comply with Dr. Ford's puppet mastering.
There are still a lot of questions that could use some answering and we definitely need a little more resolution for Bernard's character in the upcoming Westworld finale, but this video definitely helps clarify things a bit and lends some perspective from the people responsible. So far, we still have no explanation as to why nobody recognized Bernard was a dead ringer (pardon the expression) for Arnold. The guy has been dead for thirty years, but Ford had a picture of him just laying around. Surely someone would have noticed. We'll have to see if that is addressed in the Westworld season finale this Sunday on HBO. For now, you can check out the video exploring Bernard's character for yourself below.