Last week, Westworld did a complete 360, it took everything from the series we’d accepted as true and turned it on its head. The episode title, Trompe L’Oeil – the painting technique that fools the eye to perceive a flat object as being three-dimensional – should have tipped viewers off about what was to come.
Political manoeuvrings saw Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) get her lover and colleague Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) sacked, and while the corporation that bankrolls Westworld believed it had ceded control of the park, the hosts and the intellectual property rights for the ‘non-leisure application of the technology’, Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) thinks otherwise and isn’t ready to let go of his life’s work yet.
Babett Knudsen found this out to her cost after enticing the previously dismissed Bernard into a covert trip to Ford’s home where, as the episode climax approached, Hopkins emerged from the darkness in full Hannibal Lecter mode and dropped the series’ first real game changer.
Bernard (whose back story we have followed over seven weeks), philosophical head of tech, troubled divorcee and grieving father to a dead son – is one of the hosts; programmed and built to carry out the bidding of Ford. And when Ford suggested a blood-letting was the best way to clear the air, Bernard obligingly dashed Knudsen’s skull against the walls.
There are so many fan conspiracy theories around the various plot lines and with three more episodes this season, we can expect some at least to coalesce and at least hint at providing an answer.
Westworld – Tuesday 9pm on SkyAtlantic