SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the Westworld Season 2 episode “Phase Space.” Proceed with caution.
This week Westworld pulled off its bloodiest episode yet. Between the dual in Shogun World, to Akane cutting out her daughter’s heart, it was quite a violent episode. These violent delights have violent ends, as they say, and the end of this episode paid off a MASSIVE theory.
YES: Ford is alive and living inside the system. He is the proverbial ghost inside the machine.
Since the episode ended on this cliffhanger, let’s look at some of the main plot points the episode set up:
The Man in Black Must Choose
First, let’s catch up with the Man in Black. We know he’s on a mission, a mission that Ford sent him on. His mission is to find “the door”. Is that the door out of the park? No, that would be too easy. The door to some kind of truth?
When William‘s daughter Grace showed up out of the blue, he thought she was a host. He thought that Ford had somehow programmed her and sent her to give him a message. As the day wore on he began to believe she was real. He still held his doubts however, considering she didn’t have a scratch on her after her escape from The Raj.
The pair shared an intimate conversation about their broken relationship. Grace forgave her father for his absence and told him that she didn’t blame him for her mother’s death. You think this would have softened some part of the Man in Black’s heart, but he still couldn’t be reached. When she asked him to choose her and leave, over staying in the park, he said yes, then left her behind anyway.
Did he make the right choice here? Is she a host? Was she sent to tempt William with the dream of a much needed father/daughter reconciliation? Clearly William didn’t buy whatever she was selling, even if she was human and telling the truth.
Maeve Returns Home
Then we caught up with Maeve. After a bloody duel in Shogun World, Maeve finally found her way back to the place of her first narrative. She left her friends behind — Hector, Armistice, Hanaryo, and the humans — so that she could find her daughter on her own. She found her home still in tact. The fields, the land, the hills, everything looked exactly the same to her.
Maeve found her daughter sitting on the porch playing with two dolls: a mother and a daughter. Maeve’s daughter had a new mother, however, which was to be expected. To Maeve’s surprise, the host looked almost exactly like Maeve. Then, as if out of some nightmare, the Ghost Nation showed up to slaughter them, just like they had done in Maeve’s original narrative.
The Ghost Nation surprised Maeve when they approached her and asked her to join their path. Did they know that she was awake? What was happening there?
After at least 10 days, maybe even more, rescue was finally sent to Delos Island. Charlotte restored the map and secured Peter Abernathy while an intense security protocol showed up. Once the map was up, they noticed a blazing red mark — the train — the train that Dolores and Teddy were taking to the Cradle. The train crashed into the Cradle, while Bernard and Elsie were inside.
Once Elsie and Bernard discovered that the Cradle was sending out a rogue signal, they decided to investigate. Bernard, feeling up to a little pain, plugged himself into it and allowed his consciousness to be removed. He was immediately put on the train. He got off in Sweetwater, the town where so many narratives played out in Season 1. While in this Sweetwater dream, he saw Dolores, he saw Teddy and he saw the familiar face of his creator: FORD.
So, Ford is alive. His consciousness was uploaded into the Cradle and has been running the park ever since. This explains so many things, like why the park was still creating new lands, why no signal could get in or out of Delos, and why so many of the hosts had been activated to consciousness.
The question for next week is: will Ford put himself into a body or will he continue live as a computer program?
Westworld airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO.