Bernard, Prosopagnosia, And Other Insane Musings

Westworld Telegraph

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Hi gents,

Great to be back in Westworld season, so let’s get right to it. I posted the following to reddit and am curious on your thoughts:

When Bernard is running a diagnostic in the secret Delos bunker, the symptoms of critical corruption state are listed. Among them are time slippage and “prosopagnosia” which is also known as “face blindness.”

Wikipedia helpfully defines prosopagnosia as “a cognitive disorder of face perception in which the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one’s own face (self-recognition), is impaired, while other aspects of visual processing (e.g., object discrimination) and intellectual functioning (e.g., decision making) remain intact.” Time slippage should be explanatory.

If Bernard is also in a state of critical corruption (and he seems like he might be – loss of motor functions and aphasia are also symptoms and Bernard is stumbling and bumbling like a college freshman), then he might also be suffering from face blindness and time slippage. This makes a few things possible:

(1) Beach Bernard from the “2-weeks later” timeframe might well be a known host and Delos is using him to figure out what’s going on – this might even be his second or third time through this exercise, indicated by his finishing Strand’s sentence that they’re not meeting under ideal circumstances, sort of like a reverie or partial memory. Perhaps the humans are no longer able to wipe or otherwise control awakened hosts (like D, Bernard, and Maeve) and so they’re using the critical corruption to their advantage. Face blindness would prevent Bernard from recognizing Strand from the first several times trying to extract intel.

The behavior of the beach rescue team is odd to say they least (they find a top exec and just start interrogating him) and everything is focused on pumping Bernard for information – not about the hosts, but about the events. They immediately stream a memory of a host being brutally murdered by Dolores – convenient if they’re trying to use Bernard asa double agent. They take him right to the scene of the gala – again, great anti-host propaganda with the cherry on top of seeing his dead mentor with some serious face rot away. Interestingly Strand asks if seeing Ford’s corpse jogs his memory – maybe a hackneyed attempt at using trauma to unlock past host memories. Suspiciously, no one has even TOUCHED the corpse-littered Escalante and left it completely as it was post-massacre.

(2) Beach Bernard might not even be Bernard’s body. There’s been talk about how the modular host brains really present an opportunity to mismatch brains and bodies. Add face blindness – a condition under which you might not be able to recognize YOUR OWN FACE – and this becomes possible. Where this could lead is yet to be seen. Maybe they’re trying to use Bernard as a double-agent and put his brain into, for example, Teddy’s body so he can get a shot at Dolores. Who knows?

(3) The time slippage point is worth mentioning because if the beach rescue of Bernard is indeed a setup, then there’s no reason to believe the “two weeks” figure at all – it could have been two days, two months, whatever.

(4) Finally, when Bernard is running that diagnostic, his name and picture show up on his tablet AS A HOST, with a HOST ID. I went back and looked three times – it’s legit. Ford obviously kept that under wraps for years, so why is Bernard suddenly showing up in the system as a host now? I’m not sure how this figures in – especially since it’s a pre-beach scene so it wouldn’t fit into the theory of the beach rescue setup. Food for thought.

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1 Response

  1. Gene Lyons says:

    Kudos to Ken for this one. I got so excited about it that I called up the crew and begged to put it on the Deep Dive. I think we’ll look back on this idea as the biggest leap toward understanding Season 2.

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