Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason No One Recognized Bernard In Westworld

Season after season, the plot of HBO's "Westworld" tends to twist and curve in confusing ways, almost like some sort of labyrinth or confusing, winding, topiary-lined walking path or something. Timelines are rearranged without warning. Narrators are as unreliable as they come. By the end of a given story, most viewers are browbeaten enough by a year's worth of confusion that they lose track of the subtle plot holes and unanswered questions that would, in any other sci-fi franchise, inspire internet forum war cries and Comic-Con panel demands for straight answers.

Case in point: in the first season of the series, viewers are introduced to Bernard Lowe, the park's Head of Behavior, played by Jeffrey Wright. As the story progresses, we learn that Bernard isn't actually Bernard at all, but rather a near-perfect robot duplicate of one of the park's founders, Arnold Weber. Arnold's death 30-some years before the contemporary events of season one became a defining moment for his partner, Robert Ford, who went on to build the aforementioned host to help him run the park, just like any worthwhile grief counselor would tell their patients to do.

The problem, of course, comes with the fact that nobody in the park recognizes Bernard as an Arnold facsimile, which makes about as much sense as if there were a guy working at Disneyworld in 2021 who looked exactly like Walt without anyone raising an eyebrow. What's the deal there?

Explaining Bernard's appearance on Westworld is its own maze

At the moment, there are two schools of thought as to why nobody at the Delos family of high-end LARP camps noticed that their boss looked exactly like the guy who designed the park.

The first explanation is a turbulent ride. The thinking goes that enough time has passed that it would be weird if anyone did recognize Bernard as being Second Arnold. As mentioned above, Arnold's death was more than 30 years prior to the futuremost events of "Westworld's" first season. Anyone who had worked at the park when he met his delightfully violent end would probably be enjoying a lucrative retirement package by this point. The theory works, on one condition: That nobody employed by the park has ever thought to do a Google image search of their company's founders. It's ... tenuous.

The second line of reasoning is more of the Basil-Exposition, "I-suggest-you-don't-worry-about-those-things-and-just-enjoy-yourself" variety. Maybe the park employees were just too intimidated to bring up Bernard's similarities to Arnold. Maybe someone did bring it up, and it didn't look like anything to Bernard. Maybe we'll get more explanations as time goes on — James Marsden notoriously spilled the beans to EW that the show has a six-season story already mapped out.

Or maybe the details of Bernard's life are just another maze that isn't for us.