In the third episode of Westworld, HBO's mysterious new sci-fi series, we learn that the park's creator Dr. Robert Ford, has taken over half of the park for his new narrative, leaving all of the other storylines in disarray.
At first we don't know much about his new plans for the guests to experience, but we do know it has something to do with gods or religion, as teased in the previous episode.
He has taken all of the company's resources and employees and put them to work on his new venture - and the company is clearly not happy about it.
We also learned that when the glitch first arose due to the latest programming update, a host named Walter killed 6 other hosts who had killed him in previous narratives - as if he was holding a grudge and had a moment of consiousness.
Before Walter was taken down by park employees he repeatedly screamed, "I need my milk Arnold!"
Arnold? Who is Arnold?
Bernard, the parks top programmer, approached Ford about the odd occurance, to which Ford revealed quite a distrubing backstory.
Arnold was supposedly Ford's business partner in the early days of the park when there were no guests, no board members, and they were in complete creation mode.
We are shown a few flashbacks to those days, but we are only shown a younger, more optimistic Ford, and no traces of Arnold.
Apparently Arnold wasn't satisfied when the hosts finally passed the Turic Test, he not only wanted them to appear intellectual, but he wanted them to have a conscious.
Arnold based his code for consciousness on four things: memory, improvisation, self-interest, and the Bicameral theory — the idea that primitive humans used to think their own thoughts were the voices of the gods speaking to them.
His idea was that the hosts would eventually start to think for themselves. However, after the hosts were programmed with the inner monologue, half of them went crazy and believed they actually were gods.
The code was allegedly wiped, however - the hosts are currently showing signs of accessing Arnold's dangerous code - hence the reason they are rambling his name and hearing male voices.
According to Ford, Arnold became a recluse after his code failed, only spoke to the robots, went away for a while searching for answers, and eventually died...somehow. Ford does mention that, "We called it an accident, but Arnold was very, very careful."
We are finally getting a small glimpse into how multi-layered and complex Westworld is, just like the park itself. So - we're thinking that Arnold may still be out there somewhere, even though the producers said, "you won't see Arnold again."
Well, sure - maybe we won't see the original version of Arnold again or whoever that random man was in the photograph, but of course we speculated and came up with some theories on who Arnold really is...
Arnold is Ford
In this episode we learn how stern Ford is about his personal view of the hosts.
While an employee is working on a robot for the new narrative he covers him up.
Ford notices this and yells, "Why is this host covered, you didn't want him to feel cold or ashamed, you wanted to cover his modesty, is that it? He doesn't get cold, doesn't feel ashamed, doesn't understand a solitary thing that we haven't told it to!" and slices the host's face open.
Some type of major event had to affect Ford, that helped shape his strong beliefs that AI's are nothing more than plastic and computer programs, to make him so passionate (or upset) that they can not feel.
When Ford is telling the story of Arnold, he knows every detail on a rather personal level. He communicates Arnold's own thoughts and feelings, making us think that "Arnold" was the younger, more optimistic version of the current weathered and extremely bitter old man known as Ford.
During the flashback scenes to the "glorious creative days" we see Ford gazing on with hope and a confident vision as the parks first hosts came together. He was even smiling...
We never see Arnold in these flashbacks.
Now, here's the real kicker - the glitches are supposedly fixed, except they are not and the hosts are accessing Arnold's code, while Ford is concurrently messing around and uploading new his new narrative.
The only person other than Bernard that would be able to create and upload new programming is Ford. So if Bernard is completely unaware of the new narrative or why the glitch is still occuring, that leaves us with Ford - uploading updates.
And in Ford's new narrative that he's been uploading, he created a villain named Wyatt, who believes that he hears the voice of god - exactly what Arnold supposedly did all those years ago.
Ford's new programming is based on his old programming as "Arnold." When he told the story of "Arnold" it hit too close to home for him. He could easily be re-instating his old code in his new narrative.
Or it could be just a huge coincidence that all of these details line up perfectly to suggest that Ford is, or once was Arnold.
Arnold Is The Man In Black
Why does no one bother The Man in Black?
We already know that The Man in Black (Ed Harris) knows the ins and outs of Westworld almost as well as Ford does. He knows everything about the hosts, their narratives, and the land itself.
But he also is a scorned old man, who seemingly takes pleasure in ruthless violence, possibly in an effort to break the hosts and force them to feel humanized.
We don't know much about his backstory, other than he has been a guest for 30 years (close to when the park first opened to the public) and he is allowed to do whatever he pleases without any interruption from the company.
He's currently obsessed over finding a "maze" and by using extremely brutal acts, some of the hosts are somehow giving him information on said maze. He tortures them until they offer assistance.
We don't actually know what the maze is, as no one other than The Man in Black really brings it up in conversation.
It's possible that finding the maze is the last step in the "game" that will make the hosts sentient beings.
Maybe Arnold didn't really disappear, he just ran off and became a vengeful nefarious person after he was booted as co-creator. How else would the Man in Black know about the entire park, the hosts, the maze, and won't leave?
He's at the last level of the game, maybe solving the last level of the game enacts Arnold's greater plan.
The maze could very well be the answer to unlocking the host's consciousness, put there as an emergency failsafe situation. This would be the perfect way for Arnold to exact revenge on the company that ousted him.
Maybe no one bothers him because they are afraid of him...because he is really Arnold.
Arnold is Wyatt
Like we've already mentioned, Ford carved out a huge piece of the park for his new narrative, and threw the rest of the programmed storylines into disarray. When Ford is admiring the working parts of his new storyline he says, "It's a tricky thing weaving the old into the new."
As Ford is finally giving Teddy a meaningful backstory, we learn more about this profoundly new and life-changing narrative that Ford is bringing to life. He tells us that the new programming is, "a fiction like which all great stories is rooted in truth, it starts in a time of war, a world in flames with a villain called Wyatt."
Wyatt is the face of true evil who hears the voices of god (just like Arnolds original code). He was a sergeant in the Army until everything changed. He went missing for a while, and came back with some "pretty strange ideas."
Teddy's new backstory puts him on the hunt for his newly found nemesis Wyatt, as he is taking a group of guests to find him, he explains that he was Wyatt friend's until everything changed - when Wyatt claimed the land belonged to something that had yet to come and slaughtered innocent people.
Maybe Arnold is out there somewhere in Westworld hiding and Ford created this new narrative based on Arnold's original code to pull him out of the woodwork, while sending the best Gunslinger (James Marsden) and plenty of blood hungry guests to kill him. Even if Teddy can't technically shoot Arnold, a guest can - even if they bust his head in with a rock.
The narrative could easily be based on the real-life qualms between Ford and Arnold, but disguised as Teddy versus Wyatt.
By using part of Arnold's code, Ford is effectively mocking him, further proving that giving robots a consciousness would never work, supporting his own stern beliefs.
These are pretty compelling reasons that Wyatt, the man at the center of the new narrative that no one has ever seen, is really Arnold and Ford wants his own nemesis DEAD.
Arnold is Bernard
Isn't Bernard starting to mysteriously act exactly like the "Arnold" that Ford told him about?
He's reclusive, has a family tradgedy with the death of his son, only speaks to the hosts like Dolores, and is becoming consumed by the idea of AI consciousness.
It's possible that Arnold is just a myth that Ford made up to scare Bernard or give him a warning, but maybe Arnold is Bernard...and Bernard is a robot.
Yes, this theory is far-fetched, but it's possible that after Arnold died that Ford may have created an AI in his image - you know like the Christian God did with Jesus. Ford has already been compared to "playing God."
Ford could have very well been upset with the passing of his friend and partner, causing him to make Bernard sentient so that Arnold could carry on his work through him. It's quite a twist on their student / teacher relationship.
This goes along with the popular theory that Bernard is actually a host. Have you noticed his signature head tilt?
It's possible that Ford gave Bernard the same backstory that Arnold had, including tragedy in his personal life so that he would act in exactly the same ways.
Ford told Bernard that he knows everything that the hosts are doing and everything that Bernard is doing. How could he know everything about Bernard if he's NOT a host? How else would he know that Bernard is playing with AI consciousness, when he is wiping all of the conversations he's having with Dolores?
Yes, we think Ford ireally is that smart.
No matter who Arnold actually is, we are sure that we haven't heard the last of him.
As Westworld continues to both amaze us and twist our minds at the same time, we will soon get the truth even if it is buried under layers and layers of storylines.