Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Westworld” season one.
The first season of “Westworld” came to a dramatic close with the death of Dr. Robert Ford and the beginning of a host uprising. Along the way we learned that William was really the Man in Black all along (whose scenes were happening in different time frames), and that Bernard was a host created in the image of Arnold — Ford’s partner and Westworld cofounder who died at the hands of Dolores 35 years ago.
Keeping all of these twists and turns in mind, we went back and re-watched the entire first season. Scroll down for a look at all the moments of foreshadowing and smaller details you probably missed while watching “Westworld.”
Dolores told Teddy about the 'Judas steer' in episode one, foreshadowing her own role as the leading host who achieved sentience.
When Dolores and Teddy first ride out into the countryside, she explains how the cows all know where to go. 'That's the Judas steer,' Dolores said as she pointed to one of the cows. 'The rest will follow wherever we make him go.'
By the end of season one, we know that Dolores was Ford and Arnold's 'Judas Steer' -- the very first host they created and the one who eventually led the robot uprising.
Another clever piece of foreshadowing came from Peter Abernathy's confrontation with Ford and Bernard.
After Peter Abernathy found a photo of a woman on his ranch property (which we later learn is a picture of William's wife) he went into full-blown glitch/sentience mode. Dr. Ford asked Abernathy what his objective was, and he said 'to meet my maker.'
Ford turned to look at Bernard -- who was really a host-version of Arnold -- in a way that subtly hinted at the truth. Abernathy technically was talking to both of his creators, but we didn't realise it at the time. This moment becomes even more chilling when Abernathy threatens Ford and Bernard, saying 'I will have such revenges on you both.'
That's right: Sylvester and Felix! We saw them up close for the first time in episode two, when Maeve first woke up in the middle of a body repair, but they were in the pilot as well. Sylvester is the one who said: 'Tilt your head back for us, Peter.'
Earlier in the episode we learned that the hosts are coded to not harm any living thing -- including a fly. Throughout the pilot there were a couple scenes in which flies would crawl uncomfortably close to the hosts' eyes, but each time it was ignored.
By ending the episode with Dolores' fly-killing, we knew immediately something was beginning to break down in her programming. Not only did she circumvent her core code, but earlier she lied in a diagnostic session when she assured Stubbs she would never hurt a living thing.
Episode two opened with Dolores 'sleepwalking' and hearing a voice. We know now it was Arnold's voice all along.
The distorted voice belongs to actor Jeffrey Wright, who played both Bernard the host and Arnold the human. He says: 'Wake up Dolores' and 'Do you remember?'
At the time we recognised Wright's voice. Assuming it was Bernard, we wondered why he was secretly speaking with Dolores. But re-watching this scene after knowing that Bernard is really a host-version of Arnold, we understand that it was Arnold's memory coming back to her.
Right after Arnold's voice asked, 'Do you remember?' the scene cut to William. This was the first clue that we were watching a flashback.
William was shown waking up in the train on his way to Westworld after Dolores heard a voice telling her to 'remember.' Though many fans immediately jumped onto the theory of multiple time frames after episode two, others were sceptical (myself included, I'll admit).
But the clues only piled up from this moment on.
The old logo shown when William arrives was another hint about how his story was taking place in the past.
As William came up the escalator, he saw a version of the Westworld logo that was different from other examples in the show so far.
The modern logo was an early signal to viewers that Ford's storyline was in a separate time frame from William and Logan's visit to the park.
William's hat choice scene was the earliest tip off for some viewers that he was really the Man in Black.
William's choice between a white or black hat was emphasised in a clever way. His gaze lingered on the black hats, before a quick cut revealed he eventually chose a white one. This moment coupled with the logo sighting was the beginning of the controversial theory.
In a post-episode discussion on the 'Westworld' subreddit, Redditor Where_isJessica_Hyde suggested William might be a younger version of the Man in Black. The early guess proved correct by the end of season one.
The first time we saw Arnold was in episode three -- but we all were led to believe it was Bernard at the time.
Arnold and Dolores' first basement conversation was shown in episode three. Re-watching the scene, you can tell the subtle difference between Jeffrey Wright's portrayal of Arnold versus Bernard. Arnold is slightly friendlier -- he seems more warm and open and smiles more frequently.
When they were in bed together, Theresa joked about how Bernard usually loves silences even though 'his creations never stop talking.' This includes when they're not near actual people.
'They're always trying to error correct, make themselves more human,' he explained. 'When they talk to each other, it's a way of practicing.'
'Is that what you're doing now?' she asked. 'Practicing?'
Though it was meant as a joke, this line was a nod to the truth.
The first time we learned about Arnold was during a conversation between Bernard and Ford in his office. As they enter, we saw a host playing Claude Debussy's 'Reverie' on the piano in the corner.
We already knew about the code Ford added to the hosts, called 'Reveries.' This was the first tip-off that this piece of programming had a deep connection to Ford's former partner Arnold.
Nearly everything about Bernard's conversation about Charlie with his 'wife' was a giant piece of his programmed cornerstone.
Right before Bernard's video chat and the discussion of his dead son Charlie, there was a scene between Elsie and Stubbs where they talked about the importance of backstory. It was no coincidence that we learned about Bernard's 'cornerstone' experience of losing his son in the same episode.
Bernard also said something that would become more important down the road. When his 'wife' asked Bernard if he wished he could forget Charlie, he replied: 'This pain, it's all I have left of him.'
Episode four we saw Arnold and Dolores speaking again (though at the time we thought it was Bernard). He told Dolores that he could make her forget the pain she's feeling.
'Why would I want that?' Dolores asked. 'The pain, their loss -- it's all I have left of them. You think the grief will make you smaller inside, like your heart will collapse in on itself but it doesn't. I feel spaces opening up inside of me, like a building with rooms I never explored.'
His reply was another clue to us that perhaps Bernard was a programmed host -- one who had similar lines embedded into his personality.
This was also the beginning of the show's explanation about host's suffering and their humanity. By the end of season one, we understand that Ford wanted the hosts to suffer -- it was the basis for his hope that they would evolve beyond programmed emotions and begin to become truly alive.
The writers tipped us off about Theresa's involvement with espionage before we understood what was happening.
Remember when Theresa refused Elsie and the behaviour team to investigate the rogue woodcutter any further? At the time it seemed as though Theresa was just fed up with Elsie's lack of answers for the problem with rogue hosts, but in retrospect she was covering her own butt.
Theresa only insisted on taking over after Elsie implied that they might be able to figure out why the host went off his programming -- which would have led her straight to Theresa's secret. Of course, Elsie eventually figured it out anyway.
The camera panned across Bernard looking unblinkingly off to the side. This was in episode four when Bernard was in Theresa's living quarters. The two discussed Ford and how Theresa would need to confront him about the new narrative.
Lo and behold, Ford seems to know exactly what Theresa wanted to say to him when they met for lunch. Ford was probably 'listening in' on Bernard's conversation with her.
Ford used this information to intimidate Theresa at their lunch. He also used nothing but his index finger to control the hosts.
You can see Ford subtly pointing towards the server in the shot above. This small motion not only froze the host in front of them, but all the hosts in the surrounding area. 'Westworld' showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy explained how this worked during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Speaking of that lunch scene, Theresa walked right past two hosts who were supposed to be part of Lee's narrative.
This fun tidbit was spotted by a Redditor after episode four aired. Theresa visited the area of the park that Ford had under construction. He had told Lee that his new narrative (and the new hosts built for it) would not be used. Note the woman with the pink shawl and the priest who are both digging ditches in the above scene.
After Lee's 'Odyssey on Red River' narrative was rejected, Ford must have decided to repurpose the hosts for his construction efforts instead of their intended roles.
Ford and Arnold's relationship was always a bit of a mystery, but in episode five (when Ford was speaking with Dolores about his dead partner) there was a small but significant moment. After Dolores asked Ford if they were very old friends, he replied: 'No, I wouldn't say friends, Dolores. I wouldn't say that at all.'
He then gently closed his eyes, and the camera switches angles. But looking closely you can see him wiping a tear away. Dolores also looks concerned for him for a brief moment, and then her expressed switches back quickly to 'analysis' blank-face mode.
When Dolores, William, and Logan first enter Pariah, there's an important landmark in the background.
We know Pariah is far enough away from Sweetwater that things start to get a lot more rough, but the rocky outcropping in the far distance gave eagle-eyed viewers even more information.
Redditor cool_hand_luke spotted this detail shot in the promo for episode five. That mountain is the Delos headquarters.
The Delos map was published on a secret HBO marketing website earlier in the season, and now it seems to match up perfectly with the backdrop of Pariah.
It makes sense that the park would have its most dangerous town closer to the facilities, since both hosts and guests might need medical attention or extra supervision.
William and Lawrence vanished from their train scene with Dolores, hinting further at the multiple time frames.
At the end of episode five, Dolores and William got onto the train with Lawrence and agreed to work together. Then Lawrence and William sat down and shared a flask. They were sitting towards the front of the carriage, past where Dolores was still standing next to a coffin.
Dolores saw the maze insignia on the coffin, and then said 'I'm coming' to the Arnold voice in her head. This was another clue that Dolores' scenes were spread across multiple time frames even though the steps she was taking (to find the maze) were the same in each instance.
Though we only saw close ups of his hands most of the time, you can spot Ford in the background when the saloon owner greets the Man in Black and Teddy.
Ford was playing 'Clair de Lune' by Claude Debussy (another nod to Arnold?). The music stops when Ford gets up to join them for a whiskey, and when Ford leaves he simply points at the piano and it begins playing on its own again.
When Bernard goes down to the Delos sublevel in episode six, a host lurking in the dark is a callback to the original 'Westworld' movie.
The figure is wearing a cowboy hat and has its hands tucked into its pocket. This looks exactly like the gunslinging robot character Yul Brynner played in the original 1973 'Westworld' movie.
Including his character in the basement was likely just a fun nod to the movie on which HBO's series was adapted from. 'Westworld' (the show) seems to be more of a rebooted interpretation of the 1973 movie, rather than a sequel or strict adaptation.
When Bernard first entered the unmapped house in episode six, he asked if the man there was Arnold. This is because that host (who we learned is a recreation of Ford's father) was seen back in episode three.
In episode three, Ford showed Bernard a photograph with his father in it and we assumed at the time that we were looking at Arnold.
While telling Bernard about his dead partner, Arnold, Ford handed Bernard a photograph of that showed a younger Ford standing next to a man. The audience and Bernard saw only what we were supposed to see -- a picture we assumed was of Ford and Arnold.
But really it was Ford and his father, and the third person in the photograph (Arnold) was missing. The encounter between Bernard and Ford's dad should have made most of fans at home question the truth about Bernard/Arnold.
We only saw the entire picture for the first time in episode nine, once we knew that Bernard was a host created in Arnold's image.
Finally we saw the full photograph -- Young Ford on the left, his father in the center, and Arnold on the right. This must have been taken just before Arnold killed himself by programming Dolores to shoot him.
Theresa went into a non-defensive posture before Ford had her killed -- a pose that Bernard taught her back in the fourth episode.
While they were talking in the basement, you could see the moment when Theresa put her hands on her hips and stood up a little taller. This was a subconscious recollection of what Bernard taught her about not appearing defensive in episode four.
Back when Theresa was talking with Bernard about visiting Ford in episode four, he gave her a body language tip.
'Some advice?' Bernard told her. 'Best to not show him you're nervous or defensive.'
'I have nothing to be defensive about,' Theresa replied.
'Then don't cross your arms,' he said. 'It's an ancient instinct -- the belly is the most vulnerable part of every animal.'
When she placed her hands on her hips, Bernard said: 'There -- that's the posture you're looking for.'
It was heartbreaking to watch Theresa use Bernard's advice in episode seven, only to be brutally killed by him minutes later on Ford's orders.
Ford's repetition of the 'blood sacrifice' line revealed how he was using hosts to spy on the board.
Before he has Theresa murdered by Bernard, Ford reminds her that a 'blood sacrifice' is needed. That is exactly what Charlotte Hale -- the executive director of Delos' board -- told Theresa was necessary. But Hale was talking about a host, not Theresa or another human.
Charlotte Hale told Theresa about the 'blood sacrifice' needed in front of a host -- Hector Escaton.
Ford used Hale's words against Theresa, revealing just how closely he monitors everyone in their office and in the park. This time he used a host to spy. Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd asked Lisa Joy -- one of the showrunners -- how or why Ford knew what Hale had told Theresa during their private chat.
'What you might be missing is there was a host on the bed behind them when she said that -- Hector,' Joy told EW. 'Ford has access to that kind of stuff.'
One of Theresa's letters to Bernard revealed that he actually gifted her the lighter we always saw her using.
Bernard had to destroy all traces of his relationship with Theresa, including small love notes they had written to each other. One of them read:
Bernie, Thanks for the lovely lighter. A flame from my flame.
This is a heartbreaking detail, knowing that each time Theresa had reached for her cigarettes and lighter she was thinking of her sweet, loving Bernard.
In the scene where Ford had Theresa killed, you could see another host being created in his workspace.
There was a partially completed host spotted in episodes seven and eight, which many now think might have been a copy of Ford himself. But back when episode seven aired, The Hollywood Reporter specifically asked showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy if that half-finished host would be important down the line.
'No, not in a literal sense,' Nolan said. 'I think there's a suggestion here that Ford has been up to something, that he's slipped the leash of corporate control, and that his secrets permeate the park, in addition to Arnold's. We thought that gave things a creepy sense.'
Nolan may have just been avoiding the truth, but we're inclined to believe him.
Maeve had a flashback to her critical breakdown as 'homestead woman.' We learned that the Man in Black had attempted to kill her, and then murdered her child. Afterwards she became so distraught that her programming was failing, and the techs couldn't get her to freeze using regular voice commands.
When Ford entered the room he used the song 'Reverie' by Claude Debussy and it calmed her down.
Maeve was hysterical over the murder of her host daughter, and Ford tried to comfort her. 'You need not suffer Maeve,' he said. 'I'll take it from you.'
'No, no, please,' Maeve begged. 'This pain -- it's all I have left of her. Please.'
Elsie's signal the security team picked up was coming from Sector 20, but she was last seen in Sector 3.
In episode six, when Elsie went looking for answers about the Delos satellite, she told Bernard she was going to an 'abandoned theatre in sector three.' Elsie was then attacked (and we assumed killed) by Bernard in the theatre.
But the screen we saw in episode nine said her device was pinging from Sector 20. Stubbs went to investigate, and was attacked himself by hosts designed like Ghost Nation native Americans.
After the finale aired, a new Easter egg on the 'Westworld' website about Elsie makes us think she's still alive. Perhaps Stubbs is with her?
When Bernard was thrown back into his memories in episode nine, his 'wife' was revealed to be Ford all along.
Back when we thought Bernard was a human, we saw him on a video call with someone assumed to be his ex-wife. In the episode nine flashback, though, the woman's face briefly changed. Her voice and face changed to Ford's right as we heard a new line of dialogue.
'You're not lying to me, are you Bernard?' Ford/Bernard's wife asked. 'Do you ever wish you could forget?'
In retrospect, this video call was just a way for Ford to check in with Bernard's programming. He was making sure that the code and Bernard's self-perceived 'humanity' were still intact.
The picture of William's fiancée is the one that Dolores' father -- Peter Abernathy -- found on their property in the first episode.
This was definitive confirmation that Logan and William's scenes were taking place about 30 years ago, while events in the pilot and Peter's discovery of the photograph are likely in 'present day.' For the full explanation of how this was playing out, read our breakdown of the episode nine reveal.
Dolores' flashback to ~35 years ago tipped some fans off about Bernard being Arnold before it was officially confirmed.
We watched Dolores walking through the Westworld facilities back before the park had officially opened. She passed a younger Ford storming into Arnold's office, and followed him.
The name on the door said 'Arnold Weber' -- which happens to be an anagram for 'Bernard Lowe.' Redditors had already guessed this name correlation, but the door was it's first confirmation. In that moment, we knew Bernard was really a host created to mimic Arnold. Ford confirmed it by the end of the episode.
We saw this moment from a closer angle back in episode three, when Ford was first describing the early years of host production.
Here's Peter as we saw him back in episode three. This is definitely the same host, since we could hear his dialogue in Dolores' flashback.
As she passed his window, we could briefly hear Peter reciting Shakespeare: 'When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.'
Peter also said this same line to Dr. Ford in the pilot, when he was being examined after his dissonant episode.
'We killed every soldier, and then Wyatt killed the general,' Teddy said. 'And then he turned on me.'
We know from previous episodes that 'Reverie' is Arnold's song, so hearing it play while Teddy described the death of 'the general' made us more certain than ever that Wyatt's narrative was a retelling of the events surrounding Arnold's death.
We heard it yet again during the flashback to Arnold's death. He played it on the gramophone right before Dolores shot him. It turns out 'Reverie' held significance for Arnold's son.
'Charlie's favourite song,' Arnold said. 'I would play it for him when he wanted sleep.'
Appropriate that 'Reverie' is used to calm the hosts and seems to be a signal of death. It played again in the finale right as Dolores shot and killed Ford.
When Dolores finally uncovered the 'Pigs in Clover' puzzle that Arnold had planted in her grave, we realised it was slightly different from the other maze patterns shown to us before.
The maze from the finale has a human figure at the center with one arm touching its head, and the other stretched out. But every other time we saw it, both arms were touching the inner circle.
The figure has both arms out, and there was a circular symbol beneath it. We're not 100% certain of the significance of this change. It's possible that showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy didn't want viewers to be able to easily see the puzzle pattern. By keeping both arms outstretched in the earlier examples, there was no way to 'solve' the maze, which kept fans guessing at its meaning.
Inside the 'Wyatt' narrative code was the voice command 'these violent delights have violent ends.' This is the phrase that Dolores' father spoke to her in the pilot, and it was echoed throughout the season. Now we know the phrase (which is pulled straight from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet') originated with Arnold.
The phrase was the very last thing Arnold said before Dolores shot him, and Bernard repeated it again before Ford was killed.
William/The Man in Black passed right by Bernard -- a host designed to look and act like Arnold -- and didn't even realise it.
William became obsessed with figuring out the maze and learning Arnold's true story -- but he didn't even understand how close he came to speaking with the man himself. It was a tiny but wonderful moment that really put William's misguided nature into perspective.
Maeve lowered Hector and Armistice's 'pain sensitivity' and 'mortality response,' which meant they would continue functioning even after suffering wounds like a gunshot. We really saw the results of this in the special post-credit scene. Armistice ripped her arm off after getting stuck in the door, and continued fighting.
It also helps that Maeve maxed out their 'aggression' trait.
The final step (that we could see) in Maeve's updated narrative was 'Mainland Infiltration.' Bernard said someone had clearly rewritten her script to include the entire escape, and it seemed to lead to her getting on a train for the 'mainland.'
We are taking that choice of word to mean Westworld and Delos exists on an island somewhere. But more importantly, this might mean that Ford really wanted at least one host to get out of the park. But Maeve made a different choice at the last minute, and she's now stuck with the rest of the sentient hosts.
There was also a camera trick Jonathan Nolan used to show how Maeve was truly making her own choice in that moment.
Nolan told Vulture about the clever camerawork intended to show viewers that Maeve was truly making the choice to leave the train on her own -- she is completely sentient. A Steadicam was used to film all of Maeve's scenes until that very last moment when she stands up and leaves the train.
'What we understand in the moment is it's the first real decision she's made all season. Which is, she's not going to fulfil the script she's been given (...) She can get off the train,' Nolan told Vulture. 'At which point, we shift to handheld camera, which we'd held back on throughout the entire season until one moment with her (...) We're no longer in programmatic or prescribed behaviours. She's improvising, and we're right there with her.'
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