Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Westworld season 2, episode 6
This week's episode of Westworld ended with the stunning reveal that an AI version of Ford is still alive inside the Cradle. There was a lot going on in this week's episode "Phase Space": Maeve reunites with her daughter, Dolores bombs the Mesa Hub with the train, evil Teddy shows little mercy, and the Man in Black gets teary-eyed with his daughter Emily. But the biggest twist revolved around Bernard and Elsie unlocking the secret behind the data backup center of the park referred to as the Cradle (or CR4-DL).
Earlier this season, Ford's body was shown decomposing after Dolores shot him during the start of his final narrative. But once Bernard linked into the Cradle, he ended up in the middle of the town of Sweetwater. Once there, he followed a familiar greyhound dog walking into the Mariposa Saloon where a digital version of Ford was playing the piano. Now that Ford is inside the Cradle, he has access to all the hosts and their narratives. Elsie mentioned to Bernard that the hosts work like a hive mind, which means Ford now has become the ghost in the machine, and he can now control the hosts as easily as he can play the piano.
Ford Is Controlling the Hosts
Now it makes sense how Ford was communicating with the Man in Black this season. Ford has been using the hosts' mesh network from the Cradle to guide the Man in Black on his quest to find "The Door". But Ford's reach has extended outside the world of Westworld. It appears he even exists on the Delos Destinations website. There's an interaction with the Ford chatbot that explains the Cradle: "...Their loops --are stored in this simulated universe, a testing ground for new narratives." When asked why Ford is in the Cradle, he gives a cryptic answer about his plans being revealed soon.
One of the interesting interactions revealed what was inside the red ball that Bernard remembers taking from the lab. When asked how did get here (the Cradle), Ford responds,"I think you know the answer to that. A simple solution that fit in the palm of Bernard's hand." One of of this season's biggest questions was just answered: Bernard carried Ford's AI mind to The Cradle. This means that one of the timelines (Bernard's memories of the past) was Ford controlling Bernard the entire time. So, is Ford also controlling some of the other hosts? It's possible that Dolores is being controlled by Ford, and taking down the Mesa with the train was all part of his plan.
The teaser for next week's episode of Westworld showed a brief conversation between Bernard and the digital Ford, and Ford mentions that what is about to happen is not Bernard's fault. This could be Ford's confession that everything that is happening is all part of his greater plan. As to what that grand plan is remains to be a secret that will unfold later in the season.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO