I’m going to admit up front that I’m not a big fan of the apparent multiple timelines on Westworld. I’m willing to wait them out, but I think that “twists” like that work better in movies and that it’s starting to get in the way of having a clear narrative on the show. However, if we make a few logic leaps, it does start to help us make sense of one part of the show that’s been bugging viewers: when did Bernard get Dolores out of the park for their little chats?
Here’s the thing, what if that wasn’t Bernard?
We know that Bernard was created specifically by Ford to do work that the other engineers couldn’t. We know that Bernard shares some of his “backstory” with Arnold, based on Ford’s statements. We also know that when Ford showed Bernard a picture of himself with Arnold, Bernard only saw the host that was modeled after Ford’s father.
Could Bernard have been modeled off of Arnold? Has Ford kept his friend alive after his death? And if so, given that parts of the show go all the way back to the very early days of the park, could we have seen ARNOLD interacting with Dolores in those one-on-one sessions at the cabin facility?
I think that’s exactly what we saw. One of the ways the show has been tricky with Dolores is that her costume apparently hasn’t changed in the entire 35 years she’s been a host at the park, save for her adventure with William. This is incredibly unusual, we’ve see that Maeve, Armisitice, and Angela have all been re-costumed and reassigned to very different roles in the time the park has been open. But not Dolores. Because that blue dress is a smokescreen to hide the way her story is meandering across time. We know that there was some kind of incident in the town with the church steeple that made them close off that entire section of the park, but that Dolores lived there before that happened. A massacre of hosts wouldn’t be that big of a deal, it would have just been a shrug and a reset. But if Arnold had died there, it would make more sense for Ford to close off that area completely. The questions seemed to be related to Dolores’s ‘current’ storyline, of her life at the farm, but there’s no way for us to know for sure. But Dolores was also questioned about the loss of “her parents” when the “contemporary” timelines for the show (either William or Man in Black) only show her with her father. It’s pretty plausible, and I think it’s what we’re working towards.