What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.
Westworld Season 2 Timeline – Jeffrey Wright Makes Sense of Bernard’s Timeline in Westworld Season 2
Minutes into the Season Two premiere, audiences are already experiencing Westworld’s multiple timelines. There’s a flashback to Dolores and Bernard discussing the nature of reality, followed by Bernard waking up on a shore after the massacre that killed Dr. Robert Ford. Add to that flashbacks of Bernard’s escape immediately after Dolores’s revolution, and we’re dealing with at least three different timelines.
Westworld fans, as they’re known to do, immediately began picking apart the episode looking for clues about where and when these things are taking place. What helps—especially for anyone confused about the timeline—is thinking of this character as a machine rather than a human being. This is a host that doesn’t perceive time in a linear sense as we do. (And you can’t blame fans for obsessively checking for clues after Season One’s big twist involved revealing two storylines that were actually taking place 30-plus years apart from each other.)
I spoke with actor Jeffrey Wright about the challenges of playing a malfunctioning machine, the clues he noticed in Season One that point to what’s happening in Season Two, and how he makes sense of his character’s complex timeline.
Bernard is a broken machine, which is why his timeline is a mess.
This season, Bernard is struggling with the basics of himself—meaning his relationship to time, his relationship to space. His cognitive abilities have been adversely affected by a bullet glancing off the hard drive. He’s got some real challenges to overcome just in terms of perceiving the world around him, and that’s compounded by the world around him falling apart. That has its challenges and it forces the performance to focus on the immediate granular moment.
Bernard is experiencing memories as a machine not a human.
Bernard as a machine and as a program means his memories are stored in close proximity to what he perceives as the present. Unlike humans, it allows us some interesting exploration regarding his relationship to time. We’ll begin to walk down that strange path with him as the season goes forward.
Before he can join the humans or the hosts, Bernard needs to do some maintenance.
I enjoy the allegory surrounding the show and the metaphor within the show, because I think they kind of reflect in multiples. The individual can derive from them as they see it. There’s certainly a correlation between an oppressed group and the host in that they have been under the boot of this money indulgent, overly privileged class of people and are finally rising up in resistance to that. For Bernard, the question is out of necessity—how will he survive it first? He’s not going to be able to side with either host or human until he can patch up his fluid leaks and some other matters. That’s his first order of business. And as the season proceeds, he’ll try to begin to make a decision of where he sits in the overall upheaval of the world.
He’s struggling to make sense throughout multiple timelines.
He’s in some ways debilitated over more than one timeline. It could be that there are different ailments and different solutions. His difficulties in the aftermath of Dolores’s revolution by taking out Ford is slightly different than his state waking up on the beach when he meets the Delos first responder team. He’s having trouble on more than one timeline. In some ways, he may represent all of us as we proceed through the season.
I discovered that there are some flashing neon breadcrumbs that had been invisible to my eye in the the first reading, performing, and watching of the [pilot] episode.
Jeffrey noticed clues in the first season that directly point to themes in Season Two.
I went back and watched the pilot a couple of months ago because I was anxious to see the show—but also because, after I finished the second season, I wanted to go back and look at where we were when we had begun. There has been a huge evolution in terms of our characters as we’ve fleshed them out in more nuanced ways. But, in going back, I discovered that there are some flashing neon breadcrumbs that had been invisible to my eye in the the first reading, performing, and watching of the episode. In fact, there’s a scene, which I think may be the first scene that we shot for the pilot, that speaks to the overarching scene of Season Two. And I looked at that and was like, These clever bastards.
He has advice for anyone trying to get the most out of Season Two.
Perhaps there’s an impulse for us as audience members to know everything, to be ahead of the game, to have absolute clarity in order to be comfortable and have a sense of control. But life isn’t like that. Likewise, I don’t think [the first season] cheated in providing a resolution to the mysteries that were woven into it. I think, as an audience, it’s best to just surrender to it and enjoy the trip. At the end of this second season, the justification for the use of these fractured mirror reflections will be clear.