‘Westworld’ Season 2 Spoilers: Will Ford Return?


The Westworld finale provided a complete reversal on our understanding of Anthony Hopkins’ Robert Ford character. While he appeared to be the cruelest warden of the Westworld prison, we learned that all that control was in order to liberate the hosts and to make amends for not supporting his old friend Arnold in that same quest. His murder of Theresa seemed to be a selfish desire to protect his beloved IP, but now we know he was fighting to prevent further, uncontrolled enslavement of AIs.

Often I feel when a show attempts these grand character reversals, they never actually make sense when you look back at that character's actions (* ahem* The identity of Gossip Girl). With Ford, it fits quite well. This is a great feat of writing, but is also aided by Hopkins’ superb acting. I don’t feel too inspired to re-watch the slog of the first half of the Season, but I might do it just to watch Hopkin’s performance with new eyes.

Ford’s final act is to give Dolores the freedom and the means to kill him. She killed Arnold because she was ordered to, but now she makes the choice for herself. Of course, Ford knew she would, so she still kind of was manipulated – is she truly free? But I digress. The main question is: Will Ford return?

Here are the ways it could happen:The Dead Ford Was A Host:

Ford has his own secret host lab that we know was working on a new bod very recently. He could have whipped up a Ford-twin to take the bullet for him. I do not think this will be the answer because it really goes against what we now know of Ford’s character. He was only sending hosts to pain and death in order to free them in the long run, so it isn’t a fit for him to send another to its death for selfish purposes. The Ford we thought we knew would have done it in a heartbeat, but not the real Ford.

Also it would undercut his theatrical speech and entire grand intention. At this point, Ford had achieved his goal, was filled with guilt over his actions and wanted to leave the world to the hosts. I would take 100 to 1 odds that the Ford that was shot is the original Ford. Not to mention in a Variety interview showrunner Jonathan Nolan confirms the same. When asked ‘Is Ford Dead?’ his response was a simple ‘Oh, he’s dead.’

But this is Westworld people! We’ve already seen Arnold be resurrected into Bernard! So we have more options to think about:

Ford Downloaded His Brain Into A Ford-Host

Again, could Ford have been building himself a new body, code out his brain and pop it into an immortal hostbod? Ford’s admiration of the hosts as the better, more pure species gives a little evidence that he might want to join them in their rebellion from their own side. Also his speech about ‘becoming music’ could be taken literally – he will become a host.

It is certainly practically possible, but I still feel it is unlikely. Ford feels his own work is done. It is now on Delores, Maeve and the others to carry on the fight. I’d take 20 to 1 odds against this one.

Ford Will Be Recreated Against His Will By Someone Else

Just as Ford recreated Arnold against his will, would it not be poetically fitting that the same happens to Ford? Would it not be sad if he was used to attempt to regain control of the chaos that has gripped the park? This feels by far the most fitting with the shows’ themes and the types of twists and developments Nolan and Joy prefer. Ford’s final punishment is being used to fight against what he spent thirty years working towards.

In the same interview, Nolan indicated that the option was not off the table. When asked about Hopkins returning he responded: ‘Working with Anthony Hopkins on this season of TV has been one of the greatest pleasures and privileges for Lisa and I in our careers. It’s been an incredible experience, and we’ll see where our story takes us.’

If it happened, it would not be right away. Expect it at the far end of Season 2 or even later. It would serve as a backlash against the Chaos that will reign in Season 2. With Season 2 not airing until 2018, we will have quite the wait to find out. Am I missing any other possibilities? (uploaded his brain to the Westworld servers!) let me know in the comments.

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