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Jeffrey Wright says Westworld’s pilot contains “flashing neon breadcrumbs” about the show’s future

Jeffrey Wright as Bernard
Photo: John P. Johnson (HBO)

“I think, as an audience, it’s best to just surrender to it and enjoy the trip.” So says actor Jeffrey Wright about Westworld’s second season, foolishly trying to plug the flood of theories spilling across message boards and comments sections throughout the internet. But, since nobody will listen to him on that count, you might as well allow him to assure you that, yes, the show’s myriad timelines will pay off.

As head developer Bernard, Wright resides at the crux of these timelines, which, by the end of the second season’s first episode, count at least three. And, in a new interview with Esquire, he provides some insight into how Westworld’s occasionally frustrating structure informs both his character and the show’s themes:

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.


Hear that? Bernard’s journey is supposed to mirror that of the viewer; we’re meant to make sense of his memories as he does. Along the way, we’ll come to understand just where he stands in the war between hosts and humans, a topic on which he also comments.

Still, if you simply must investigate, Wright suggests you venture back to the pilot:

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.

Even in explaining the series, he sets viewers on another quest. We eagerly await the rest of the internet’s quick detective work on exactly what that scene was.

Read the rest of Esquire’s interview here.


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.