After weeks of debate over the identity of Arnold, his connection to Bernard, and the revelation that Ford's number two was actually a host all along, creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy folded a twist on top of a twist by revealing that the Bernard Bot was not only an android, but one replicating the visage of the mysterious Arnold. Jeffrey Wright biting his tongue on that one may be his greatest acting performance yet.
Here's what happened: awakened by Maeve, rogue and ready to instigate, Bernard corners Ford in the cold-storage level of the mesa headquarters in hopes of regaining his memories -- whatever those may be. He knows there's a past hovering just out of grasp, and holding Ford at gunpoint, courtesy of a hacked Clementine, is the way to salvation. Ford obliges. In scattered montage, Bernard realizes he murdered both Theresa and Elsie, and that all memories of his boy Charlie are backstory fabrications. "I always thought you had my eyes," he tells to his robo-boy. "But you have no one's eyes."
Even further back, Bernard accesses his very first memory: opening his eyes to Ford, who has just successfully modeled the host after his deceased pal Arnold. The roboticist was in so deep into the translation process, he didn't even bother to come up with a name for his creation. He pulls "Bernard" out of thin air -- not quite the "Bernard" plus "Arnold" portmanteau fans hoped for, but hey, we got answers.
The implications of the "Bernarnold" theory paying off don't make themselves known in "The Well-Tempered Clavier," though the show revels in the idea. When Bernard first powers up, Ford walks him through the mannerisms of his late colleague. Arnold would clean his glasses in such a way that would give him an extra beat to think through a problem. Ford hoped Bernard could do the same. For a man who goes out of his way to remind his staff that the hosts are mechanical playthings, Bernard is creative kindling for the young Ford.
Ford first described Arnold as something of a lost soul. "His personal life was marked by tragedy," he described in the third episode, "The Stray." "He put all his hopes into his work. His search for consciousness consumed him totally. Barely spoke to anyone, except the hosts. In his alienation, he saw something in them. He saw something that... wasn't there." Arnold would try to lead "sentient" hosts like Dolores through his maze. Ford cut the dream short. Same goes for Bernard, who faced a grisly demise in this week's episode. "The piano doesn't murder the player if it doesn't like the music," Ford says, shortly before commanding his robotic friend to commit suicide.