Westworld Season 1 was a show full of unexplained happenings and weird twists and turns. The show started to answer questions by the finale. Bernard was a host. Wyatt was actually Dolores. The massacre Teddy remembered was Arnold's death, where he had all the hosts killed with him. William and The Man In Black were the same person. But one question never got answered: What happened to Elsie in Westworld? Bernard had memories of strangling her, but she was never shown dead, and her body never turned up. So, where was she? Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 2 follow.
At the end of last week, Amanda dragged the malfunctioning Bernard out of Fort Forlorn Hope, where Charlotte and company left him behind, and away to parts unknown. Turns out, she left him at the mouth of a cave, which seemed strange. Why did she take him there? Was this an order from Dolores, or just her putting him someplace out of the way?
When Bernard finally managed to enter the cave, he discovered to his horror Amanda might have brought him there because she saw him going there on a regular basis. It turns out, this cave is where he hid Elsie.
Elsie, is fine, by the way. Bernard apparently kept her alive by bringing her endless power bars, water, and a bucket. It's not totally clear why he didn't kill her, but knowing Bernard's unawareness of his own programming, one assumes this isn't him expressing free will. More likely, Ford said "get her out of the way" and this was how Bernard interpreted it.
It's also a reminder only a week or so has passed since Elsie went missing and the events of the park happened. Bernard has probably only failed to come for two or three days at most since his last power bar delivery to check on her. But Elsie now sees Bernard as an enemy. He choked her out! He tied her up and kept her prisoner in the park! He... doesn't remember any of this, and is shocked and relieved to find her here, alive and okay. Wait, what?
She doesn't have to wonder long about why Bernard attacked her, or why he's being so weird. As had been pretty obvious since the premiere, Bernard needs an engineer to fix him. He's leaking cortical fluid out his ear, his brain is overheating, and there's still a lot of repair work to fix the damage caused when he shot himself in the head at point-blank range. In short, he needs Elsie, and Elsie needs a lab, preferably a private one, where she can fix him without anyone knowing.
That's when things get interesting. Bernard starts flashing back to another time when he came to this cave, where he entered... a private lab. Retracing his steps while reliving the memory, Bernard finds the hidden entry. It should be staffed by drone hosts as well as other scientists, but someone has already come through and murdered them all.
Elsie gets to work and seemingly does the repairs needed to get Bernard back on his feet. (Considering the show has already revealed he'll have hand tremors a couple of weeks on, perhaps she doesn't get all the repair work which needs completing.) She also confirms for the viewers Bernard's memories were uploaded by Ford as a massive file dump, with nothing properly labeled or filed. Think uploading a 5,000-file music collection, 99 percent of which songs were ripped .mp3s without album, title, or artist information. That's Bernard's brain, which means he is an utterly unreliable narrator.
But it's enough for now to have Bernard back on his feet. Even better, despite her misgivings, Elsie is willing to let Bernard come with her, and keep his secret, so he finally has a repair person to keep him going.
There's just one small thing as they leave the lab. Bernard starts reliving more memories of the last time he was sent to this lab. Those drone hosts and dead lab techs? He killed them. And he has no idea why.