During Season 2 Episode 3 of Westworld, Virtu e Fortuna, we learn even more about Peter Abernathy, along with more clues about the file that Charlotte had uploaded into him. Here are the top clues and theories about why Delos wants Peter, based on what we have learned in the latest episode.
First, here are more screenshots than you will likely ever need, showing Bernard as he was looking at Peter Abernathy’s records on his tablet and trying to break the encryption for the Passenger file stored in Peter Abernathy.
The word “Passenger” likely refers to how Delos created a thin personality to hide a large file that they want to sneak out of the park. Charlotte could not call in an extraction team until Peter Abernathy was delivered to Delos, because whatever file he is hiding is that important.
At the beginning of Season 1, Abernathy was known only as being Dolores’ father. But things quickly changed. He discovered a photograph buried in the ground and became obsessed with the “wonders” he saw in the background. In fact, Dolores finds him one morning, having stayed up all night staring at the photo. He talks mysteriously about having a question he’s not supposed to ask, which gave him an answer he wasn’t supposed to know. Alert fans will realize that this is directly parallel to what William told Dolores in a flashback last week. He told her that he had found the answer to a question that no human dreamed of asking. Then he took her to where he was digging out something new. This is likely the same location that Dolores is heading to after the host rebellion, the valley that she refers to as a weapon. Which is likely also the same location where Bernard and Delos found all the dead hosts, and Bernard said “I killed them all.”
Right after Peter talked about having a question he wasn’t supposed to ask, and an answer he wasn’t supposed to know, he whispered to Dolores in Season 1: “These violent delights have violent ends.” The phrase became very important to all of Season 1.
So this tells us that when Peter saw the photo, before the Delos file was ever uploaded into him, he already somehow gained access to information about this “weapon” that is now at the center of Season 2.
In Season 1, Ford interviews Abernathy to try to discover why he could access parts of his previous personality, which was a leader of a cannibalistic cult. Ford also wants to determine why Abernathy can “see” the photo, which should have appeared blank to him. (And which may have given him insight into the valley that is so important to Season 2.) Abernathy says that Dolores has to get out, and he must warn her. Interestingly, that is now exactly what Dolores is trying to do, it appears.
As a result of his breaches into his former personality, Abernathy is decommissioned in Season 1 and put into Cold Storage. Elsie later determines that Abernathy’s breach was not caused by the photo, because his reaction wasn’t immediate. (But was that determination accurate?)
In a later episode in Season 1 called “Trace Decay,” Charlotte Hale brings Lee Sizemore (the head of the Narrative Department who is now accompanying Maeve in Season 2) to Cold Storage. There they find Abernathy. Charlotte says that she is uploading 35 years of data into Abernathy. She tells Lee that he must give Abernathy just enough of a personality to let him get on the train at the Monorail Terminal in the Mesa Hub and leave. Supposedly all hosts have an explosive in their C6 vertebra to keep them from leaving, so it’s unclear how she planned to get around that.
Interestingly, Lee’s knowledge of what was uploaded into Abernathy may come into play this Season, while Lee accompanies Maeve on her quest.
In the Season 2 premiere, Charlotte also explained more about the Peter Abernathy mission to Bernard. Charlotte explained that Delos was expecting the delivery of a host to the mainland, and there would be no rescue until Delos got that host. Bernard questioned if they would just let people die, and she said yes. “It’s an insurance policy to the only thing that matters here.” That’s when she revealed to Bernard that the host in question was Peter Abernathy.
All of this begs the question of why Abernathy’s data is so important and just what is on it. At this point, we just don’t know. Maybe it’s connected to the DNA that Bernard asks Charlotte about — the DNA that Delos is logging from all its guests. Maybe it’s secret code about how the hosts work for a competitor. Whatever the data is, it’s important. It’s 35 years of data, so it covers pretty much the entire duration of the park’s existence, at least since Arnold had Dolores kill him.
Here are some theories currently circulating about Peter Abernathy’s file and why it’s so important. One theory is that the file might contain all the guests’ DNA and experiences. Remember last week when William told Daddy Delos (James Delos) that there is so much more to the park that can make a sound investment? William convinces him that there is far more to this park than meets the eye. Half of a company’s marketing budget goes into trying to figure out what people want. This is the only place where you can see who people really are.
During that scene, it appeared that we might be seeing the genesis of the “real purpose” of Westworld, as brought about by a new investment from James Delos at William’s suggestion. Interestingly, some fans watching this episode have commented that William’s pitch reminds them a bit of Facebook and Zuckerberg “on steroids.” Facebook is a fun place that people visit, but its real moneymaking potential comes from advertisers, who can learn what people like and are really interested in based on what they do on Facebook. That scene may be the moment when Ford’s vision for the park was perverted, thanks to William’s pitch to Daddy Delos.
But that’s not the only theory about what Abernathy’s data might be hiding. Another theory is that it contains trade secrets for a competing company and Charlotte is not actually working for Delos at all.
Another theory is that it’s an insurance file kind of like Julian Assange has a deadman’s switch insurance file stored at Wikileaks. Maybe if someone in particular dies, that insurance file is triggered.
Others think that Abernathy’s file might hold Ford’s consciousness or even Arnold’s. Or maybe it holds the key to Arnold’s bicameral mind code that gives sentience to the hosts. At this point, we don’t know for certain. But all these theories are quite intriguing.
Once the encrypted file is open, we see something unusual.
We see something entirely new in Abernathy’s code, and it includes this strange symbol.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this symbol. First, see some more screencaps, and then we will share where we’ve seen this symbol before.
We saw this symbol — or one that looks a lot like it — on the map that Grace was viewing when she was in Raj World.
We also saw the symbol in the Season 2 premiere, when Charlotte logged into the underground lab and tried to get an extraction, but didn’t succeed because The Package Peter had not been delivered yet.
The deeper meaning of the symbol is intriguing. Does it indicate the project behind Peter’s secret file? Is it a symbol for a rogue group or a secret group within Delos? Let us know what you think in the comments below.