I went back and watched some parts of the finale, Sylvester told Maeve "There was someone who has been accessing your code so you can wake yourself up out of sleep mode, someone named Arnold", later on Maeve tells Bernard "Before I started altering myself, someone else has beaten me to the punch, I want to know who and why". Bernard didn't get the chance to tell her who altered her, but didn't Sylvester answer that already? It was Arnold = Bernard with Ford's instructions. If not, that means whoever altered her to escape was dumb and stupid because his/her plan depended heavily on humans being cooperative and completely secretive. It would also make the story messier than it already was, how is it possible that such dangerous alterations go unnoticed? Unless Ford was behind it of course...
Which I believe he was, let's not forget, earlier in the season, in the episode in which Bernard killed Teresa, Charlotte Hale told Teresa, with Hector tied in her bed, that their plan to kick Ford out required a "blood sacrifice". Later on when Ford lured Teresa into his den he told her that her death would be a "Blood sacrifice". Ford quoted exactly what Hale said in a private conversation in the presence of Hector, heavily implying that Ford missed nothing the hosts experienced in his absence. How could Ford not miss small things, as small as conversations, but miss dangerous alterations to Maeve's code? A possible answer is that he didn't miss it, because he was the one behind it. Not to mention, the timing of Maeve's escape, that resulted in the distraction of much needed security guards and keeping them busy and trapped inside the building while the rest of the hosts were commiting a mass massacre is further evidence that it was all a part of Ford's bigger plan.
I actually looked online and a lot of people agree that it was Ford: https://www.quora.com/SPOILER-Who-was-the-Arnold-that-modified-Maeves-code
The show creators tried to put a lot of emphasis on how Maeve was "waking up" at the beginning of the show. It started with a change that was triggered in Dolores when Abernathy/Delores' father told her "these violent delights have violet ends", after he's been changed by finding a picture of the outside world. Similarly, Maeve was shown to have been struck by the same phrase and something inside her was triggered. Even Elsie had similar concerns, she literally said : "let me pull the hosts who had contact with him [Abernathy], like the daughter Dolores. Because if this is not a dissonant episode, then whatever Abernathy had could be contagious. So to speak".
It almost seems like the writers had a change of heart and decided that Maeve's first independent choice should be the one she made in the final moments of the season, pretending everything else she did was programmed while completely implying otherwise, and that's cheap and lazy of them. I've said said at the beginning of the show that we could easily guess where the story was headed, at least the story of the first season, and I think the writers knew that as well. So they tried to escape the predictability by forcing a needless twist that added nothing to the story, because the end result is the same, Maeve would've made her completely independent choice even without the twist that undermined what the writers tried to teach us in the first few episodes
That's great. I don't have a problem with that. What I don't understand is, what was Ford's mistake? The mistake he thought he made, not the mistake we or Arnold think Ford made. Because it seems to me that all he needed to do is to downgrade the hosts to a code that doesn't include "the reveries" and they wouldn't have gained consciousness and they wouldn't have become "Alive". Or just close the damn park.
Ford said: "I was so close to opening the park that to acknowledge your consciousness would have destroyed my dreams. Wasn't it Oppenheimer who said that any man whose mistakes take 10 years to correct is quite a man? Mine have taken 35." After that Ford shows us his the last narrative that he's been working on, and guess what, it isn't correcting any mistakes. His last narrative fullfilled his "desire to create something of lasting beauty". Once again doing what he wants, not what Arnold wanted, Ford clearly has no problem with the hosts gaining consciousness and becoming "alive", on the other hand, Delores becoming alive shook Arnold to the core and pushed him to kill himself to stop Ford from opening the park with more hosts that could become alive one day.
"How about you just wipe out everything you made and close the park? If X doesn't exist, then X can't suffer. "
He would see that as murdering them, also he wanted a differnt ending than that for them.
Arnold wanted to stop Ford from opening the park, no matter the cost. Arnold couldn't convince Ford with arguments, so he decided to show Ford that Delores is alive and can make a choice that goes against her core code even if it meant killing a human! The writers spoon-fed us this bit of information. Try re-watching the finale and you will see it for yourself. It's all there. I rewinded twice the scenes of Ford narrating what happened in the past to Delores, and the viewers by extension.
What is his mistake? Ford's mistakes are obvious to the viewers and tp Arnold. But Ford himself doesn't seem to understand. The writers have no clue what Ford's main mistake and what he's doing to correct it!!
Bernard: "You think you'll never lose control of this place. Of us. But you will. Arnold's still trying to change us. To free us. You didn't slip the reveries into the update, did you? He did. He's still fighting you."
Ford: "No, my friend. Arnold didn't know how to save you. He tried, but I stopped him. It was when Arnold died, when I suffered, that I... began to understand what he had found. To realize I was wrong. Arnold didn't know how to save you. I do. You needed time. Time to understand your enemy. To become stronger than them. And I'm afraid in order to escape this place, you will need to suffer more."
What the hell is Ford talking about? He claims he finally understood what drove Arnold to try so hard to stop him from opening the park. Then he goes on explaining how he wants the hosts to be stronger than humans so they can beat them. WTF.
Robots fighting humans and winning that fight is not what Arnold wanted. Arnold simply didn't want the park to exist in the first place. Arnold didn't want the hosts to gain consciousness. Ford himself told us that moments ago, he literally said "In you, Arnold found a new child. One who would never die. He realized that same immortality would destine you to suffer with no escape, forever". That was Arnold's biggest fear. Not war with humans. He simply wanted the park to never open. No immortal conscious hosts, no suffering!