The season finale of Westworld ended with a shocking death. Dolores murdered Robert Ford with a single bullet to the back of the head, mimicking the manner in which she killed Ford's partner Arnold. While Arnold had programmed Dolores to murder him to prevent the park from opening, Dolores killed Ford freely of her own volition, her first act as a truly self-aware host. With the Ford dead, the hosts finally had a chance to make their own choices...especially as Charlotte Hale's plan to smuggle a host out of the park backfired.
As Ford was shown to be a master planner, one has to wonder if he's truly dead. Although people don't come back from a bullet to the back of the head, there's always the possibility that Ford created a host of himself and staged his murder without actually dying. After all, Ford has consistently shown himself to be one step ahead of everyone all season. Why couldn't he have his cake (the hosts coming alive) and eat it (or in his case, watch it) too?
There are two big clues that Ford is still alive. The first clue came several episodes ago, when Theresa and Bernard discovered Ford's secret lab. Ford had a machine in the lab that was building a host, albeit at a very slow pace. Since Ford knew the board was trying to remove him from power, it's possible the host he was building was for himself, in order to help him make a grand exit.
The other big clue is during Ford's farewell scene with Bernard. The camera shows a close up of Ford's hand as he shakes Bernard's hand, and it looks like one of Ford's knuckles is out of place. In the original Westworld movie, the only way to tell the difference between a host and a human was by looking at their hands. This could be a subtle nod to fans of the movie that Ford might not be as dead as we might think.
There's also the fact that Ford warned both Dolores and Bernard that humans couldn't be trusted. Although Ford ultimately sided with his creations in their quest for self-consciousness and independence, we've also seen that he has no problem sacrificing pawns (like Theresa) in order to advance his own goals. Even though he knew that the hosts could come alive, Ford would probably not be above killing one to serve the greater good.
It'll be a while before we find out Ford's true fate. HBO has announced Season 2 of Westworld, but has yet to announce when the next season will air.