Westworld Episode 1.9 Recap: The Well-Tempered Clavier
After what happened a couple of weeks ago with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), it was hard to imagine that things would get any more twisted, at least with his character. This week's episode of Westworld, The Well-Tempered Clavier, proved that thought to be very foolish. Why? Because Bernard is Arnold! Let's dig in, shall we?
Yes, a lot of other stuff happened this week, but by far the biggest thing is that we now know Bernard was made by Dr. Robert (Anthony Hopkins) following the death of Arnold so that he could still have his partner in a roundabout sort of way. He was crafted in Arnold's image, much i in the way he crafted his family robots. The entire episode we thought maybe Bernard was gaining some control over his life (if we can call it that) after his talk with Maeve (Thandie Newton), but really we just realized exactly how deep Dr. Robert's God complex runs. He was playing with Bernard, hoping he would finally stop that pesky business of questioning things and just agree to be his partner. Since he wouldn't, Dr. Robert made him put a bullet in his head. That honestly may have been the most tragic moment in the show so far. Oh, and Arnold is really dead, because there was some suspicion that he may not be. How do we know this? Because Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) killed him!
I know we're kind of working backward with this episode, but some really big time stuff went down at the very end. Alright, backing up just a touch. Dolores and William (Jimmi Simpson) had been captured by his thought-to-be-dead soon to be brother-in-law Logan (Ben Barnes), who it turns out is a general, or captain or whatever, in that weird Confederate-esque army. Turns out, he enjoys it. What he doesn't enjoy is how head-over-heels William is for Dolores. So, in order to demonstrate how twisted up in the game of Westworld he is, after William suggested Logan needed to help get Dolores out of the park because she is different (which she is), Logan stabbed her, brutally I might add, right in front of William. She did escape into the woods with her life, though.
As anyone would imagine, that whole display didn't sit well with William, given his feelings for that loveable, apparently murderous, robot. So, after sharing a genuinely sweet moment with Logan, William tricks him into thinking everything is fine and dandy. Then, after everyone is asleep, he murders the whole camp! Like, in a brutal way. William is straight-up crazy. He leaves Logan alive though, so he can help track down Dolores, who has wandered off on her own because the real world, or at least the real, current Westworld, is blending with one of her past memories.
This led her to that mysterious Church tower we have been seeing since very early on, which apparently had something to do with this new narrative Dr. Robert has been working on. While watching the current timeline blend with Dolores' past, we get to see Arnold's old lab, which was under that old Church tower. This is apparently where she and Bernard, or Arnold as it were, would have those secret meetings. Those were taking place in the past. As she sits down to talk to Arnold, she realizes those are all just memories and she remembers that she killed him. Dolores killed Arnold! That needed to be said again. We don't know why or how. Or for that matter why she wasn't decommissioned, but it was a pretty sad moment. As she was collecting her sad thoughts and exiting the church, she ran into our old friend The Man in Black, who finally, seemingly, solved this maze, or at least a crucial part of it. Which appropriately is going to intersect with Dolores, but that probably isn't the best scenario for her, we would imagine.
Speaking of The Man in Black, it turns out he is a member of the board for Westworld! Yes. That is why he is so important and allowed to do whatever he wants. Prior to learning that, the whole business of he and Teddy (James Marsden) being captured by Angela (Talulah Riley) and Wyatt's gang resolved itself in a rather unsettling way. We learned that Teddy was aligned with Wyatt at one point, or at least it seems like he may have been. Remember when those soldiers were calling Teddy a traitor a while back? Yeah. Turns out that is because he slaughtered an entire town full of people (the same town that Arnold's old lab was in) in cold blood. Then Angela stabbed him to death. So Teddy's job of dying the most brutal death of the week continues. Angela beat The Man in Black over the head with a rock, but when he woke up, it was only Charlotte (Tess Thompson) by his side, who wants his help pushing Dr. Robert out of his position. He agreed, because he is only interested in Arnold's game, which apparently he has now cracked. Probably at Dolores' expense, since she was the last one to ever see Arnold alive.
As for Maeve, Our delightfully insane freedom chasing killer robot? She is trying to recruit her army. She convinced Bernard to seek the truth of his existence, which didn't end well, but hey, she tried! She, on the other hand, decided to go cut a deal with Hector (Rodrigo Santoro). She altered his storyline a bit and showed him that his reality is a lie. The safe was empty. What a bummer. So, he agreed to "break into hell" with her, which was kind of a cool way to put it. So naturally, they decided to have a hot, sweaty robot bang in a tent that was burning down so they could die and go to "hell," or in other words, the lab.
There were a few other loose ends in this episode as well. Ashley (Luke Hemsworth) ran into some not so agreeable Indians while out looking for an anomaly in the park. Not sure what happened to him, but we'll probably find out next week. Probably. Oh, also, Bernard totally killed Elsie (Elsie Hughes) as well! Which is just so, so sad when you really think about it. Sweet sweet, innocent Elsie. RIP. There is a lot set up for next week's season 1 finale and oh man, it will be tough to top that. We'll have to see how this all shakes out when Westworld's first season concludes on HBO next Sunday.