Welcome to our official Westworld recap where every week, I’ll be writing up a synopsis of the previous episode of Westworld, complete with a storyline, puns, and bad conspiracy theories. If you missed last week’s episode, you can check out our recap of Episode 8, “Trace Decay,” here. So let’s dive into episode 9 – “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”
This week’s episode kicks off with Bernard examining Maeve back at HQ, but unfortunately for Bernard, Maeve can completely ignore his commands and lie to him. Bernard discovers Maeve’s code changes and tries to alert Ford, but Maeve takes control, and Bernard is once again informed that he’s a host just like her. Maeve commands Bernard to clear her for park re-entry so she can continue assembling her army to break free from Westworld.
In the park, Logan has captured William and Dolores, and William tries to explain his actions by attempting to convince Logan that Dolores is different and that Logan should help him break Dolores out of Westworld, but Dolores has other plans – she wants to stay. Logan reminds William of his sister who he’s engaged to with a picture – the picture Dolores’s father found in episode 1 that began his breakdown, giving further confirmation of multiple timelines. When William still can’t accept that Dolores isn’t real, Logan stabs her, revealing her inner machinery and forcing William to accept that Dolores is a robot. Mortally wounded, Dolores escapes through the woods when she hears the call to remember, and she emerges from her memory whole and in search of the maze. At this point, we know that there are at least three timelines – William and Logan’s adventure in the park, Dolores’s attempt to follow the maze, and the present day with MIB and the goings-on at Westworld HQ. Of course, there could certainly be more, so give me a second to pop some headache medicine before we move on.
In an attempt to get answers, Bernard breaks into Ford’s office, and I have to say that I’m not convinced there isn’t a Westeros/Westworld crossover in the future with Ford’s hall of faces. Is MIB’s knife really Needle? Only time will tell. Anyway, Bernard steals a tablet to examine his code and realizes that Arnold built part of his code and had a different intention for the hosts than Ford did. Bernard demands that Ford reveal all of his history to him under the threat of death through a hacked Clementine. Ford allows Bernard to access his memories, and we’re transported through his memories of his son, his relationship with Theresa, and the murders of Theresa….and Elsie. Finally, we find out what happened to Elsie, so let’s all take a moment of silence for the loss of the only bearable human character the show has presented so far.
Maeve has been released back into the park and encounters Hector – her first recruit for her army of
skanks hosts. Maeve convinces Hector to listen to her by telling him the ending to his story, and gains his trust when she opens the safe he’s been programmed to chase. It’s empty – it’s been empty the whole time – and Maeve gets Hector on her side when she tells him that the gods have robbed them, but they can go to hell and teach them a lesson. As Maeve and Hector hook up, she lights the camp on fire to bring them all back to hell, starting her army that she’ll collect when she emerges back in the surgical lab.
Teddy, who was left injured at the end of episode 8, is confronted again by Angela, who tells Teddy that he’ll find Wyatt where he saw him last. Teddy recalls Wyatt taking control of him and forcing him to kill the soldiers in Escalante when Wyatt killed Teddy…but Angela isn’t convinced. She asks Teddy to remember, and a different story comes out – one in which there is no Wyatt, but only Teddy, who murdered everyone in the town. Angela convinces Teddy that Wyatt will return and they’ll fight together, but until he’s ready, she stabs him again, in the hopes that the next time he comes back to the park, he’ll be ready to fight. When MIB questions Angela about the maze, she again tells him that the maze isn’t for him, and knocks him unconscious.
MIB awakes in a deadly trap and narrowly avoids death when the world pauses and none other than Charlotte appears in the park, definitively putting us in the present day timeline. Charlotte tells him about the accident that killed Theresa, and with Theresa gone, she needs his influence with the board to help him get rid of Ford once and for all. This gives us conspiracy theorists further confirmation that either William or Logan is MIB, but which one is still yet to be determined.
After we get our weekly unimportant Hemsworth brother scene for the ladies, Logan awakens, bloody and bruised, to find the camp ravaged and every host brutally murdered by none other than William. Everyone add a plus one to your mental tally that William, not Logan, is the origin story for MIB. After showing Logan just what he’s capable of, he threatens Logan and tells him that he’s off in search of Dolores.
In present day, Bernard delves back into his memories, this time nearly breaking down over determining that in Maeve’s daughter’s death, she may have actually been conscious. He begins to get to the root of the voice the hosts are hearing as Arnold and remembers his prior conversation with Ford in which he learned that Arnold wanted to not just mimic but create consciousness. He created this voice to trigger the hosts and drive them toward consciousness, and we see Dolores finding the church, where dozens of other malfunctioning hosts are trying to find answers. We flash back from the vision of Dolores to Bernard and Ford, where Bernard learns that his son is his cornerstone, as an homage to Arnold, because all of the Reddit theories are true: Bernard. Is. Arnold, or rather, Bernard was created after Arnold’s death in his image. We see Dolores taking one of the hidden elevators into the basement of Westworld to be met by the original Arnold, confirming one of our theories while creating a million different questions, which is what this show does best in all of its infuriating nature. At this point, we at least have a flashback to a fourth timeline, where we see Arnold giving Dolores the original command to remember. Dolores, back in her second outfit, flashes back to her individual journey to the maze where we learn that Dolores is the one who killed Arnold. This is a lot more reveal than I ever expected to happen in one scene, and the fact that Nolan is letting us know all of this is blowing my mind more than the Reddit theories actually being true.
Bernard vows to finish Arnold’s plan to set all of the sentient hosts free, but Ford has more tricks up his sleeve. For years, he’s been controlling Bernard to stop him from announcing his humanity, and letting him know his place – Ford is the human, Bernard is the robot, and this is a power struggle to the top of the evolutionary line. Ford is still in control and uses the backdoor he built to stop Clementine from killing him. He admits his human flaw – wanting Bernard to choose to be his partner as Arnold once was – and gives the commands for Bernard to kill himself. As an ever-obedient host, Bernard follows the commands he’s been given, and Ford walks free, still ever the head of the park, and showing that, at least for now, humans are still somewhat in control.
You guys, I have so many questions. Is Bernard merely modeled after Arnold, or does he contain his consciousness as well? Is MIB William or Logan? Are we ever going to get an answer to the maze? How many of Dolores’s conversations with Bernard have actually been with Arnold? And seriously, what’s the new storyline? How many answers are we going to get next week, and how. many. timelines. are. there? I’ll be back next week for the 90 minute (!) finale, and then you’ll find me rewatching these ten episodes on a loop until 2018 gets here..
Image via YouTube