Westworld, S1 Ep9 – The Well-Tempered Clavier

The penultimate episode of Westworld was not short on big reveals, and fans finally got some confirmation on some of the more prevailing theories of the season. The stage is set for the season finale next week and there are still so many exciting things to look forward to.

Bernard is Arnold. Let’s get that out of the way. It turns out, not only is Bernard a host, he is a host modeled on Ford’s partner Arnold. So all the scenes with “Bernard” conversing with Dolores about consciousness were actually flashbacks of Arnold talking to her. And even Bernard’s tragic backstory of a dead son was somehow an homage to the real Arnold.

“Bernard” manipulates Ford into letting him relive his first memories and has to undergo a lot of trauma in order to find out the truth. He threatens Ford with Clementine and the old man plays along. It turns out, he anticipated everything, as he usually does, and after revealing the truth to Bernard, Ford pushes the former to kill himself.

Westworld, S1 Ep9 – The Well-Tempered ClavierMaeve has been very busy putting together her robotic revolution. She alerts Bernard to his true nature and then encourages him to seek the truth. She manipulates enough of the story to interfere with Hector’s loop and enlist him to join her quest. And although she has the administrative powers to alter the storylines and to override agency, she interestingly still chooses to convince people to join her cause. I suppose she’s had enough of being a puppet on strings and in her own way, she wants to give her comrades some sense of agency and freedom. She and Hector have an intense make-out as she sets fire to their tent, planning to infiltrate “hell.” Who knows how much havoc she will be able to wreak once she gets there, and I for one am looking forward to it.

Westworld, S1 Ep9 – The Well-Tempered ClavierI can’t help but wonder though how much Ford knows about Maeve’s plans. With Westworld being under such heavy surveillance and with Ford always being a few steps ahead of everyone else, he’s bound to be aware of some of Maeve’s activities. To what extent is he allowing her story to run its course? And how prepared is he for the chaos she is about to unleash? Ford doesn’t strike me as a man easily taken by surprise so I have a feeling he has some idea of Maeve’s schemes and I’m intrigued by how he will react.

Westworld, S1 Ep9 – The Well-Tempered ClavierDolores proves yet again that we’ve been seeing her in multiple timelines. After being stabbed in the gut by Logan, she manages to escape and begins to remember flashes of who she was and what she has done. She stumbles through Westworld in a blue dress, injured, and not injured, and wanders back into a church, the site of Ford’s secret story line, and the portal to where she used to have long talks with Arnold. She also tearfully remembers that she killed him, probably manipulated by Ford the same way he manipulated Bernard. In the end, she comes face to face with the figure from her nightmares, the Man in Black.

One major theory that has yet to be confirmed is the “William is the Man in Black” theory. But there’s still a chance that this might be true, with William giving in to his dark side by massacring all the hosts and the Man in Black showing up at the church at the same time as Dolores.

Enough lingering threads remain to be resolved in the final chapter such as Elsie’s fate, why Ashley was captured by those hosts, and what the board plans to do with the park. The Westworld story has been set up for greater things and a more expansive scope in the future seasons.

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