‘Westworld’ Season 1 Episode 9 Recap: The Well-Tempered Clavier

Westworld Season 1 episode 9 Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton in ‘Westworld’ season 1 episode 9 (Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO)

HBO’s sci-fi drama Westworld served up a penultimate episode that answered one major question while leaving multiple storylines dangling. Airing on November 27, 2016, season one episode nine titled ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ began with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) requesting Maeve (Thandie Newton) bring herself back online so they can talk about why she acted outside of her storyline and killed Clementine. Maeve lies and says Clementine was moving toward guests with harmful intent, and Bernard examines her programming and discovers all the changes to her code. Before Bernard can tell Dr. Ford about it, Maeve grabs his arm and lets him know she’s aware he’s also a host. Bernard is confused and Maeve is able to freeze him since she can now control other hosts. She speaks to him while he’s unable to move, instructing him to clear her for the park. He does so, and she tells him to find out the whole truth because knowing just part of it is horrible. He leaves the room and wanders past naked, offline hosts, unsure of what he is.

Logan (Ben Barnes) and the Confederados have William (Jimmi Simpson) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) tied up back in camp. Logan claims he’s not angry about being left behind when William and Dolores took off, and William tries to convince Logan that Dolores is unlike other hosts and needs to be taken out of the park. She remembers things and thinks for herself. Logan can’t believe William wants to take Dolores home with him, and Dolores repeats the word “out.” She wonders why everyone wants to be in the park if the outside world is so wonderful. Logan’s impressed with her reasoning and decides to help William…but not how he wants. With William still tied up, he pulls Dolores to her feet.

Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) walks through the storage room with the decommissioned hosts and enters his secret room where Bernard is waiting for him. They discuss Dr. Ford’s control over Bernard, and Bernard says he looked at his own code and it appears it was written by Arnold which means there might be a different end game. He’s also concluded that Dr. Ford killed his own brother. Bernard demands access to his history because he wants to look through his memories for Arnold to see if he can determine Arnold’s purpose. Bernard pulls out a gun, hands it to Clementine, and explains that after the lobotomy, they failed to reset her directives so she can hurt humans. Bernard has programmed Clementine to respond only to him, forcing Dr. Ford’s hand and making him open Bernard’s programming so he can view all his memories.

In his memories, Bernard recalls moments with his dying son, his wife, and with Theresa. He pauses the memory on Theresa, sees her death, and then relives killing Elsie. He comes out of his memories with a shock, angry at what Dr. Ford forced him to do to Elsie. He wants back inside his memories again because he still needs to find any trace of Arnold.

William is forced to watch as Dolores is felt up by Logan’s new buddies. Logan reminds William he was supposed to be marrying his sister, and he’s not going to let him throw it all away. William continues to claim Dolores is special while Logan grabs Dolores and tells William it’s time for a wake-up call. He instructs one of the men to hold her and stabs Dolores in the stomach. He pulls her skin apart to show her mechanical interior. Dolores falls to her feet, telling Logan there is beauty in this world with Logan responding that her world was built for people like him. She grabs a knife and slashes him across the face. She then picks up a gun, shoots a few men dead, and takes off running. They give chase and she stumbles to the ground, and then she hears, “Remember.” She looks around and as she stands up, her wound is completely healed.

Night falls and Hector (Rodrigo Santoro), Armistice (Ingrid Bolso Berdal), and the gang are at camp trying to figure out how to open the safe. Maeve shows up, aims a rifle in Hector’s direction, and tells him she knows all about his history. She also says his men are about to kill each other over the safe and that ultimately he and Armistice will kill each other. It’s their ending…always has been, always will be. And then it happens just like Maeve predicts, except she saves Hector. She wants him to join her in breaking into hell to rob the gods blind. He doesn’t react or seem to understand and she opens the safe, revealing it’s completely empty. She tells him it’s always empty and they’re all just games to the masters who pull their strings. Hector realizes he’s been here before and they’ve kissed before. He agrees to go with Maeve, but first comes a little romantic interlude. Maeve tells him getting to hell is easy as she burns down their tent while they’re still inside. They have sex as they go up in flames.

Logan tries to make peace with William who’s still tied to a chair. He keeps trying to explain to his future brother-in-law that Dolores was never alive, and William acts like he can’t believe he got caught up in the park. Logan sets him loose and tells him, like Vegas, what happens there, stays there. Logan thinks this is just an intense bonding adventure and William grabs his bottle, takes a swig, and then they hug.

Meanwhile in a different camp, Teddy (James Marsden) still has an arrow in his shoulder and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is still tied up to a rock. Angela (Talulah Riley) removes the arrow while across the campfire the Man in Black tells Teddy he f**ked them both by having a memory glitch. Wyatt’s men are also around the campfire but Wyatt isn’t there. Teddy remembers Wyatt went missing on maneuvers and came back with strange ideas. Teddy has a flash of memory that shows him walking through the town and shooting all the soldiers. He remembers he and Wyatt killed every soldier and then Wyatt shot the general. Angela asks if he’s positive that’s what happened. He searches his memory again and this time sees himself as a marshal who shot everyone dead. In his memory he sees Angela trying to comfort her husband before he shot her in the head. Teddy shakes his head no, and Angela tells him the next time he’ll be by Wyatt’s side fighting with him. She then stabs him in the stomach, telling him he’s not ready but might be in the next life.

Angela tells the Man in Black the maze isn’t meant for him and then knocks him out by hitting his head against a large rock. When he wakes up the next morning, there’s a rope around his neck tied to a horse. If the horse moves, the Man in Black will be pulled up into a tree and hung. No one is around to save him, so he works his way over to Teddy’s dead body and grabs the knife. Just as he’s being hauled up, he’s able to cut the rope and save himself. In a bizarre twist, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) arrives in the park and asks the Man in Black if he’s considered a different type of vacation. She tells him Theresa is dead and the Man in Black says there’s no way her death was an accident. Charlotte is there to ask for his vote on the Board to push out Dr. Ford. He tells her he doesn’t want any more interruptions and sends her away.

Back in the control room, a tech receives a signal from Elsie. She’s in an area in the park where no one is supposed to be. Ashley (Luke Hemsworth) heads up to the park to check it out and can’t find the signal. He calls the control room but all he gets is static on the line. Just then Ghost Nation members show up and walk toward him menacingly. They don’t obey his command to stop and he’s attacked.

Logan wakes up disoriented to find his fellow Confederados dead, many of whom were torn to pieces. William apparently did it, telling Logan he finally understands this place is a game. He killed all these men and now he wants Logan to help him find Dolores, threatening him by placing the knife to his neck.

Bernard’s back in his memories again, watching his son die in the hospital. He also sees Maeve dead on the floor after her daughter’s death, and in his memories he wonders why Maeve was accessing her memories. Dr. Ford tells him not to seek answers to questions best unasked, and Bernard recalls all of Dr. Ford’s explanations for hosts accessing their memories. Dr. Ford tells Bernard that Arnold wanted to create consciousness and the hosts hear their programming as an inner monologue. Dr. Ford calls the human mind a foul, pestilent corruption, and Bernard’s mind is supposed to be purer.

Dr. Ford explains the hosts were made in Dr. Ford and Arnold’s image and are cursed to make the same mistakes. Bernard wants to know why they gave him a child and had him die and why he returns to the day of the child’s death. All hosts have a backstory and the tragic ones work best, explains Dr. Ford, adding that he gave Bernard a backstory that’s an homage. Bernard wants to access his memories again so he can see Arnold, demanding to be allowed to return to the very beginning – his first memory. He asks to be sent back and Dr. Ford does, sending Bernard once again into the room where his son died. Bernard tells the child to come back to life and he does. Bernard realizes his son is a host and this is all a lie. The pain is a lie, Charlie’s death is a lie, and revisiting it is the only thing holding him back. He tells Charlie he has to let him go and Charlie says, “Open your eyes.” Bernard does and he’s back to the day he was created. He sees a younger Dr. Ford and then takes his first step off the gurney. Dr. Ford not only taught him how to act, down to how to clean his glasses, he also modeled Bernard after his brother. Bernard is a robot version of Arnold!

Westworld Season 1 Episode 9 Evan Rachel Wood
Evan Rachel Wood in ‘Westworld’ (Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO)

Back in the park, Dolores is alone and heading back to the area she painted while on the train with William. She walks through the small town once again and hears the church bells ring. She enters the church and is wearing the dress she always wore while on her family’s farm. She sees hosts crying, speaking to people who aren’t there, and acting insane. She takes a seat in the confessional and the seat moves downward. It’s actually a hidden elevator and as she steps out, she sees a vision of the hallway littered with dead bodies. The setting changes and now she sees hosts in rooms acting normal. She’s passed by Arnold in the hall as Dr. Ford calls out to him. Dolores follows Arnold, opening a door and taking a seat in a chair. Bernard/Arnold walks in and she tells him she followed the maze and it didn’t bring her the promised joy; it brought her pain and terror. She wants his help, telling him he’s the only one who can help her. He says, “Remember,” and she remembers he can’t help her because he’s dead. He’s just a memory because she killed him. She returns to the present, heads back up in the elevator and into the church, and this time she doesn’t see any other hosts. She hears footsteps outside and it’s the Man in Black. (She thought it was William.) She looks horrified as he approaches.

Bernard’s plan is to find all the sentient hosts and set them free. Dr. Ford wonders if the hosts will trust him, and Bernard becomes more confused as he realizes they’ve had this talk before. Dr. Ford says Bernard is actually the real danger to the hosts, not him. Bernard instructs Clementine to pull the trigger and kill Dr. Ford, but she can’t. She puts the gun down and Bernard figures out there’s a back door built into the hosts’ codes. Dr. Ford had hoped Bernard would be his partner again and that’s why he let him access his memories. He instructs Bernard to take the gun from Clementine and kill himself, ending the nightmare once and for all. As Dr. Ford leaves, he tells Bernard he never should have placed his trust in humans.

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