[For Westworld‘s “Well-Tempered Clavier” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Dolores and Bernard reconnect with their pasts. Maeve propositions Hector.
The episode “Well Tempered Clavier” begins as Bernard interviews Maeve about her unscripted events of the day before. Through this, he discovers the changes to her code and nearly calls Ford in before she appeals to him… “man to man or whatever it is we are”. Because of her high intellect, Maeve can control him now. Thus, Bernard returns her to service just as she orders. Maeve gets to him. She understands how depressing it is to realize one’s whole life has been a grand fiction. He’s deeply affected by the conversation, as affected as a man-made entity can be, anyway.
Next we see Dolores with William and Logan. William tells Logan he wants to take Dolores out of the park with him – free her. But she doesn’t get it, “If it’s such a wonderful place out there, why are you all clamoring to get in here?” Logan laughs at this but Dolores is serious. It seems the two shall never meet in mindset. Logan represents the ultimate beast of humanity – all selfish id. While Dolores is the ultimate host, a most convincing machination.
Then Bernard confronts Ford and says he knows Arnold built the most elegant parts of his code. He wants to know more about what Arnold had in mind and demands access to all of his history. That way he can meet Arnold through his memory. Ford says Bernard might not like what he finds in that memory. Bernard doesn’t care. He pulls out a gun and gives it to his freshly “hacked” Clementine. She responds only to Bernard now, he explains, and so will shoot Ford if necessary. Ford then gives Bernard access to his memories. First he’s with his son, next Theresa, and then Bernard remembers killing Elsie.
In the next scene Logan cuts Dolores open so William can see that she’s a robot inside. He thinks this might bring William back to reality and return him to the way he was before – mainly, in love with Logan’s sister. Dolores sees her insides too and gets pissed. She slices Logan’s face and shoots some cowboys; then runs off. Arnold tells her to remember. Dolores heads for the hills.
Then William says he’s over Dolores. He convinces Logan he’s back to his old self. They’re bros again. Logan, thrilled to have his old brother-in-law back, calls what happened between them “bonding”.
Maeve propositions Hector to join her revenge mission. It’s easy. She shows him the safe is empty and grinds his lap near an open flame. That’s all it takes. He agrees to join her. The best part of this scene is when Maeve says that “getting to hell is easy” while they’re surrounded by flames. It’s funny not only because it’s true. The theme of this episode also revolves around trying to return to a past that’s gone forever. Sounds a lot like hell to us. Make a fresh start instead! Seems like Ford’s the only one who gets this. Of course, he also seems like a villain… so, maybe being right isn’t everything.
In the next scene we return to the campfire where the Man in Black and Teddy are bound with ropes. The lady from the side of the road pushes Teddy to remember what happened with Wyatt. She says he doesn’t remember the story quite right. Then she stabs him in the gut and says maybe in the next life he’ll be ready to help Wyatt. The lady bashes the Man in Black’s head against a rock after she repeats the refrain, “The maze isn’t for you,” but does invite him to play a different sort of game. This interaction makes us wonder if maybe the more a host “dies” the better they get at remembering things. Why else does she keep killing Teddy and saying he’s not quite ready yet? Is death for a host like refreshing a web page?
When MIB wakes the next morning, he’s got a noose around his neck that’s tethered to a horse. The horse starts to run and the Man in Black ends up cutting the rope with a knife from his pocket to barely survive. Then Charlotte comes out of nowhere to confront him. She wants his vote on the Westworld Board to push Ford out so that it’s a unanimous decision. Man in Black says fine, no biggie, whatever. He only cares about the maze.
When Logan wakes up the next morning William has gone postal and killed the entire campsite; slashing off limbs with assorted brutal hacks and stabs, it appears. William calmly tells Logan he finally “gets the game”. Now he’s going to find Dolores. A knife to Logan’s throat is all the convincing a douchebag needs to keep mum about it.
At the same time Dolores finds that white chapel outside of Pariah and when she enters, poof! she’s back into her blue dress. Inside the confessional Dolores rides a tiny elevator down into the basement. This appears to be ground zero from the day Arnold died. It’s a medical lab with dead bodies strewn everywhere, seemingly frozen in time from the day they died. Through Dolores’s memories we know this was the original lab where the hosts were made by Arnold and Ford all those years ago.
Meanwhile Bernard comes to the conclusion that his life has virtually no real meaning. His memories tell him this. He realizes the loss of his son is simply a cornerstone. That’s a sad backstory meant to make him more interesting for Westworld purposes. This, he now knows, is why he continually returns to the memory of his son’s death.
So, as an exercise, Bernard makes a final return to that memory and stops the death from happening. He calls the whole thing a lie. When Bernard wakes into his next memory, it’s the day he “came online” for the first time. He’s with Ford and finds out Ford made him in Arnold’s image. Ford created him so that he could have his perfect partner again. Only this time he could control that partner completely. Thus, the theme of not being able to return to the past fleshes out fully here. Even Ford tried to do it. Alas, as a human he makes such mistakes.
Dolores is still in that basement living in her memory. She goes to Arnold for help but soon realizes he’s merely Bernard now. Dolores knows this because it turns out she was the one who killed Arnold. She remembers it now. So, resigned, she takes the confessional elevator back up to the chapel and is about to leave. But then another memory arrives for her. It’s the Man in Black. He’s standing in silhouette at the chapel door. Cliffhanger alert.
Then in the final scene Bernard tells Clementine to shoot Ford but it turns out Ford back doored her code and she won’t shoot him. Ford then orders Bernard to kill himself with the gun instead. As he leaves Ford says to Bernard, “Always remember you can’t trust us. For we’re only human and inevitably will disappoint you”. Then we hear the gunshot off camera. So, because it’s out of sight, it’s possible Bernard still exists. Even if he did shoot himself, he could still come back. Maeve, whose died a million times, could enlist him in her army of revolutionaries.
We don’t know what lies ahead in the finale of Westworld next week. But one thing seems certain, no more going back. One of the things Ford said when he told Bernard to kill himself was, “Let’s put an end to this nightmare once and for all”. Ford wants to forge ahead with a new story. For him the stories are life. He wants a new one. Maeve also wants a new life, and Dolores too. There’s might taste like revenge, sure, but it’s still something new. Even the Man in Black wants a renewal; the discovery of the maze’s end at the very least. Nobody wants to look back anymore. It’s all facing forward from here on. We can’t wait.
– Katherine Recap