Episode 9 of Westworld, entitled “The Well-Tempered Clavier” basically confirmed every major theory to hit the internet since the show’s inception. So, instead of a traditional recap, I thought we could parse through what we know for sure, what we guess, and what we hope is true. Let’s jump right into it.
Here’s what we know for sure:
1) Bernard is a host copy of Arnold created by Ford years after his partner’s death.
The biggest and most important reveal of the night comes after a newly self-aware Bernie asks to delve into his earliest memories to come to terms with his past. As we suspected, there was a third person in that picture Ford showed Bernie earlier in the series. He was built to help shoulder Ford’s burden, and when he rebels, Ford no longer has need of him. (Props to Joanna Robinson over at Vanity Fair, who called this weeks ago.)
Those conversations between Dolores and Bernie were actually between Dolores and Arnold, taking place in the very beginning of the park. Naysayers of the multiple timeline theory will claim that we’re experiencing these conversations through Dolores’ memories, but I think this episode makes that hard to swallow, if only because of Dolores’ frequent costume changes. (But more on that later.) Dolores makes it to the town with the white church, where her story began, and enters into HQ via a confessional booth. There, she converses with Arnold, and finally realizes what he wants her to remember: He’s dead, and she killed him.
3) Teddy killed a lot of people in a past life that he doesn’t quite remember.
In Teddy’s memory, Wyatt convinced him to mutiny and shoot fellow army members. In reality however, Teddy, dressed in a Sheriff’s outfit, massacred a town full of innocent people. (One thing to keep in mind: The music box being turned as Teddy commits his crimes. The music isn’t innocent in Westworld. As Ford tells Bernie: “The piano doesn’t murder the player if it doesn’t like the music.”) Unfortunately for Teddy, Angela doesn’t think he’s ready to confront his past.
4) The picture of Logan’s sister is the same that was left on Abernathy’s farm and caused him to glitch in Episode 1.
I mean, this alone basically confirms that there are multiple timelines, right? It can’t be a coincidence.
5) Will is displaying very MIB-like behavior, lending weight to the idea that they are in fact one and the same.
Will pretends to be over Dolores and makes up with Logan, giving him a brotherly bear hug. At least, that’s what Logan thinks. In reality, Will decimates a camp while Logan sleeps one off. We’ve seen that calm, serene expression in the face of true violence before. Not to mention what Will tells Logan: “You said this place was a game. Last night, I finally understood how to play it.” Just repeat that in Ed Harris’ voice.
6) Maeve knows that Bernie is a host.
Takes one to know one. While interrogating Maeve about the incident with Clementine in the last episode, Bernie realizes that someone’s been tampering with her code. Alarmed, he tries to figure out what happened — until Maeve informs him that the joke’s on him. Bernie sends her back into the park so she can plan her escape, but not before she sets him on the path to his own self-discovery.
Maeve meets up with her bae and reveals to him that the safe he has stolen is empty, much like his very existence. She enlists his help to put an end to all of this, and the two have very, very hot sex. (And I’m not just talking about the literal blaze that starts in their tent.) Looks like they’re off to hell with a bang. (I know, I know.)
8) MIB is on the board of Delos.
Not only does Charlotte Hale know MIB, but she needs his help in order to oust Ford as head of Westworld. This means he’s on the board, and judging by his authoritative stance, could very well suggest he owns Delos, too. We also know that MIB helped Ford out financially in the early days of the park, and that he is the head of a major corporation, so this would all make sense.
9) MIB has found Dolores in the center of the Maze.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one waiting for her to respond “Hello William,” to his greeting, but no such luck. However, their meeting does suggest that the Dolores emerging from the confessional is present day Dolores.
10) There are definitely more than two timelines at play here.
Which leads us to the final conclusion: There’s no way this is all happening at the same time. (For a quick refresher on the theory, click here.) There were many hints throughout this episode to base this on, but let’s focus on Dolores.
Second: When Dolores and Will came to the town with the white church, it was all covered in sand. In Dolores’ memory, the town was bustling. But when Dolores reaches it this time around, the buildings are there, but it’s deserted — until she gets to the church.
Once inside, we seem to be alternating between present-day Dolores, and her memories of the past: Her outfit changes back to the blue dress we met her in at the beginning of the series, and there are hosts crowding the pews, all talking to themselves, as if communing with God. (Which, if you will remember, is the very principle of Arnold’s bicameral mind system.) It looks like this part is from the beginning of the park. Present day Dolores is remembering, as Arnold keeps telling her to do. Likewise, when she descends into the basement room, we see the old Westworld HQ as it used to be (bustling with very important scientists holding clipboards) vs. how it is now (decrepit and full of dead hosts). The Dolores who realizes that she killed Arnold and exits the room to face the MIB is present Dolores — the same one who was attacked and dragged into the barn on her parents’ ranch. They have both come full circle.
Now, here’s what’s still up in the air:
1. Is Teddy actually Wyatt?
2. Was Theresa a host all along? (What was up with that flashback?)
3. Are William and MIB the same person? (I wish we could put this one to bed, but there’s always next week.)
4. Is Bernard out for good? Or will Maeve rescue him, as she did Hector?
5. What is MIB’s end game?
Only T-minus 166 hours until the finale (and counting)! But before we all go off to ponder the nature of our reality, let’s assess the predictions from earlier in the night.
1. We’ll find out if Bernard really killed Elsie.
We did, and he did. 1/1
She did! 1/1
3. Maeve and Ford will have a mental showdown.
Not yet, but here’s hoping! 0/1
4. We’ll get to see Teddy shirtless again.
Poor decision, HBO. Poor decision. 0/1
5. William and Logan will fight it out.
Well, William didn’t so much attack Logan as kill his entire camp in a truly horrific manner. Does that count? I think it counts. 1/1
Total: 3/5 (Not quite a Maeve, but not a Teddy either.)
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