Westworld Review: The Well-Tempered Clavier

As I have said before. With TV shows that rely heavily on mythology and holding back information there are two problems. One is, that when the reveals actually happen they cannot live up to the hype. This was one of the major issues a series like Lost had. The second problem is that the time spent on stalling is often not worthwhile. Audiences can live with a little stalling, some delay and even, when properly done, some side stories but we all have our limits. Our patience isn’t endless. But there is another aspect to stalling and withholding information that complex shows have. Sometimes, scenes that seemed less significant in the beginning become much more interesting in retrospect. A story arc, character development. It all becomes clear and makes more sense after the reveal. Westworld has a lot of storylines where this can happen.

Think Dolores, William, Teddy and The Man in Black. While some if it was interesting, a lot of it become a bit dull because it was clear stalling and we didn’t care about the characters enough. Logan can be cartoonishly evil, William was a bit bland and his potential love story with Dolores wasn’t that compelling and we hardly knew anything about TMIB. Only Dolores was a character that we could sort of care about but even with her it seemed that we would care a lot more after a reveal or two.

My expectations for The Well-Tempered Clavier were high and the episode definitely delivered. It was one of Westworld’s best and we definitely did get a few interesting answers to say the least. And for the first time this season I am extremely interested in all storylines and characters. Even the corporate intrigue.

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What happened

Maeve tells Bernard that he is a host. She orders him to have her cleared for duty. When she returns she tracks down Hector and she turns him to her cause. Bernard confronts Ford and with the help of Clementine he forces Ford to show him his past. In the visions he sees that he killed Elsie and that he is based on Arnold. Ford asks Bernard to join him and to work side by side again as he did with the real Arnold but Bernard refuses. Ford then takes control of Clementine and orders Bernard to shoot himself.

Logan cuts open Dolores to show her that she isn’t real. She cuts him back in return and escapes. William later admits that he got carried away and Logan and William seem to make amends, Later Logan wakes up to find that William has butchered all the confederados and he is ordered by William to help him find Dolores. Dolores goes back to the church and realizes that she killed Arnold. She then encounters TMIB.

Charlotte asks for TMIB vote for ousting Ford. He agrees. Ashley goes to investigate something in the park. He gets ambushed by the Ghost Nation and they do not respond to his voice commands.

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What I liked

Does Westworld have a patent on stellar opening scenes? This opening with Maeve and Bernard was great. And Bernard’s scenes with Ford were even better. His reactions when he finds out (again) that he killed Elsie and that he is Arnold?! Wow. Just, wow! I didn’t find the scenes where Maeve confronts Hector that interesting but the death by fire was good.

Dolores, William and Logan was back to being very interesting and it seems all but confirmed that there are different timelines and William is TMIB. And that slaughter by William? Didn’t see that coming. It was also a cool reveal that Bernard is based on Arnold and that TMIB is on the board of directors of Delos.

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What I didn’t like

This episode was awesome! Not much to dislike.

What I’m looking forward to

What is going to happen with Bernard? Jeffrey Wright has been amazing and it would be very sad if we have seen the last of him. But I doubt we have. I very well see him return as either Bernard, Arnold or both. I also think that Ford is a great villain but he will have to have some kind of setback by the end of this season right? And, I want confirmation that William is in fact TMIB.

4.5/5

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Observations

Ford is cold. Real cold. But he managed to make me almost feel bad for him when Bernard refused to join him in his pursuits.

Speaking of which. I still wonder what Ford actually wants. And if the board has a real shot at ousting him

So Dolores killed Arnold? That was a real shocker. If William is TMIB I wonder what made him rape her when he has become TMIB.

For all the sympathy I have for Bernard and Dolores, I am losing mine for Maeve. Dolores and Bernard are clearly protagonists but Maeve is fast turning into an antagonist.

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