Director: Michelle MacLaren
Writers: Dan Dietz & Kath Lingenfelter
WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS.
I wasn’t able to get reviews out for the past few episodes of Westworld but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching them. In fact, they were my favourite episodes so far. But now I have a repaired computer and a little time so here’s my return to reviewing this show. The Well Tempered-Clavier didn’t mess around, quickly thrusting us into some important stuff. Instantly, Bernard found out about the changes made to Maeve but was immediately countered by the upgrades she received. It was a brilliant opener that kickstarted two of the best plotlines of the episode.
Bernard confronting Ford and being given access to see the things that were deleted from his memories was powerful and the social commentaries brought up by Ford’s superiority was even more powerful. There’s a parallel to the X-Men I noticed in this episode with the way it’s talking about prejudice against people who are different. There are also a few similarities between Ford & Bernard and Magneto & Xavier, although more by way of picking and choosing them.
That combined with William’s love for Dolores and continued pleading that she’s more than just a soul-less robot is something that’s definitely starting to come to the forefront now. Maeve’s call to action with Hector was great fun as well and while she’s not as much a focus in this episode, she’s still one of the most (maybe the most) exciting parts of the show.
The continued twists throughout this episodes, with plenty coming from William’s plot and Bernard’s revelations. The transformation William went through was earned and his line of “don’t call me Billy,” was a clever little hint that he’s the younger version of the nameless Man in Black. That would have been a little better if the entire internet didn’t already predict after about three episodes but oh well, it was handled pretty well here. Well, they haven’t outright confirmed it yet but it seems pretty certain now. Although maybe Dolores seeing the Man in Black in the church debunked it. I don’t really completely understand which timeline of Dolores that was. I’m a little confused by all that. Maybe the finale next week will clear it up a bit.
The Arnold reveal was very well done. Exploring through Dolores in an earlier time where we saw the young version of Anthony Hopkins again was tantalising and Bernard’s adventure to his first memory was genius. The various ages of Hopkins’ character was extremely well done with the CGI de-aging as well. It was the reveal that Arnold was the man Bernard is based on was brilliant. It was always going to be a little disappointing because they built it up to a point where you’d need the most A-list Hollywood actor to get the desired squeel but it worked very well on a story level which is what’s important here. Then Bernard’s forced suicide put a seriously powerful emotional note on it to end things. It’s a shame if he’s really dead forever because he’s definitely my favourite character on the show.
This episode was absolutely sublime. I felt the show was missing something earlier this season but it’s finally won me over. This was outstanding.
Summary: The best episode of the season so far, with one of the biggest mysteries revealed, some powerful emotional moments and even more teases for future reveals that could lead to one hell of a season finale.
-Written by Greg Warne