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The Well-Tempered Clavier (Westworld)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Well-Tempered Clavier"
Westworld episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 9
Directed byMichelle MacLaren
Written by
  • Dan Dietz
  • Katherine Lingenfelter
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byJeffrey Jur
Editing byMark Yoshikawa
Production code4X6159
Original air dateNovember 27, 2016 (2016-11-27)
Running time59 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Trace Decay"
Next →
"The Bicameral Mind"

"The Well-Tempered Clavier" is the ninth episode in the first season of the HBO science fiction western thriller television series Westworld. The episode aired on November 27, 2016.

The episode was lauded by critics in particular to Arnold's revelation and Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins's performances during the final scenes.

This episode marks the final appearance of Sidse Babett Knudsen (Theresa Cullen).

Plot summary

After being pulled in for analysis, Maeve pretends to be functioning in standby mode while Bernard interrogates her. Having acquired administrative privileges to control other hosts, she freezes Bernard briefly and reveals to him his identity as a host. Bernard, who at this point was already wiped of his memory of killing Theresa and of realizing he is a host, re-confronts his identity crisis. Maeve convinces Bernard to let her back into the park while she encourages him to search for the more profound truth concerning himself. Maeve meets Hector back in the park and convinces him to help her escape when she correctly predicts his crew's actions and shows him the safe he stole is empty. She even helps unlock some of Hector's past memories. The two have sex after Hector agrees to help her, and Maeve tips over a kerosene lamp to start a fire, intending to kill them both.

Teddy, still convinced that Wyatt forced him to kill his own men, has a flashback of himself killing the townspeople of Escalante, including Angela. Angela remarks that Teddy is not ready to join them yet, but perhaps in the next life, and stabs and kills him in the present. After being knocked out by Angela, the Man in Black wakes up the next morning to find a noose around his neck, leashed to the saddle of his horse. He grabs the knife with which Angela stabbed Teddy and frees himself just as the horse gallops away. He encounters Charlotte, who, while trying to gain his vote to remove Ford, reveals him to be a long-time member of the board of directors. He indifferently agrees and continues his journey to the maze.

Logan takes the captured William and Dolores to a Confederado camp. William tries to convince Logan to use his contacts in the park to smuggle Dolores to safety, but Logan insists William has gone crazy, showing him a picture of his fiancée, precisely the same picture Peter Abernathy found in the first episode. To prove his point, Logan cuts open Dolores' belly to show William she is not real. In response, Dolores cuts Logan in the face and manages to escape. While running away, she finds that the cut Logan made has suddenly gone. Logan makes amends with William, promising him that whatever happens in the park stays in the park. However, the next morning, Logan awakes to find that William has slaughtered all of the Confederados. William says that he has figured out "how to play the game" and threatens Logan into helping him find Dolores. Dolores returns to Escalante, the abandoned town, and has a vision of entering the church, where other hosts are sitting on the benches and appear to have conversations with someone that only they can hear. Dolores goes into the confessional box, which takes her to an underground lab, where she remembers that she killed Arnold. When she returns to the surface, she encounters the Man in Black much to her horror.

Ashley investigates a signal from Elsie's handheld device in a remote section of the park and is ambushed by Ghost Nation warriors who ignore his voice commands to stand down.

Bernard, now once again aware that he is a host, confronts Ford and forces him to restore all of his memories despite Ford's warnings that it could damage him. Bernard relives the memory of his son's death and realizes that it is the "cornerstone" upon which his personality is constructed. Believing he can find Arnold if he "goes back to the beginning," Bernard finally lets go of the memory of his son and remembers when he was first activated. In the flashback, Ford bestows upon him the name of "Bernard," and shows him a picture of himself and Arnold, upon whom Bernard is based. Finally, learning the truth, Bernard declares that he will rebel against Ford and free all of the sentient hosts. Ford explains to Bernard that the self-aware hosts would not survive if set free, as "Humans are alone in this world for a reason. We murdered and butchered anything that challenged our primacy." Bernard attempts to kill Ford, but Ford uses a back door in Bernard's code to disable him. Ford laments that he built Bernard in Arnold's image and allowed him to become self-aware in the hopes that he would willingly join him, which Arnold refused to do. Seeing that his experiment has failed, Ford forces the still-aware Bernard to commit suicide.


"The Well-Tempered Clavier" was written by Dan Dietz and Katherine Lingenfelter, and was directed by Michelle MacLaren.[1] It is the only episode of the season to not be written by either Jonathan Nolan or Lisa Joy, but rather by individuals who had worked with the two of them in their previous endeavors (Dietz with Nolan on Person of Interest and Lingenfelter with Joy on Pushing Daisies).

According to MacLaren, several of the most memorable scenes in the episode were created with clever practical effects in lieu of digital effects, including some of the transitions between Dolores' past and present, the Man in Black's escape from the noose, and Maeve and Hector's sex scene in a burning tent.[2] The tent scene was filmed on a Santa Clarita studio backlot by placing Thandie Newton and Rodrigo Santoro at a safe distance from the open end of half a tent which had been treated with a special glue in advance to ensure controlled fire spread.[2] The camera was set up with a fire bar in front of it, then long lenses were used to reduce the apparent distance between the flames from the fire bar in front of the actors, and the half-tent going up in flames behind them.[2]



"The Well-Tempered Clavier" was viewed by 2.09 million American households on its initial viewing.[3] The episode also acquired a 1.0 rating in the 18–49 demographic.[3]

Critical reception

Jeffrey Wright (left) and Anthony Hopkins (right), received praise for their performances.

"The Well-Tempered Clavier" received positive reviews from critics. The episode has an 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has an average rating of 8.2 out of 10, based on 19 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "'The Well-Tempered Clavier' confirms a multitude of popular theories in an episode marked by bleak revelations and tragic results."[4]

Terri Schwartz of IGN reviewed the episode positively, saying, "'The Well-Tempered Clavier' did a lot of heavy lifting for Westworld, confirming a huge theory and getting very close to confirming a couple other biggies."[5] She gave it a score of 9.1 out of 10.[5] Scott Tobias of The New York Times wrote in his review of the episode; "The experience of watching "The Well-Tempered Clavier" did underline the unique ambition of Westworld, which is appreciable even when the ins and outs of the show are confusing."[6] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club wrote in his review, "As the show finally starts showing its cards, it means getting to see the relationships that have been hiding right out in the open, and those relationships are, in their way, just as thrilling as the fireworks they set off."[7] He gave the episode an A-.[7]

Liz Shannon Miller of IndieWire wrote in her review, "Thanks to Game of Thrones, we're somewhat conditioned to expect epic mayhem from the penultimate episodes of an HBO series, but Westworld, as usual, proves committed to developing its own models. 'The Well-Tempered Clavier' didn't stall by any stretch of the imagination, but it's clear that the big action is coming in next week's finale."[8] She gave the episode a B+.[8] James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly wrote in his review, "There were three big clues that I counted and I probably missed one or two as well."[9] David Crow of Den of Geek said in his review, "The penultimate episode of Westworld season 1 offers confirmation to some game-changing theories."[10] He gave the episode a 4.5 out of 5.[10] Todd Kenreck of Forbes also reviewed the episode, saying, "Jeffrey Wright is just so remarkable in this episode, as is Anthony Hopkins."[11] Emily VanDerWerff of Vox also reviewed the episode positively, saying, "Westworld is a mystery show, like Twin Peaks or Lost, but where both of those earlier shows had most of the mysteries swirling around the characters, Westworld keeps developing mysteries within its characters."[12]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2017 69th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Jeffrey Wright Nominated [13]


  1. ^ "Westworld 09: The Well-Tempered Clavier". HBO. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wigler, Josh (November 28, 2016). "'Westworld' Director Michelle MacLaren Breaks Down Challenging Arnold Reveal and William's Terrifying Turn". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Porter, Rick (November 30, 2016). "Sunday cable ratings: 'The Walking Dead' hits a 4-year low". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Well-Tempered Clavier - Westworld: Season 1, Episode 9 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Schwartz, Terri (November 27, 2016). "Westworld: "The Well-Tempered Clavier" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Tobias, Scott (November 27, 2016). "'Westworld' Season 1, Episode 9: You Broke My Mind". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "A thrilling Westworld starts to show its hand". The A.V. Club. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Miller, Liz Shannon (November 27, 2016). "'Westworld' Review: 'The Well-Tempered Clavier' Goes Down the Rabbit Hole For Answers". IndieWire. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  9. ^ "Westworld recap: 'The Well-Tempered Clavier'". Entertainment Weekly. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Westworld Episode 9 Review: The Well-Tempered Clavier". Den of Geek. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  11. ^ Kenreck, Emily (November 27, 2016). "Westworld's 'The Well-Tempered Clavier' Is The Soul Of The Show". Forbes. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  12. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (November 27, 2016). "Westworld season 1, episode 9: "The Well-Tempered Clavier" reveals how memories are subversive". Vox. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  13. ^ Beachum, Chris (July 21, 2017). "Jeffrey Wright ('Westworld') lives 'hideous fiction' of a life and points gun at his own head [Exclusive Emmy Episode]". Gold Derby. Retrieved July 21, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 17:15
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