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WESTWORLD: 1.09-The Well Tempered-Clavier

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Damn, now that was exhausting. Revelation piled on top of revelation is the name of the game here and even still it feels like we’re still a hundred questions away from knowing the complete truth.

But what an hour of television this is. Directed with aplomb by Michelle MacClaren, one of the best directors working on television today, the staging, editing, performances, just about everything going on here is fantastic.

It’s always hard to pick the stand out performances in a show like Westworld because the truth is everyone does a good turn, but obviously Thandie Newton, Ed Harris and James Marsden are great as always, but The Well Tempered-Clavier belongs to Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins.

After weeks of not being sure of his motivations, its clear that Doctor Robert Ford is one of the most evil characters currently on television and yet resolutely honest about his actions. There is a very pessimistic view of humanity that one could easily form and Westworld is pushing it to the extremes by even having its villain explain his badness to a crestfallen Bernard as the behaviour of a very bad species who do nothing but terrible things in the world they live in. Anthony Hopkins is sensational.

Then there’s Jeffrey Wright. Can we start calling him Arnold now? Oh yes, Bernard has actually been a host “version” of Robert’s old partner this whole time and the moment when we learn all this is some of the most brilliant television of 2016.

The way the episode cuts back and forward between Bernard’s part of the story, his conversations with Robert as well as his memories, all the while Dolores is going on her own journey throughout the park, making her own discoveries before the revelation hits is beyond fantastic, and then the episode then has the two characters sharing the screen, giving their screen time, as well as the scenes they shared at the start of the season, a whole new charge.

Of course we get the obligatory high levels of violence, most of which consists of stabbings in the gut, as well as a hilariously apocalyptic sex scene in a burning tent.

However, the seeds are set for next week’s ninety minute finale. Once again, Westworld will leave you livid at waiting a week, it may even make you livid because of the density of its story telling, but I for one am really loving this show, and the wait for the finale will be unbearable.