June 17, 2018

Westworld S2E08 - Kiksuya

Much like “Akane no Mai”, this episode was an aside to the main events happening in this season of Westworld. The time we learn the back story of Akecheta the leader of the Ghost Nation… taking us all the way back to the day Delores shot Arnold. It was a very well-made episode. Unlike “Akane No Mai” this one tied into the backstory of the park and helped us understand several questions from season one. I like it… but at the same time it is frustrating to completely step away from the main storylines. It did highlight the Valley Beyond, where everybody seems to be heading this season.

The imagery of the “the maze” was a big mystery in season one. At the end of that first season I still felt unsatisfied with the explanation. I still don’t think they have clearly defined what the maze is, but they showed us just how it seemed to appear everywhere last season and why certain hosts might be carving it into random things around the park. I don’t completely understand the concept of putting it under the scalps, but I’m willing to let that slide.

This episode highlighted something I have been thinking about quite a bit this season. The “woke” hosts seem to identify with a true version of themselves. For Maeve it is her role as a mother on the homestead. That seems to be what she identifies as her “true” self. She spends all of her energy trying to get back to her daughter from that role. In this episode Akecheta seems to identify with the role where he was the husband of Kohana. Similar to Maeve, he has dedicated the rest of his life to finding a way to reconnect with her… hopefully when he finds “the door” and enters the “right” world for him.

For the hosts it is unclear how these roles resonate for them as they become awoken. For Maeve & Ake they connect to someone they were programmed to love, in such a way that it has become real love. For Delores she seems to have embraced the Wyatt character and is hellbent on bringing her wrath onto the world. The sweet rancher’s daughter was there, but the persona of the murderous Wyatt seems to have won out. I’m not sure why or how that all works, but it doesn’t seem to be extremely consistent.

I’ve been a little down on Westworld the last couple episodes. I’d say “Kiksuya” was a really great episode, and it got me back on board with the mythology of the show. I really can’t wait to find out what happens at the end of this season, but I am also tempering my expectations for a satisfying ending. With only two episodes left I really don’t know what we are going to get.

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