Westworld’s most up-to-date episode is a heartbreaking narrative of suffering


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Over the previous couple of weeks, HBO’s Westworld has been progressively placing its puzzle items collectively. The expose has printed how Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) turn out to be in a procedure to cheat death — cease to, as a minimum — and it has detailed how Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) turn out to be a key participant within the appearance of host Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright).

The season’s eighth episode, “Kiksuya,” delves into the backstory of the mysterious Ghost Nation tribe — in particular, a warrior named Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon). Akecheta turn out to be among the first hosts created for the park and turn out to be featured within the season’s second episode, “Reunion,” as a thriller man who helped pitch the Westworld thought to a skeptical Logan Delos (Ben Barnes). But because the most most up-to-date episode finds, Akecheta is an integral figure within the park’s history, tied to the lore of The Maze and The Door, and responsible for informing many hosts in regards to the persona of their actuality. In a twist that looks possible to thrill the expose’s most ardent fans, the episode furthermore makes expend of Akecheta to bring collectively to the backside of a thriller that’s been lingering in Westworld lore for the rationale that expose’s very first episode.

Photo: HBO

The mountainous expose?

Whereas there are a pair of cutaways — namely to Maeve, who finally ends up within the Mesa with a Delos tech pilfering her superpower-enabled code — “Kiksuya” is basically a bottle episode, with Akecheta explaining his life yarn to Maeve’s daughter whereas they sit on the Ghost Nation camp.

His narrative begins some 30 years ago. The Westworld park remains to be in beta, and he’s portion of a composed tribe, with his wife, a bunch named Kohana (Julia Jones). In the end, Akecheta stumbles throughout the bodies of Arnold Weber and Dolores, who killed her creator and herself. Within sight, he discovers the puzzle toy for The Maze. He becomes the logo, greatest to own his memory wiped when his fable is rewritten and he’s made portion of the ferocious Ghost Nation tribe.

In the end thereafter, Akecheta turns up on the outskirts of the park, where he comes throughout Logan. Toward the tip of the expose’s first season, a young William (Jimmi Simpson) sent Logan out into the barren region, tied to a horse, and that is clearly the aftermath. Logan has been driven half-infected by the sun, but his ravings — “This is the unsuitable world!” and “There’s got to be a strategy out of here. The build’s the door?” — unlock one thing in Akecheta. Over time, the warrior begins to take into accout his old composed life. When he tries to glimpse out Logan another time, he discovers one thing else as a substitute. It’s the big construction venture that William confirmed Dolores earlier on this season, the one constructed within the situation now regularly known as “The Valley Beyond.” Part of that venture is an enormous metal door discipline into the side of a cliff. In Akecheta’s tips, it’s miles the door to the a quantity of world Logan turn out to be describing.

From there, the host’s narrative becomes tragic. He is in a procedure to rouse Kohana to the twin nature of their actuality, but she is soon kidnapped by Delos lab techs. For cease to a decade, he searches for her, sooner or later realizing what Maeve did last season: if he dies, he’ll be taken into the park’s underground labs. He lets himself be killed, and within the raze finds Kohana’s physique in cool storage, alongside dozens of a quantity of deactivated hosts.

Photo: HBO

From that time ahead, Akecheta dedicates himself to revealing the very fact, spreading the logo for The Maze in every single procedure, and rising the series of wakened Ghost Nation hosts. Then, one night — as of late, it looks, even though it’s miles going to furthermore be laborious to represent on Westworld — he comes throughout several of his fellow warriors, frozen midbattle with a undergo. Ford is there, peeling relief every of their scalps to boom a image for The Maze.

Ford drops Akecheta into prognosis, asking where he first saw the logo. “When the Deathbringer killed the Creator,” he solutions. He furthermore tells Ford that he gave himself a brand recent pressure: to piece “that there isn’t one world, but many. And that we stay within the unsuitable one.” The imprint, Akecheta tells Ford, will relieve the hosts procure The Door. Ford looks legitimately intrigued, and the host explains that he believes The Door is a passage to a brand recent world, “and that world may simply contain every little thing that we own misplaced. Including her.”

Impressed, Ford provides rather of foreknowledge to relieve Akecheta. “When the Deathbringer returns for me,” he tells the host, “it’s possible you’ll know to bring collectively your individuals and make them a brand recent world.”

Photo: HBO

What does it mean?

There’s loads to unpack within the episode, but among the well-known involving questions it solutions goes all of ways in which relief to the starting of the expose. Within the series premiere, “The Normal,” the Man in Shadowy (Ed Harris) killed a bunch named Kissy (Eddie Rouse) and scalped him, uncovering the logo for The Maze. The Man in Shadowy saved the scalp with him as a totem, but how the logo got there turn out to be in no way explained. Now it’s determined: at one point within the previous, Kissy will must had been a member of Akecheta’s tribe, and he had the logo carved into his scalp as portion of Akecheta’s conception to piece the logo. When he turn out to be repurposed as a card dealer for the Mariposa, that image turn out to be in no way eliminated, leaving it for the Man in Shadowy to sight.

The dead awakening of Akecheta and his fellow warriors furthermore explains the irregular conduct exhibited by individuals of Ghost Nation throughout the expose, like how vocal instructions from Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) didn’t work on them within the first season or how they aren’t at possibility of Maeve’s tips-salvage a watch on powers. Akecheta, it looks, turn out to be in a procedure to provide a produce of self-awareness thru the instantaneous of The Maze image, the non-public pressure of his love for Kohana, and 30 years of heartbreak and loss.

Changing the sport

“Kiksuya” fills in compulsory backstory for the most mysterious hosts within the entire Westworld park, but it’s unattainable to leer the episode with out contemplating how it fits into the bigger puzzle of Ford’s plans and The Door.

Ford lays out his death on the fingers of Dolores — “the Deathbringer” — as a discipline off that have to discipline off off Ghost Nation’s traipse to the Valley Beyond. It suggests no longer simply that Ford knew Dolores would sooner or later assassinate him, but that it turn out to be portion of a a lot bigger conception he turn out to be orchestrating. (In season 2’s episode 7, Ford acknowledged that whereas he didn’t technically create Dolores assassinate him, he turn out to be completely wide awake that’s how she would sooner or later answer to his button-pushing.) Coupled with the very fact that Ford has furthermore been directing the Man in Shadowy to The Door, it begins to understand like a selected endgame is being labored out. Ford clearly needs all individuals to terminate up at The Door, and whereas his reasons are determined, the viewers does already know the final outcome: a full lot of expressionless hosts floating within the water.

Photo: HBO

But one a quantity of thought echoes throughout “Kiksuya,” and it’s miles going to own well-known ramifications transferring ahead. The episode clearly establishes that Akecheta’s emotions for Kohana performed a serious role in his cognitive evolution. His love for her, and the empathy he feels for every a quantity of host who may simply own misplaced someone they know, drives him to piece The Maze image and awaken dozens of Ghost Nation warriors. It has helped him and a quantity of individuals of his tribe take into accout the a colossal series of lives they’ve lived throughout a few years — one thing a quantity of hosts greatest carried out thru the reveries code Ford deployed within the expose’s pilot.

In that sense, he’s like one more persona who had love and empathy lead to recent powers: Maeve. Her pressure to search out her daughter has resulted in her being in a procedure to mentally salvage a watch on a quantity of hosts, hinting that these are cases where actual, proper emotion is paving the suitable technique to self-awareness. “Kiksuya” looks to subtly underscore this thought: it’s the episode wherein Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) sooner or later acknowledges Maeve as a pondering, feeling being, acknowledging that what Delos has carried out is unsuitable and that she’s going to must had been in a procedure to employ time alongside with her daughter. The episode’s construction is wrapped in a cease emotional bond as neatly. Whereas Akecheta tells his narrative to Maeve’s daughter, by the tip of the episode, it becomes determined he’s furthermore talking to Maeve, and he’s wide awake her powers allow her to put collectively alongside thru her daughter’s eyes and ears.

Most likely Westworld’s point here about love ensuing in sentience isn’t as romantic as it looks. Westworld has continuously tied consciousness and self-awareness to suffering. (As Ford suggested Bernard within the season 1 finale, “I’m insecure in boom to flee this procedure, you should undergo more.”) Akecheta’s yarn is set pure turmoil and suffering, and so is Maeve’s yarn. If Ford needs his creations to be free, and he’s constructed a deliver of affairs that leads all of them to The Door, then presumably what’s on the a quantity of side will motive the supreme suffering of all.

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