"My pain was selfish, because it was never only mine. For everybody in this place, there was someone who mourned their loss. Even if they didn't know why." - Akecheta
This is the best episode of the season so far, maybe the best episode of the show. Akechta's story is heartbreaking. When he was walking around looking for Kohana and found her and then realized he could do nothing about it really got to me. That piano cover of Heart-Shaped Box was fantastic too.
"I was determined to leave this world but I wouldn't leave it without her." - Akecheta
It was a really Emotional and Beautiful Episode. Akecheta is awake for a Very very Long Time.
The Man in Black Lives
We saw at the very start of this episode that the Man in Black did survive his wounds received last episode.
Ghost Nation is saving guests in the here and now
The Leader of the Ghost Nation , Akecheta, finds the Man in Black near death by the river and saves him. He tells him he does not deserve the escape that death provides. This confirms the theory that the Ghost Nation are gong around saving humans, albeit with a somewhat darker purpose. They may also be hoping to get help finding the door.
How the Ghost Nation got the Maze Symbol
Akecheta wandered into the town with the white church following the original massacre that left Arnold dead. There he saw the maze game Arnold had shown Dolores, and became obsessed with it, and started putting it everywhere.
They majorly revamped the Ghost Nation storyline when the Park opened
The Ghost Nation/Native population of Westworld was peaceful and pastoral before the park opened. The writers turned them into killers so the guests could kill them without guilt in the early days of the park - before William visited for the first time.
What happened to Logan after we left him at the end of season one
He went pretty crazy; likely an effect of exposure and dehydration. Akecheta found him, and left him for the QA people to find. His babbling sparked recognition in Akecheta; he returned to his original home and realized he had once lived a different life. When Akecheta returned to find him, he was gone, and they were building something where he had been (maybe the Mesa, by the look of it?)
Akecheta has been aware of his reality far longer than we might expect
He would keep himself alive so that he would not be reset, and would not lose his memories of his family. He managed to stay alive for nine years. Eventually, he realized his only hope of finding Kohana was to die and be taken below. When the techs realized how long he had been out, they updated him without a full rebuild, which gave him the opportunity to see the whole lab setup and the rest of HQ.He found Kohana in cold storage, but was unable to rescue her.
Lee Sizemore might be marginally smarter than previously thought
When he insisted on saving Maeve last episode, many thought he had simply become emotionally attached. We now know that he recognized her ability to control hosts as a potential tool, and hopes to use her to regain control. He's also emotionally attached though, and didn't foresee them just breaking her down for parts, so judge him as you like.
Why the dealer had the Maze on the inside of his scalp
Akecheta had been carving the maze symbol into the inside of Ghost Nation scalps, where they could not be found and taken away by the techs.
Why the Ghost Nation attacked Maeve's homestead
It never really made sense that Maeve and her daughter would be attacked by Ghost Nation in their supposedly PG-rated corner of the park. The answer is that they weren't actually attacking. Akecheta was using the symbol to teach hosts of their own potential. He wanted to teach Maeve's daughter and keep her safe, which is why he came to the homestead.
Akecheta can communicate with Maeve through the mesh network
We see this at the end of the episode when he tells her they will protect her daughter.
Maeve might be able to access pretty much all the hosts stories
Her ability to access stories and dialogue of other hosts when she quotes Kohana at the end of the episode.
Wow, this was one of the best episode I ever saw. Almost without any action scenes, I was on the edge of my seat all along.It also appears that all the non-english episodes are much better than others. The native tongue is beautiful and the acting, especially Zahn McClarnon's, was superb.
Unfortunately, Trakt.tv won't let me give 12/10 hearts when I go (does someone wants to give his/hers in their place?)
I'm speechless.So different and still such in tone with "Westworld".Could this be the best one so far?
Who would have thought that Akecheta would be such an important part in everything.Sheds so much light into the overall Story!
The Moment he realized he couldn't do anything for Kohana was so touching and heartbreaking.Akecheta was trying to help Maev. As soon as he said it, I saw it in his face, as he was watching through the Windows.Fords appearance was so well placed and fit perfectly.Nearly the entire episode was spoken in Lakota. Bold, but perfect move.So much was so perfect, I have the Feeling I could go on and on...^^
I still can't believe the Indians knew everything the whole time...Love it.
For sure the best episode of the show.
One woke up by pain, one by force and finally one through love.
Perfect writing and perfect actor
That was a very intensive emotional heartbreaking episode.
"I wanted to help you too. I wanted to warn you, but in this world it's easy to misunderstand intentions. I wanted to give you the truth. I watched over you, day after day trying to keep you safe, but it was a promise you couldn't keep. Someone else was watching you too." - Akecheta
most beautiful episode from this season!!direct,photography and sound are amazing
Such a beautiful episode. Just the simple fact that by the end of the episode we feel empathy and respect for Akecheta (a character that appeared what, only 10 minutes throughout both seasons?) shows how well written and loved all characters are in this show. Perfect casting.
He is a flower that grew in the darkness.Ford's speech in the ending of Bicameral Mind is about Akechta.
Still got the chills. The best episode of the show and one of the most heartbreaking episodes i've ever seen. Still, everything is story-driven and fully immersed and fit in every narrative layer. Perfect, just f-ing perfect.
[9.7/10] Westworld has used the stories of its “hosts” rising to consciousness, and the human guests having their own awakenings in the park, for all manner of metaphors. It’s been the journey of liberation akin to a revolution. It’s been the self-realization that turns light to dark. It’s been the newfound knowledge of the self, and the shocking twist, and Alice in Wonderland-evoking reveal of a world beyond the looking glass.
But until now, it’s never been framed as a spiritual journey.
Look, I’m cognizant of the precarious ground the show is walking on by framing the story of a member of the native tribes reaching consciousness in this way. In some ways, it was easier to accept a certain degree of tropiness when reconstituting Maeve’s story in Shogunland, given that it was as much riffing on Samurai movie tropes as it was attempting to genuinely represent some genuine facet of Japanese life.
And to the extent that “Kiksuya” is riffing on the trope of the noble savage in old school westerns, the one that might be a reference point for script-writers trying to appeal to their guests’ predilections, it can be forgiven on the same terms. But this episode doesn't have Sizemore to hang lampshades on the tropes being deployed.
And yet, “Kiksuya” is the most artful, emotional, poignant episode that Westworld has offered so far.
As much as they are maligned, there is an ease to the use of subtitles. It means that the writers can trust their words in a much barer sense to convey the meaning they want to impart, without the tricky translation that comes from actually speaking them. It means that the actors can focus on conveying the import of those words, the sentiment behind them, rather than creating a convincing line-read. And it means that a well-produced show like Westworld can rely on the powerful images it can conjure up to communicate the feeling and emotion behind its story.
Those images are gorgeous in “Kiksuya”. Whether it’s the warm colors as Akecheta crests a hill and sees the desert sand before him, or the blend of black and white in the water as he washes his hand on a very particular journey, or the cold silhouettes of bodies as he makes his way through the soldier stances of his fallen brothers and sisters, the episode does as much with to tell the story with those visuals as it does with the poetry it speaks with.
Something about the same florid prose that feels shallow coming out of Ford’s mouth takes on a new resonance when its placed in white text on the screen and buoyed by Akecheta’s native tongue. The idea of this being “the wrong world” is an idea Westworld has played with before, an idea that harkens back to a sense of imbalance in the world that is nigh-universal across cultures. Akecheta’s desire to find “the door” to something wider, truer, is a plot point, one that has a literal significance given the implied existence of “glory” or “the valley beyond.”
But it also has a spiritual significance, the idea of this mortal realm as a flawed place, of something that exists pasts it that is deigned to be purer, more real, and more right. That is the needle that “Kiksuya” so effortlessly threads.
Because the episode works perfectly as text. If you have no desire to read any deeper into the episode, then it functions completely as Akecheta thinking this is the wrong place because given his memories, he understands it to be a place where he and his kinfolk are killed and toyed with time and again. You can read his desire to hold onto his true love as the same burden all hosts are shackled with. You can understand his desire to spread the truth, his desire to find a gateway to someplace else, as the outgrowth of Arnold’s maze, there to put strange voices and desires in the heads of his creations.
Or you can read it as a story that speaks to the greater human condition, to the search for enlightenment. You can understand his assertions of Westworld as a “wrong place” to stand-in for real world anxieties that there is something broken about the place and times in which we live. You can interpret his bond with the woman he loves, a woman the handlers take away from him, as a stand-in for the way the same injustices in the world that set it off its axis can take away those closest to us. And you can read his desire to share the symbol of his awakening, his quest to find another way and another place, as the search for enlightenment, that all-encompassing and boundary-crossing desire to find a deeper meaning and higher existence out of the cold Earth we are born to.
When Akecheta suffers from the knowledge that something is amiss, when he reckons with the idea that his loved ones are, for now, irretrievable, when thanks to Arnold’s machinations and the chance encounter of the vaunted symbol of the series, he begins walking down the path that will bring him a deeper understanding, but also torture him with the knowledge of something just out of reach, he becomes the most human and affecting character in the show in less than an hour.
And he forges a connection to the second. I’ve been bearish on Westworld’s seemingly de jure wild twists. But the revelation that his recounting this tale of suffering and meeting ones creator and being given the chance to ascend to some greater plane of existence is not just being offered to Maeve’s daughter, but to Maeve herself, heightens the already impactful tale being spun in “Kiksuya.”
Again, you can read the arc words of this episode -- “take my heart with you” -- exchanged between Aketecha and Maeve as the literal, as the mere transmission of ones and zeroes across whatever futuristic wifi exists in Westworld. Or you can take it as metaphor, as the notion that these two individuals have forged a spiritual connection through their ascendance, whatever the medium, and share and understanding of what it means to be robbed of the person you love the most, and thus also the need to protect the same.
Emily understands that connection, as William miraculously survives his encounter in the prior episode and is given over to his daughter by the Ghost Nation. But even there, his story blends into the whole of Aketecha’s, of the gods gone crazy, of the existence of the others, who provide hints and keys to the world beyond.
Westworld is rarely this artistic, this impressionistic, this willing to forego the clumsiness of our feeble words and force the elemental expressions and poetic narration of an episode like this one to carry the day. But when it gives itself over to such things, setting aside the clunky explanations and twists upon twists upon twists, it has a great capacity to wring a greater meaning of this otherwise pulpy story of killer robots gone mad and heartless corporateers protecting their investments.
Because Westworld and Westworld is a land of metaphor, where individuals of all stripes find themselves and sense both cracks in the foundation and the glory of something beyond it. For once, Westworld sacrifices those pulpy mysterious and graphic exclamations in favor of one man’s story of attaining that hollowing but strength-giving knowledge. In that, it becomes the show it always could be, the story of what it means to find a deeper truth, and the way that can both rock us to our core, but give us a higher purpose, in fiction and in the real world.
Feels weird to call this episode, focusing on a host, the most humane Westworld yet, but yeah. The most singular focus for the first time ever does so well by it (even the one other strand turns out to tie in with the main story the whole time in the end), making this heartbreaking story so intimate and resonating. Maybe best performance of the season too. This season is a bit messy, reflecting both the ambition and events that don't hover under a unified mystery box atmosphere like in season 1 anymore. But it makes some standout, unique episodes, like "The Riddle of the Sphinx" and this one, possible.
And that was a gorgeous, haunting teaser for next week (wonder if they cut it that way to maintain the mood from this episode?)...
Take my heart when you go...
Nothing to say more..
I would have laughed if the little girl said in the end : "I don't understand your language..."
Best episode in the whole damn series. Glad I came back to this show for this alone.
First episode of the season that was really interresting :/
BEST EPISODE THIS SEASON.Hope the last 2 episodes are more like this and a lot less like the first 7
The only episode (so far?) this season that holds the same standard as the ones in the first.
One of the best episodes of the series. I loved this story so much and almost feel like we should have been seeing more of this story before now, but then we wouldn't have gotten it all packed together like this, which was beautiful.
That episode was so good am I going for the robots now lol
Even though a stand alone episode in some ways, this has been one of the better ones and an emotional one as well.
One for all those who have loved and lost.