Compared to last week’s episode of Westworld, this one falls in that “retreading” category Season 2 has got in the habit of. While getting to see certain events through the eyes of the Ghost Nation leader, Akecheta, is interesting, we are yet again left with no new information, aside from the fact that the Ghost Nation is actually a group of really nice Hosts that are just misunderstood, like the manatee. Ghost Nation… the Manatees of Westworld.
Fun fact, the episode’s title, “Kiksuya”, means “remember”. Fitting, wouldn’t you say? Yes, this episode is all about remembering. While Maeve is out there making us think she was the first one to become self-aware, it turns out Akecheta, Ake for short, has been conscious for about a decade. Where Bernard is struggling to remember what he had for breakfast this morning, Akecheta is a walking storehouse of memories. He remembers everything since becoming self-aware, just like we remember everything so this episode really wasn’t necessary HBO.. I’m just saying.
This episode had some quality moments. The acting was on point and the story was shown through characters instead of events which was a nice change of pace. Sadly, coming off of last week’s episode, this one doesn’t get the chance to shine like it should, because our selfish asses are craving further plot development. This would have been a more fitting installment earlier in the season when things we getting hashed out. OR it could have been achieved within another episode entirely utilizing a few scenes to convey whats going on with Akecheta instead of an entire hour.
Episode 8 of Westworld forces us to re-think our assumptions of the Ghost Nation people. While we have been brainwashed into thinking they’re these mindless indian scalpers, it turns out they have just been trying to save and “awaken” hosts. In a very off-putting scene between Ake and Ford we learn that Ford had been planning his death-by-Dolores for some time now. He viewed Ake as a way to see how far these enlightened hosts could go. While Akecheta saw the Valley Beyond while it was still under construction it wasn’t until his run in with Logan Delos and, later, Ford that he knew he had to search for that area again. “This is the wrong world” as Logan so bluntly put it.
It turns out Maeve and Ake have a lot in common, at least when it comes to motive. Both are acting simply out of love for another; Maeve for her daughter and Ake for his wife… girlfriend..? Lover? This combined with his “awakening” forces him to answer a higher calling and begin to slowly “wake up” other hosts. This motivation is later fueled further by Ford who tells him “when the Deathbringer returns for me, you will know to gather your people and lead them into a new world.”
While this was all interesting to see, we again aren’t left with much new information. We could’ve been shown, or told, that the Ghost Nation were the good guys in a few, condensed scenes. Aside from all this, we know for certain that the Man in Black is still some how alive, and that Lee has the hots for Maeve, or at least a bleeding heart that couldn’t stand by to see her not live. We also found out how Maeve has been reprogramming hosts on the fly, thanks to the mesh network.
Aside from all that, this weeks episode of Westworld doesn’t really cover new ground, and unfortunately won’t receive the appreciation it should thanks to its place within the season as a whole.