Previously on Westworld, “The Riddle of the Sphinx”
Were it not for the trip to Sweetwater, many fans think this might be the best episode of Westworld. While, I’m not sure I agree, I do understand that, for the first time, watching what we predicted come true wasn’t satisfying.
The end of “Journey Into Night” suggests that Teddy runs afoul of Dolores, and the mercy he showed Craddock appeared to be the reason — or one of them — why. But Dolores has one last test for Teddy and presents him with a situation her father faced on their ranch: How would Teddy handle infected cattle that threatened to take out of the entire herd? Sweet Teddy would try to save as many as possible, but Dolores says her father burned the weak as that’s what you must do to ensure the strong survive. MESSAGE!
Teddy doesn’t get the message.
After a night of sex, Dolores has Teddy implanted with a new personality, one that would presumably burn all the damn cows.
Maeve and her crew are taken into Shogun World as captives of the ronin Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada). It’s a scene directly from the very first episode of Westworld, “The Original,” and for good reason. Musashi is Shogun World’s Hector, and his a member of his crew, Hanaryo (Tao Okamoto) is Armistice. This means Maeve meets her counterpart, Akane (Rinko Kikuchi), a geisha at the Mariposa, which Musashi means to rob.
The Westworld hosts are offended that their lives have been plagiarized, but Sizemore explains it’s simple supply and demand. And they’ll have to play out the narrative in this more violent park in order to advance their journey to the homestead. As Maeve accompanies Akane on her mission to retrieve her ward Sakura (Kiki Sukezane) from the evil Shogun (Masura Shinozuka), she discovers that they are indeed very much the same. She is also driven by the need to protect her daughter. When the Shogun kills Sakura despite his promise to free her, Akane kills him as she is forced to perform a dance for him. They are saved from execution when Maeve taps into her newfound power of controlling hosts with her mind.
While Shogun World was as amazing as we hoped it would be, where it really delivered was providing the hosts an opportunity to see themselves and just how much of their lives have been fabricated. It also served as another example of how differently Maeve and Dolores choose to lead. Dolores forces Teddy to change, but Maeve respects Akane’s wishes to not be wiped of her the illusion that is her life if it means she won’t love Sakura. Maeve and Dolores have each suffered countless acts of brutality over the years, but only one of them seems ready to be like their oppressors now that they’re free.
Analysis. What prompted that response?
- With most of the hosts already pulled from the lake, Strand learns that many of them are free of data. More than that, they never had data to begin with. This seems to support Donny’s theory that those are copies of the hosts meant to be a decoy. They also learn that they’ve lost a precious third of their IP now that the cradle has been compromised.
- As much as I love the idea of Maeve being godlike, it really does feel like she’s getting some help from the inside.
Westworld S2E5 Review Score
"Akane No Mai"
Westworld – S2E5 – “Akane No Mai” | Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Simon Quarterman, Luke Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Gustaf Skarsgård