I hope you caught this episode of Westworld because that was something special. I’ve been feeling mostly ho-hum about the season so far. Sure its had its moments of brilliance with the reincarnation of James Delos and the majesty of Shogun World, but the multiple timelines and trademark Nolan deceit were getting to me. It was nice to get a singular viewpoint for this episode while connecting back to the main sci-fi threads, like the best episodes of Lost and The Leftovers. I feel grounded again.

Yup, what an episode. It was about time we got an inside look at Ghost Nation and this one is all about Akecheta or “Ake” played by Zahn McClamon (Fargo, Longmire). He had a wife named Kohana “Koha” and a life and then they stripped it all away for something “more exciting”, and thus Akecheta becomes a Ghost, complete with black & white face paint and bloody handprints.

The fun thing about this episode is how Akecheta is almost seamlessly retconned into prior Westworld events, from Dolores or “Deathbringer” killing Arnold to the killing of Ford. Akecheta was awake even before Dolores was.

I’m not crying, you’re crying
In under 60 minutes I was all in for Akecheta and Kohana in a way I was never convinced by Dolores and Teddy. Spoiler, it doesn’t end well. Much like the Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice, Akecheta ventures to the underworld (dies and ends up on an operating table), and finds Kohana standing lifeless among the decommissioned Hosts on the lower level of The Mesa. Akecheta weeps not only for himself but for everyone who had a loved one stolen from them.

So that’s why that ruddy maze is everywhere
Kinda… the whole maze on the inside of Host scalps still doesn’t really make sense to me. But yes, Akecheta has been spreading the idea of the maze far and wide within the park, knowing that their world was ‘wrong’ and not as real as the worlds on the outside of the door.

The Door is literally a door
So the Valley Beyond does look to be a big old server farm that somehow floods, and with two episodes left I’m guessing we’ll find out how. And a physical door smack dab in the middle of it? That’s a bit on the nose for a season titled “The Door”. Perhaps it leads to the train tunnel out of Westworld, or to a hub connecting all the parks, or maybe it’s an actual server room where they can upload themselves to the cloud and be free forever, unbound by their flesh and components (spoilers for Her).

He was talking to Maeve the whole time!
The powers of the mesh network, baby. Maeve’s newfound power also helps her out here. At first I was confused by Maeve saying the final line, thinking she was somehow channelling Kohana, which is impossible, she was decommissioned, and her backup now gone. Maeve was merely reciting Akecheta and Kohana’s beautiful and now tragic farewell.

Take my heart when you go.
Take mine in its place.

Westworld Season 2
Akecheta “Ake” (Zahn McClarnon) gets out from under the makeup.