TV REVIEW: ‘Westworld’ – ‘Kiksuya’

We are all bound together, the living and the damned

| June 22, 2018

Spoilers from ‘Westworld’ Season 2, Episode 8 will be discussed, as well as details from the previous season.

Martin Sensmeier as Wanathon (Courtesy of HBO)

Perhaps even more compelling and mysterious a group than the inhabitants of Shogun World, the Ghost Nation of Westworld were finally introduced to us this week, as the eighth episode of the season aimed to peek behind the curtain of yet another host’s mind. Finding its focus in tribe member Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), who finds himself on a desperate journey to escape the park and reclaim his past, ‘Kiksuya’ worked to tie the distant threads of the season so far into one, all while sending the audience on an enthralling and heartbreaking voyage.

Prior to the events of Dolores’ uprising, Ghost Nation tribe member Akecheta lived as a peaceful host along with his wife Kohana (Julia Jones). Unbeknownst to his greater purpose outside of Westworld, the man lives a compliant existence away from the violent rebellion set to ignite. When the shooting starts, however, Akecheta finds new meaning when he discovers the symbol of the maze once created by Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Setting him on a path that leads not only to faces of the past, like a delirious Logan Delos (Ben Barnes), but also to the bitter demise of his one true love, Akecheta’s journey is spelled out in violent and heartbreaking detail. What emerges from the turmoil: a promise yearning to be kept.

In yet another visually-enthralling episode of “Westworld,” the mysterious Ghost Nation finally got their due this season, as the bloody tidings of the show’s central characters spilled into the affairs of the cryptic tribe. After the brutal confrontation between Maeve (Thandie Newton) and William (Ed Harris) ended with the two clinging to death, tribe member Akecheta entered the picture once more to shake things up. Taking not only William with him, but Maeve’s daughter as well, Akecheta quickly established his new role in the series, moving in from the distant valleys where he once lurked. As his story unfolded, blurring the past and present into one, Akecheta’s perspective took center stage this week.

Akecheta’s story, it turns out, is one of bloodshed, heartbreak and bitter revelation. As the second season of “Westworld” quickly nears its end, this week’s episode decided to contribute most of its time to detailing the emotional journey of one of the show’s newest characters. With his sudden discovery of Ford’s maze, in the same totem that was floating around during Season 1, Akecheta set out to find out the truth that lies beyond his own world. Digging into the past and venturing over sandy hills towards an unknown fate, the man sought to uncover the meaning of his existence as a host. As he stumbled upon a number of surprises, from Ben Barnes’ Logan Delos (wasting away in the desert after being abandoned by brother-in-law William) to a “door” to a secondary world outside of his own, Akecheta’s path quickly became more and more complex as he trekked on.

While the episode spent its good time showing us the tragedy and revelations of Akecheta, and those whom he tells his story to, his role became even more significant in the present. After capturing William (only to bargain him away to the man’s daughter Emily), as well as Maeve’s daughter, the biggest surprise out of this week’s episode came in its final act. While the loss of Akecheta’s love in Kohana and his subsequent chat with Robert Ford about his greater purpose left their respective marks, the connection between Akecheta and Maeve’s daughter spawned a glimmer of hope in the woman’s own voyage towards answers. As a rather-unfortunate Maeve lay dying in Delos HQ, her powers of manipulation seemed to have extended onto Akecheta, as her promise to protect her daughter could be kept under someone else’s hands.

Even as the season nears its finale, this week’s episode of “Westworld” offered yet another one of the show’s best, as it explored the depths of another fascinating victim of the park. Just as episodes like “The Riddle of the Sphinx” and “Akane no Mai” took focus in the personal vendettas of the park’s most mysterious characters, “Kiksuya” sought to continue the show’s evolving narrative through the eyes of those we least expected. With the paths of Maeve and William shifted dramatically, and Akecheta set to carve his own route towards salvation, “Westworld” aims to drop even more major revelations in its final two episodes.

Season 2 of ‘Westworld’ airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. Catch up on Season 1 now on HBO Go.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Television

Tyler Trudeau is a junior Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about film and TV, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

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Tyler Trudeau is a junior Architecture major from Raleigh, NC, who spends most of his time writing about film and TV, running in 90 degree heat, and bingeing Netflix shows. You can find more of his film criticism and editorials at his personal website below.

Twitter Author's Website