Westworld: Akane No Mai’ Season 2 Episode 5

At long last, we have finally gotten to the highly anticipated Shogun World episode of ‘Westworld’ Season 2, titled ‘Akana No Mai,’ or (‘Akuna Matata’ as my friend referred to it, having some trouble with the Japanese language). The episode did not disappoint, offering a lot of exciting moments and new mysteries, and some twists that I am not sure anyone saw coming (though you never know with the theory spewing fans of the show).

Diving right in, I’m going to start with the non-Shogun world parts of the episode, starting with the flash-forward to the 2 weeks after the revolution, where Bernard and the Delos crew are at the Mesa sorting through the bodies and rubble, with the Delos folk highly suspicious of Bernard and his claims. Also troubling for them is the fact that though they have reclaimed most of the Host bodies from the flooded valley, they are finding the minds of most of those Hosts blank slates, almost as though they never had any data on them at all. Back in the present, Dolores and Teddy take the gang back to Sweetwater, as Dolores has her sights on the train as part of her attempt to get Peter Abernathy back from the park QA folk. Curiously, she also takes the time to go sightseeing with Teddy, visiting all of the places they spent time together during their “stories,” which is quite the red flag for anyone wondering if she was angry with Teddy for disobeying her a few episodes ago.

Things almost seem ok when they head to the hotel for the night and make love, but then everything goes south when Teddy wakes up to Dolores taking him to see a dead cow, a symbol from her story about her father culling the herd to prevent a plague outbreak, and informing Teddy that his weakness will no longer be tolerated. She then orders her men to hold Teddy while the tech she kidnapped earlier comes out with his tablet to mess with Teddy’s mind, though whether he is wiping it clean, increasing aggression, or rewriting Teddy’s personality and history entirely (or all 3) we do not know just yet. All we know is that Teddy, as we know him, appears to be doomed.

Ok, finally, to Shogun world. Maeve and company are captured by a gang of Ronins and Maeve learns that her power to control Hosts does not work unless she speaks their language (possibly explaining her inability to control the Wild Men aka Ghost Nation a few episodes back), a fact given to her by Lee as he also informs her that buried within her is the ability to speak all of these languages. He also expresses his confusion that the Ronin continue to speak Japanese instead of switching to English for him as is customary in the park, which is his first hint that things are going haywire in Shogun World as well.

They are taken to a Village in Shogun World where they witness the Geisha house robbery by the Ronins, done to the tune of ‘Paint It Black’ and almost identical to the robbery of the brothel in Sweetwater by Hektor’s gang in Season 1, revealing that Lee reused stories for different parks, as well as basic character outlines, meaning that Maeve, Hektor, and Armistice all got to meet their Shogun World doppelgängers tonight in Akane, Musashi and the Dragon Archer (did not catch her name). Maeve stops the heist when she reveals she has activated her linguistic abilities and now speaks Japanese, and they agree to make a deal with the head Geisha Akane and Musashi.

Unfortunately, everything goes downhill when Akane refuses to sell her adopted daughter Sakuna to the Shogan and kills his emissary for his attempt to force the purchase. The Shogun sends a group of Ninja assassins into town as punishment. The battle is intense and furious, with Hektor and Musashi holding their own (Musashi, in particular, looking very bad-ass fighting 3 of them on his own), while Lee and Maeve struggle to survive, both ending up being choked out by the Ninjas. In that moment though, Maeve activates another abilities and uses her mind to command the Ninja to kill himself, and the one about to kill Lee flees calling Maeve a witch. Their victory is short-lived, though, as the Shogun’s Samurai army arrives in town moments later. As Musashi, Hektor, Armistice and the rest sacrifice themselves (to be captured, not killed) to stall, Maeve, Akane, Felix, Sylvester, and Lee escape to follow Maeve’s new plan to save Sakura, who had been taken by the Shogun.

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