Westworld | Akane No Mai | Review

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Shogun World has been teased and hyped for over a year now – and “Akane No Mai” finally throws us into that world. Was it worth the wait and all that hype? Absolutely! After a fairly complicated story-line last week, “Akane No Mai” takes things back to the basics a bit, and throws in a lot of awesome Samurai action. While the main Westworld plot is put on the back burner – “Akane No Mai” still delivers a solid hour of television and continues to build overall tension, if not directly focused on what’s happening specifically over in the Westworld park.

Image Credit: HBO

Maeve and crew have been captured in Shogun World territory and of course are taken captive. Unfortunately for Maeve, her vocal commands do not work on the Hosts here, putting them in a bit of a pickle. As they enter into the main town, we witness what is one of the best sequences yet in Season 2 – turns out that Shogun world isn’t all that different from Westworld – in fact, it’s almost exactly the same stories. Remember the Mariposa Safe Heist sequences from season 1 – now you get to enjoy it, Shogun world style and experience the Westworld crew realize that they are watching their clones in action in the exact same fight. (Check out a side by side comparison video that I found below – thanks to The Black Sheep Videos on YouTube.) Lee, the cruddy content writer for the parks, admits to plagiarizing his own Westworld work for Shogun World, but Maeve isn’t amused. She is however, immediately drawn to Madame Akane – the Shogun version of herself.

Since the rebellion of Westworld hosts, trouble has been found in all the parks – Shogun world included. But over here, Maeve cannot use voice commands to control the hosts AND they are veering pretty heavily from the script that Lee wrote for them. After Akane refuses to give up one of her girls, Sakura, to Shogun, instead killing the messenger and bringing in not only ninjas but the entire army’s wrath upon them. Instead of abandoning these characters, Maeve decides to put her own quest on hold and help Akane. And this is where Maeve as a character levels up significantly. Somehow, I suspect we will find out at some point, she is able to use silent commands to control the Shogun hosts. At first she isn’t even sure how it happened, or what she did. But you can bet that at the end battle in this episode she’s mastered that extremely useful skill to a T. Lee can’t explain it either, but he can’t really explain a lot of things about these worlds he helped to create – all I know is Maeve really isn’t playing around anymore. If you didn’t want to cross her before, you definitely want to stay in her good graces now.

Image Credit: HBO

I found a new voice. Now we use it. – Maeve  

Speaking of powerful women – Dolores sure is keeping things interesting over in Westworld. Her group takes a trip home sweet home where they find Sweetwater littered with death and corpses. Distant pre-programmed memories float around as Dolores prepares to hitch the next train out of town. Hoping it leads her both to Glory and her missing father, Dolores is not done taking names and kicking butt. Poor Teddy has been following her around like a little puppy dog – and you can tell that even though he isn’t adjusted to the fact that he is a robot, he loves her. Teddy wants nothing more in the world than for Dolores to give up this fight and run away with him to spend the rest of their lives in peace somewhere. They’re awake now after all – why keep pushing for more? It’s that kind of thinking that gets you into trouble, especially with Dolores. She spends a passionate night with Teddy before having his mind erased completely. I’m sure when he comes back online he will be a lean, mean, fighting machine – just like her. I’d like to believe this is the scariest she will get, but I have a feeling Dolores has plenty left in store for us as this season progresses.

I did see you, Teddy. These past few days, I’ve seen you so clearly. And I’ve seen you’re not going to make it. – Dolores

Image Credit: HBO

There are no easy answers when it comes to Westworld and I can’t help but wonder if we will end up seeing a Maeve/Dolores showdown. Dolores is very all or nothing, black and white while Maeve has the ability not only to see the grey scale but also find the beauty in it. Though their original intentions made it seem as though the two wouldn’t really be crossing paths, the similarities in their enlightenment along with their vast differences, make me feel as though these two haven’t had their last conversation quite yet.

  • What on earth is in Peter Abernathy’s head – why does Delos need him so badly and will Bernard ever remember if he knows the answers to those questions?
  • Will Maeve and Dolores cross paths again, team up, have a good old Western showdown, maybe even a dance off? The similarities and stark differences are too noticeable for there not to be more behind these two powerful figures.
  • Is Lee ever going to prove himself useful? So far he only seems to be there for comedic relief – what will he do with that walkie he stole?
  • What is up with the empty hosts? Are they just new and nothing had been loaded onto them yet, did someone else come through and erase them? Did they get uploaded elsewhere? That seems like it might become a problem in the near future.
  • How is Maeve able to control the other hosts with non-verbal commands?!?!

 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on “Akane No Mai” ! Find me on social media, or leave me a comment below!

Westworld Season 2 airs Sunday nights at 9/8(c) on HBO.

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Michelle Harvey