I completely understand why for many, Kiksuya might be one Westworld‘s strongest episodes yet. It’s an impeccably produced hour of television that’s both poignant and complex. However, as far as I’m concerned, it’s also a slow-moving hour that derails the momentum of an otherwise thrilling season.
First things first: there’s no denying that Zahn McClarnon is spectacular in Kiksuya. His performance is Emmy-worthy, and he conveys superb range across the entire episode. You genuinely feel for his plight as he fights to reconnect with his love and struggles with the seeds of his newfound consciousness. After being a supporting character for so long, it’s definitely refreshing to see a side character assume center stage and gain some much needed depth. This is a truly insightful hour where Akecheta is concerned.
Kiksuya also demonstrates the potency of the infamous Maze that William chased for so long. When Akecheta sees the symbol, he is spurred on in his awakening. It’s unclear why this symbol is later carved into so many scalpels but it’s undoubtedly an integral piece of the puzzle that unlocks the hosts’ potential. Here’s hoping the writing team manages to tie everything together in the season’s final two episodes. I’ve got way too many questions!
Bits & Bots
– Seriously this is one gorgeous hour. The sweeping shots of the desert landscapes are mindblowing.
– Amazing continuity with the return of a naked Logan (after William sent him on that horse). In fact, his rambling alerts Akecheta to the existence of an outside world.
– I had almost forgotten, but Akecheta was there with Angela when they first pitched Westworld to Delos.
– Akecheta exploring the Mesa reminded me very much of Maeve doing the same in season one.
– Lee crying by Maeve’s side was surprisingly touching. Anyone else starting to ship these two?
– So Akecheta was trying to help Maeve in the initial attack she keeps flashing back to. Who would have thought?
– We have confirmation now that “The Door” is the same as “The Valley Beyond.” Hmmm can you tell us what “weapon” is there already?
– My favorite scene in the episode: Akecheta’s conversation with Ford (who is found carving some scalpels). Anthony Hopkins is so good here, particularly when he tells our hero that he will lead his people into a new world.
– Ford refers to Dolores as the “Deathbringer”. She did kill him after all so seems z.
– Grace took back her father far too easily. Somehow I don’t really think she can make him suffer more than Ghost Nation could.
– How perfect is the ending with the reveal that Maeve is communicating with Akecheta through the host mesh network? The cherry on top is her repeating that iconic exchange (read below). Wow!
Digs & Dolores
Kohana: Take my heart when you go.
Akecheta: Take mine in its place.
It was too slow for my liking, but there’s no denying that this is an expertly produced episode.