Westworld Season 2 Episode 5, “Akane No Mai” – Open Chat

Samurai Warriors Shogun World

Westworld Season 2, Episode 5 “Akane No Mai”

Writer: Dan Dietz
Director: Craig Zobel
Runtime: 59 minutes
Content Warnings: TV-MA: Adult Content, Adult Language, Graphic Violence, Nudity

Synopsis: Welcome to Shogun World.

Please have consideration for your fellow fans and refrain from spoilers until after the episode starts at 9:00 pm EDT.

Have fun!

16 responses to “Westworld Season 2 Episode 5, “Akane No Mai” – Open Chat”

  1. I must admit that I’ve enjoyed Vanessa’s recaps/analyses more than the season itself. Thanks. Given that, I was heartened that Elsie made her anticipated return in Ep4. The riddle gave me hope as well. Very “PK Dick”-ian! 🙂 The covert grandiose expansion of the park has thrown me though. I honestly thought they would follow a robotic/virtual “Lord of the Flies” paradigm this season but the attempt to forcibly extend life, although promising, is a known commodity in sci-fi and most likely will devolve into absolute mayhem. We’ll see…fingers crossed.

    Has anyone else been disappointed in the soundtrack? Like the scenes it accompanies, it seems very disjoint. I enjoy the versions of popular tunes (played on autoplay piano in the bar) more.

    I’ll always be fond of the Moab background though. My favorite place to hike and wander.

    One thing that is for certain though, Isaac Asimov is rumbling and twitching in his grave. 🙂

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  2. Maeve’s continual awakening was interesting. For me, nothing else about this episode was. I was not invested in Shogun World or any of its inhabitants.

    Dolores has become a one-note character. Her path of death and destruction is getting tiresome. Her dialogue is beginning to sound silly; lots of vague references and implied threats.

    Not my favorite episode.

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  3. Enjoyed the episode! Shogunworld was great. I really liked that, when they arrived at the town, that Maeve and the others were now experiencing their own storyline as guests.

    And some really great stuff again from Ramin Djawadi! Gonna see him tonight!

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  4. It seems that Dolores is becoming the thing she is fighting against. Maeve and MIB stories are more interesting than Dolores at this point. Really love Shogunworld, it was really authentic.

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  5. I enjoyed this episode, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. Dolores is very hard to like this season, and even harder after last night. That said, it was good to see a bit more of her story to figure out what is her ultimate plan. I’m not doing the recap this week, so I’ll throw out some of my thoughts here.

    When Strand et al are dealing with the “dead” hosts, they discover a third of them have control units which are blank – not wiped, but brand new/never used. If my theory is true that the Valley Beyond contains a holding facility with host bodies awaiting an upload of human consciousness (either test subjects or people awaiting a successful result with James Delos), and if Dolores’ plan is to hijack those bodies and implant them with her chosen hosts’ control units so they can escape to the mainland, then it would make sense for a third of the “dead” hosts to have blank units. That would mean she was successful in obtaining the new bodies and basically put “dummy” units in the old host bodies to throw Delos off, and to buy her and her chosen hosts time to escape. After all, a host with no control unit at all would be very suspicious.

    I think Dolores is taking the train to the Mesa Hub to find her father. I think she also either already knows about the Bernard duplicates or will find them. Looking at the preview for next week, she obviously does something to Bernard – she is testing him in a lab room. I think that is the Bernard that is found on the beach in the premiere. The Bernard copy would probably need some tweaking, and also probably wouldn’t have original Bernard’s memories of everything that has happened since the rebellion began – maybe even earlier than that. Who knows how often Ford backed them up (assuming they each have a control unit and aren’t empty)? Dolores would have to “fill him in” and give him whatever story she wanted him to tell.

    On that note, the Cradle is also in the Mesa Hub. I think Dolores will use it and destroy it. The Cradle is used to store all the park storylines and run simulations to test them all. Note also the name of the next episode is “Phase Space.” Phase Space refers to a space in which all possible states of a system are represented. For every possible state of the system a point is included in the multidimensional space. The system’s evolving state over time traces a path (a phase space trajectory) through the high-dimensional space. The full phase space that represents the set of states compatible with starting from any initial condition. Basically, it gives you the ability to predict any number of outcomes with any number of variables.

    Perhaps Dolores will run a simulation in the Cradle to predict the possible outcomes of the rebellion. She could then upload this information into the Bernard copy to prepare him for any situation that unfolds. That would explain why he acts strangely on the beach, why he has no scar, and why he seems to anticipate what Strand is going to say. It’s essentially deja vu because he has already “seen” this situation play out. She could have programmed him to do or say certain things based on each possible scenario – all to give her time to get out, and to cover her tracks. Then of course she would have to destroy the Cradle to erase the evidence.

    A bit off topic, but I think Maeve’s new mind control powers are a result of tapping into the mesh network – allowing her to wirelessly communicate with, and give commands to, nearby hosts. Perhaps other conscious hosts will develop this same ability. Given Maeve’s stance on freedom and not controlling other hosts, I wonder if this will come into play when she finds her daughter. Will she try to influence her to come with her and (presumably) command her new “mother” to give her up? Or will she allow them to make their own choices?

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  6. Vanessa Cole,

    Hi Vanessa!

    Love the mini-breakdown! I completely agree about Maeve accessing the mesh network; I think that was the “whispers” that we kept hearing in the background when the camera focussed on her.

    The cradle is definitely going to be the big reveal in E6. I can’t wait!

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  7. Jaehaerys,

    I have these questions about the Cradle:

    With Ford dead and the hosts in rebellion, is anyone/thing monitoring the Cradle now?

    Who else knows that the Cradle exists?

    I think that there is more going on it than storage and simulation of all of the story lines, presumably the final step before they are made “active” in the park. If so, is it some further experimentation on combining a human consciousness in a host?

    Is the Cradle the same as “Glory” and/or the “Valley Beyond?” Truthfully, these code names are getting annoying.

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  8. Jaehaerys,

    mariamb,

    The Cradle was mentioned in episode 3 this season, and then they sent out a Delos email with more information and a link to a schematic. Here is the official description:

    The simulation technology that stores and tests all of our storylines: the Cradle. Delos’ time capsule that ensures you get the immersive and dynamic experience you deserve.

    I don’t think it is the same thing as the Valley Beyond or Glory, and anyway the Cradle has been destroyed by the time the security team finds Bernard on the beach.

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  9. Vanessa Cole,

    Hmmm… well, if it was mentioned on the show as being destroyed and the awesome Westworld-HBO marketing team also mentioned/described it, it will probably end up being pretty important. It is like they are trying to just get it in the back of our minds before they really do something with the idea, so it isn’t totally out of left-field when we see it.

    I like your idea now of Dolores using this to see possible futures. After all, this whole host-revolution was described last season as Ford’s “final narrative,” so it would make sense for him to have played out the storyline in this Cradle thing.

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  10. Jaehaerys,
    Vanessa Cole,

    The Cradle may have been destroyed but that isn’t the end of it. Whatever was going on there has major implications. Maybe it has to do with improving the process of transferring consciousness from human to host. Maybe there is a better way in the Cradle.

    And I’m not a fan of having Dolores be the driving force behind its destruction and then whatever goes forward from that act. I don’t care for the single-mindedness of her journey. Without the amount of competing interests in this show, I’m not ready to assign such a big move to her.

    Referencing a comment above about Dolores and her gang of hosts escaping…what about the explosives in their spine? Were those removed?

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  11. Vanessa,

    See, I’m a fan of this idea… but it makes for a tricky third season. Unless they don’t move forward with the narrative of actually being out in the real world, maybe they’ll still focus on the park and the past.

    If the hosts get new bodies and then get out into the real world, we as an audience would probably like to follow them to see how they adjust/ if their plan works in the long run. But once the hosts switch bodies, won’t we need new actors? I think the logistics just get a bit messy. I hope Jonah and Lisa can really pull off whatever it is they plan to do.

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  12. Jaehaerys,

    I agree with the thought about the “tricky third season.” Watching a bunch of hosts in the real world could become problematic. I think that we could conceivably follow 2-3 hosts, hopefully with the same face. Beyond that, there would be confusion on top of confusion.

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  13. Jaehaerys,

    I agree. That’s why I don’t necessarily think she’ll succeed, or maybe just one will get out. The finale is titled “The Passenger” after all.

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