TV Review: Westworld 2×05 “Akane no Mai”

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There are spoilers in this review.

What the fuck Dolores? No seriously. That is my first thought, and I am not sorry for swearing, because young (really old) lady I have some words for you. Ahem. Getting ahead of myself. I really liked this episode, no doubt because it stars the two ladies of the revolution, although they are clearly very different in what they represent. It’s interesting because Dolores has always been the naive wide eyed hopeful waif, and obviously they are subverting that big time now, whereas Maeve seemed the more skeptical and jaded character but is more empathic and kind hearted. Neither of them mind slaughtering a whole bunch of people though, which is my aesthetic. Anyway, previously on Westworld, Dolores is getting ready for a massacre and Teddy’s balking, and Maeve’s journey to find her daughter led her into Shogunworld.

Let me just say that Lee writing the same story for both parks made me legit laugh out loud. It fits in so well with who he is and how lazy and arrogant his writing is. Ford always said he was basically a hack, and it made me giggle how true that’s turning out to be. This comes up because Maeve, Hector, Armistice are all echoed in Shogunworld by newcomers Akane, Musashi, and Hanaryo. I screamed when they announced that Rinko Kikuchi and Hiroyuki Sanada were joining the cast, because I’m a huge fan of both of them, and they did not disappoint at all. The storyline there is that an evil shogun is trying to get a geisha dancer Sakura, and geisha leader Akane is having none of that. She is parallel to Maeve’s former role at the whore house, although it should be noted that geishas are not equivalent to that role, but it does make sense that these parks wouldn’t really care about authenticity. They’re appealing to a rich fanbase who don’t care about the facts, they just want the fantasy. They plan on taking Sakura and Akane and leaving, since Maeve obviously sympathizes, and ninjas attack. Maeve finds out she has new powers; she doesn’t have to talk to people to make them do what she wants, now she can legit telepathically control them. Omg! Good thing Dolores does not have this power. Unfortunately they grab Sakura anyway.

They try to rescue Sakura, and Maeve and Lee realize that the Shogun host is leaking fluid from his ear, like Bernard, meaning he’s malfunctioning and completely unstable. It also is probably part of why he’s acting against some of his programming that Lee expected. He kills Sakura when they least expect it, and Akane dances for him but murders him in the process. Harshly too! She legit slices him around his entire jaw so his head basically slips off. Nice. Maeve uses her telepathic powers to turn all the remaining people against each other, and she calmly sees an army approaching them and is like bring it bitches. I am very glad that Dolores does not have this ability right now. Or ever. This was a fun storyline! The new actors were great. Shout out to Hector and Armistice and their hilarious reactions to their counterparts, Hector’s distrust and Armistice basically being turned on. I still want more from Felix and I miss him and Maeve’s interactions, they’ve had really nothing.

Listen, we all know that this was coming. I’ve written for a few weeks how Teddy’s natural kindness just was not going to jive with Dolores’ revolution. She was getting more and more violent, and he was going along with it, but it is simply not his natural state. He asks her again if they can just run away and have a nice life, and she tells a story about how her father killed all infected cows instead of trying to stop the disease in a more rational way. I was like oh honey Teddy you are not ready to destroy all the infection, you wanted to find ways to help save some. They share one special night together, and he assures her that he loves her and will follow her no matter what. But she knows better. Dolores realizes that Teddy is just too good of a person to live in the world she’s created or plans on creating.  I maintain she could have send him off on his own, but obviously she wants to keep him close to be useful to her. Or maybe she does still love him and feels like this is the only way to keep them together. Either way it is not real love, because that is warped perception, to want to change the person you love to make them more useful. She reprograms Teddy to be someone more aggressive and cruel.

I’m wondering if she paired him up with more of a Wyatt persona? Although she’d better be careful, give him too much aggression and he might not fall in line with you, babe. Maybe you’ll pay for this decision in the future by having him turn on you, the person you forced him to be. Is this the end we’ll see of Teddy Flood as we know him? We know he eventually dies and is scooped out, as the future people find his body with all the others that drowned. Maybe his mind was wiped and put somewhere else though, it’s hard to say. But I do love Teddy Flood a lot so I was really sad for him. It makes sense, and I do appreciate how Dark Phoenix they’re going wth Dolores. She’s kind of the villain currently in a way? It’s interesting. RIP sweet boy.

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