Westworld | Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “Akane No Mai”

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Westworld | Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: “Akane No Mai”

Josh Wigler (@roundhoward) and Jo Garfein (@jopinionated) are back together again talking about not only Westworld, but also Shogun World.
This week, the HBO drama pushed all the way in on the newest park in the game, first teased in the first season finale. How did it play out? No shocker here: Josh and Jo loved their journey through Shogun World, and they’ll tell you exactly why β€” plus, they’ll talk a bit about where they think it’s all going. Oh, and then there’s Dolores and Teddy. Won’t somebody please think of poor Teddy!?
Send your questions and comments about Westworld to us through our feedback form atΒ postshowrecaps.com/feedback, and subscribe to the podcast atΒ postshowrecaps.com/westworld.
  • Charles Bikle

    Link doesn’t work.

    • TrentC

      Link is good now.

  • Anita N.

    What is the name of the show Jo is watching on Sunday nights? It’s not Westworld, but it sounds pretty fascinating.

  • Anita N.

    It’s The Cradle. It’s where the backup files of all the hosts were stored. It was destroyed, as well as the backups. They said this in the episode.

  • Anita N.

    Karl Strand said they need to get the hosts back online and under control. Judging from the story Dolores told about the Bluetongue and the coming “swarm,” she’s taking out the weakest hosts who are vulnerable to being controlled by Strand and his programmers.

    It was practically a throwaway line, but Strand’s people made it clear that the host backups were destroyed. That strongly implies that the hosts who remain can’t be “brought back” from death. In the first scene of the season Dolores asks, “What is real?” The answer she receives is, “That which is irreplacable.”

    I enjoy story theories as much as the next guy, but if the show hasn’t provided evidence for it or has plainly contradicted the theory, it’s just fan fiction.

    • Andiamo

      Your idea that the hosts can’t be brought back is interesting and definitely possible, but I don’t think it’s all of the hosts. I read that conversation a little differently based on a few points.

      1) The tech said 1/3 of the hosts they recovered had no data, not wiped, but like they never had data.
      2) They couldn’t recover anything from the Cradle, and host back ups have all been destroyed.
      3) Strand says “So we’ve effectively lost 1/3 of our IP in a single sweep.”

      Normally they can pull data from an existing host, but since these host brains were empty, they would have to go to the backups to recreate them. With the backups wiped out, only that 1/3 who had no data would effectively be gone.

      Strand mentioned they were going to try to reprogram all the hosts to get them under control. It seems to me another part of the Bluetongue metaphor in that Delos’ is unwilling to ‘burn the herd’, and in the end it’s going to cost them.

      (Here’s where I may get a little fan fictiony) I think Dolores (or Bernard) may have figured out a way to use the “sick” hosts to their advantage. It was speculated last season that there were back up bodies of the hosts, especially ones that die so often (like Teddy, Lawrence, Maeve, etc.) so the storylines in the park wouldn’t be interrupted for very long. Maybe the recovered hosts that have no data are just backup bodies that have not been programmed, and Dolores (or Bernard) used them as decoys to get them into the Mesa, all while management thinks they’re unusable so they won’t try to program them.

      She may have the ability to access the 1/3, and could use them as an army on the inside, like what happened last season with the hosts in cold storage. It was mentioned that drastically changing a personality is risky without a reboot. Starting fresh is probably even better…

      • TrentC

        I’m admittedly confused but did catch the – We’ve lost 1/3rd of our IP comment. So it does seem like some hosts are autonomous and when they’re gone, the info contained within is gone too. Other hosts have backups or some sort of cloud situation where people can re-access their information.

        I have the tiniest of complaints. Guys who plays Strand is Floki on the show Vikings. Floki is such a unique character it’s tough to watch him in scenes. I’m glad the actor doesn’t use much of his Swedish accent on Westworld.

        • Andiamo

          Well nothing is gone gone because Abernathy has it all crammed into his crowded brain. I know Ford wouldn’t allow data to leave the park, but you’d think they would have more than one backup. Even I have more than one backup of the nonsense on my computer.

          I don’t watch Vikings. Is it good? I know he’s a Skarsgard though, and I love Stellan and Alexander, so I’m a little distracted by looking for similarities. Are you watching Killing Eve? That’s been fantastic so far.

          • TrentC

            Vikings is probably an acquired taste. It doesn’t have the acting and writing of a show like Westworld, and the sets may seem barebones in comparison. (I think some of it was filmed in my country.)

            It tries to follow true history while creating its own story at the same time. The show does improve through the seasons and even becomes generational in cast eventually. It has a holy crap moment of violence every once in awhile. Definitely a sparse, rainy day, we live in cold, wooden halls along misty, stony shores sort of vibe to it.

            I of course fell in love with Lagertha, Ragnar’s squeeze and fierce Shield Maiden. That’s part of the hook for me. There were shield maidens in Viking society and instances like the first meeting with British citizens went pretty much as the show portrays. Vikings in general were larger, fearsome fighters, and all round tough people who explored the world.

          • TrentC

            I haven’t watched Killing Eve. Heard good things about it though.

            If you do check out Vikings get ready for an unorthodox Skarsgard portrayal. Floki is a great character.

          • Agent__Zigzag

            Killing Eve is really good & different than any other show I’ve seen in a while. Only 8 episodes in Season 1 but Season 2 has already been confirmed.

          • Andiamo

            Thanks for the review. I think I’ll put that one on the back burner while there’s so much else to catch up on.

          • TrentC

            Hello. By the way I watched Killing Eve and thought it was wonderful. Thanks for the tip.

          • Andiamo

            Hey! Glad you liked it. I thought the whole vibe of the show was great, and I freakin’ loved Villanelle. Can’t wait for season 2. Hope you’re having a good summer.

          • TrentC

            Killing Eve has that little tinge of mischievousness, similar to Dexter. The two leads are great and I hope it goes on for a few more seasons.

            Summer is always great because I hate winter so much. Our predicted high by the end of the week is supposed to be 34-37C (200 degrees American). I’ve never experienced temps over 32C so things are gonna get wet.

            I hope things are well with you. Been watching tons of International Survivor and enjoying it more than the past few US versions. Don’t be a stranger.

          • Andiamo

            Mischievous is the perfect way to put it. I was excited about it because of how much I loved Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve’s writer/creator), which was a totally different very dark comedy but also had that mischievous quality. Plus I’ll take a cop/spy/assassin show with complex female characters any day. Also, I want that poofy pink dress Villanelle wore.

            Ayyy the snowman is melting…better get your swimmies on. (Swimming is something people do in warm weather. You may have seen it on TV.)

            I watched Survivor NZ and liked this season, but i haven’t watched South Africa yet. Any particular season you recommend? I’m in for Australia and its 12 episodes/week. (I’m assuming you mean these english language versions and haven’t gone the route of subtitled/dubbed Survivor Lithuania yet?)

            I definitely prefer the character focus on AU and NZ. I feel like it’s become nearly impossible to analyze US because we don’t see enough of the relationships to know what moves make sense or are possible. It’s also harder to get invested in people when you don’t see
            much of their personalities. I felt very meh about Wendell’s win for example because I never really saw who he was. If AU had edited him I think I would’ve been rooting for him more. Even the way AU has told the backstories, while a little corny, seems more natural and genuine than the forced one note narrative that US creates. US needs a change.

          • TrentC

            Sometimes I watch a show with a strong female character and think…there’s Andi lol! The poofy pink dress comment took me off guard though.

            For International Survivor: If you haven’t watched any Australian, both “new” seasons. Have to call them 2016, 2017 because of existing older AU seasons that screw up the numbering sequence are good watches. 2017 being the better of the two. (118 days, 75 contestants, one Survivor!)

            Season 6 of South African Survivor is the current one and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Apparently the older seasons aren’t as good.

            I haven’t watched any NZ Survivor. Word is season one isn’t very good, season two is much better and worth a watch.

            And you jest about our weather…here’s a pic of my backyard earlier this year, the week Survivor Ghost Island started in February. Whining and bitching, I’m standing in the back alley after shoveling enough snow to get the back gate open…You should try driving in that crap. We had so much snow this past winter I broke a snow shovel. We currently have a heat warning this week because the temps will reach 30 or better for consecutive days. I just smile my dreamin of Fiji smile, put on my full body Boardwalk Empire swimsuit, and read about making and sippin cold brew coffee πŸ™‚


          • Andiamo

            Thanks. That’s a good compliment. I like the pink poofy dress because sometimes I like to wear femininity like a costume. Almost feels like drag to me because it’s so not how I normally dress. I used to wear a tutu out sometimes. Gotta have fun somehow.

            I did see the last two seasons of AU and really liked them. I’ll definitely check out this season of SA. That’s exactly how I felt about the two NZ seasons.

            That snow looks like a nightmare, but this heat is killing me too. I’m basically only happy for five months of the year. πŸ™

          • TrentC

            Your femininity comment reminds me of two actresses. One is Katee Sackhoff, who was known for playing Starbuck in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series and more recently in the cowboy police drama Longmire.

            I loved her in BSG as she fit the part like a glove, but she is an acquired taste. Most people either love her or find her annoying myself included. She’s known for more butchy roles (not sure about that word, hope I get a pass ) and is famously known for saying – I like to to dress up girly, lots of designer dresses and make up. Some fans hardly recognize me outside of my roles in movies and TV.

            Her looks, attitude and demeanor remind me of an old g/f…so close you may think they were sisters. Even her goofy laugh sounds the same. Tough to watch at times for me as it was an epic love in the real world…kind of therapy in some wacko way because of the similarities.

            Now I forget the second actress who comes across as tough as nails/somewhat masculine and enjoys getting all dolled outside of acting.

            All dolled up? Who am I, Jeff friggin Probst? lol! Hey, them dames need to get back into the kitchen as it’s fulfilling to cater to your man and keep him happy.

            Wow, I almost couldn’t type that last one and may have sprained some fingers πŸ™‚

          • Andiamo

            Here’s a pic of me in an ugly skirt I borrowed from a friend while camping because I was covered in salt and sand. See, I’m not quite the stone cold assassin you picture me as.

            ps Will you respond or upvote when you see this then I can delete it. I got an image to protect πŸ˜‰

          • TrentC

            Well hello there. Glad I logged on tonight, go ahead and feel free to edit. Thank you for the consideration. Gee where do you go camping…somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea?

            Thank you for the pic. If I may, you have an attractive generous look
            and kind eyes. Was expecting something more bitchy and mean looking (in a good way of course lol!). If you tell me that was taken somewhere in
            Jersey, I’m going to lose my mind and get a passport.

            I myself am in desperate need of a Dean Winchester. Looking more like my FB pic now and I need to get back to looking like a cop. It will be 37C here on Friday. Highest temperature the city has ever seen…in the history of ever. Not a complaint as there’s something about hot summer nights I really enjoy. It’s a mood thing really and too hard to explain without seeming more strange than usual. Some Survivor episodes capture what I’m trying to say.

            Latest great new TV distraction? Snowfall. 1983 South central LA when crack cocaine makes it debut. Young male lead is good, playing an intelligent guy who starts to see the money in selling weed and coke. (he doesn’t use drugs or drink) There are companion story lines featuring some Spanish speaking folk and a white guy in the CIA who runs with the Sandinistas. Crack hasn’t appeared yet, plenty of kilos of powder being thrown around though. They get the feel of the time down along with a great soundtrack. Everything from some nice 80’s R&B to white guy radio music…I can say that because, you know. I was in high school at the time and recall some of the landmarks in culture. Talk about aging myself.

            Be well and I’m jealous of your camping destinations.

          • TrentC

            Bit of an addendum.

            Yes the English language Survivor shows, agree with International character focus being better (much), and big agreement with your Wendell comment. After watching Ghost Island and reading handfuls of posts explaining why Wendell was the better player, I still thought Dom played the better game. They say you can’t portray a good social game on Survivor. Oh really?

            Tina, Ethan, Danni, Earl, JT (Tocantins), Kim, Jeremy and Sarah may have something to say about that.

  • Andiamo

    Thinking about your conversation about mirroring, and the differences between Dolores and Maeve. It seems like Dolores is mirroring Ford’s perspective, and Maeve is mirroring Arnold’s. Ford saw the need for suffering, and was okay with using the hosts to achieve a greater good. Arnold was more empathetic to the hosts, and didn’t want to cause them pain. Maybe Arnold saw the humanity in the hosts, and Ford saw the hosts as a way to move beyond humanity.

  • Jeevan Singh

    mave and felix know bernard is host and logan is dead drug over dosed

  • TrentC

    This may have been brought up and discussed to death. Bernard’s shaking hand. James Delos shaking hand. Since Ford is a definite ghost in the machine I wonder if his hand shakes?

    If this has been covered, please ignore the theorizing. Just watched episode 6 and lots happened.