CAUTION: This recap and analysis of Westworld’s “Kiksuya” contains spoilers.
There are a number of sections in a song’s structure. There’s the chorus and the verse. Occasionally, there’s a bridge. In the bridge, the timing doesn’t change, but the feel of the music diverges, often to an unexpected sound.
That’s what the Westworld show-runners have devised in season two, episode eight. They’ve written a bridge in “Kiksuya.”
It was masterfully done.
In the episode, we meet Akecheta, who appears to be the first host who gained consciousness. (Sorry, Dolores. Ake was a decade ahead of you.) His story was that of patience, wisdom, heartbreak and tragedy. But by boiling down his existence into one episode and, thankfully, a linear timeline, the show has finally created a sympathetic, relatable character. In fact, for the first time, I found myself empathizing instead of just sympathizing.
We can see his life, his loves and his ambitions. Turns out, if Arnold is the father of consciousness, then Ake is the godfather, who inherited Arnold’s mission accidentally. Ake did his best to spread consciousness and free thought through Westworld by putting the symbol for The Maze on the hosts’ scalps, among other places. He’s the unintended point of inception for Artificial Intelligence feeling emotion and finding memory.
Onto the winners and losers.