[SPOILERS] Westworld Season 2, Episode 8: “Kiksuya” Episode Synopsis

SCENE: The Unclaimed Territories
An injured William claws his way to the river, where he passes out. A member of the Ghost Nation (Akecheta) encounters him on horseback. He kicks William, realizes that William is alive. Akecheta kneels down and says “I remember you,” before carrying William to his camp. He says, in Lakota, “Death is a passage from this brutal world. You don’t deserve that exit,” then turns his attention to Maeve’s daughter.

SCENE: The Homestead
We are in a flashback to better times with Maeve and her daughter. As they are arranging toys for a pretend tea party, Maeve notices a stone with a red etching on it. She asks her daughter what it is, and Maeve’s daughter replies “the ghost gave it to me.” Maeve touches the etching, and the ink comes off, indicating that it might be blood. Maeve’s daughter explains that “he said it’s a warning. He said he’ll be watching us.”

SCENE: Westworld Mesa Hub
Lee wheels Maeve on the gurney to an analysis room, where one of the technicians turns him away. Lee convinces the technician that Maeve is exceptional, revealing that she has mind control over the the other hosts. The technician agrees to check her data.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories
Akecheta asks Meave’s daughter is she is afraid of him, but then realizes that she might be more afraid of William. He asks her in Lakota what she remembers, and then confesses that just like her, he can remember everything – all the lives they’ve lived.

SCENE: Escalante, Past
We are then in Akecheta’s flashback as he tells the story of his family. His wife wakes up and greets him. He explains that his family was close. He leaves the camp and hears gunfire. He comes upon The White Church, where an unbridled horse is running through the graveyard. He walks towards it, into the town of Escalante, where dead hosts lie in the streets, slaughtered. This includes Bernard and Dolores. He then enters a saloon, where a bottle of alcohol, Abernathy’s glasses, and a small sculpture of the maze sit on the bar. He picks it up.

At the Ghost Nation camp, Akecheta’s wife is sorting skins, and finds the same maze etched into the underside of a skin. We learn that Akecheta has been etching the maze everywhere, and sits etching it into a stone in the background. Akecheta explains that he “heard a new voice inside” but then tragedy struck.

SCENE: Westworld Mesa Hub, Past
Akecheta’s host is seen getting maintenanced within the Westworld Mesa Hub. Two technicians are discussing the fact that until that point, Akecheta’s narrative had been in beta, and that Ford ordered a more exciting narrative. The redesign would make Akecheta brutal and dehumanized, so that the guests would feel better defeating him.

SCENE: Desert, The Unclaimed Territories, Past
We then see the new Akecheta, brutally killing other hosts with his bare hands and smearing the blood on his face. The new Ghost Nation gallops through The Unclaimed Territories, “searching for new foes to conquer.” Akecheta commands his men to pursue other targets, as he rides through the desert alone. He explains that he “felt the presence of others,” the voices of the guests. He encounters a naked and stranded Logan Delos, muttering incoherently to himself. He begins to cry, arguing that there needs to be a way out, and that he’s stuck in the “wrong world.” Akecheta covers him in a blanket, but still abandons him.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories, Past
Although Akecheta knows that Logan has gone mad, something about his encounter with Logan affected him; all the narratives started feeling familiar. As Akecheta and his men come back with conquests, he remembered Kohana from before the redesign, who appears to no longer be assigned as his wife. Etu intercepts, but Wichapi commands him to back down, and tells Akecheta to go away.

SCENE: The Unclaimed Territories, Past
As Akecheta goes through the motions of brutally killing his hosts, he has flashbacks to his life before the redesign and of the Westworld Mesa Hub. He leaves the scene of the killing and wanders back to the desert, feeling that everything was wrong about his narrative, except for Kohana. He returned to Logan, but Logan was gone. Akecheta rode further than he had ever before and found a park facility. He echoes Logan’s words from earlier: “This is the wrong world.”

Although Akecheta wanted to leave, he wanted to take Kohana with him. He steals her away in the night. Later, in a cave, Akecheta washes off his Ghost Nation war paint. They ride on horseback. He unties Kohana. He convinces her not to be afraid of him by reciting a line from before the redesign. This appears to trigger her memory, and she responds. He tells her that this world is wrong, and it’s not the one that they belong in, but he’s found a way out. Akecheta takes Kohana to The Valley Beyond, but the facility has been hidden. They embark on a journey to find it.

At night, by fireside, Kohana lies on Akecheta’s lap. She asks what is on the other side, and Akecheta replies that it’s “somewhere where our memories will be safe.” In the morning, Akecheta returns to the fireside camp with his hunt to find QA technicians loading Kohana into a vehicle and taking her away. Akecheta returns to the village at night, hoping that they sent Kohana home. Instead, he discovers a different host in her place. He leaves in distress.

Akecheta rides throughout all of Westworld, through Escalante, through Sweetwater, in search of Kohana. Akecheta is shown crawling through the grass, injured. He find his way to The Homestead where Maeve’s daughter helps him.

Akecheta returns home to find that many of his family members from before the redesign have disappeared, but that no one in the village has seemed to notice. Wichapi approaches him. Akecheta nods towards a host replacement for Etu, remarking “I see you have a ghost of your own now.” Wichapi struggles to remember, but when Akecheta says “they’ve replaced him,” Wichapi knows exactly who “they” are, referring to the human technicians as “the ones from below.” Although she hasn’t seen them, there is a myth about them being circulated around the village. Wichapi notes that some villagers even pray to be visited by them, so that they can remember the way home. Akecheta realizes that in order to find Kohana, he needs to replay his narrative. He continues to brutally murder hosts, and allows a guest to murder him so that he can experience “death.”

SCENE: Westworld Mesa Hub, Past
Two techs recognize Akecheta from his previous narrative. A senior technician comes to help them, and discovers that Akecheta is an alpha – meaning that his technology hadn’t been updated in a decade. The technician responds that the hosts are only updated when they die. The senior technician orders the techs to update Akecheta and restore him to the park. They commence a 4-hour update, then leave. During this time, Akecheta wakes up and explores the lab. He finds the storage facility with the other hosts and sees Kohana. She has been disabled. Akecheta cries, calling it “the moment he saw beyond himself.” He realizes that for every host being kept in the storage facility, another host was in Westworld, feeling his pain. Akecheta returns to the examination table.

Back at the village, Akecheta tells Wichapi that they can’t get back the hosts that have been replaced, but that he knows how to shut the door to the facility and open the door to a new place where they can’t be reached by humans. He presents Wichapi with the hair from her original son. The villagers watch on.

SCENE: Westworld Mesa Hub, present
Meave is on an examination table, splayed open in numerous places. Lee wheels a stool over to her and apologizes for what has happened to Maeve. He holds her hand, saying that she doesn’t deserve this, that she deserves to be with her daughter. A technician interrupts to kick Lee out. Lee confronts the technician, asking what Maeve’s fate will be. The technician says that the decision is up to Charlotte Hale.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories, Present
Akecheta tells Maeve’s daughter that he’s dedicated his life to teaching other the maze symbol. He tells another Ghost Nation host that he’s seen it before, but it was taken from him. The host offers himself up to be killed.

SCENE: The Homestead, Past
Akecheta tells Maeve’s daughter that his warning was with good intention, but in Westworld, “it’s easy to misunderstand intentions.” In a flashback, Meave comes out of The Homestead with a shotgun, to see a maze that Akecheta had carved in the dirt. We learn that Akecheta was trying to warn them of William coming to kill Maeve’s daughter.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories, Past
Years passed, more Ghost Nation members were added. Akecheta is seen exploring at night, stumbling upon a frozen scene of the Ghost Nation fighting a bear. Behind the bear, Ford is cutting open the skulls of the ghost nation. Ford tells Akecheta that he’d been watching him. Ford tells Akecheta that the maze was “a symbol of an idea that was meant to die,” and asks Akecheta where he found it. Ford commands an analysis, and asks again. Akecheta replies (in English) “when the Deathbringer killed the Creator.” Ford asks Akecheta why he’d been sharing the symbol with everyone. Akecheta replies that “his primary drive was to maintain the honor of his tribe,” and that he “gave himself a new drive: to spread the truth.” That there isn’t one world, but many. And that they live in the wrong one. He’s challenged his tribe to find the door to a new world that contains everything that they’ve lost, including Kohana.

Ford says that he built Akecheta “to be curious, to look at this empty world and read meaning into it.” He calls Akecheta “a flower growing in the darkness” and offers some light: when the Deathbringer returns for me, you will know to gather your people and lead them to the new world. He then invites Akecheta to keep watching for a while longer.

SCENE: Escalante, Near Past
Akecheta recalls the day that the Deathbringer came. He walks through the town observing the dead hosts, and finds Ford’s body dead on the porch of the saloon.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories, Present
Emily arrives at the camp. She announces, in Lakota, that she means no harm. She wants to retrieve William, calling him “a burden only she can bear.” Akecheta approaches Emily, saying that if Emily is his daughter, then she knows William’s “sickness,” and also knows that they can’t just let him go. She asks why they’re keeping him alive, and Akecheta admits it’s for suffering. Emily agrees that they want the same thing, but she would be more brutal. Akecheta helps Emily bring William to his feet. They help him onto a horse and Emily and William ride away. Akecheta tells Maeve’s daughter that it’s time to go.

SCENE: Westworld Mesa Hub, Present
Charlotte Hale has been summoned to Maeve’s examination room by the technician working on her. He tells Charlotte about the mind control, saying that Maeve was reading the other hosts’ code, and redirecting them in Westworld. As Charlotte inspects her vitals on a tablet, she realizes that Maeve is currently speaking with another host.

SCENE: Ghost Nation Camp, The Unclaimed Territories, Present
Akecheta is speaking to Maeve through the mesh network. Maeve recites the line that Akecheta shares with Kohana.

[SPOILERS] Westworld Season 2, Episode 8: “Kiksuya” Episode Synopsis