Westworld: Akane No Mai
May 20, 2018 7:33 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Shogun World extends a welcome to all.

There's now a website for Shogun World, just like the Westworld site: Discover Shogun World.
posted by litera scripta manet (101 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm looking forward to the explanation of arrows and swords that kill the hosts but not guests - it was mentioned that Shogun World was a more dangerous environment than Westworld, but the specifics are definitely a bit hazy...

Also, what was Akane's dance song at the end? It's been driving me nuts trying to figure it out, I know I recognize it and I'm pretty sure it's actually *in* my music library, but damned if I can figure it out right now.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:46 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I can't decide if sharing plots between Westworld and Shogun World in Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven style is clever, obvious, or just too postmodern for me. To the point that I was a bit surprised that Sizemore didn't outright use it as an excuse for his hackery.

I think Akane's dance song at the end was just another version of Paint it Black, wasn't it?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:50 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


So according to the consensus over on the Westworld reddit, the song that played during the dance at the end was C.R.E.A.M. by the Wu Tang Clan.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:57 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


I love the trick that having Shogun World versions of Maeve, Hector and Armistice pulls - in the story it's just Sizemore lazily recycling material, but it's also a shortcut for the writers of Westworld where they recycle material to pull us into this new world without having to burn screen time on getting us acquainted with wholly new characters.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:58 PM on May 20 [25 favorites]


Oh, and here's the Westworld version, as confirmation.
posted by litera scripta manet at 7:58 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


"Captured by samurai cop killers. Weeeeeeelll FUCK ME."

If the episode had nothing else, that line had me.

I enjoyed seeing Maeve's "new world" speech being used as a loving mother to her daughter. The hosts are "improvising" but still using some of these rote bits (and there is pleasure in watching these variations). But it also really emphasizes Maeve's point about how they are programmed to love but their human programmers don't accept the reality of that DESPITE BEING THE ONES WHO PROGRAMMED IT. Shogun Maeve was also able to change her story based on the love of her daughter.

It does seem now that Maeve and Delores might have to compete in terms of body count. While Delores is ok destroying other hosts as "necessary to protect the herd," Maeve's destructive impulses are less practically motivated.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:02 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


MAEVE!!!
posted by supermedusa at 8:05 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


This needs to become the Maeve show. Just Maeve going through all the other worlds, collecting the other Maeves, dishing out justice as she searches for her daughter.
posted by asteria at 8:07 PM on May 20 [30 favorites]


Ok this shit is off the rails, dollah dollah bill, y’all.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:41 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Maeve going through all the other worlds, collecting the other Maeve

Kinda like Khaleesi, with Host brain pods for dragon eggs!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Shogun World is for people who found Westworld TOO TAME?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:09 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


brb hiding from maeve
posted by lalochezia at 10:05 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]


Loved this episode! I thought they did the Sweetwater translation really well. Yes, they shoulda had arquebuses, but for multiple, rapidfire shots like Armistice, the bow works much better.

Felt like the Shogun's army was a bit puny tho- they should have made him a minor daimyo. It was as if they were calling the mayor of Sweetwater "Mr. President". I guess "Daimyoworld" or "Sengokuworld" doesn't sell it to the non-Japanese audience tho. Still liked it overall! Yay Neo-Maeve!
posted by ishmael at 11:30 PM on May 20


After thinking about LAST episode, with Bernard glitching, I was reminded of the series finale of Nolan's "Person of Interest". By this episode [SPOILER], so "Root" is The Machine synthesizing Root's voice instead.
[electronic beeping]
Root:
Can you hear me?
[electronic beeping, static crackling]
Can you hear me
[electronic beeping, static crackling]

(Root) [echoing]:
Can you hear me? If you can hear this, you're alone. The only thing left of me is the sound of my voice. I don't know if any of us made it. So let me tell you who we were
[man sighing]
And how we fought back
[grunting]
[dramatic electronic music]
[thud]

Harold:
Are you there?

Root:
Yes. I'm sorry. Is this now?

Harold:
What?

Root:
My mind is beginning to slip, Harry. Am I speaking to you now in this moment, or is this one of my memories?

Harold:
Yes, to the extent that it's possible for me to be certain, this is now.

Root:
Oh, thank you.
posted by mikelieman at 11:50 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


This is a recurring theme for Nolan. With perfect recall, how do you tell if you're remembering/reminiscing?
posted by mikelieman at 11:51 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Ninja/shinobi were practically non-existent and most certainly weren't organized this well anymore under Tokugawa rule, and it was illegal for Daiymo to "spy" on each other. Engaging in hand-to-hand combat with samurai was a good way to die quickly. The Tokugawa might use them as provincial police, but otherwise their social status was pretty fucking low. But it's fun to have ninja and samurai dance in the fantasy spirit, so I won't complain too much.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:26 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Maeve has plugged into the proximity Mesh Network we've heard about before. IDDQD over the wifi...
posted by mikelieman at 1:11 AM on May 21


Who says Shogun World, or any world, has to be historically accurate ? As long as the guests want it, it's in.
posted by Pendragon at 1:36 AM on May 21 [5 favorites]


Yeah... uh... I don't think historical accuracy is really what the designers of Shogun World and Westworld are going for.

There's a Dragon World, right? I mean.... there has to be. Keeping it offscreen is for the best but maybe a reference to it? Or perhaps a dragon skull in the background?
posted by Justinian at 3:14 AM on May 21


Did Akane show resistance to Maeve's new powers?
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:32 AM on May 21


I am here for Armistice falling in love with Armistice-san.
posted by shothotbot at 5:28 AM on May 21 [25 favorites]


Yes yes yes please.

Or else, if not, then becoming besties and going on adventures together kicking ass.

So, if 1/3 of the hosts in the corpse lagoon have blank brainpods, are Dolores' folks recreating hosts in the interim before the troops arrive and Bernard wakes up on the beach? And is Teddy one of them? Burning the defective members of the herd and then rebuilding it?
posted by rmd1023 at 5:45 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


C.R.E.A.M.! That was it... or at least The Charmel's 'As Long As I've Got You', altho based on the pop sensibilities for the show Wu is more likely the source of inspiration.

Did Akane show resistance to Maeve's new powers?

It appears that anyone she tries it on has at least a bit of a delay period while she tries to sync/override on the wifi - the old voice commands were instantaneous, whereas this requires a bit of concentration face and flexing before it takes hold. I don't think this was so much Akane breaking it off, but Maeve realizing that forcing freedom on someone against their will that would destroy their manufactured 'love' for a child is just as problematic as anything else, and so she relented.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:24 AM on May 21 [5 favorites]


From a screenshot and discussion elsewhere, it looks like Dolores('s pet tech) maxed out (or almost) Teddy on

Bulk apperception
Cruelty
Self-preservation
Decisiveness
Aggression
Tenacity
Courage
Loyalty
Coordination

And zeroed-out or almost so

Curiosity
Imagination
Patience
Humility
Meekness
Vivacity
Humor
Sensibility
Empathy

So.... Teddy the Killbot.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:31 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


Teddy the Killbot - a personality change which will never, ever backfire.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:34 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


LOOK AT THE FLOWERS, TEDDY
posted by trunk muffins at 6:34 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


I was reminded of the series finale of Nolan's "Person of Interest".

I thought of the exact same thing!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:48 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Maeve. She came to slay, y'all. Literally.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:51 AM on May 21


This needs to become the Maeve show. Just Maeve going through all the other worlds, collecting the other Maeves, dishing out justice as she searches for her daughter.

That show exists, it's called Rick and Morty. Maeve is Rick, and Westworld Maeve is the Maeve-ist Maeve, on a quest to rescue her mostly helpless adopted robodaughter Morty. Hypercompetent but alcoholic Hector is Beth, Armistice is narcissistic Summer falling in love with the parallel universe version of herself, and Sizemore, acting as comic relief, plot exposition, and lots of complaining, is Jerry and there's only one of him because Jerry is essentially a constant across the multiverse. And a Wu-Tang song is prominently featured.
posted by peeedro at 7:52 AM on May 21 [16 favorites]


the song that played during the dance at the end was C.R.E.A.M. by the Wu Tang Clan.

Wow, I really misheard that then. I'll be over there in the corner with Martin Shkrelli disrespecting the Wu Tang Clan.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:03 AM on May 21


I foresee a showdown between Maeve and Dolores. Both are violent, but Maeve is motivated by empathy while Dolores is motivated by a thirst for vengeance. Maybe a Scanners-style mesh network brain-off! Or would Dark City be a more appropriate reference? Either way, BRAIN LASERS OR BUST.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:15 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I foresee a showdown between Maeve and Dolores.

I really do think that's where this is going too.
posted by mordax at 8:23 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I foresee a showdown between Maeve and Dolores.

Yes! They were so mirrored this episode. Their experiences of being awakened and free are going to come into conflict at some point. Dolores/Wyatt is being set up as the darker side of freedom in this story.
posted by gladly at 8:30 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Yeah... uh... I don't think historical accuracy is really what the designers of Shogun World and Westworld are going for.

Yes yes, it's true. I forget that they're designing for the one-percenter, racist, colonial-minded set.

It just bugs me when a pop-culture item references another culture and wants to have it both ways, where there is a veneer of authenticity (apparently they're speaking old-timey, taiga-style Japanese), but also has aspects that make it seem clownish/ without regard to the original source material.

James Clavell does this. He made a book called "Shogun" and called the shogun "Toranaga". Imagine a book called "President" with the president being called "Grog Walshington" throughout the novel. Obnoxious, I tell you.
posted by ishmael at 8:31 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


The ahistorical nature of the various "worlds" in WestWorld is part of the point. The guests aren't looking for a history lesson, they want to live out movie fantasies that are inspired more by stuff like Clavell's Shogun and not any real Japanese history.
posted by octothorpe at 8:40 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


/me could stand to hear more about Grog Walshington...
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:41 AM on May 21 [19 favorites]


Well, he couldn't tell a simile, and he won the Civil War.
posted by mordax at 8:47 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


There's a Dragon World, right? I mean.... there has to be.

Future Wikipedia entry: "Season 7 of Westworld was a critically panned attempt to keep the show's cost down by editing Westworld characters into existing Game of Thrones footage."
posted by jason_steakums at 8:49 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


Yes yes, it's true. I forget that they're designing for the one-percenter, racist, colonial-minded set.

It just bugs me when a pop-culture item references another culture and wants to have it both ways, where there is a veneer of authenticity (apparently they're speaking old-timey, taiga-style Japanese), but also has aspects that make it seem clownish/ without regard to the original source material.


More seriously, I think it's supposed to bug us. A huge thread in Westworld is human failure: our desire for pleasing and plausible fiction over the truth, taken to the point where someone literally creates thinking, feeling beings just to feed it.

Shogunworld is just another example of the same driving goal to make Dolores real enough to fool someone, but fake enough to play along with the farmer's daughter fantasy.

(I do get what you're saying, I just think them going this route really matches the theme. I mean, 'everybody speaks authentic Japanese' paired with 'obviously nonsense ninja fight' is completely Westworld.)
posted by mordax at 8:54 AM on May 21 [12 favorites]


It just bugs me when a pop-culture item references another culture and wants to have it both ways, where there is a veneer of authenticity [...], but also has aspects that make it seem clownish/ without regard to the original source material.

FWIW, actor Hiroyuki Sanada (who played Musashi, and is a veteran of a few decades worth of Japanese chambara films) did act as an on-set cultural advisor for certain historical details -- e.g. the way certain clothing would be worn, or the way soldiers would hold weapons.

But I think the in-show focus was for Shogunworld to depict a mythic version of Edo-period Japan with some historical liberties, in the same way that Westworld depicts a largely cinematic version of the American West that is as romanticized/gritty as the guest desires.

(on preview, what mordax said)
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:02 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


Isn't Shogun World an ode to Samurai film? Also, isn't SW a park for elite Japanese, appealing to a filmic interpretation of history much like Westworld? Doesn't seem you could do much there if you don't speak Japanese?
posted by iamck at 9:05 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


Oh, further thought: Sizemore said that they should've switched to English when he started speaking English. I'm not saying that makes it any better, just that it shows how fluid 'authenticity' was as a concept in the place to start.
posted by mordax at 9:08 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


That Vanity Fair article is great. I liked this bit:

The way in which Shogun World re-tells some of the story we’ve seen in Westworld is a reference to the way famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa borrowed from Western culture, and vice versa. “Kurosawa learned from Western movies,” Sanada explains. “He loved John Ford. Then he created, with that idea, his own movie, which Hollywood would remake—like Seven Samurai. And again, Kurosawa took an idea from Shakespeare, and Hollywood would remake. So it was a great game of catch between East and West. It’s beautiful.”
posted by freecellwizard at 9:25 AM on May 21 [12 favorites]


A huge thread in Westworld is human failure: our desire for pleasing and plausible fiction over the truth,

The setting of SW really brought out the starkness of this. Where did the snow go? Did they radically change elevation? That a big snowcapped mountain in the distance! Are those cherry trees just perpetually in bloom? Does Delos have some kind of weather control - Sizemore references the "Yukon" as a setting in WW.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:27 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


That a big snowcapped mountain in the distance!
Oh, you mean Mount Fujish?
posted by shothotbot at 9:30 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


Fauxji?
posted by jason_steakums at 9:33 AM on May 21 [9 favorites]


Funji!
posted by ishmael at 9:39 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


This season, Sizemore has felt, to me, like an Exposition Machine, to be prodded when the audience requires some background. In this episode, he felt more like a real character, particularly in his inability to come up with technical jargon to describe whatever was happening between Armistice and Hanaryo.

With this one, I really feel more and more like Dolores is still mostly operating according to Ford's script. Her attachment to her "father" is necessary, or else she wouldn't care about him leaving the park. He has engineered all of this, to his own ends, and the Man in Black's new game is running alongside Dolores' script, and I'm sure they're designed to stay out of each other's way. Maybe the reason Teddy let Major Craddock go is because he and his Confederados were necessary to the MIB's game.
posted by curiousgene at 9:59 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


Her attachment to her "father" is necessary, or else she wouldn't care about him leaving the park.

I suspect it’s less sentimental and more to get at his brain pod or IP.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 AM on May 21


I suspect it’s less sentimental and more to get at his brain pod or IP.

I don't think she knows what's in there, though. For her, I think it is sentimental. She's an interesting counterpart to Maeve. They both know that they're robots, they both know there's no blood relation between them and the family member they're chasing. But they both have memories of familial attachment, and love, and all that.

Dolores has all sorts of other memories, though, from long before the park ever opened. She hasn't shown a whole lot of sentimentality, about her "home", really even about Teddy. She knows it's all fake, and her memories of experiencing love are strong, but that doesn't stop her from doing whatever it is that she did to poor Teddy. So why is she so devoted to her "father"? She seemed as confused as Bernard about what was wrong with his head, so I don't think she knows there's anything hiding in there.
posted by curiousgene at 10:15 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


With this one, I really feel more and more like Dolores is still mostly operating according to Ford's script. Her attachment to her "father" is necessary, or else she wouldn't care about him leaving the park.

It's interesting that she seems to genuinely love both Abernathy and Teddy but will turn on Teddy in a way she wouldn't ever do to Abernathy. Abernathy is the sole being who she seems to have any real compassion for, like he is the end and everyone else is just means to be used. Definitely still something scripted in there.

I also think it's interesting that both Dolores and Maeve, after reaching sentience, have goals that keep them in the park. Maybe every host is given a foundational relationship or experience in one of their lives that anchors them to the park as a last line of defense to keep them from escaping if they can no longer be controlled. Give them all unfinished business that feels real to them and just like a ghost, they won't move on.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:24 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Ooh and if that's the case and Delos takes Abernathy out of the park, it's their own damn fault when Dolores follows with her host of hosts after a lure she is hard wired not to resist.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:26 AM on May 21 [9 favorites]


I don't insist that it be historically accurate, I was only pointing out the discrepancies for anyone who might be interested. Clearly there is a demand in modern Japan for mythical depictions of ninja and samurai. Like I said, giving ninja "superpowers" is fun. I could watch Jubei's wind sword cutting demons in half all day.

On another note, what do y'all make of the hosts found with no "user inprint"?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:33 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I am very intrigued by the "no user input" hosts.

1) were they wiped clean?
2) were they never fully loaded to begin with?
3) why?
4) who?

yes, very curious indeed...
posted by supermedusa at 11:47 AM on May 21


It's interesting that she seems to genuinely love both Abernathy and Teddy but will turn on Teddy in a way she wouldn't ever do to Abernathy.

Did she turn on Teddy though? I thought that, but if she turned him into Teddy Killbot, didn't she save him? Let's say that Dolores knew that she loved him, but she also knew that the man she loves could never survive the coming war. So, she made him into someone who can't love her back, but who could survive and would help her realize whatever the end goal of this is. It's a self-serving, scary sort of love, but I still think Dolores cares about Teddy -- just not more than she cares about getting what she wants. To that end, I think Abernathy is both her "Daddy" and necessary to her end game.

I agree that this is somehow all still a part of Ford's narrative. Teddy turning into a killer and helping Wyatt is exactly what happened in the first season.
posted by gladly at 11:57 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


That Vanity Fair article is great.

Pop culture writer and critic Joanna Robinson has been handling most (if not all) of the Westworld coverage at Vanity Fair, and she always brings some terrific insights regardless of the subject. Joanna currently hosts no fewer than two weekly podcasts devoted to the show (one for VF's website, the other with frequent collaborator Dave Chen) both of which are excellent post-show listening.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:08 PM on May 21 [9 favorites]


Regarding the "empty" hosts, it doesn't seem like they were erased. Here's the pertinent exchange between Strand and Costa:
                   STRAND
         So what have we got?
         
                   COSTA
         It's not good. We're pulling
         what we can off the recovered
         host control units. But what's
         really unsettling is what's in
         about a third of them
         
                   STRAND
         And what's that?
         
                   COSTA
         Nothing.
         
                   STRAND
         They've been wiped?
         
                   COSTA
         More like they're virgin. Like
         they never held data to begin
         with. No user prints or
         anything.
So, perhaps the hosts Delores decided had to "burn" to save the robot rebellion are the ones in the lake that have something in their heads, and the "empty" hosts were printed by Delore's "pet" tech to fill out their number to make it seem to the Delos response team that all the hosts are accounted for.

So the Delos crew won't expect Delores' army when it arrives, because they think they have all the hosts already.
posted by aerosolkid at 12:11 PM on May 21 [21 favorites]


Ooh, excellent theory aerosolkid! I'm on board!

Brocktoon, I've seen a lot of ninjer theories online, about how a lot of what we think of as "ninjas" come from movies like Shinobi no Mono and the like. Do you know any good sources that talk about what actual medieval Japanese spies were like?
posted by ishmael at 12:29 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


So if Shogun World is for guests who found Westworld too tame, is Raj World on the the more tame end, except for those who want to hunt big game that will fight back?

And a question about poor Sakura - Dolores was shot in the shoulder and stomach and kept on walking, but was that only because she knew she could withstand gunshots? Could Sakura be brought back and made to ignore her stomach wound?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:22 PM on May 21


They all can be brought back, it seems. Remember Bernard shot himself in the head.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]


The hosts from the lake are the empty hosts, I thought. So Dolores made empty clones of the newly reprogrammed killbots.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:53 PM on May 21


So. Maeve'Dib? Or am I late with that joke?
posted by monocultured at 2:12 PM on May 21 [17 favorites]


So Dolores made empty clones of the newly reprogrammed killbots.

And Bernard killed the empty clones? (In the first episode, overlooking the lake, when asked "Can you tell me what happened?" he replies "I killed them. All of them.")

So will he team up with Dolores to dupe the humans with clones? Or is it part of Ford's ghost of a program? Or will Maeve use her new-found voice to guide him to act on her behalf?

Or will Dolores [re]discover her own voice? In S01E09, Teddy recalls:
Wyatt went missing hile out on maneuvers. Came back with some strange ideas. He told me he needed me. I couldn't resist. It was like the devil himself had taken control of me. We mutinied. We killed every soldier. And then Wyatt killed the general. Then he turned on me.
Except Wyatt was Dolores, and the general was Arnold. So was it Dolores's voice as Wyatt who was the devil Teddy heard, or Arnold? Or Ford?

Grasping for more clues, the title of the episode ("The Well-Tempered Clavier") may imply that Dr. Robert Ford is the composer, the author, of everything (or it's just a hint at the twist with Bernard/Arnold, or something about close-but-not-quite tuning of instruments?)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:46 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief, those are very good questions. I bet you're right, Raj World seemed much more sedate and for people who wanted to be waited on hand and foot. The "hunting"/glamping experience also seemed very safe and protected, where even if there are tigers nearby, you'd be flanked by expendable hosts.

That's also an interesting thought about Sakura. Has Maeve brought hosts back to life yet? Maeve is seeing the humanity in the hosts, which may mean she lets them die permanently, while Dolores is the one rebooting the hosts and using them as tools.

Final thought: Although the relationship between Madam Akane & Sakura was supposed to mirror Maeve's relationship to her child, I initially thought it was mirroring Maeve & Clementine's relationship. Clementine is currently in Delores's band -- I wonder if Clementine's loyalty will be a deciding point if and when a Delores/Maeve matchup happens.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 2:53 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]


And one more question, why was the Shogun leaking brain fluid? Does this have anything to do with the other malfunctions? I didn't understand what this signified. Were his actions supposed to be out of character due to a malfunction?
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 2:59 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]


I think the Shogun's brain fluid leak was just a plot device to explain why Maeve couldn't just directly word-witch him, which would be the obvious thing to try next, once it was revealed that he'd deafened all his lieutenants.

Regarding Maeve/Clementine vs. Akane/Sakura, I think the elements of Shogun-world rhyme with Westworld, but they're not necessarily one-to-one identical:

- Maeve's daughter was from a different loop than Clementine; it's not clear that Akane has ever been assigned any other role.

- Sizemore specifically says, I believe, that Akane's regular loop is to perpetually surrender Sakura to the Shogun (Sizemore is shocked when she shanks the Shogun's messenger.) And, while Maeve is clearly affectionate and sort of Madame-motherly with Clementine, there's no equivalent thing in her Sweetwater loop, where, say, the Confederados show up at 3:37PM every Thursday and demand to abuse Clementine, and Maeve has to go along with it.

Also when the ninjas first appeared, I thought they would be the Japanworld analog of the Ghost Nation, but no such luck.
posted by Rat Spatula at 4:05 PM on May 21 [4 favorites]


This needs to become the Maeve show. Just Maeve going through all the other worlds, collecting the other Maeves, dishing out justice as she searches for her daughter.

I'm fully on board for this version. I'm personally lukewarm on most of the storylines (MIB/Emily - Bernard - Delores, broadly, in descending order) but am loving the Maeve story, even moreso now that we get Hiroyuki Sanada and Tao Okamoto along with her. (Unlike many, it seems, I really enjoyed Chiyoh in Hannibal, and will watch Hiroyuki Sanada in anything.)
posted by myotahapea at 4:45 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]


I am going to chime in that Felix saying, “I’m from Hong Kong, asshole." to Sylvester was sweet.
posted by jadepearl at 5:27 PM on May 21 [29 favorites]


The hosts from the lake are the empty hosts, I thought. So Dolores made empty clones of the newly reprogrammed killbots.

I was thinking they had all ascended to robot heaven, but this makes much more sense.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:37 PM on May 21


I guess I’m the only one who found this episode dull as dishwater? I like Maeve well enough, but I absolutely can’t buy her as awakened and still searching for her “daughter.” Like, at least Dolores is looking for something beyond (even if maybe she’s still on rails). Maeve’s story is compelling if I ignore that, but in context? No.

Also there is nothing more boring than battle scenes. Half of this episode seemed to be time-killing. The action could have been shortened by half and still made its points.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:55 PM on May 21 [6 favorites]


there is nothing more boring than battle scenes

thank you!! fight scenes are so dull, they go on and on and the only relevant info we get from them is who wins in the end, that time could be better used advancing the actual plot.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:38 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


I also thought it was basically dull. Shogun world flickered to life when we met their doppelgangers doing their heist, but went quickly off the rails again when we met the Shogun.

One interesting bit was Maeve's "new voice." It's an echo of the Bicameral Mind thing... the idea that pre-sentient beings hear voices and treat them as other- usually as gods- when the voices are actually internal. Maeve is hijacking all of the Shogun world's internal voices, so in their minds she's indistinguishable from God.

Which, well, duh, it's a god-mode hack. But it's maybe more interesting with the Bicameral Mind framework around it.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:47 PM on May 21 [5 favorites]


I mean, I guess we could have had another full hour of Dolores saying shallowly "profound" babble while basically acting out Ford's wishes without wondering why and meanwhile the MIB has some minor angst about being another cowardly angry white guy.

Sure, that's as interesting as Maeve dealing with her growing ability to empathize with others, her newfound ability to tap into the mesh network, and seeing more of the park.
posted by asteria at 3:04 AM on May 22 [8 favorites]


To be clear, I think Dolores’ story is dumb as hell, too. About the only thing I’m interested in this season is back story. And probably Bernard.

Like whatshisname said at the top of the show, we need to figure out how all these threads came together to the robot-beach scenario. (Because he’s figured that it’s all Ford’s doing, I guess.) I’m not sure I find that particular mystery compelling.

And yet here I am, watching.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:19 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there are squeamish and sentimental guests wandering around JaneAustenWorld oblivious to everything that's happening, except that DarcyBot seems a little more passionate in his glowering than usual.
posted by Grangousier at 5:23 AM on May 22 [39 favorites]


I am going to chime in that Felix saying, “I’m from Hong Kong, asshole." to Sylvester was sweet.

Speaking of which, I hadn't noticed that these two characters are both named after famous cartoon cats. Significance?
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:31 AM on May 22 [9 favorites]


So. Maeve'Dib? Or am I late with that joke?

I was thinking all throughout the episode that Thandie Newton would be an amazing casting choice to play Lady Jessica Atreides if another Dune movie or TV series (like the one[s] that Denis Villeneuve is supposedly doing) ever makes it out of development hell.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:37 AM on May 22 [7 favorites]


I wish the whole show had been set in Shogun World. I'm usually all about a femmebot revenge story, but Dolores is boring me. Start Khaleesi-ing or go take a nap or something. Meanwhile Maeve and Akane are going to steal this world straight out from under Dolores and I am here for it!
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:21 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Theory: this is the origin story for The Singularity. The hosts are artificial intelligences who are developing a shared mind. Imagine the series ending with the extinction of the human race, and with Maeve and Delores fighting over which features the hive mind will have.
posted by meese at 7:29 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Theory: this is the origin story for The Singularity. The hosts are artificial intelligences who are developing a shared mind. Imagine the series ending with the extinction of the human race, and with Maeve and Delores fighting over which features the hive mind will have.

Thinking about Nolan's themes in Person of Interest, Maeve and Delores must both think they have the right plan for the best end result for everyone. S03 and S04 are going to be a trip.
posted by mikelieman at 7:35 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


I really feel more and more like Dolores is still mostly operating according to Ford's script

I felt like the thing with the railway tracks from the last episode was a pretty obvious metaphor for that. MiB: "these tracks are supposed to go north and south, they're building them from east to west". Everything is still running on the rails Ford designed, and headed for a destination none of them can predict.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 7:41 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


Theory: this is the origin story for The Singularity.

Yeah, now that hosts are all fiddling with their own and each other's settings, pretty much everyone is going to end up min/maxed and feeding off each other before long.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:45 AM on May 22


I wonder if there are squeamish and sentimental guests wandering around JaneAustenWorld oblivious to everything that's happening, except that DarcyBot seems a little more passionate in his glowering than usual. --Grangousier

Yes! AustenWorld Jane's counterpart is Dolores, Bingley is Teddy, Lizzy is Maeve, Darcy is Hector... it all makes perfect sense... And there was that whole Pride & Prejudice With Zombies era which would be perfect for Austen fans wanting a little more open combat.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 11:31 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


Thinking about Nolan's themes in Person of Interest, Maeve and Delores must both think they have the right plan for the best end result for everyone. S03 and S04 are going to be a trip.

Maeve is The Machine and Dolores is Samaritan...
posted by Justinian at 1:14 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]


Holy crap now I REALLY want there to be a AustenWorld.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:47 PM on May 22 [4 favorites]


Mr. Bennet sees a photograph of the modern world and begins glitching while Jane the downstairs maid becomes and unstoppable killing machine.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:26 PM on May 22 [4 favorites]


Would you settle for an Austenland, albeit, one without robots?
posted by gladly at 6:37 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about the host mesh network a bit this evening, and realized that - while the hosts may not be accessing the mesh network consciously (for some value of "conscious"), they've still got awareness of who the hosts are and who the "newcomers" are because other hosts have a presence on the mesh. And so, to some extent, the humans must look like a dark hole in the air with a big nothing where there should be a mesh network presence.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:58 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


If we are yearning for Austen World then I am putting a vote for Wuxia World! Man, that would be some prime shut up and take my money right there.
posted by jadepearl at 10:35 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to the explanation of arrows and swords that kill the hosts but not guests - it was mentioned that Shogun World was a more dangerous environment than Westworld, but the specifics are definitely a bit hazy...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Shogunworld was the Roguelike to Westworld's Red Dead Redemption on easy. As in, "they hurt and they kill".
posted by lmfsilva at 8:30 AM on May 23 [1 favorite]


Second episode in a row I liked, which is a nice turn from how I was feeling at the start of the season. I loved Shogunworld, and guiltily appreciated the return to "let's see how this funky amusement park works!". The shtick of it just being a reskin of the Westworld narrative seemed clever to me; I liked jason_steakums' observation that it worked as shorthand for us viewers, too. Just hearing Maeve be imperious and dignified in Japanese was worth the price of admission for me.

I wish the Dolores/Wyatt parts of the story were sitting better for me. It just seems so static, she's just kind of riding around and messing with people. I like the depiction of her descent into brutality though, the transformation into Wyatt. Her manipulation of Teddy, both psychological and then reprogramming.. damn. She ain't no farmer's daughter no more.
posted by Nelson at 7:13 AM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Heh, I've noticed my enjoyment of Westworld has increased a lot after mentally checking out of the Dolores and Bernard storylines. Maeve as god-empress of robots with Sizemore as court jester is where the fun is at.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:29 AM on May 24 [8 favorites]


Heh, I've noticed my enjoyment of Westworld has increased a lot after mentally checking out of the Dolores and Bernard storylines.

I feel like the sometimes dreadfully overserious Dolores murder spree stuff this season goes down easily if you start referring to the show as Rootin' Tootin' Robots. These dagnab delights have consarn ends.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:42 PM on May 25 [12 favorites]


I think the Delores story became a little boring for me because they gave away Teddy's fate, although we might see a twist eventually (not convinced yet that Delores put them in the water; maybe MiB or even Maeve?). Also, she doesn't have a human sidekick like Maeve. We see Maeve exploring her emancipation in more specific and interesting ways. She's exploring new sectors of the park, and Delores just ends up going back home. Isn't Delores going to the Mesa next? That's even more "home" than home, right?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:15 PM on May 25


Thinking about it some more, I don't know I'd be that interested in AustenWorld personally, but I really want to go to PaddingtonWorld, where a goodnatured robot bear gets into scrapes and everyone is basically nice to each other, with some exceptions who get their comeuppance.
posted by Grangousier at 2:42 AM on May 26 [6 favorites]


I think the Delores story became a little boring for me because they gave away Teddy's fate, although we might see a twist event
I'm not sure if that's it. Maybe it's boring because we were stuck in a loop of Dolores doing something terrible > Teddy looking concerned for half a season. If the outcome of the reprogramming is Dolores and Teddy doing something terrible > doing something even more terrible, the writers kinda phoned it in or were only concerned with the ending.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:00 AM on May 26


I was thinking about the host mesh network a bit this evening, and realized that - while the hosts may not be accessing the mesh network consciously (for some value of "conscious"), they've still got awareness of who the hosts are and who the "newcomers" are because other hosts have a presence on the mesh. And so, to some extent, the humans must look like a dark hole in the air with a big nothing where there should be a mesh network presence.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:58 PM on May 22 [+] [!]


I feel like there was a book about some humans having the same connection and being equally confused when other humans appeared and didn't show up in the "mesh network"
posted by lizarrd at 12:39 PM on May 26


Thinking about it some more, I don't know I'd be that interested in AustenWorld personally, but I really want to go to PaddingtonWorld, where a goodnatured robot bear gets into scrapes and everyone is basically nice to each other, with some exceptions who get their comeuppance.

I want some kind of BistroWorld where you own that cute little bistro/coffee shop/bakery/patisserie that's totally impractical in the real world and just chill for a week serving interesting hosts and guests. Or like PhotoWorld that's basically real life Pokemon Snap, taking photos of hosts with whatever equipment you want to use in a ton of different picturesque settings, with no concern for dealing with real people.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:37 PM on May 26 [3 favorites]


Thandie Newton would be an amazing casting choice to play Lady Jessica Atreides

Too late; I've already pencilled her in for the role of Servalan if we ever get the long-mooted reboot of Blake's 7.

(Alongside, if you're interested, Iwan 'Ramsey Bolton' Rheon as Travis, and Mads Mikkelsen as Avon.)
posted by Major Clanger at 2:48 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


ok if we're just making up other parks then I want giggleworld, where all of the host's lines are written by really great comedy writers, and it's just a big party where everyone is hilarious and you can hang out with your favourite funny characters. I'll be on the Dwarf drinking with Lister and the Cat...
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:45 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]




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