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

Westworld Season 2 Episode 5 Recap
Evan Rachel Wood in ‘Westworld’ season 2 episode 5 (Photo Credit: HBO)

The process of rounding up and disabling all the hosts continues, and the security teams believe they’ve gotten the upper hand as HBO’s Westworld season two episode five begins. Although they’re progressing through the park taking care of business, they’ve yet to locate Peter Abernathy.

Inside headquarters, Karl (Gustaf Skarsgard) learns the hosts have been wiped. It’s as though their systems never held anything to begin with. Plus, he’s told one-third of the company’s IP has been lost.

Teddy’s body is on top of a large pile of hosts inside the facility, and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) watches as more bodies are added to the piles. Karl explains that once they figure out how all the threads came together to create this nightmare, then they’ll know the complete story.

Flashback to inside the park and Maeve’s group is attacked by Samurai warriors who get the drop on them in the snow. Maeve (Thandie Newton) believes she can talk her way out of this situation, and commands them to drop their swords. Her order doesn’t work and she’s gagged to keep her under control. Her group’s tied up and forced to walk through the forest.

Lee (Simon Quarterman) explains they’re in Shogun’s World now and it’s hardcore. Musashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) is in charge of this group that’s taken them, and has his men lead them into his village.

It turns out once they hit town, Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) figure out their story is being played out in this village, but with different players. Lee admits he recycled the story because it’s tough coming up with hundreds of fresh storylines.

Armistice helps her counterpart in this world and in turn her counterpart frees them. Maeve’s learned from Lee that she can speak any language and when she spoke to the Samurai earlier, they didn’t obey because she was speaking English. Now, understanding what she must do, Maeve tells these strangers she knows how their story plays out.

Maeve’s counterpart is Akane (Rinko Kikuchi) and they immediately connect.

Elsewhere, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Teddy (James Marsden), and their men ride through Sweetwater which is littered with dead bodies. The train’s at the station and Dolores orders it checked out and stripped for speed.

There are still a few hosts left inside the saloon when Dolores takes a break for a drink. She explains to Teddy their mission remains hunting for her father.

Maeve’s group is given food and drink, and a geisha dances while everyone relaxes. Maeve’s impatient to leave but Lee explains they need to hear these people out or it will be considered a dishonor. Lee wants to leave too, but there are rules.

A man arrives and says the Shogun has asked for Sakura (Kiki Sukezane) to dance for his men. And, he wants to take possession of Sakura permanently. Lee whispers this storyline is “Army of Blood” as Akane refuses to sell Sakura to the Shogun. When the warrior refuses to take no for an answer, Akane stabs him in the eye. Lee exclaims, “That’s not supposed to happen!”

Akane tells Musashi he’s now hired to take them somewhere safe. Lee suggests Snow Lake; it was where Sakura was born. Lee whispers to Maeve that he suggested Snow Lake because it has an access point and they can escape.

That night, ninjas attack and Maeve’s able to command one to turn his knife on his friend. Musashi and Hector take out others while Maeve fights for her life. As she’s being strangled, she’s able to tell her attacker to kill himself without uttering a word.

After the fight’s over, Sakura is missing.

Lee’s confused by all of this because ninjas never attack in this story. They hear chanting from outside and it’s the Shogun’s army, which Lee explains never comes into town.

Tanaka (Masayoshi Haneda) demands Akane give herself up. She refuses, and Maeve has an idea if Musashi can buy them time. He agrees and steps outside to confront his old lieutenant, Tanaka, who’s apparently now a captain.

Musashi challenges Tanaka, and Tanaka reacts by capturing Hector, Armistice, and the others. (Maeve escapes while this is going on.)

Back outside of Sweetwater, Dolores wants to see her old ranch one final time. Teddy wonders if maybe this doesn’t have to be their fight and that maybe they can just stay somewhere safe, somewhere all their own. She calls him a kind man and says she’ll think about it.

Once more to Shogun’s World we go and Lee believes that if the Shogun is aware enough to change the storyline, then they’re in deep trouble. He wants to leave Akane behind and head to Snow Lake and the access point. Maeve reminds him she’s supposedly coded to not care for others, but she’s willing to die to help Sakura. However, she agrees to let Lee go ahead on his own if he wants. She also admits she doesn’t know how she made the ninja kill himself. “I think I’m finding a new voice,” says Maeve.

Lee, Maeve, and others from Maeve’s group pass through a killing field littered with the security team. Lee takes a quick restroom break and secretly grabs a walkie talkie from one of the dead bodies.

Westworld Season 2 Episode 5 Recap
A scene from ‘Westworld’ season 2 episode 5 (Photo Credit: John P Johnson / HBO)

As they approach Shogun’s camp where Sakura’s been taken, they see hundreds of Samurai warriors. Maeve leads her group into the camp and they’re introduced as the envoy from the Chinese empire. They bow before the Shogun and present him with a golden statue. Maeve explains it’s a humble gift and the Shogun tosses it to the ground. He tells them about his conquests, including killing 2,000 men at the Siege of Osaka. As he speaks, cortical fluid leaks from his ear and he glitches.

Lee realizes the Shogun’s not awake and instead is broken.

The Shogun laughs and welcomes them to his camp. He reveals his ninjas encountered a witch and in order to keep control, he’s had the ears cut off his leaders so they can’t follow her commands. He goes on to explain Sakura will dance this evening.

When the Shogun touches Sakura, Akane can’t contain herself. The Shogun’s shocked to see Akane in his camp tempting the dragon. She says she’ll pay any price for Sakura and he recalls watching her dance when she was younger. He says that if she dances for him tonight, she can have Sakura. Akane agrees.

Back at the train, Dolores and Teddy watch their men finish the job. Angela (Talulah Riley) arrives with one of the security team members who took Peter. He confesses they took Peter to the mesa. Dolores declares they’ll leave at first light.

Dolores and Teddy head into the saloon to spend the night. Dolores wonders if Teddy really wants her to say yes to staying here, and Teddy answers by reminding her he’s known her her whole life. “Where we go, we go eyes open…together,” says Teddy. They share a long, passionate kiss that leads to sex.

Akane finds Sakura in a tent before they dance. The Shogun has carved a cherry blossom tree in Sakura’s back and Akane tries to reassure her it will be okay. She tells Sakura that in this new world you can be whatever or whoever you want. She promises her this will be true soon.

Maeve reveals to Akane that she has a daughter. She says her daughter is in the new world and she’ll take Akane and Sakura there. She then explains that everything Akane knows is a lie. Akane’s confused and doesn’t want to accept what Maeve’s saying. “You’re right. Some things are too precious to lose, even to be free,” replies Maeve in English.

Teddy wakes to find Dolores standing over the bed. She takes him outside and wants to show him something, explaining she’s been questioning her feelings for him. She didn’t know how much was real and how much was just a story. Tonight, she discovered it was all true. “They built us to perform for them and for each other,” says Teddy. “That’s over. I saw you tonight, Dolores, and you saw me.”

Dolores grabs a lantern and says she has seen him clearly. They step further into a store and she confesses she doesn’t believe he’s going to make it. She has her men surround Teddy and commands them to hold him. She claims she wishes there was another way, but he’s not made for the place they’re going.

Dolores gives Phil (Patrick Cage) the order for Teddy’s program to be altered even though extreme changes might rip him apart. “To grow, we all need to suffer,” explains Dolores.

That night, the Shogun reveals he knows Maeve is the witch. He orders her to kneel near him as Akane and Sakura are brought to the stage to dance. Before they begin, the Shogun approaches Sakura and says she’s perfect. He then stabs her through the stomach, declaring Akane can have her. With Sakura dying at her feet, Akane is told to dance.

Akane performs as the music plays. She advances during her dance toward the Shogun, at one point even kneeling at his feet. She caresses his cheek and then uses one of her hair pins to stab him repeatedly through the face until he’s dead.

Tanaka declares Akane and Maeve assassins and orders them decapitated. Maeve uses her new power to command the Samurai turn against each other, once again without saying a word. The battle’s bloody as the Samurai take out their fellow warriors. More warriors approach but Maeve isn’t worried. “I told you I found a new voice. Now we use it,” she explains.

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