“Doesn’t Look Like Anything To Leigh... And Bill” is HuffPost’s weekly “Westworld” recap in which we break down the craziest thing you might have missed. This week: Season 2, Episode 5, “Akane No Mai.”
Welcome to Robobaby Watch: 2018.
Ever since Season 1 of “Westworld,” we’ve been on the lookout for hints about the possibility of robot babies (aka robotots, aka the natural offspring a nonhuman), and the latest episode, “Akane No Mai,” might have given us another clue.
In the midst of all the exciting action in Westworld’s samurai-themed park Shogun World ― and the fact that Maeve (Thandie Newton) tapped into the code of Westworld, gaining the ability to make other hosts kill themselves at will ― there was a little hanky-panky.
Perhaps for the first time, Teddy (James Marsden) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) ― a pair of androids ― made sweet, sweet love.
Teddy and Dolores have always shared a special connection, almost like they were made for each other ― yes, literally made for each other. In the Season 2 premiere, Dolores even tells him, “I know how this story ends. With us, Teddy. It ends with you and me.”
Yet, Season 2, Episode 5, seemed to mark the first time they’ve ever had sex. Sure, they’ve kissed. But pre-consciousness, Dolores was just a damsel in distress for guests to save or torture. Her plotted love story with Teddy had never seemed to progress to consummation.
We’ve been predicting the introduction of robotots since Season 1. The second season has done nothing but hint that wee little droids could be on the way. The biggest clue occurs in the show’s opening credit sequence, which now features a robot and its infant child.
The sequence’s creator, Patrick Clair, told HuffPost that the moment will have “real rewards” as the season continues. Viewers “will start to really be able to realize what that means and its place within the titles,” he said.
Overall, the connection between parent and child has been a focal point this season: Maeve’s on a primal quest to find her daughter. The Man in Black has been forced to address his relationship with his own daughter, Grace (Katja Herbers), who showed up in the park this season. Even Dolores was finally able to reunite with her father, Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), in Episode 3.
Herthum, for his part, is into the idea of robotots.
Though he says he doesn’t know if they’re coming to Westworld, the actor recently reiterated to HuffPost how important parent-child relationships are on the show.
“If you go back to that pilot, you have Peter and he’s completely devoted to Dolores when he’s talking to Ford [Anthony Hopkins], who asks, ‘What are your drives?’ He said, ‘To take care of my cattle, take care of my wife, and to protect Dolores.’ ... Peter is the first host to show that undying love for his child.”
Maeve might be another first. Theories have been circulating this season that she might have given birth to the first natural-born robot baby, a living child who grew up to become Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). If true, this theory could explain Maeve’s uncontrollable need to reach her daughter, previously assumed to be just another programmed host.
Considering that Dolores is now messing with Teddy’s settings to make him more of a killer, which is what happens at the end of the latest episode, we’re not sure what’s to come for these ill-fated lovers. Dolores clearly has a plan for Teddy underway. Whether it involves robotots remains to be seen.
So, Robobaby Watch aside, here are a few other theories to pay attention to as the season continues:
Maeve is more powerful than we think.
At the end of “Akane No Mai,” Maeve uses some sort of psychic ability to reprogram the hostile hosts in Shogun world to kill each other rather than her and her new friend Akane (Rinko Kikuchi). Maeve seems to possess a power no other droid holds, telling story creator Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), “I found a new voice.”
But what is actually going on here? Is the thought-to-be-dead Ford still in control of Maeve, allowing her to lead the android revolution? Or has Maeve simply found a way to bypass her own programming? She can speak Japanese, for goodness’ sake!
Bernard is not who he appears to be.
Many have been speculating that the Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) we catch up with on the beach is not Bernard at all, but another host’s consciousness contained within the shell of Bernard. Viewers have watched as brain capsules were placed inside and taken out of droids’ heads all season long, so there’s reason to believe, say, Teddy’s code is running through Bernard’s body.
“That’s quite a story you gave them,” Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård), the head of Delos operations, says in the latest episode, as he looks at Bernard in the lab after discovering one-third of the bots’ brains were wiped due to the flood. Strangely enough, the camera pans over Teddy’s lifeless body as Karl adds, “and one hell of an ending.” (Foreshadow much?!)
According to Reddit user BigbigPlibt, Dolores, not Teddy, could be the one inhabiting Bernard’s form. “Delores [sic] might have noticed that it’ll be impossible to breach outside of westworld with a small army and instead need[ed] to take a more stealth approach.”
We saw multiple Bernards (or Arnolds?) in the Season 2 trailer, so there’s a big chance some of our favorite robots are taking over, Bernarnold-style.
The narrative of Shogun World is almost identical to that of Westworld, with the Samurai park’s characters strongly resembling those from their Western counterpart. As Sizemore himself tells Maeve, “Who knows how seeing your own doppelbot is going to fuck with your cognition?”
Sizemore pretty much admits the theme parks’ storylines are plagiarized, you know, due to “supply and demand.” So if there is a Japanese Maeve (Akane), there could be a Medieval Maeve, or a Roman Maeve etc., etc. There’s no doubt these doppelbots, like we saw with Maeve and Akane, could forge a strong bond. Could we see multiple versions of characters unite to take down the human race?
And if Maeve or Dolores copies do have the ability to have babies, that means only one thing: doppletots.
“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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