Doesn’t Look Like Anything To Leigh ... And Bill” is HuffPost’s weekly recap in which we break down the craziest thing you might have missed on “Westworld.” This week: Season 2, Episode 8, “Kiksuya.”
The latest episode, “Kiksuya,” explained a lot about what’s been going on with Maeve. Earlier in the season, in the “Shogun World” episode, her strange — and awfully convenient — ability to control other robotic hosts with her mind was on full display. This week, we finally found out how she’s been doing it.
The pertinent info is first delivered to the park’s head of narrative and Maeve’s new accomplice, Lee Sizemore. So we enlisted Simon Quarterman, the actor who plays him, to sort through some of the episode’s plot points with us.
Quarterman himself has a big episode, fully committing to help Maeve as she lies shot and dying on an operating table.
“You don’t deserve this. You deserve your daughter. To mother her, teach her to love, to be joyful and proud. I’m sorry,” his character, Sizemore, tells her.
“We’re finally seeing this man who’s been so wrapped up in himself who’s finally kind of broken from that,” the actor told HuffPost. “We’re seeing this compassionate human coming through. He’s pretty much fallen for Maeve over a period of time he spent with her on this crazy journey from seeing a robot that’s made out of whatever to someone that’s there.”
Following the emotional moment, Sizemore is motivated to question a jerk Delos technician about Maeve’s fate. And that’s when we hear about the “anomalous code” that has apparently allowed Maeve to control other hosts.
The Delos dude explains the code to Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), revealing that it’s allowed her to have administrative access to the park, which no one from Delos has been able to possess.
“She was out there reprogramming hosts on the fly,” he said, “reading their code, changing their directives, seeing through their eyes.”
So the anomalous code is the reason for Maeve’s Jedi superbot powers, and when Delos extracts it for itself, Maeve becomes expendable. But what exactly is this random new thing thrown into the mix?
Quarterman wouldn’t reveal much, cagily saying, “Good Lord, that I’m not sure I can completely get into. I’m a little fuzzy myself. ... I best not touch that just yet.”
Not giving up, we headed to HBO’s DelosDestinations.com to talk about anomalous code with the Westworld AI chatbot Aeden, but that wasn’t helpful either.
Here’s what we’re really wondering: How did Maeve get the code in the first place? Perhaps it’s been programmed into her since Season 1, when she was originally designed to leave the park. Or maybe she developed it along the way.
But it seems like there’s something more significant going on than Maeve just being super woke ― if that’s the case, you’d think Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) would have the same ability. As far as the bots go, Dolores invented woke.
What we know about the code is that it gives you admin access, which is something no one on the Delos team has been able to hack. Ford (Anthony Hopkins), being his cantankerous self, blocked Delos’ attempts to obtain access when he was in the Cradle. But now that the Cradle has been destroyed and Ford has hitched a ride inside of Bernard’s head, it’s unclear how much he can still intervene in Delos’ mission.
It’s worth noting that Maeve could really only control hosts who haven’t completely “woken up,” that is, gained self-awareness, as we saw when she previously failed to control Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.). So the anomalous-enabled strategy probably wouldn’t work on a host like Dolores. Her followers, however, might be more vulnerable.
Oddly enough, as Hale and the tech are discussing Maeve’s skill, it becomes apparent that she’s communicating with another robot right then and there.
Hale is ignorant of the fact, but viewers can see that Maeve is talking to the leader of Ghost Nation, Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), who tells her he’ll watch after her daughter until she, hopefully, escapes her predicament. (He wasn’t the bad guy after all!)
Besides the Maeve revelation, the latest episode was largely dedicated to changing our perception of Ghost Nation and Akecheta ― because this is Westworld, and that’s what it does.
Before he was turned into the leader of Ghost Nation as a cheap thrill for guests, Akecheta had another life and a family. Everything changed for him when he discovered Arnold’s (Jeffrey Wright) maze after the Westworld co-creator died before the park was even opened. He’s been drawing mazes everywhere ever since, including inside the scalps of hosts and in the dirt outside of Maeve’s house.
Why’s he doing all of this? Akecheta really just wants his boo back. Turns out she was taken away by the park at some point and put into cold storage. Throughout all his years of searching, he now believes he can find a door to a new world and get back everything he’s lost ― including her.
We tried to ask Quarterman for some info on Ghost Nation, but apparently there’s even more going on here because he chose to remain mum on that too.
Quarterman did, however, open up about some other extremely vital, unanswered questions from the show.
Has Lee Sizemore been going this whole season without underwear?
In the Season 2 premiere, Maeve makes Sizemore strip down to his birthday suit in a show of power. He puts on pants before replacing his gutchies, which brings us to the most important question of this season:
Has Sizemore had to go through all the adventures in the park this season without underpants?
“[Laughs] I guess so, yeah. He’s going commando the whole season. That lovely robe that I was wearing in Episode 5 was almost like a kilt,” said Quarterman.
The actor revealed that in order for his character to get naked, he actually had to tweak the dialogue.
“It’s funny that moment. When we were shooting it, there was one line that wasn’t there in that scene, [when Maeve says] ‘All of it. No, all of it.’ Because it was [originally] just, ‘Strip,’ and my argument was, look, I’m not going to take off all my clothes, just go down to my boxer shorts and put everything else on. So we actually put in that line while we were shooting it, ‘No, all of it,’ because it had to be there,” he said.
Why didn’t Lee get fired after peeing in front of his boss?
In Season 1, Sizemore urinates on the Delos map of Westworld in front of a number of co-workers as well as Executive Director Charlotte Hale. So why’d he keep his job?
“I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he might be very good at his job in a lot of ways, in terms of he can write a lot very quickly. ... And I think they just give him a pass. At least, that one time anyway,” Quarterman said.
Is the Man in Black a robot?
It’s been the theory on everyone’s mind. Is the Man in Black a host? If not, he can sure take a lot of bullets, right? Quarterman refused to help us out.
“I mean I’ve got my own theories. ... Well, I kind of know what is going on, so I can’t go into that at all, so I’ll leave you with: maybe. Perhaps. I don’t know. Probably not for sure. Who knows?”
Will we see robot babies?
Robotots are the theory we’ve been most into since the start of the season. C’mon, at some point a robot is going to have a baby.
Interestingly, Quarterman wouldn’t say anything on this either, which makes us more certain that robotots are on their way.
“I’m going to give you the same answer about the Man in Black. Sure. Maybe. Probably not. Who knows.”
What can we expect in the finale?
Here, Quartman could speak a bit, teasing, “Oh God. Hang on to your hats really. The finale is insane. It’s epic.”
“Westworld” airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.
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