I wasn't planning on writing anything tonight. I just figured I'd catch Westworld live, talk about it with my wife for fifteen or twenty minutes, have a late night mini cupcake, head off to bed and actually get a reasonable amount of sleep. But no. I can't do it. I'm sitting on a couch in my basement banging away at my keyboard because I just watched my favorite episode of Westworld ever, and out of nowhere, I suddenly have a new favorite character: Akecheta.
Wait, who? The Native American guy with the paint that shows up every now and again. You know who I'm talking about. This dude...
Actually, before we go any further, there are going to be a lot of spoilers in this article. So, if you haven't watched this week's episode yet, just bail and come back later. You wanna go in fresh, I promise you.
OK. So, the basic gist here is many years ago Akecheta was a peaceful dude living with the love of his life, Kohana, and his tribe when he stumbles upon a small version of the maze. He becomes fascinated by the maze. He studies it. He draws it. He contemplates what it could be, to the point where it pisses all his friends and family members off. Then he's snatched and turned into a warrior to make the narrative more exciting for guests and he's separated from Kohana. So, he starts slaughtering people and going about his business when he runs into Logan (William's sketchy brother-in-law who hasn't been around much this season), who is messed up from heatstroke. Logan tells him he's in the wrong world and then it suddenly all clicks. He finds Kohana, and he jars her memory. They search for the door to the right world, until she's captured and put in storage. So he keeps searching. He tells everyone he meets about the maze to try and jar their memories of previous lives, and at one point, he even sacrifices himself and dies for the very first time in order to see if Lohana is beyond death. First time he died. No big deal.
It's all incredibly moving and so many layers of badass. From wandering around the facility after his death while he's supposed to be getting reprogrammed to Robert Ford admiring his determination, it felt like there was an entire season of truly badass reveals about Akecheta in this one episode. In fact, he now seems so essential to the overall plot it's likely he's going to develop into a main character for the foreseeable future. Even if he wasn't protecting Maeve's daughter, which he is and that mother-and-child reunion is definitely going to happen, Westworld seems to be teasing him as the actual person who finds the door or the way out into the real world.
I don't know where Westworld is going to take Akecheta. I would hope he'll elevate into the main cast for years to come, but even if he's killed off in a few weeks and we only ever get to see him for a handful of episodes, his impact will far surpass his actual screentime--- like Ned Stark or The Soup Nazi or The Pontiac Bandit.