The Sunday Sermon! 5 Takeaways From Westworld Season 2 Episode 7: 'Les Écorchés' and Episode 8: 'Kiksuya'

 

Its Sunday Sermon time with the Pop-Culture Theologians!  Marci is busy trying to survive in the wilderness that is Florida (seriously, move back to the West Coast) and Kirsten is getting hitched this coming weekend (photos to come).  

 

This week:

 

1. Trump is LITERALLY a Nazi (seriously, separating children from families; get the hell out!)

 

2. World Cup: Marci is watching soccer; John is watching RuPaul's Drag Race.  We still have yet to see how each differ from each other! 

 

3. As we mentioned last week: we want to know what other shows would you like the Pop! Theologians to tackle.  Shoot us an email at engagedgaze@gmail.com! We would love to know what you are watching! 

 

4. Did we mention that President Trump is a Nazi? Because, he is the WORST! 

 

5. March and Kirsten are taking the week off so it's up to John to sip all the tea this week.

 

 

Let's break down Season 2, Episode 7: ‘Les Escorches’

 

Spoilers Ahead: You have been warned... 

 

John's 5 Sips of Tea: 

 

 

1. ) Playing God

 

We finally start to see Ford’s plan in this episode and, like in prior recaps, we are coming to understand that Ford does view himself as God.  He’s been watching the world via Bernard and appears to have an almost omnipotent presence; I know we are supposed to dislike Ford but damn, Sir Anthony Hopkins can both turn a phrase and act his ass off.  I know Ford is the big bad (does that mean if he is God, God is too “bad”; more on that in a while), but he is villain I love to hate. 

 

2.) The Valley Beyond

 

They have been teasing this the whole season and we are starting to realize that the valley beyond may not be just a storyline created by Ford, but the actual way out that people will experience at the end of the season. I think it is too simple to think it is death; it appears to be what Ford is experiencing via Bernard as his vessel: an internal AI life.   Is that is what is next?  Only time (where timeline are we in now anyways?) will tell!

 

3.) Showdown at the OK Corral

 

Who wasn’t living for this scene?  I must admit, seeing the showdown between the Maeve that we have come to know and love versus the Man in Black who tormented her and her daughter was everything.  While Maeve and the Man in Black are both seriously wounded, we are left with the larger understanding of how far Maeve has come since season 1.  She is no longer that person that is too afraid but rather one with full autonomy and even more control over her surroundings.  And, as we see in the next episode, she’s seeing through other people’s eyes now.

 

Also, we called it: Lee’s redemption arc involved Maeve (and potentially the love he has for her).  Will he go on to save her (as episode 8 hints at)?  Or, will Maeve save herself (and her daughter as well)?  I am hoping for the latter.   

 

4.) Call of Duty

 

Ok, ok, reddit…you were right.  Delores sucks.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still love her and the fact that she is full on villain this season but I must admit, the conversation between her and Maeve, where Delores whitesplains to Maeve about her connection to her daughter and their connection (people in glass houses should throw stones Delores). 

 

5.) Reunion

 

That scene with Bernard and Ford was extremely powerful.  There is beauty in so much of what Ford has created but,

 ultimately, that beauty is and was destroyed by the power that he sought.  Now, the power that Ford wanted didn’t have to deal with money but rather something much more precious: immortality.  While we see all the other players running amok for control of the IP of Westworld, Ford proves he is one step ahead of everyone.  Ford has, for lack of reference, become the Matrix itself at this point, and I do not know if there is anyone that can stop him at the moment.

 

 

 

Let's break down Season 2, Episode 8: ‘Kiksuya’

 

1. ) “All the lives we’ve lived”

 

I plan on making two references to Clous Atlas in this week’s recap.  Here is my first: if this episode proved anything to

 

me, it was that we all have been here before and will be again.  We see the lives that the hosts are coded to live but also how those lives can be easily changed or, in some case, taken away.  Akecheta proves to the viewer that we are meant to live more than one life and it is what we do with those lives that count the most.  In his case, he searched not only for his love but also the woman in his tribe’s son.  He understands and realizes that his quest is not just for him (the selfish reason) but also more importantly, for his people. 

 

2.) Ghosts

 

I wish I had the time to write an essay about the role of ghosts throughout the novel Beloved, mixing in a dalliance with

 

the film Interstellar, and then ultimately the role of Akecheta and being referred to as a ghost by Maeve’s daughter.  We need someone to write their dissertation on this episode because it truly is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV. 

 

 

 

 

3.) “The Power of Love”

 

What the episode proved to be the most was a symbol for what and how love transcends all boundaries.  In what will be now my second reference to Cloud Atlas, it seems like the relationships and the loves we build in this life transcend into the others that we will live or have lived.  The love that Akecheta exhibits through the episode is beautiful and an allegory to the ways that love, in its truest form, has the power to transform.  And with that, I’m going to let Celine Dion takes us out. - 

 

 

 

 

4.) Naked and Afraid

 

My dear sweet Logan…we meet again.  When we last saw you in this timeline, the William had put you on a horse and sent you packing into the unknown.  You will still sane and now, poisoned by the sun, you seem more like a prophet than madman; and from what we saw, your words had a huge impact on Akecheta’s journey. 

 

5.) Someone to Watch Over Me

 

The final scenes of the episode are truly beautiful.  We finally get a better understanding of the importance of Maeve, but we finally see how Akecheta’s story comes together.  While we think that he is speaking to Maeve’s daughter, she herself is actually “plugged in” to the world and we discover that Akecheta is actually speaking to Maeve.  We learn that the Ghost Nation was never the enemy but rather the protector; the people that watched over Maeve and her daughter when the real enemy strolled in: the Man in the Black.  Like so many scenes, we discover that the ghosts that we sometimes fear turn out to be the prophets that we need the most. 

 

If this scene doesn’t earn these actors an Emmy nomination and win, we will riot in the streets!

What’s Next…

Sela Ward is joining the cast for the final episodes…all I can say is that if I didn’t love this show before, I certainly do now with her joining the cast.  Seriously, I friggin’ love Sela Ward!

 

 

 

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