To say that Westworld fans have found a hero in Akecheta is an understatement. To say that Zahn McClarnon gave the best performance of any TV series I’ve ever seen this season, is not!
Much speculation has been made about the nature of the scary looking Native Americans that haunt the plains in Westworld. The theories ranged from that they were aliens to that they were medics who helped heal the hosts. Even the Man in Black seemed fearful of them and with them he met his match in battle.
The journey that Zahn McClarnon portrayed as Akecheta, went through was like a step back through time. A story of awakening. Akecheta’s alarming journey to enlightenment is something scientists think the early humans went through. Except over hundreds of thousands of years. Akecheta did it in just over a decade! I really hope that Akecheta becomes that one sentient being in pop culture who doesn’t get corrupted when he realizes his full potential. In this age of the dawn of AI where people are more fearful of it than ever before, thanks to the Terminator and shows like Westworld itself, Akecheta and the Natives in Ghost Nation present something different. Something moral and dare I say nice? If not hopeful.
That in my mind makes him either one of Westworld’s most scariest hosts, or a genuine superhero. As Westworld seemed by design to struggle to get it’s footing this season, with weird pivots to Shogun world. The show has always seemed to be without a main hero or even a main character.
- Was it the rich douchebags who used the hosts for pleasure, pain, and murder?
- Was it the young white blonde girl with daddy issues?
- Was it the host who wants nothing more than to be human?
- Was it the programmers who don’t understand what’s going on or why they are forced to do these things?
- Was it Ford who wants nothing more than to live forever?
- Was it the Man in Black lost in a maze of his own making?
- Was it Maeve?
It turns out that in the Eighth episode of Season 2, we find him. Westworld, as they like to do, flipped the script and turned the world upside down. Those scary looking Natives? Yup, they are the real heroes of this story! Sentient AIs in their most unaltered form, learning from each other and evolving all on their own. The revelation even shocked their creator. Which I don’t have to tell you is lore straight out of metaphysical pseudo-religious questions about the search for God. Perhaps Akecheta’s end game is a master fight for control with Ford himself. Something fans originally thought would be best left to Delores or Maeve.
As this episode was an episode of discovery and helping those less fortunate. It remains to be seen if Westworld will truly delve deep into the evolving patterns of Ghost Nation hosts and to examine what they think about other hosts or even the humans who created them. Let’s go back to my early man analogy. If Akecheta and his people can gain consciousness all on their own within a decade, what will they accomplish next? I think that’s a really exciting path for Westworld to take, but if they don’t elaborate on this stuff in the show, perhaps there is spin-off potential there.
I don’t know if Akecheta needs more of his story told. Zahn McClarnon did a perfect job from start to finish and the story seemed like it had a beginning middle and end. But the most under-rated hosts in the maze that is Westworld is now front and central to the entire plot of the series. Who says there isn’t a series possibility in it when all is said and done? It may not be the right world for him, after all!