What to Know About “Kiksuya”

By Olivia Armstrong


Family was front and center in Westworld Season 2, Episode 8. Here’s how Akecheta’s road to sentience fits into the larger narrative.

Westworld Season 2 Episode 8, “Kiksuya,” touched on love, loss and lore passed from one host to another. With actor Zahn McClarnon front and center, audiences were offered a poignant look behind the war paint of the elusive, seemingly dangerous Ghost Nation, who are stealth players in Ford’s game. Here’s a breakdown to prep you for Season 2’s penultimate episode, “Vanishing Point.” For a more detailed explainer, see the full episode guide.

  1. 1

    Akecheta was behind the message of The Maze.

    The episode’s unique structure features Akecheta (McClarnon) literally recalling his journey in Westworld thus far to Maeve’s daughter. We find out he was spreading the message of The Maze. After coming upon a delirious Logan in the desert, Akecheta hears of “The Door” and questions the nature of his reality, particularly when his wife Kohana (Julia Jones) is replaced with a different host. This compels him to dedicate himself to The Maze, hiding it in the scalps of fellow hosts and drawing it outside of Maeve’s (Thandie Newton) former homestead she shared with her daughter — tragically luring in the Man in Black.

  1. 2

    Ford knew what Akecheta was up to — and helped him.

    When Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) discovers Akecheta is the one sharing of The Maze, Akecheta explains that he believes it will help the hosts find their way to The Door, and reconnect with those they’ve lost. Ford isn’t angry. In fact, he supports Akecheta’s drives telling him, “When the Deathbringer returns for me, you will know to gather your people and lead them to a new world.” The Deathbringer here is Dolores. When she shot Ford at the gala in the Season 1 finale, this was Akecheta’s cue to act on Ford’s blessing.

  1. 3

    Maeve and Akecheta make a pact.

    A dying Maeve is stationed back at the Mesa, where Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) begs the tech to let her live: a decision that’s ultimately up to Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). While in the body shop, Maeve can see through her daughter’s eyes that Akecheta has been speaking directly to her the whole time. Aware she’s been badly wounded, Akecheta tells Maeve he will protect her daughter. “If you stay alive, find us,” he says.

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Read the Full Episode Guide

For a more in-depth read about Episode 8, “Kiksuya,” check out the official synopsis.



Creating Westworld’s Reality: Ghost Nation

“It’s a season about the reasons we fight.” Actors Zahn McClarnon, Martin Sensmeier and co-showrunner Lisa Joy discuss the love story of Episode 8, “Kiksuya.”


Episode 7 Recap

Still catching up? Here’s a handy guide to Season 2 Episode 7, “Les Écorchés.”