|“||I think I'm finding a new voice.||”|
|“||ショーグン・ワールドへようこそ(Welcome to Shogun World)||”|
Official synopsis here
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In The Mesa
In the Control Room, Karl Strand looks at the bodies of hosts and his extraction team lying everywhere, and takes a call from Maling. She's collecting hosts from the new lake and has started draining it. He tells her to try and re-set the hosts to work in their original loops. She acknowledges and tells him she has teams looking for Peter Abernathy; Strand wants to see Abernathy himself.
Bernard watches as technicians remove Control Units from hosts lined up on gurneys. Across the corridor, Strand arrives and asks Antoine Costa for an update. Antioine tells him that 1/3 of the recovered control units are as clean as if they'd never been used. He also tells Strand that the Cradle has been destroyed by fire, along with all of the hosts' backups it contained.
Teddy Flood is one of the hosts that have been piled up.
|“||How did all of these disparate threads come together to create this nightmare? If we figure that out, we'll know how the story turns."||”|
–Strand, to Antoine
Welcome to Shogun World
Maeve Millay and her group (Hector Escaton, Armistice, Lee Sizemore, Felix Lutz, Sylvester ) are threatened by a man with a katana, he hurts none of them but does come very close with the blade. Maeve is about to give the order to fire when they are lassoed and made helpless - despite having modern firearms against Japanese Edo period swords. The katana wielding man and his associates take them captive. Maeve tries to control them using voice commands but, for some reason, this doesn't work and they gag her.
They're bound and led, Maeve gagged, past dead human bodies. Maeve discovers she can understand them, and Sizemore reveals that all of the hosts have that capability buried somewhere inside them.
Musashi, the man with the katana, is challenged by a younger man who accuses him of stealing the horse he's riding. Musashi admits this and kills him. The narrative being played out is the equivalent to the Westworld story where the Mariposa Saloon is raided by Hector and the safe stolen. One of his companions has a dragon tattoo on her face, equivalent to Armistice's tattoo. Musashi goes inside the "Mariposa" and Armistice realises that the Japanese hosts are copies of themselves. Sizemore admits it. Using Felix and Sylvester as a human shield, Japanese "Armistice", Hanaryo steps behind them and starts shooting hosts in the street with a bow. She's quite good, and the street is soon nearly empty.
Inside the saloon, Musashi is making his introductions and talking with Japanese "Maeve" (Akane), while his gang is stealing the safe. The conversation and events follow the Westworld version closely.
Outside, Hanaryo continues to clear the street. Armistice helps her by warning of an enemy behind here, and Hanaryo releases them.
The scene plays out in the tavern, with Musashi's men deciding to take Sakura, the equivalent of Westworld's Clementine Pennyfeather with them - but they are interrupted by Maeve who enters and demands, in Japanese, that they stop fighting and talk. Akane, recognising herself in Maeve, agrees.
Meanwhile, in Sweetwater
Dolores gives her orders about the train: fix her and "strip her for speed"; she and Teddy, followed by Clementine go into the bar. Teddy and Dolores get a drink at the bar, which is in ruins and littered with bodies, and a couple of hosts still running their narratives. They're interrupted by hearing one of them, the New Clementine talking to the not present Maeve. Clementine listens to her replacement, her mouth moving in time with the lines she used to say, visibly upset. Dolores puts a stop to it and sends Clementine back outside. Dolores goes outside, Teddy tips his hat to New Clementine and follows her. New Clem is left standing on her own in the ruined saloon, surrounded by bodies.
The Shogun's Emmissary Visits Akane
Maeve and Sizemore are watching the Shogun World equivalent of Clementine, a young host called Sakura as she dances. Tea has been served. Things are, as Maeve requested, much more civilised - but now they are so slow that she's impatient.
Sizemore tries to calm her, saying that hospitality is usually just before a new quest in a narrative - and that Shogun World hosts can become homicidally violent if offended.
Hector is worried about Musashi, says he doesn't trust his counterpart. Sizemore says that Hector is behaving strangely because he's out of his normal environment - and points at Armistice and Hanaryo, who are sitting cross legged opposite one another, strangely mirroring one another's movements. The dance finishes and and emissary from The Shogun enters, The Shogun wants to buy Sakura and Akane says no. Sizemore explains that this is all part of the narrative and that Akane will be forced to give the younger woman up, Sizemore says that it's a narrative called Army of Blood.
The emmissary says to Akane - to name her price. Akane comforts Sakura who is now standing behind her, and then turns back to the emmissary - says that she will name her price, and stabs him through the eye, killing him. Sizemore is surprised. Akane says that they need to be far away when The Shogun realises what has happened and Sizemore suggests, in Japanese, that they go to a place Sakura knows called Snow Lake. Sizemore explains to Maeve that Snow Lake is Sakura's corner-stone, and also that there is an access point to the tunnels there. Maeve offers their services and Musashi accepts.
While they are waiting for nightfall and the time to leave, the Shogun's Ninjas attack the tavern. Maeve intervenes by telling the Ninjas to fight one another - they obey. One of them grabs her from behind and prevents her from saying any more. She is almost losing consciousness when she discovers she does not need to speak to direct other hosts. She tells the host attacking her to kill himself, and he does. The others retreat - having kidnapped Sakura.
The Shogun's army parade into town - Sizemore protesting that they never do that. The commander, Tanaka, calls Akane out and the group discusses what to do inside the brothel. Maeve says she has a plan and Musashi goes out to meet Tanaka in order to buy some time for her. Hector and Armistice soon join Musashi in a fight outside, where they are quickly defeated and captured. In the distraction, Maeve, Sizemore, Akane, Lutz, and Sylvester all escape out the back of the brothel.
Dolores and Teddy
Dolores and Teddy ride out to where they used to look at the Abernathy herd. They talk about the life together they'd planned and Teddy asks her to leave the war against the humans and leave with him now - find a place where they can be happy. Dolores says that Teddy is a kind man, but implies that "kind" sometimes isn't enough, but that she will think about it.
Sizemore and Maeve discuss what to do, Sizemore wants to run for Snow Lake and its access point, abandoning Sakura. Maeve disagrees. Sizemore talks with Maeve about her nonverbal commands of the host ninjas. She explains that she thinks she is finding a new voice.
They set off to the Shogun, Felix and Sylvester being made to pull a cart. They pass the bodies of a QA team tied to trees with their heads in wooden cages. Sizemore takes a toilet break off to the side and takes the QA radio from a corpse.
They reach the Shogun's camp - somehow Sizemore is being carried by Felix and Sylvester.
Maeve offers the Shogun a fine gold statue - a humble gift - which he rejects and throws back. As the Shogun speaks it becomes obvious that he is not well, cortical fluid is leaking from his left ear. He reveals that he has deafened his troops - so that Maeve cannot influence them.
The Shogun parades Sakura in front of them, and Akane stands and talks to him. He doesn't understand why they haven't fled after killing his emmissary. Akane offers any price for Sakura - He asks that Akane dance for him, and then Sakura is hers.
Work on the train is going well, and Angela turns up with information about where Peter Abernathy has been taken - to the Mesa. Dolores decides to head there. She takes Teddy to one of the bedrooms in the hotel. He tells her that he will go wherever she goes - and they spend their first night together.
The Shogun's Camp
Sakura reveals to Maeve and Akane that the Shogun has had a picture of a cherry tree (reflecting her name, which means "cherry blossom") carved into her back. She's in great pain and Akane comforts her by telling a version of the story Maeve always tells, about being who she wants to be.
Maeve tells Akane about her daughter, and about the wider world - offering her freedom. Akane declines, looking at Sakura.
Teddy and Dolores
Dolores wakes Teddy and takes him outside, talking about her questioning her feelings. She takes him into the store in Sweetwater, says that she realises her feelings are true and then leads him into a trap where he is taken by other hosts. She tells the human technician to make changes to Teddy, but we don't see what those changes are.
Dance of Akane (Akane No Mai)
The Shogun says he wants the witch, where he can see her, and seats her to his right.
Akane and Sakura start their dance but the Shogun stops them immediately, walks up to the low stage and kills Sakura, giving her - dead - to Akane. He makes Akane dance; Maeve can't do anything but watch. She dances towards the Shogun - removes a large pin from her hair and stabs him in the ear, killing him. The Ninjas prepare to execute Maeve and Akane, but Maeve silently controls them and the Ninjas kill each other. Sizemore scrambles to get out of the way as the Ninjas slaughter themselves.
The rest of the army rush to the attack; Maeve prepares herself to control them.
- Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy
- Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay
- Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe
- James Marsden as Teddy Flood
- Tessa Thompson as Charlotte Hale
- Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Armistice
- Fares Fares as Antoine Costa
- Simon Quarterman as Lee Sizemore
- Talulah Riley as Angela
- Rodrigo Santoro as Hector Escaton
- Angela Sarafyan as Clementine Pennyfeather
- Gustaf Skarsgård as Karl Strand
- with Ed Harris as Man in Black (credit only)
- Rinko Kikuchi as Akane
- Betty Gabriel as Maling
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Musashi
- Tao Okamoto as Hanaryo
- Kiki Sukezane as Sakura
- Masayoshi Haneda as Tanaka
- Masaru Shinozuka as Shogun
- Leonardo Nam as Lutz
- Ptolemy Slocum as Sylvester
- Lili Simmons as New Clementine
- Rebecca Henderson as Goldberg
- Greg Audino as Benson
- Taishi Mizuno as Koda
- James Taku Leng as Diplomat
- Jasmyn Rae as Maeve's Daughter
- Patrick Cage as Phil
- Shin Shimizu as Doshin
- Sonny Saito as Emissary
- Ike Kawaguchi as Stern Guard
- Avery Wada as Daimyo
- Mark Anthony Vazquez as Walkie PMC
Trivia and Notes
The title "Akane no Mai" likely refers to 「アカネの舞」 ("Akane's Dance") or 「茜の舞」 ("Deep Red Dance"), a possible play on words.
- First appearance of Shogun-World.
- Besides the plot device of the scenarios being copied, the arrival in the Japanese town is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the Sweetwater bank robbery from "The Original," right down to the camera angles and character movements.
- The set for the Japanese town was built directly adjacent to the Sweetwater set: some of the Sweetwater buildings were repurposed with slightly altered facades.
- Paint It Black (Rolling Stones). A cover of the song is played during the attack on the tea house in Shogun World.
- C.R.E.A.M. (Wu-Tang Clan). A cover of the song is played during the geisha dance.
Image Gallery/HBO Episode Stills
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