10:15am PT by Josh Wigler
Week in 'Westworld': What's Ahead in the Ghost Nation Origin Story
Robert Ford is back. He's hitching a ride with Bernard. Dolores is riding toward the Valley Beyond, and Maeve's not riding anywhere anytime soon. But before any of that forward momentum takes place, the action on Westworld is about to pause down for an unexpected occasion: a closer look at Ghost Nation, the most secretive group of hosts currently on the show.
In the upcoming "Kiksuya," Fargo veteran Zahn McClarnon will step into the spotlight as Akecheta, described earlier in season two as "the first of us," someone with an apparently rich grasp on what it means to be a host. How much does he know about his own consciousness? About the nature of the park? The world outside? Those answers will come into sharper focus in a mere matter of hours.
Before voyaging into "Kiksuya," there's the past week in Westworld to consider. Read on for all of the THR coverage spiraling out of season two's seventh episode, including interviews with three of the main players, plus one more look at the Ghost Nation narrative that lies ahead.
• "Les Écorchés" Recap: Not a trick, not an illusion, even if virtual in reality: Anthony Hopkins' Robert Ford has returned to Westworld, thanks to a new digital existence. The most action-oriented episode of the season was also its headiest, as Ford's comeback came equipped with a serious headache filled with information — and our recap is the cure you need.
• What Season Two Just Revealed About its Digital End Game: In exploring the Cradle, Westworld has pulled the curtain back on a brand new corner of its vast universe. Just as we need to count Shogun World and the Raj as critical locations within the world of the show, it's now time to consider what this new digital existence means for the HBO drama's future plans.
• Jeffrey Wright on the New Anthony Hopkins Era: In the first of three Westworld interviews posted on THR this week, the erstwhile Bernard weighs in on what Ford's return means for glasses-wearing host: "He, like everyone else, is trying to survive and trying to determine what his freedom is and how he attains it. It seems that journey circles back into Ford once more."
• Louis Hethum on His Farewell Scene: The actor responsible for bringing Dolores' dad to life spoke about his tragic goodbye: "It was very emotional, obviously, for the reasons that the script required. I won't speak for Evan, but for me, I was thinking, 'This might be the last time I get to work with this extraordinary actress.' It was sad."
• James Marsden on Breaking Bad in Season Two: "I don't think he's completely unaware of what's going on," Marsden tells THR about Teddy's transformation. "There's parts of the old Teddy that are still there. But that's the real challenge, playing the very small nuanced moments where even if it's just a flash in the eye, you see the old Teddy questioning this new programming."
• "Les Écorchés" Podcast: If the recap and interviews aren't enough to help you make sense of the past week's episode, try our "Welcome to Westworld" podcast, which dives deep into "Les Écorchés" and its ramifications for the end of the season.
• "Kiksuya" Preview: Why is Maeve haunted by memories of Ghost Nation? Are they really her enemy, or is there more to the store? Smart money is decidedly on the latter, based on the preview for "Kiksuya," the next episode of the series.
• "Kiksuya" Photos: Photos from the coming episode make it plainly clear that Westworld plans to devote the vast majority of its next hour to Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon) and the other hosts from Ghost Nation. What's their secret connection to the park's sinister origins? The answers are on their way, and they start here with our breakdown of the first images from "Kiksuya."
Check back every Saturday all season-long for continued roundups of THR's week in Westworld, and in the meantime, keep following our daily coverage at THR.com/Westworld.