Last night’s episode of Westworld did something a little unexpected. Instead of jumping between various plotlines and timelines, the show mostly focused on one specific character: Akecheta (or Ake for short), along with his sometimes Host wife Kohana.
This made for a beautiful and unique episode that could devote some serious time on the relationship between these two characters, while also revealing a few interesting new details about some of Westworld’s biggest mysteries. But if you’re still a little confused about who Ake and Kohana are, here’s what you need to know.
Spoiler warning for Westworld Season 2, Episode 8.
Who are Ake and Kohana in Westworld?
Played by Native American actor Zahn McCalrnon, Akecheta has been popping up in Westworld for a while now. He even showed up in that flashback scene where Ford and Bernard initially pitch their Host technology to the Delos company, though he wasn’t wearing his iconic Ghost Nation war paint at the time.
Here’s the official description of Ake’s character, straight from HBO’s website:
“Akecheta is a host nearly as old as Westworld itself. He was among the first hosts to coax Logan to invest in the park before being reprogrammed as leader of the Ghost Nation warriors.”
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. As we learned in Westworld Season 2 Episode 8, Ake was originally programmed to be a peaceful Host living a simple life with his wife, Kohana (Julia Jones). Then shortly before the park opened, Ake stumbles across that maze toy from season one, which sparked his own awakening and set much of the Season 1 plot in motion.
When the park actually opens, Ake gets reprogrammed into the murderous Ghost Nation warrior we know and love, but he never stops obsessing over the maze. He’s also still in love with Kohana, even though she’s been reprogrammed with a new narrative and a new husband.
For a while, Ake seems content to go around killing other Hosts, but eventually he stumbles across a giant hole in the ground where Delos is building the Valley Beyond (or The Door, or whatever this big Season 2 mystery actually is), which sparks another realization: Westworld isn’t the real world.
With this new information, Ake returns home and kidnaps Kohana in an attempt to escape with her into the real world. At first she resists, but then she begins to remember her old life with Ake. Unfortunately, when they return to The Door it’s been covered up. Soon afterwards a couple of Westworld employees show up and snatch up Kohana, who’s wandered far beyond where her programming should allow.
When Ake returns home to find Kohana she’s been replaced by a new Host, and when he can’t find her anywhere else he decides to search in the afterlife by letting himself die. After waking up in an underground Westworld facility, Ake manages to find the cold storage room where Kohana’s host body is being kept, but it’s totally lifeless.
After returning to the park, Ake begins spreading the image of the maze, essentially starting a new religion and setting off the events of Season 1 that lead to The Man in Black’s obsession with solving it. He also runs into Ford shortly before his death at the end of Season 1, where Ake explains the idea for The Door that becomes a major plot point in Season 2. So basically, if it wasn’t for Ake (and by extension, Kohana) none of the biggest mysteries in Westworld would have ever happened.
With two more episode remaining, it’s unclear exactly where Ake fits in. He’s clearly one of the most powerful Hosts around, and likely a major player in the final episodes of Westworld Season 2. As for Kohana, at the moment she’s little more than a cold, powerless robot, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of her either.
Soon, we could delete memories just like in Westworld: