What’s the Deal With Caleb in ‘Westworld’ Season 4?
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Westworld Season 4 episode 1, “The Auguries.”]
If you can’t tell the mystery behind something, does it really even matter? To Westworld fans, it sure does.
“The Auguries” ushered in a whole new slate of mysteries for the show’s fourth season, raising questions about what William’s (Ed Harris) goal is, what Hale-Dolores (Tessa Thompson) is up to, where Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) will fit into everything, and where — and even who — the heck “Christina” (Evan Rachel Wood) is. But one of the most surprising head-scratchers of the first episode involves Caleb (Aaron Paul), who might or might not still be human. Here’s what the Internet has noticed is weird, and what it all might mean.
As Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) sits in her cabin seeming to relive memories of the revolution, she visualizes herself and Caleb blowing up what appears to be another Rehoboam. Caleb’s gravely injured in the explosion, and Maeve tries to help him (as seen in the image above) while blood pours from his abdomen. Was he shot? What really happened? We don’t know. His final breath isn’t shown, but we know the odds aren’t good for his survival. And yet, in the “present” timeline, Caleb’s A-OK. More than that, he has a family! Sure, it’s possible Maeve saved his life somehow; there’s a brief flash in the Season 4 trailer that looks like her carrying him across the desert (shown in the image below). But what if Maeve didn’t save him — or, at least, his human form? What if she — either feeling guilt about what happened or intending to use him as an ally later — recreated him as a host?
There are arguments for and against this theory. In the “against” column, it’s implied that Frankie is Caleb’s biological daughter named after his late friend Francis (Kid Cudi), and hosts aren’t capable of reproduction. There’s also a snippet in the trailer where deadly flies swarm around him (shown below), and we haven’t seen them affect hosts. Assuming his wound wasn’t fatal and that those Maeve scenes were in the past and not some other timeline, she might’ve saved him and been able to keep him human, too.
That said, there are also arguments in the “for” column. Maybe more than ever before, Caleb now seems like a host on a loop. He’s gone back to working the same construction job that he had, despite wanting a better life for himself in Season 3 and being unable to have it because of Rehoboam. He’s tortured by the past, suffering in ways reminiscent of many hosts’ Season 1 loops. His determination to keep his family safe might be human instinct… or it might be an echo of Maeve’s own determination to reunite with and save her daughter. There are definite similarities in their storylines, to the point where it’s reasonable to think she could’ve “programmed” him with that as his cornerstone and given him the family he always wanted.
Speaking of that family, many fans have noticed something’s off about the timeline there. Viewers are told that Frankie’s 7 years old, but also that the war and revolution ended seven years ago. For Caleb to have a 7-year-old biological daughter, Frankie would’ve had to have been born almost immediately after the war, if not while it was still going on. Given his condition in Season 4, it’s hard to imagine him being stable enough to settle down with someone right after the fighting concluded.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the trailer, a host that looks like his daughter is seen with its face open and black flies pouring out (shown below). There’s no conclusive evidence that it’s Frankie… it’s hard to tell with the face split open! But if it is her, it’s pretty clear that his family, at least, are hosts.
All of this is to say it’ll be interesting to see whether Caleb actually survived that explosion — or if a host version of him emerged from it. Or whether that explosion has happened yet. Or if it happened at all.! Or if any of this is real. Welcome back to Westworld!
Westworld Season 4, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO