‘Westworld’ Finally Executed the Big Caleb Twist it Has Been Teasing All Season


You’re not alone. That was a lot. But it was also nothing at all, really. After I watched Episode Seven of Westworld on Thursday night—feeling drugged, cheated, and a little fussy—I turned on the NFL Draft and left the room. When I came back, Jeffrey Wright’s Dell commercial was on, he was muttering about cloud computing or something, and I legitimately thought for a second that Westworld had recaptured my television and turned itself back on. Season Three has been a long road.

For the mere purpose of maintaining a feeble grip on sanity, we’re going to focus on Caleb Nichols, the grizzled vet played by Aaron Paul. Not the fact that a supercomputer has an older brother who is also a supercomputer, or that Dolores acquired a pet drone equipped with Call of Duty cheat codes, or that The Man in Black is just going to up and kill all the hosts. Just like that! For now, let’s focus on Caleb—who, after six episodes, we finally got the full backstory. Not to jinx it, but it seems like he’s going to be the number one boy heading into next Sunday’s season finale.

Thanks to the dying mumbles of Liam Dempsey Jr., we already knew that Caleb probably-definitely killed General Kid Cudi, AKA Francis. Their story is told throughout the episode with about the same precision as a splatter painting, but here goes. Serac’s whole Solomon-supercomputer-Rehoboam-whateverthefuck project aims to eliminate the “outliers” of society—i.e. people with psychological disorders who are likely to commit crimes. They hold all the outliers in this neat little laboratory in some kind of suspended animation situation.

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The next step? Reconditioning the outliers so they’re chill enough to reenter society. Turns out Caleb was one of the most successful reconditioning projects. Next next step: Make the reconditioned outliers hunt the outliers still out in the wild, using that fun RI¢O app, and some convincing from a poppable pharmaceutical. Caleb and Francis (who really did go to war together, but that’s not really important here) are outlier-hunting one day, when they pick up the guy who made some mind-control drugs. RI¢O tells Caleb to kill Francis, and Francis to kill Caleb, and Caleb shoots first. Then, Nurse Ratched 2050 erases that memory from Caleb’s brain, and sends him back out into Los Angeles.

That’s basically the scenic route—like the cross-country road trip scenic route—Westworld takes to tell us that Caleb has chugged a gallon of Dolores’s Ed Snowden juice and would also like to partake in the destruction of mankind. The episode ends with Caleb charging out of Solomon HQ with a swag-bag flashdrive, the one with the “strategy” that’ll upend society for good.

Alright! It seems like Caleb took Dolores’s advice to become the human leader of the robot rebellion. So, now it looks like he’ll match up against The Man in Black, as well as House Dolores—the two or three or four other Dolores looking to kill OG Dolores, who may already be dead—in the season finale. Serac, too.

In the meantime: Chuck some brain orbs into the sky and make it rain, because we’re still going to be watching Westworld in 2028.

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