[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 matter? To Westworld the fans, for sure.
“The Auguries” ushered in an all-new slate of mysteries for the show’s fourth season, raising questions about where William (Ed Harris) aims, what Hale-Dolores (Tessa Thompson) does, where Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) will fit into everything, and where – and even who – the heck “Christina” (Evan Rachel Wood) is. But one of the more surprising puzzles in the first episode involves Caleb (Aaron Paul), who might or might not still be human. Here’s what the internet noticed that was weird, and what it could all mean.
As Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) sits in her cabin, seemingly reliving memories of the revolution, she visualizes herself and Caleb detonating what appears to be another Rehoboam. Caleb is seriously injured in the explosion and Maeve tries to help him (as seen in the image above) as blood pours from his abdomen. Was he shot? What really happened? We do not know. His last breath is not shown, but we know the chances of survival are not good. And yet, in the “present” timeline, Caleb is A-OK. More than that, he has a family! Of course, it’s possible that Maeve saved his life in some way; there’s a brief flash in the Season 4 trailer that looks like she’s carrying him through the desert (shown in the image below). But what if Maeve hadn’t saved him – or, at least, his human form? What if she – feeling guilty for what happened or intending to use him later as an ally – recreates him as a host?
There are arguments for and against this theory. In the “against” column, it is implied that Frankie is Caleb’s biological daughter named after his late friend Francis (Kid Cudi), and the hosts are not able to reproduce. There’s also a clip in the trailer where deadly flies swarm around him (shown below), and we haven’t seen them affect the hosts. Assuming his wound wasn’t fatal and those scenes of Maeve were in the past and not some other timeline, she might have saved him and could have kept him human as well.
That said, there are also arguments in the “for” column. Perhaps more than ever, Caleb now seems to be a loopy host. He went back to the same construction job he had, though he wants a better life for himself in season 3 and he can’t have it because of Rehoboam. He’s tortured by the past, suffering in a way reminiscent of many hosts’ Season 1 curls. Her determination to protect her family could be a human instinct…or it could be an echo of Maeve’s own determination to find and save her daughter. There are definite similarities in their storylines, to the point where it’s reasonable to think she could have “programmed” him with that as a cornerstone and given him the family he always wanted.
Speaking of this family, many fans noticed that something was wrong with the timeline. Viewers are told that Frankie is 7 years old, but also that war and revolution ended seven years ago. For Caleb to have a 7-year-old biological daughter, Frankie would have had to have been born almost immediately after the war, if not while it was 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 is over.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the trailer, a host who looks like his daughter is seen with his face open and black flies pouring out (see below). There’s no conclusive evidence it’s Frankie…it’s hard to tell with the split face! But if it’s her, it’s pretty clear that her family, at least, are hosts.
All that to say, it’ll be interesting to see if Caleb actually survived that explosion – or if a host version of him emerged from it. Or if this explosion has already happened. Or if it happened at all.! Or if all this is real. Welcome back to Westworld!
Westworld Season 4, Sunday, 9/8c, HBO