In the “Westworld” recap, Dolores seeks to break into Rehoboam, Serac’s backstory is revealed and Caleb gets one step closer to figuring out his true identity…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
One of the biggest mysteries in “Westworld” season 3 seems to be Caleb’s true origins.
The new character played by “Breaking Bad” alum Aaron Paul has become a central part to the new season not to mention Dolores’ new partner but his history and his true nature are yet to really be revealed.
What we’ve been told is that Caleb is a former soldier, who returned from war and he was predestined by the artificial intelligence machine known as Rehoboam to sputter and spinout for several years before finally taking his own life. That’s why Caleb hadn’t been able to find a decent job or make any kind of real advancement because the system had already deemed him a lost cause.
But there’s clearly much more to Caleb than what meets the eye.
For instance, Caleb’s origin story traces back to the day his mother abandoned him at a diner where they were eating together. His mother was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and she was hospitalized. Caleb still goes to see his mother but every time we’ve seen them encounter each other, she doesn’t recognize this man as her son. Now that could be the mental illness or that could mean the Caleb we’ve been following isn’t the same one she actually had as a baby.
Another clue that Caleb isn’t who he seems are these constant flashbacks to his time as a soldier when we see him but then we see a different moment from a point of view instead. It’s almost like the real Caleb saw his friend Francis die in his arms but then in other moments we see an actual person rather than the point of view from his eyes. Is it possible that Caleb was the soldier who watched his friend die in the war and the soldier who looks like the Caleb we know now in Westworld is a different person entirely?
We’ve already theorized that perhaps Caleb is a host but maybe he’s the first human-host hybrid that’s been able to survive and that’s why he’s so important to Dolores. In order for her to find a way to clone humans into hosts, perhaps she needs Caleb as a baseline to know how it all works.
There are more clues this episode that Caleb has a lot more backstory than we’ve learned — including the interaction he has with Liam Dempsey Jr. at the start of the episode when he puts on those all seeing, all knowing glasses and he looks at Caleb and immediately says “you think we killed your friend?” and then asks “who are you?”. By the end of the episode, Liam tells Caleb “you did it” and Caleb is left screaming “who do you think I am?”.
This once again hints at Caleb’s mind being implanted into a different host body — perhaps that’s the secret of cloning a host-human hybrid. Remember one of Dolores’ clones has been struggling to deal with her new identity as Charlotte Hale but maybe the difference with cloning humans is putting their mind into a different host body is the only way they can survive?
There’s plenty more to come with that particular story but with that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of “Westworld” titled “Genre”…
Silent Era to Summer Blockbuster
In the wake of last week’s episode, Dolores and Caleb have kidnapped Liam Dempsey Jr. in order to gain his access key to get inside Rehoboam — the predictive computer that maps out every human’s future from birth to death. Because Liam is such a high priority asset, he can’t just go missing without a whole lot of people going to look for him and that includes Rehoboam’s co-creator Engerraund Serac, who is hunting for him as soon as he disappears off the grid.
Serac also receives some additional information that disturbs him following Maeve’s interaction with Musashi in last week’s episode. Serac’s team discovers that the same encoded signal was found bouncing from Jakarta, Berlin, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. That seems to indicate all of the different Dolores’ clones around the world — Musashi in Jakarta, Charlotte in San Francisco, Martin Connells in Los Angeles and a fourth still to be revealed clone in Berlin.
We theorized last week that Dolores had one more sleeper agent host with her memory installed but it’s not somebody we’ve met yet or if it is, their true identity hasn’t been revealed. Now it seems that fourth host is somewhere in Berlin, which means we’re likely going to go to Germany at some point before this season is finished.
As for Liam, he’s being taken away by Dolores and Caleb while trying to bribe his way out of trouble. He tries to scan Dolores but soon finds out she has nothing to find because she’s actually a host. As for Caleb, he scans him as well and sees more than what he bargained for (as we discussed already). Caleb is mostly just angry that the Rehoboam system painted him as a failed cause doomed to commit suicide in 10 to 12 years.
Distracted momentarily, Liam is able to inject Caleb with the designer drug he received at the party from earlier that night. It’s called Genre — and the drug was described as a trip that would take you completely down the rabbit hole through all sorts of cinematic journeys. In other words, this drug tricks your mind into seeing life as a black and white silent film, an action-adventure movie, a romantic comedy, etc.
Dolores doesn’t have much time to help Caleb come to his senses because they need to escape in a hurry.
A car is procured but it doesn’t take long for trackers to find Liam’s signal and send people to get him. A chase through Los Angeles ensues with Dolores making all sorts of fancy moves to keep them from being captured including a grenade launcher with a special missile that can fail to hit its target, turn around and still come back to blow shit up.
Eventually, Dolores and Caleb are drawn into a prolonged fire fight with the security forces sent for Liam. It doesn’t take long for Liam to discover these people weren’t sent to rescue him as much as insuring that he doesn’t give up any information so his life is truly expendable.
Just when it looks like Dolores and Caleb might be overwhelmed, additional gunfire begins ringing out from behind him as backup arrives. Ash and Giggles — the RICO operatives that teamed up with Caleb in the debut episode — have been hired as extra security to help back up Dolores. They finish off the last of the security forces while moving quickly to transport Liam out of harm’s way because more people will come hunting for him soon enough.
Giggles (played by NFL running back Marshawn Lynch) realizes that Caleb has been dosed with ‘genre’ and he warns him about a chaotic ‘final act’ that plays out with that particular drug.
Once they get moving, Dolores tells them that Liam has to stay alive at all costs as she seeks to access Rehoboam. Liam scoffs at her plan because the only way his biometric code will work is if she’s at the console inside the building where Rehoboam is housed. Little does he know that Dolores has one of her clones in there doing her bidding as she stays on the move with Liam so Serac doesn’t catch up with them.
At Incite, Martin Connells aka the Dolores clone gets a call from Dolores Prime about the objective. Martin currently has Bernard as a hostage after capturing him last week and Dolores tells him to access Rehoboam to get her all the files on Serac. She wants to know everything there is to know about the man who made the God Machine.
She also tells Martin to protect their “friend” at all costs and that’s when Martin gives a glancing look towards Bernard. Something tells me as much as Bernard is being painted as Dolores’ adversary, it seems a little too obvious that he might actually be her savior when this thing is said and done.
Once Martin gains access to the system, he sends Dolores the treasure trove of insight into Serac’s mind and we learn a little bit more about the co-creator behind Rehoboam.
The God Machine
Throughout the episode we get a history lesson into Engerraund Serac, the mastermind behind Rehoboam and the main antagonist trying to stop Dolores. In the end we see that this has all been viewed through Dolores’ special contact lenses but for the sake of clarity, we’ll just tell this story chronologically.
As witnessed last week, Serac and his brother grew up in France but they were forced to flee after nuclear war landed in the country and destroyed their home. The Serac siblings were eventually rescued and placed into a new home where they began developing a new kind of technology in hopes of stopping mankind from destroying itself. The idea was to build an artificial intelligence machine capable of predicting patterns within humans to then stop them from carrying out these acts of chaos and destruction.
Of course building this machine wouldn’t be cheap and they needed information to serve as a baseline for the system so the Serac brothers teamed up with Liam Dempsey Sr. — the founder of Incite, a company that gathered tons of private data on its users. The Serac brothers then used that information to plug into their system to begin building a computer that could literally predict the future.
The process took time and eventually the Serac brothers were able to take the date and map out years upon years of history — basically plugging in current data and the computer would predict what happened to each person leading them to that moment. The machine was successful but Dempsey was becoming impatient because he was promised a computer that would be able to predict the future, not the past.
To appease the man paying for all this, the Serac brothers eventually turned their predictive software towards something simpler like the stock market. They stole $5 million in corporate funds, plugged it into the predictive computer and allowed it to put the money into the stock market. In a matter of days, the predictive software transformed that $5 million investment into $100 million in profits.
Dempsey was finally sold but he was mostly consumed by money and failed to really see the other benefits of what this system could do.
The Serac brothers were also running into problems as well because for all the ways their Rehoboam computer could predict the future for the vast majority of humans, there were always a certain number of ‘outliers’ who were just too chaotic and thus unpredictable. Those outliers constantly created problems for Rehoboam and soon Engerraund began to realize that his brother was one of them.
The elder Serac sibling began exhibiting all sorts of bizarre behavior and he couldn’t quite center his thoughts when they were working on this program. Engerraund began to wonder if perhaps it was the radioactive material they had been exposed to as children but ultimately he had to chalk his brother up to one of these random anomalies that just can’t be explained.
Eventually for all the money Dempsey was making, he started to question more and more what the Serac brothers had planned for this system. So he began investigating some of these offsites that were kept from the company’s books. The trail eventually led to a facility where Dempsey discovered all sorts of people being kept in glass cages — including Serac’s own brother.
Serac tells Dempsey that Rehoboam couldn’t account for these outliers and without eliminating them, the system would never truly be flawless when predicting the future and outcomes for the rest of humanity. So Serac’s solution was rounding up all of these outliers and placing them into facilities just like this one — that way they would no longer interfere with the larger program that was trying to prevent humanity from destroying itself.
Dempsey is horrified by what he’s seen but his day gets a whole lot worse when Serac takes him outside where he discovers the company jet up in flames. It looks like a plane crash, except Dempsey actually landed there just fine.
Serac then alters Dempsey’s course by slamming his head into a piece of the fuselage, killing him and then dragging him into the burning debris. He stages a plane crash in order to get rid of Dempsey so he can then take over the entire company for himself. Serac always wanted complete control over Rehoboam so he could chart a course where humanity survives — and now he’s the only one with a finger on the button.
Ground Control to Major Tom
After receiving all of Serac’s files, Dolores takes Liam on a subway ride where she confronts him about the terrible choices he’s made while living under Rehoboam’s thumb. The system has predicted his beginning, middle and end just like everybody else, which makes him terribly predictable as well.
Caleb never had a chance thanks to Rehoboam deciding that he was a risk and that he should never attain any level of success. That would have eventually led to his own suicide. The same can be said for Ash — the RICO agent who is helping them. She’s much smarter and more capable than just a low-level criminal but Rehoboam would never allow her to reach any higher than her current status.
As a gift to the world, Dolores calls back to Incite and tells Martin in addition to uploading Serac’s profile to her that she wants him to send every person on Earth the information that Rehoboam has gathered. She wants to tell every living person what Rehoboam has predicted for them and let them face that utter chaos as a result.
When the downloads are complete and sent out across the globe, Dolores and the rest of her crew see in real time the destruction that Rehoboam causes by predicting the future. Some people on the train are told that they should never be allowed to procreate while others are seeing horrific endings regarding how they die.
Ash sees that her little brother — the one she’s trying to help give a better life than the one she’s supposedly chosen — has already been pre-determined as a victim of a shooting five to six years from now.
Rehoboam may be able to predict the future to prevent humanity from destroying itself as a whole but the system is quietly obliterating individual lives across the world by essentially telling certain people they don’t matter.
Once the team exits the train, Liam begins to see the destructive nature of people returning to them after learning their own fates. He believes this is the beginning of a countdown to extinction but Caleb sees this as finally restoring choice to peoples’ lives that has been robbed away from them.
As they witness people regaining true control over their lives and futures, Caleb is caught off guard when two more gunmen arrive and open fire. Before he can react, Dolores steps in front of the bullets and shoots them dead. Caleb then notices that Dolores has been shot at least two times but she’s not even reacting before zipping up her jacket to cover the bullet holes.
For the first time, Caleb realizes that Dolores isn’t like other girls.
Remember back when Caleb “rescued” Dolores earlier this season, it seemed odd that a couple of gunshots injured her so badly. It seems much more likely that Dolores was feigning that she was hurt in order to get Caleb’s attention before turning him into one of her allies.
Back at Incite, Martin tells Bernard that Dolores has never been his true enemy and that perhaps he needs to do a little more digging into Serac before making that determination. He points him to a facility where Serac keeps all of his ‘outliers’ — and it’s called “Inner Journeys,” which is the same kind of place where Charlotte sent William in last week’s episode.
William was supposedly being taken away to receive help in a mental health facility but instead he’s been sent to one of Serac’s reconditioning centers where he traps these anomalies that throws off Rehoboam’s predictive software. It seems Dolores had more plans for William and now she’s sending Bernard after him.
To what end, we don’t know just yet.
Martin is soon interrupted by Stubbs, who shows up in time to rescue Bernard but all of them will soon need help after Serac’s security team shows up in force to investigate the intrusion into Rehoboam’s system. Martin tells Bernard to go immediately because he still has a bigger part to play in all of this.
Martin eventually leads Serac’s team up to one of the main offices before trapping everyone inside and blowing up a bomb that kills all of them. Bernard sees the explosion from the street but he can’t figure out why this Dolores clone was so willing to sacrifice herself yet needed to save him.
He’s off to see this facility where Serac has been keeping all of these outliers.
As for Dolores and her crew, Liam is tormented by the chaos that’s already ensuing after people have learned what Incite not only knows about them but what is predicted for the rest of their lives. Liam begins unloading on the entire team about how meaningless they all are to humanity as a whole — how the don’t deserve choice and we’d all be better off if they didn’t exist. He also tells Caleb that he’s the worst of them — and Caleb begins having more flashbacks to see his former self dragging somebody away with a bag over his head and hands bound before being strapped to a chair.
Then a gunshot rings out — Ash shoots Liam and tells him that she made a choice.
As he lays dying, Liam tells Caleb ‘you did it’ over and over and Caleb is left wondering what it is he did. This goes back to the same theory that the person’s body that Caleb is inhabiting was a really bad person — perhaps somebody close to Serac or even one of his main enforcers — and now Caleb is inhabiting that body as a host. That would explain why Caleb’s mother never recognizes him — because Calab is living in someone else’s body.
They finally leave after Liam expires and Dolores takes them to a hangar where they will board a private jet.
There she finishes her encounter with Serac, who appears to her as a hologram after she watches his entire life story play out through memories obtained from Rehoboam. Serac taunts her that just because she’s seen some of his memories that she knows him — but Dolores says she’s not trying to know him.
She only wants to know how to beat him.
Serac promises no matter what she’s learned, he’ll go much further to protect humanity from itself. He believes humans are flawed but given enough time, Serac believes he can change it.
Dolores knows better and she’s going to prove it by waking humanity up to the puppeteers who have been secretly controlling their lives.
As they prepare to board the plane, Caleb is handed a long duffle bag and just as he gives it over to Dolores, he begins to wonder if maybe Liam was right after all. Maybe people shouldn’t know their own fates.
Dolores argues that Caleb certainly wanted to know his fate — and he remarks that he’s not like other people. Dolores smirks and tells him neither is she.
This seems to be further proof that Caleb is more than just a flawed human destined to kill himself a decade from now. Again, this might prove that the real Caleb was pre-determined for suicide but now living in this new host body, maybe he’s able to do so much more. Either that or Caleb has some seriously repressed memories about his time working as a soldier and this is information that Dolores needs to unlock in order to stop Serac once and for all.
There’s a lot more to be discovered about Caleb before this season is finished but there are only three more episodes remaining of “Westworld” so it’s likely we’ll be getting plenty of answers soon enough.
Check out a preview of the next episode of “Westworld” below