Can Aaron Paul just get a break?
Westworld dedicated its fifth episode “Genre” to putting its newest member through the wringer with hallucinogenic party drugs and reality-jarring flashbacks. Even Caleb doesn’t know who Caleb is anymore and it’s that mystery that seems to be fueling all the fandom predictions this week.
Kids, you don’t need drugs to mess with your mind … you just need these Westworld Reddit theories.
1. Caleb Is An Outlier
This season seems to be relying heavily on Aaron Paul’s ability to act confused as hell. In this week’s episode, Caleb got dosed with a mind-warping hallucinogen that caused him to experience the night’s events in changing genres. Besides reality being a total drag, Caleb’s bad trip also revealed some shocking truths about his still-mysterious backstory and guys, it looks like Jesse Pinkman might actually be the bad guy. (Yes, we are in fact positing that Breaking Bad shares a universe with Westworld. Is it really that crazy?)
First comes Caleb’s uneasy interaction with Liam Dempsey (R.I.P. ya basic bitch). Caleb challenges Dempsey to tell him his projected path, which ends with Dempsey questioning, “You think I killed your friend?” He seems incredulous at Caleb’s accusation that Rehoboam sent him off to war, ultimately drugging him and trying to escape.
Later, when the group is on the beach, Dempsey launches into a monologue about the burden people like Caleb and his friends put on the system, claiming they’re the prison the rest of us can’t escape from. When Caleb tries to calm him down he attacks him with this line: “You’re the worst of them.”
And littered throughout the episode we get glimpses of Caleb’s past (or present, or future, who really knows with this show); scenes that show him undergoing some kind of treatment in what looks to be the same rehabilitation facility Serac stuck his brother and the other “outliers” he hoped to reprogram. We also get hints of Caleb’s link to his friend Francis, watching as the two seem to kidnap a businessman and prep him for a torture session in an abandoned warehouse.
The theory: Caleb may have gone to war, come back and become a criminal, which forced Serac to reprogram him or, even more intriguing, Caleb never went to war. He was never in the military. Instead, he was a thug for hire who did some terrible things, had those memories wiped, and had his service and friendship with Francis implanted as a cornerstone memory to help him assimilate into the real world. It would, at the very least, explain why his own mother didn’t recognize him.
Dig into the full mindbender here.
2. Dolores Planned Her Own Destruction
If there’s anyone who can outwit an all-knowing A.I. in this life-size game of chess Westworld seems to be putting on, it’s Dolores. She’s accurately predicted her enemies’ moves, she probably recruited Caleb with that damsel in distress act in the show’s premiere, and she’s meticulously moving pieces on the board to achieve a still unknown endgame. But this idyllic future that Dolores envisions, one where hosts live in harmony with humans — or, worse, rule over humanity — might not have an Abernathy in it.
In fact, some Redditors think Dolores is too pragmatic to believe she could peacefully reign over this world she’s building, which is why she’s so keen on protecting Bernard. Bernard is an original, a blend of human and host who, as Dolores claims, can’t be sacrificed. She may be the Destroyer, the Deathbringer, but Bernard is the builder and she’ll need him to forge this new society she’s hoping to usher in. Add to that how many times Dolores has affirmed that she can, in fact, die and it feels like Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are foreshadowing something big for their anti-heroine.
Read more here.
3. Reaching The Valley Beyond
Speaking of Bernard, while his constant state of confusion might be testing poor Stubbs’ patience, Dolores has a clear role for him to play, whether he knows it or not. The prevailing theory over on Reddit is that Dolores has hidden the code to unlock the Valley Beyond in Bernard’s pearl. He helped create the place, he seems the likely choice to have access to it. While Serac is hunting Dolores – and her clones – hoping to find a way to glean the data from the Valley Beyond, Bernard is the one who really has the key.
Dive into the rabbit hole here.
4. Who Shot Liam?
We can’t say we’ll miss Liam Dempsey – his fashion sense or his entitled arrogance – but his death at the end of this episode felt particularly brutal. What’s worse, some Redditors still think it’s unclear who actually killed him. Sure, Lena Waithe’s Ash was left holding the gun, but the position of the bullet wound just doesn’t match up to where she was standing in the scene. Add to that Caleb’s increasingly erratic flashbacks and his closeness to Liam and … well, you be the judge.
Do some CSI investigating here.
5. Serac’s Brother
Okay, this theory is admittedly a bit far-fetched, but we’ll play devil’s advocate. Serac spent this episode narrating his family’s misfortunes, particularly his brother’s descent into madness. He was brilliant but uniquely troubled which is why Serac ultimately created the Outlier facility to try to reprogram his brain. We still don’t know how that turned out but we do know that Caleb was probably in that same facility and implanting someone’s memories in a host body is nothing new for this show. Just saying.
Play the “Guess Who” game here.
6. A Familiar Face
In the history of the internet, there have been a handful of visually perplexing debates. Is the dress gold or blue? Is Kendall Jenner missing a leg?
Well, add this to the optical illusions that keep us up at night. Is this guy the host from Westworld’s opening credits? And if so, what does it all mean?
Full breakdown here.