Who Is Aaron Paul’s Character in Westworld Season 3

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Who Is Aaron Paul’s Character in Westworld Season 3

Anyone wanna sell me some Genre?

I have Westworld theories, sourdough starter, and three warm beers to offer. I’m not sure if it was the return of Aaron Paul’s high-as-hell face, or the idea of grinding a month’s worth of Netflix binges into a single drug, but I haven’t stopped imagining what a run with Genre would feel like since I watched Episode Five of Westworld, aptly named, “Genre.” (Feels like what the title card would say if Westworld hung at the Louvre.)

The episode gave us the wonderful gift of one more identity to worry about: Caleb Nichols, played by Aaron Paul. The episode plays out as a combo Caleb-Serac episode, switching between Serac’s origin story, and Caleb’s Genre trip/accessory to murders/life-ruining identity crisis. Though, in what was a bit of an uneven episode, it seems like Westworld wanted us to leave the episode playing Whose Body is This Anyway? with Caleb, the war vet who’s best friends with Kid Cudi.

Our first clue—well, not really a clue, so much of a blatantly obvious, Dora the Explorer-esque hint—is at the beginning of the episode, when Liam Dempsey puts on the all-seeing Rehoboam glasses in the tunnel. He looks at Caleb, and blurts, “You think I killed your friend?” Later in the episode, Liam shouts at a tripping Caleb, “You don’t even know who you are!” The whole time, Caleb flashes back to the war he fought in—the scene looking like he helped capture a hostage, and it’s what somehow led to his friend, Francis, dying.

At the end of the episode, Ash shoots Liam in the stomach, and as he’s dying, he tells Caleb, “You did it.” Right before Liam says that, Caleb flashes back to a hospital room, where he’s screaming and strapped to a bed. The whole scene devolves into what I imagine SNL’s Westworld skit would look like: Three characters standing in a circle, one of them yelling “WHO DO THEY THINK I AM?” another one bleeding to death, and the last one staring blankly at the whole ordeal like it’s a Frasier rerun.

Alright, so between all the spooky one-liners Liam said throughout the episode, we can assume that Caleb killed his buddy Francis. Also, that whatever operation he underwent either compelled him to do it, or scrubbed the memory from his head. But… remember. You’re watching Westworld. Caleb’s motives for killing Francis mean nothing to the show’s plot, unless it serves as a hint at his being someone other than Caleb altogether.

So, the most non-Westworld Westworld theory is merely that, through some corrupt government nonsense, Caleb was mind-tricked somehow into getting involved in that hostage situation, which Francis may have interfered with, leading to Caleb killing him. The most-Westworld Westworld theory? Dolores somehow killed the real Caleb, made a host body of him, and shoved the sixth orb in his head. That would explain why Caleb’s been so glitchy, and flashback-headed since we first met him—we learned in Episodes Four and Five that Dolores’s orbs haven’t been taking well to their host bodies, causing the replaced human to “fight back,” as Dolores Hale put it.

If that’s the case, then whose orb is in Caleb’s body? A traveling, male beat-em-up sidekick feels very Teddy. Of course, it could just be another Dolores—and her father, Abernathy, could still be out there somewhere.

Anyway, don’t mind me. I’m just in the final genre of my Genre trip. Feeling a little like The Shining right now—stir-crazy writer trapped inside, racking my brain for Westworld theories, going ever so slightly insane…

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