WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 3, Episode 7, of Westworld, “Crisis Theory,” which aired Sunday on HBO.
Over the course of Westworld’s third season, it became difficult to tell the good guys apart from the bad. Dolores’ mission to destroy humanity became a dark plan that proved to possibly be more villainous than heroic, and the good that Engerraund Serac brought to mankind thanks to his A.I. machine Rehoboam had many questioning who to root for. But now, with its Season 3 finale, “Crisis Theory,” Westworld puts all of those questions to rest.
In fact, in the episode, fans finally learn that Dolores feels that despite her hatred of humanity, she believes there is hope for mankind yet. She believes they can be saved and because of that, she has chosen to free them from the clutches of Rehoboam to give them the ability to choose a future for themselves. This belief is anchored in Season 3-newcomer Caleb Nichols, who Dolores has chosen to be the leader of humanity in this new era.
In “Crisis Theory,” Engerraund Serac proceeds to erase Dolores’ memories one by one in the hopes of finding the key to the Sublime. As Dolores lies dying, she establishes a brief connection with Maeve, one that allows fans to finally know that her full plan was to free humanity from Rehoboam’s control and give them the ability to choose their own lives. She knows that humans have a great capacity for evil, but ultimately she believes in their good nature, their hearts and their capacity for good.
This idea is exemplified by Caleb Nichols, a human Dolores first met in Delos Park #5 years ago. Although their encounter was brief, Cal showed Dolores that humans could be good. This is why, years later, she chooses him to become the leader of humanity as they head into this bold new era of freedom. Throughout the episode, viewers see that Dolores has hired several men through the Rico app who already recognize Cal as their leader by calling him “sir.”
Cal slowly falls into this leadership role, as he continues his mission to infiltrate Incite and destroy Rehoboam. But even when this task is done, it’s only then that the real mission begins. Now, humanity is free, but a veritable apocalypse has been unleashed as a result. The future of humanity is a question mark, and Cal has been chosen to lead them.
It might be a difficult road ahead for him, but he will ultimately have to unite humans if they have any hope for survival. In fact, in the after-credits scene of the Season 3 finale, it’s revealed that Halores was building an army of hosts. She means to start a war against the humans, and they have no idea about it. Therefore, Cal will have to become the leader of mankind in a post-apocalyptic war with machines. To put it simplu, he, in many ways, is Westworld‘s answer to Terminator‘s John Connor.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, Westworld stars returning cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Simon Quarterman and Rodrigo Santoro, joined by series newcomers Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Lena Waithe, Scott Mescudi, Marshawn Lynch, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Ealy and Tommy Flanagan.
In the Season 3 finale of Westworld, “Crisis Theory,” Dolores' full plan for Caleb is revealed, and it positions him as humanity's savior.