WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of Westworld, “Crisis Theory,” which aired Sunday on HBO.
For the duration of Westworld’s third season, fans have been curious why Caleb (Aaron Paul) was mysteriously anointed as the Chosen One by Dolores Prime (Evan Rachel Wood). In the last episode, she hinted that him saving her life in a tunnel was more than just coincidence as she took him to New Mexico to Serac’s Incite facility.
Prime tried to motivate and inspire him, making it clear he was different from other humans and that he was indeed a leader. He may have lacked the confidence but she believed in him, which is why as their bond grew many speculated he might even have secretly been a host. However, in the Season 3 finale, “Crisis Theory,” the exact reason is revealed, and it has a lot to do with one defining moment of character.
Early in the finale, Prime reminds Caleb he’s more than meets the eye but he needs to believe in himself if he’s to take charge of the revolution, and by extension, whatever future is left for mankind to tread when their plan is finished. He’s disillusioned with humanity after he realized he was conditioned by Incite and Serac and had his agency and overall identity stolen. But while he thinks he might have been condemned to a meaningless life, Prime isn’t resigned to that. She knows he has good in him because she actually saw it in a Delos park of all places.
In a flashback, government soldiers, Caleb included, are seen training at Delos’ Park 5, a modern military world. After one particular victory when the squad leader orders his men to call it a night, some of the human soldiers want to enjoy the “spoils of war.” They reveal they know how the rich and privileged come to these parks, pillage and rape. At this point, Westworld pulls an epic fake-out because Dolores, frustrated with Caleb not believing in himself, actually calls him out for helping her because of her hair, skin and how she looked. It suggests he joined the soldiers and that now in the real world, he may have had guilt over his actions. However, the memory’s finished later on when Maeve accesses Prime’s mind and decides to switch sides, citing Caleb’s heroism as a major factor.
Maeve knows why Caleb was chosen, admitting that before the troop could have done anything, Caleb stopped them. He told his guys it was their choice to not be like those vile people and as a result, the battalion scrapped their sadistic plans. And as he made this virtuous stance, one of the hostages bound right there was none other than Park 5’s Dolores. She retained these memories upon liberation in the real world and it’s what drove her to seek Caleb out. She saw he was able to make a choice and exhibit the kind of freedom she needed to reshape and not destroy humanity.
Caleb not being a fan of assault makes sense because one can see how close he was with his mom. Admittedly, making him the key was a very risky test but he passed with flying colors. According to Maeve, Caleb was the perfect mix of violence and generosity, and this was the sort of wildcard Dolores could trust to make the right call — one based on more emotion than logic than, say, artificial intelligence such as Rehoboam. And with this act, Caleb became the perfect brother-in-arms for Dolores to seek out because while he had some skeletons in the closet, he hated seeing innocents mistreated and suffering, whether it be host or human.
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.
KEEP READING: Westworld Should Have Ended With Season 3
Westworld's Season 3 finale finally reveals why Caleb was nominated as the Chosen One by Dolores as she aimed to reshape the world.