Although Aaron Paul’s Caleb was only introduced in Season 3, it’s difficult to imagine Westworld without him. As Dolores’ (Evan Rachel Wood’s) human ally in Season 3, Paul brought his down-to-earth style to this twisted cyberpunk future, infusing Westworld with much-needed humanity. Now, Caleb’s struggle is even more compelling in Season 4.
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What we’re seeing is all of Caleb’s copies being burned in their cells by Charlotte, with the exception of those who escape. It’s a terrifying image that appears to shatter any notion of individuality or free will, two concepts that Westworld frequently questions.
Caleb’s escape attempt is far from straightforward, as you’d expect from Westworld, incorporating multiple versions of Aaron Paul’s character, an almighty Hale twist, and even a tease for Caleb’s future. Here’s Westworld season 4’s bizarre escape sequence explained.
“Fidelity” Escape Explained
The great escape in Westworld season 4 is structured similarly to playing a video game. Caleb reaches a certain point before dying, but each time he learns from his mistakes and advances. The main difference in Westworld is that Caleb doesn’t remember the level and instead relies on hints from previous versions.
Caleb #278’s adventure begins when a badly injured older model in the next cell instructs his successor to check the giant hourglass. Caleb struggles to open the escape hatch after tricking the drone-host into activating the incinerator, but a hastily etched arrow suggests sliding the vent backward, allowing Caleb #278 to escape the inferno.
This trick must have taken previous Calebs some time to figure out because the floor beneath is carpeted in ash and bone. Without being a cremation expert, it’s difficult to say how many bodies are mixed into the soot. But it’s likely in the double digits. Whoever figured out how to open the vent must have also etched the arrow to help the next guy move faster.
Caleb’s next obstacle is to get past a drone-host on guard duty. And unlike previous escapees, Caleb is guided by his own ashen, bloody hand prints at this stage. Caleb discovers a version of himself collapsed in the tunnel after dispatching the drone and entering the ventilation shaft, alive but unable to move.
Another two Calebs died while attempting the leap from the air vent to the floor, and this was the limit of any previous version. Caleb #278 can only proceed by using the host in the vent as a crash mat. Finally, he reaches the communications array on the roof and sends a message to Frankie.
There have been 278 Calebs created in the 23 years that Delos has ruled the world. Because hosts committing suicide is a relatively new phenomenon, it’s unlikely that all of these were used in Hale’s ruse. Older Caleb models have most likely degraded naturally or failed the fidelity test.
Nonetheless, Westworld season 4 episode 6 proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Caleb’s escape attempt consumed lives like Sonic the Hedgehog during an underwater level.
At least two people were seriously injured and apprehended. The puddle of ashes could contain up to 30 different corpses that burned in the cell, and the bones show that at least one must have opened the hatch too late. Another three Calebs are killed after falling from the air duct, and we can probably assume that a large number of Calebs were captured by the drone and never seen again.
Will Caleb make it out alive? How do you think he should escape from the cell? Let us know in the comments down below.