Caleb As the Anti-William
Lords and Lady of Shat Nation,
That scene where Dolores fell right into Caleb’s arms was meant to be a clear call out to the scene in Season 1 where she falls into William’s arms – apart from the clear physical similarities, the same music was playing in the background.
But I think there’s more to it than just a cool call back – I think the show is giving us a hint already about Caleb’s character arc. These scenes aren’t just similar – they’re mirrored and opposite. Take a look at the attached picture. Everything about the scene with William is flipped in Caleb’s scene – the color schemes are opposite (warm hues in William’s, cold hues in Caleb’s), the background’s are opposite (pitch black countryside in William’s, colorful graffitied city tunnel in Caleb’s) the physical orientation of the characters is mirrored, and even the season and episode numbers are flipped (William’s scene is in Episode 3 of Season 1, and Caleb’s is in Episode 1 of Season 3). I think mirror imagery is going to be important this season – it was a big theme in the new intro credits, which we know have been hinting at plot points since Season 1. So what’s the mirror imagery between these two scenes trying to tell us? That Caleb is the anti-William – he’s starting in a near-opposite role as William did and will grow into a character that is a total opposite to the Man in Black.
To project where Caleb might end up, we need to take a quick look at William first. William starts out as a White Hat – all kind and chivalrous – but under his facade, he’s actually a Black Hat. Even before his first trip to the Park, he’s an ambitious climber who, ultimately, ends up on top with a good bit of luck or social engineering (marrying into the Delos family certainly had a big part to do with his success). As William grows, his White Hat exterior grows with him – he’s not just a nice guy, he’s a philanthropist whose organizations have saved countless lives. Of course, beneath it all, he’s evil – his company is cloning human consciousness without consent, in addition to all the suffering they’ve doled out to the hosts. William himself is a sadist, paranoid, and not exactly father of the year. William got sick of the real world – it was too easy, too soft – so he went into Westworld and falsely believed that everything there was about him (the Maze, as the best example).
Caleb is the exact opposite. William is a White Hat on the outside, Caleb is a criminal. William has dark intentions under his facade, Caleb is only committing crimes to provide for his mother because legitimate means aren’t working (if he played by the rules, she’d be in a state facility). William is an ambitious climber. Caleb partakes in the rat race as little as possible because he knows it’s rigged against him at this point. William got a leg up. Caleb is stuck. William is a sadist. Caleb won’t do “personals” because even if it would help him, he’s against harming others. William got bored with how easy the world is and sought to escape to another world Caleb is underwater with how hard his life is and seeks…well, let’s find out.
Given this fairly clear dichotomy between the two characters, it stands to reason that Caleb will evolve in a way opposite to William’s path. William became a prominent businessman and philanthropist – an outwardly good pillar of society. So Caleb becomes something outwardly evil and anti-society – perhaps a crime lord or a revolutionary (we see him getting into some dangerous shit with Dolores in the previews). William becomes more isolated, doing everything for himself. Caleb will develop close relationships (we know he will with Dolores at least) and his motives will ultimately be altruistic (perhaps a human ally in the host revolution). William fails his family. Perhaps Caleb can save his mom. William, as I mentioned, became obsessed with escapism and a false world. What’s the opposite of trying to escape a world you’re dissatisfied with? Become more immersed in that world – change it. I think that’s just what Caleb will do. In fact, William helped build this world – Caleb will help burn it down.
Obviously it’s almost impossible to predict specifics – so let’s not call this a prediction of what’s going to happen in the plot, because it’s not. It’s a prediction of what themes we’re going to see dominate Caleb’s character arc – Black Hat actions with White Hat motives.
It’s good to be back,
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