Most of the Westworld premiere’s action takes place in Los Angeles, where Aaron Paul’s Caleb resides. As far as we know, Caleb is a human, not a host, and Westworld uses this new character to shed some new light on the show’s longest-running themes.
In its first two seasons, Westworld made its allegiances clear. The depraved, controlling humans (like the Man in Black) were the villains, and the long-suffering hosts (like Dolores) were the good guys. Introducing Caleb flips the script. In Westworld‘s real world, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and technology rule. Try as they might, regular guys like Caleb can’t catch a break.
Caleb can’t get a high-paying job because his algorithmically-derived “stats” aren’t high enough. His main social contact is an AI therapist that’s based on his best friend, who died in Afghanistan. In order to get the money he needs to care for his ailing mother, Caleb must resort to an app that’s basically Tinder for crime. Even there, he doesn’t have great reviews.
Even though their situations are mirror images of one another, Caleb and Dolores have the same problems. They’re both suffering under a system designed to keep them down, and they both want out. By the end of the episode, Caleb and Dolores have finally crossed paths — the last we see of either of them, Caleb is carrying Dolores’ battered body, presumably to get her help. They’ll probably end up as allies. While they come from opposite places, Caleb and Dolores have lots in common.