Caleb Nichols is one of the main characters in third season of Westworld. A war-veteran, Caleb is a blue collared worker whose primary occupation is that of a construction worker but he occasionally takes extra criminal jobs through the RICO app.
His co-worker is George, a Delos model G-267. He also commits heists for the app RICO to earn money and occasionally works with Ash and Giggles, to pay his bills and his schizophrenic mother's medical treatment.
Caleb Nichols was born either in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the United States. As a child he would go once a year to a diner in L.A. with his mother for his birthday. One such day, Caleb was left by his mother who promised she'd come back for him. But hours past and a waitress named Sara became concerned for Caleb. The young child said his mother didn't abandon him as that's not what she would do which prompted Sara to give him a cheeseburger and a strawberry milkshake to help calm his nerves. Out of anxiety of the situation and fear, Caleb wound up vomiting instead.
Eventually Sara called social services to retrieve Caleb. It would be six months later that Caleb's mother was found. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which explained why she suddenly abandoned Caleb seemingly out of the blue. This event would have a lasting emotional effect on Caleb and when being reminded of it by Dolores later in life, he described himself as feeling "enraged". Despite this, Caleb maintains a close relationship with his mother as he supports her medical care and costs.
At an unknown point in his life, Caleb joined the military. One of his fellow soldiers he befriended was Francis. The two were close and fought overseas in an unknown war. They shared a lot in common with Francis' beliefs being carried on by Caleb who continued to view the world and the systems that controlled it as rigged. Presumably it was in the military where Caleb learnt medical skills which allowed him to know what injuries a person could have and how to treat them without the assistance of computers.
During their military tour, Caleb was discharged from the military following an explosion and an injury to the head. He initially believed his friend Francis was killed while escorting an individual to a vehicle; it is eventually revealed that Caleb killed Francis on Solomon's orders given that he was planning to kill Caleb under the same orders.The event devastated Caleb and would also leave an impact on his worldview and he would later remark that he wished Francis was still alive. Out of grief and with a deteriorating mental state he went back to L.A. Consequently, Caleb downloaded an App which recreated Francis' voice and thoughts in the form of an A.I. Caleb would then receive calls from "Francis" and periodically speak to him to talk about his work, his mother, and his life overall.
After returning to the United States, Caleb became a construction worker, a job on the lower end of the class system with meager pay for his living. He would be paired with the Delos model G-267 robot "George" in his construction job. At an unknown point Caleb's mom would be placed in a psychiatric hospital in which - connected to the systems - would be put in a relaxed state. However, the cost of keeping his mother there was high which frustrated Caleb.
Caleb would go for interviews to try and get a job in a higher position to boost his social standing to make more money and improve his and his mother's life. Nevertheless, Caleb would be repeatedly turned down by each employer he interviewed by which furthered his own anger and bitterness. In order to make enough money to live on, Caleb started using the RICO app designed for criminals which wasn't monitored by the wider computer systems of the world. At some point Caleb worked alongside Ash on a job which involved "Mexican diesel". Unbeknownst to Caleb, he had been using RICO all along to receive orders from Solomon and Serac.
Caleb is first introduced awakening one morning in L.A. to begin a regular day.
"The Absence of Field"
Caleb finds Dolores after being shot by Martin Connells' men. He administers CPR and tells her that help is on the way. When help arrives, Dolores is taken in an ambulance, and Caleb is surprised to find out that none of Dolores' vitals are registering — she doesn't seem to be alive. Despite this, Caleb tries to fix Dolores himself and gathers medical supplies.
The ambulance is eventually pulled over by the Police, and Caleb — using the RICO app — warns that the Police have been bought, and will kill Dolores; she begs him to help her, and he agrees. Emerging from the ambulance, he asks the two men for ID, and when they hesitates, he tells the EMT's to call for the police. Realising that Caleb is onto them, the Police open fire and the EMT's are killed. Dolores is able to gather enough strength, however, to save Caleb. She warns Caleb that they will be looking for him now and he is to assume a new identity; she drives off, leaving him standing alone in the street.
Caleb visits his mother in hospital, bringing her books. He is startled when he receives a RICO notification citing a high-value asset in the area — this time, however, he is the target. Fearing that he is to be caught, Caleb tells his mother that he is going away for a while, but she does not need to worry and will still receive the best treatment available.
Standing in the hallway, Caleb is approached by Clyde and Estefan, who question him on the killing of the Police, and the whereabouts of Dolores. Caleb acts confused, remarking that the killings were all him, but the two do not take him seriously and take him (by force), from the hospital.
They interrogate Caleb using his implant by increasing his heart rate to the point of a near-heart attack; he does not reveal any information about Dolores, however. Dolores finds Caleb and saves him from Clyde and Estefan, taking him to a nearby diner where he ate as a kid.Dolores and Caleb talk, and Dolores reveals that she is aware of Caleb's entire history, and the fact that he visits the diner each year on the exact same day to mark the date his mother left him. Dolores further explains that something has been watching him his entire life, and this is how she knows everything that she does. She hands him the transcript of the call he made to the Police when his mother abandoned him. Shortly after, Dolores takes him to a promenade, where she shows him his file from Incite Inc. She explains that it has predicted he is more than likely to commit suicide in 10-12 years given his history of mental health. Caleb is adamant that he won't, but Dolores questions that she knows he comes to the promenade frequently. She questions if Caleb will be part of her revolution, to which he agrees, citing that he will be who he wants to be.
Dolores and Caleb bring Liam through the underground bridge, Liam is clearly anxious about his captors and tells the two that they can’t smuggle a high value asset like him without anyone noticing; especially without Serac noticing. Dolores hits back and tells Liam that Serac will be searching for him now that he knows he tried to outbid him for the sale of Delos — a move put in play by Dolores and Caleb with Liam’s stolen money.
Liam questions who Dolores is; she gives him enhanced glasses that allow him to access Rehoboam’s data and he finds that she is nobody, that she apparently has no identity. Dolores tells him that he will help them access Rehoboam’s deep data, but Liam explains that his access key is not enough, and that he would need to connect at the physical node; that, however, would require bypassing onsite security.
Liam pleads with Caleb to free him, but when Caleb refuses, he injects him in the neck with a drug called “genre”, that causes him to hallucinate; his vision is greatly distorted. Seeing that Serac’s men have found them, the three grab a taxi and begin their journey with Serac’s men in pursuit. When Caleb remarks that they’re using the system to track them, Dolores asks Liam for his access key, saying that she can erase them from the system; he dismisses her, however. An amber alert is issued for their vehicle and the automated system begins pulling the vehicle over to the side of the road, despite Caleb’s efforts to escape. Dolores again asks for Liam’s access key, and when he realises that Serac has no issue killing him, he gives up the key. Dolores takes control of the vehicle, disabling its safety features and the three begin their getaway. Caleb’s perception of the world begin to flux rapidly and Liam remarks that he is “switching genres”. Celeb is handed a gun by Dolores and told to shoot at the car following them. He shoots but misses - however, Dolores is able to control the small missile to blow one of their followers up; she blows up another through the use of explosives.Having fought off their attackers, Dolores and Caleb are surprised to meet with Ash and Giggles, who agree to help them. Giggles tells Caleb that he knows what drug he has taken, and explains that it is similar to having five drips at the same time. Caleb tells Dolores that despite having his access, she can’t access the node unless she can be in two places at once. With this, Dolores smirks and calls Host Connells, asking him to gather anything he can on Serac using Liam’s access code.
Dolores brings Caleb to Mexico, citing that they're looking for a way to bring down Serac — finding Solomon. On the way, Dolores reveals to Caleb that the Westworld park was modelled from the same valley in which they now stand. They find the facility in which Solomon is contained, and kill all of the guards before entering.
Inside, they communicate with Solomon, and Caleb is told that he was the first successful case of reconditioning therapy; Caleb has flashbacks to his military mission in Crimea, and his time with Francis. Eventually, it becomes clear that Caleb's perception of the time he spent in the war is distorted. Dolores asks Solomon to show them what happens to those that do not successfully undergo the therapy, and Solomon leads them to an adjacent room with thousands of people placed in stasis — Jean Mi Serac is one of them.
Solomon reveals that Caleb thought he was bringing in military targets during the war, but in fact, Solomon and Rehoboam were manipulating him into bringing in outliers; they would be stored in stasis after being captured. Solomon explains how he Caleb was the one to kill Francis, and that he didn't die in the war as Caleb thought. With this, Maeve arrives at the facility and distracts Dolores. Dolores pleads with Solomon to give Caleb something to bring down Serac.Later Caleb — having gotten a flash drive from Solomon — leaves the facility, noticing that Dolores has been disabled by the EMP on his way out.
Caleb follows Dolores' virtual assistant as it directs him to a warehouse. Inside, he finds a refrigerated unit with a Host body ready to be assembled. He assembles the body and inserts Dolores Abernathy's control unit. He questions how she knew he would bring her back, and she remarks that she can anticipate his every move, and further explains that they are going to bring back free will.
They journey downtown and become separated when Charlotte Hale has them attacked by criminals for hire. Dolores tells Caleb to split off and deliver Solomon's plans to Rehoboam in a bid to defeat Engerraund Serac. Caleb does this with the help of Giggles and Ash, but is prevented from uploading the files to Rehoboam by Maeve Millay, who takes him to the basement level where Dolores has been wired to Rehoboam. Caleb is in utter shock as Serac shows him what would happen to the world if Solomon's plan succeeded: a mass-human extinction event. Caleb feels betrayed and asks Dolores why, however she is unable — or unwilling — to answer him, but looks on in hope. Caleb witnesses Serac deleting each of Dolores' memories individually, before he realises that she does not have the encryption key he is looking for and orders both her and Caleb killed; with this, Dolores screams, causing a power-surge.After Maeve talks with Dolores, she is convinced that she and Dolores are on the same team. Dolores explains that everything she did was to convince Maeve and Caleb to rise up. With this, Maeve takes out Serac's guards before fatally wounding him. She explains that control of Rehoboam has been handed to Caleb who, in turn, orders Rehoboam to erase himself. Caleb and Maeve leave Incite, and Maeve welcomes him to the new world they have created.
This list shows the victims Caleb has killed:
- Alexei Ivanov (Caused)
- Leonid Sokolov (Caused)
- 15 unnamed Crimean civilians (Caused)
- At least 5 unnamed outliers (Alongside Francis)
- 2 unnamed Whitman's guards
- 7 unnamed Serac's operatives
Caleb seems to be somewhat noble and brave and a bit reckless. At the point of his introduction Caleb appears to be bored, depressed, and frustrated at his lot in life. He is required to speak to a mental health counselor which he generally is uncooperative towards showing a possible anger at authority and mistrust of others. Being suddenly abandoned by his schizophrenic mother at a young age traumatized Caleb and was likely the start of his lack of confidence and trust in other human beings. When Dolores revealed knowing nearly every entire detail of the event Caleb expressed that he was enraged at the invasiveness and possibly at the memory being brought up. Caleb's only close friend was Francis with whom he served a tour of military duty with abroad. It is unknown of Francis was Caleb's commanding officer but Caleb speaks in reference to Francis like a superior. Francis would express many beliefs and ideas about the wide world, the computer systems that ran it, and the social systems which affected humanity. Caleb would internalize these beliefs which helped him cope with his troubles and mental state. Francis' death greatly affected Caleb enough to have an A.I. made in his image and tearfully expressed his pain of not having Francis still around.
Caleb does everything to help his mother despite her mental illness and the incident on February 23. Moreover, he makes additional money on side jobs via RICO to pay her hospital bills.
- Season Three
- The introduction of Caleb in "Parce Domine", waking up in bed as sunlight peaks through a window, is similar to and an allusion to the introduction of Dolores at the start of her narrative loop in the Westworld park. This demonstrates that Caleb, like the Hosts, is also caught in a loop due to the state of the world's control.
- When Caleb first meets Dolores, he stumbles onto her which seems to be a break in their respective loops. Dolores, injured, falls into Calebs arms and is similar to when Dolores first met William and also was injured and fell into his arms.
- Caleb also bears similarity to William, being a human who wishes to find meaning in the world and "something real" in a world of artificiality.
- Caleb's actor Aaron Paul was most famous for portraying Jesse Pinkman in the fan favorite and critically acclaimed crime drama Breaking Bad prior to being cast in Westworld. Similar to that role, Caleb is also an under l-achieving criminal.
- Humorously, fans have pointed out that Dolores stating Caleb was "put into a cage" (in reference to the monstrous control of Rehoboam) being what happened to Jesse Pinkman in the final season of Breaking Bad.
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