Most actors in Hollywood would be lucky to be part of just one of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV, but Breaking Bad vet Aaron Paul is returning to a similarly high-profile spotlight for Season 3 of HBO's Westworld. Between Paul's casting and the sci-fi drama's first trailer, all but zero information was revealed about his character, but now we finally have a few official crumbs to chew on that add context to the visuals we've seen so far.
Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have at last started offering up some vague clues about what fans can expect from Season 3 of the densely twisty series, which no longer resembles its source material at all. For one, they shared that Aaron Paul's character is named Caleb, and that he's a construction worker living in Los Angeles. Here's how Nolan described Caleb's basic Westworld arc in Season 3:
Aaron’s character will challenge Dolores’ notions about the nature of humanity. He’s the type of person who doesn’t get to go to Westworld.
Considering the first two seasons of Westworld took place entirely within the Delos Desintations parks, viewers got used to only seeing a limited selection of human character types. One one side were the park's multi-leveled employees, and on the other were the opulently wealthy miscreants who frequent the park's vice-driven narratives.
In Season 3, however, Dolores' unprecedented excursion into the "real world" – we can't really assume anything is real about this show – will provide one of our first looks at everyday people in this futuristic America. And on first pass, Caleb sounds like he might be one of the less heinous characters that viewers could hope to stick with. His status as a blue-collar construction worker stands in contrast to the sci-tech world of Delos, and it's easy to imagine that his value system is also on the opposite end of the spectrum from Westworld's frequent visitors.
It becomes even more interesting once we look back to the Bible's Caleb, since there are lots of things about this show that skew religious. In simple terms, Caleb was one of the spies that Moses sent to Canaan to study the land, the people and the local plant-and animal life. He argued his beliefs that Moses' people should go and overtake the area, while the other spies thought it to be an impossibly difficult conquest. Without getting any deeper, I don't think it's so difficult or absurd to find Westworld-esque relevance in Caleb's Good Book highlights.
Of course, Westworld is still as much about Dolores' story as it is about anything else, so expect her to be as much of a driving force as Caleb is, even if she's not used to getting behind the wheel. (Or whatever people use to drive around in this society.) And Lisa Joy told EW that Season 3 won't be employing any early time shifts to shorthand Dolores' experiences, confirming that the premiere picks up immediately after the events of Season 2. In Joy's words:
We’re looking at the aftermath of the massacre in the park. After all they went through to get out of the park, Dolores finally got what she wanted, so we wanted to see how she interacts with the world and what her plan is. That’s a part of the story we were excited to tell.
Part of Dolores' plan almost definitely involves rebuilding a host body for Bernard and whatever other artificially intelligent cohorts she illegally transported into the real world. From there, her exact actions will be anyone's guess, though it might be safe to assume that she'll try to understand some of the history behind her creators Arnold Weber and Robert Ford.
Speaking of guesses, though, Jonathan Nolan interestingly shared that Season 3 apparently isn't intended to set fans up for endless hours of theorizing.
This is season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers.
I don't think it's a coincidence that Nolan raises more questions than answers with that proclamation, such as what that notion of "makers" is in this context. Does he mean it in a general sense, as in Dolores is now fully a minority within humankind? Or is he speaking more specifically about Arnold and Robert and whoever else may have been involved with the early days of the Argos Initiative?
Also, considering Caleb's last name wasn't revealed by Jonathan Nolan or Lisa Joy, how long do we have to wait before we start theorizing about who Aaron Paul's carpenter character will be related to within the Westworld narrative? He's clearly not rich enough to be part of the Delos family, but perhaps he could be related to William in some way. Let's not forget that Season 2 also ended with that weird flash-forward in which it's seemingly revealed by Host Emily that at some point, William's consciousness was put into a host.
At this point, literally any form of conjecture can be made about Aaron Paul's Caleb and how he'll bond with Dolores after meeting her. Westworld's first Season 3 trailer hinted at that first meeting. Check it out below!
With Vincent Cassel having been cast as the new big bad, Westworld Season 3 doesn't yet have a premiere date, but it's set to hit HBO at some point in 2020, which likely means we'll be waiting a while before getting a more specific premiere window. Thankfully, there's lots of good summer TV and fall TV to get through before 2020 sneaks its way over, and hopefully the Breaking Bad movie fits into that somewhere.