Spoilers below for the penultimate episode of Westworld Season 3!
With Episode 7, "Passed Pawn," Westworld pulled the cork on Caleb's backstory, giving audiences a deeper look at his past, and his direct connections to the overarching narrative. Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy didn't give away all the pieces of the puzzle(s), but they did show viewers what Dolores' other big-picture plan has been. Oh, and the show managed to bring back two more long-gone Hosts that were gladly welcomed back, even if it meant another's death.
Follow along below to go over the big story-twisting beats and reveals from Season 3's penultimate episode – not that I fully understand all of them – as the show drives headlong into its big season finale. Let's start with the device that kicked off a lot of this mess.
Serac And Jean Mi Created Solomon Before Rehoboam
Before the world-changing creation of Rehoboam, Serac (Vincent Cassel) and his outlier brother created another world-changing A.I. that was named Solomon, in accordance with Biblical lineages. Located out in a facility in Sonora, Mexico, Solomon seemed to be successful enough at first, but Jean Mi's schizophrenia rubbed off on the predictive technology, giving Solomon mental problems, so to speak. And speaking is something that Solomon is quite good at, with Jean Mi (Paul Cooper) as its voice.
During Solomon's conversation with Dolores and Caleb, it's explained that some outliers were able to be successfully reconditioned and were sent back out into the world. However, those who went through the process and offered no signs of getting better met a pretty unsavory fate. Hundreds of other people (at least) were shown to be held in the seemingly abandoned facility's cryogenic chambers that surrounded the central chamber which housed Jean Mi himself, and it was revealed that those people among many others were marked as dead to the public. (Even the current "Man in White" William was noted as deceased.)
Caleb Was "Successfully" Reconditioned By Solomon
As revealed by the A.I. system, Caleb was one of the first to go through a revolutionary treatment that aimed at reconfiguring outliers' brains to make them more passive. The treatment only helps one out of every ten patients or so, and Caleb's success was a major victory for the Serac brothers, even if the science hadn't advanced to its fullest potential in that iteration. The system did mention to Caleb and Dolores that there was always a risk of regression, which is clearly what Caleb was experiencing.
Prior to the reconditioning, Caleb's military squad was on a mission overseas to take down an upper tier group of insurgents. Though they pulled off the kills themselves without a hitch, Caleb realized too late that his team had also been marked for death. While most of them died, it was revealed that Caleb's buddy Francis (Kid Cudi) did not die in combat like everyone thought. Rather, he survived and kept going on a variety of RICO missions with Caleb, whose reconditioning and frequent Limbic tab-taking left him with dissociative and misinterpreted memories. Bernard and Stubbs are seeking a comprehensive list of those who made it through the process, so it's possible other familiar characters will show up on that list.
Caleb Is The One Who Killed Francis
"Passed Pawn" relayed Caleb's fractured memory through his AR reconditioning therapy, mainly by looping back multiple times to shed more light on a particular event. It was revealed that the RICO missions Caleb and Francis went on together were specifically to round up other threats to society, since using reconditioned subjects proved to be fruitful in taking outliers down. Perhaps it worked too well in the case of taking down Keith Mars...er...Whitman, the pharmaceutical bigwig played by Veronica Mars vet Enrico Colantoni.
Though originally purported to be the head of the insurgents that blew up Caleb's squad, Whitman was actually partially responsible for the Limbic tabs that screwed with Caleb's memories. After asking too many questions about the tabs' purpose, Whitman was put on the RICO hit list. He foreshadowed the inevitable by warning Caleb that RICO would often pit its criminals against each other when targeting outliers, to leave as few footprints behind as possible. That heads-up saved Caleb's life, though it was deadly for Francis, who would have greedily killed his friend for the financial windfall.
Dolores Set Caleb Up As The Real Key To Humanity's Downfall
This whole time that Dolores has been running around and digging into Incite's background, her overall motivations have been questioned by both Westworld characters and viewers. For a Host who seemed so dead-set on collapsing humanity, she'd spent a lot of time not actually taking any human beings down, save for the situations when she was specifically attacked. However, "Passed Pawn" revealed the being who's actually meant to take down humanity is indeed a human being, with Dolores having set Cal up to be the organic savior for the Hosts.
Apparently, Dolores and Caleb's first encounter was anything but a chance meeting, which isn't a complete surprise. More shocking, however, is that Dolores was prepared for their Sonora trip to be her last stop of the journey, and that she just knew that learning about his memory lapses would convince Caleb to take the reins for the vengeful Host's mission. Not that Dolores (in one form or another) can be considered 100% dead or out of the game after Maeve's attack, of course. There are still puzzle pieces that haven't been revealed just yet.
Clementine And Hanaryo Returned!
While I feel like a dolt for not recognizing Clementine's Host ID number when it popped up in Episode 6, even in the midst of questioning who those other two hosts were, that didn't take away from my excitement upon seeing Angela Sarafyan's big return to Westworld. And she wasn't alone, either, as viewers also witnessed the return of Tao Okamoto as Hanaryo, Shogunworld's counterpart for Westworld's Armistice.
Both hosts obviously had different narratives in this scenario, having been sent to kill off the Dolores clone portrayed by Hiroyuki Sanada. (Turns out Hanaryo was not happy to see this version desecrating Musashi's image.) Interestingly, Tessa Thompson's currently singed Charlotte Hale clone was the one who gave the Yakuza leader the forewarning, now having clearly pulled allegiance away from Dolores. It still hasn't been made clear what the Musashi clone has been up to, though his introductory appearance made it look like he was manufacturing lots of cortical fluid, presumably meant to get pumped into more undisclosed Host bodies.