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Westworld Just Delivered Some Of Its Biggest Plot Twists Yet As Season 4 Hits Midway Point, But What’s Next?

bernard in Westworld
(Image credit: HBO)

Tons of spoilers below for Westworld Season 4’s fourth installment, “Generation Loss,” so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!

Westworld seemed to clue audiences in on the importance of Episode 404 in the way it eschewed the usual cold open, so that the constant flow of details, twists and revelations wouldn’t be interrupted. And it was quite a gripping hour of television, thanks in part to a finale-worthy bevy of big reveals and twists that completely changed this show’s universe up from what we understood going into it. While I don’t think Westworld can ever quite match the pummeling shock of Season 1’s William/Man In Black timeline, I dare say “Generation Loss” comes as close as possible, with a villainous declaration that seemingly paid homage to Watchmen’s endgame shocker.

Considering everything we know now about Caleb, Maeve, and other main characters, it’s almost baffling to think that half of Season 4’s eight episodes have yet to air. Clearly, creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan aren’t finished putting viewers through the narrative wringer, so let’s take a closer look at the major and minor twists peppered throughout Episode 404. (While also quietly pondering the connection the episode’s number has to 404 errors that occasionally plague web browsing.)

Caleb in The Golden Age park in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO)

Major Twist #1: Caleb Was Killed And Turned Into A Host 

Well, it finally happened: the twist that some Westworld fans have been guessing at and waiting for ever since Aaron Paul’s Caleb was first introduced in Season 3. Caleb is no longer a living and breathing human, and is instead one of many hosts under the ruling thumb of Charlotte Hale, though I’m not entirely certain how much of what we’ve seen from him so far this season has been part of his sentience-asserting fidelity test. The early-episode flashback (within a flashback) played viewer expectations in that respect, making it seem as if Caleb had died from a bullet wound during a mission with Maeve. 

It was indeed bullets that killed him in the end, though, with Hale’s team taking Caleb out somewhat soon after Maeve’s self-sacrifice. And yet, Hale chose to keep him around as a host, likely due to the strong impact he’d made on Dolores and Maeve, despite that making him something of an obvious threat. Such is Hale’s pride and arrogance, I guess.

  •  So What Happens Next? 

Caleb obviously isn’t a mindless worker-bee drone that’ll dutifully go about his host duties without further clashing, even if Hale has the upper hand by way of controlling things. But surely Paul’s character gaining sentience similar to Dolores, Maeve and the Man in Black indicates he’ll soon bring his human and host skills together to become Hale’s nightmare. Assuming it doesn’t take him two more decades to figure out how to gain powers.

Charlotte Hale in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Major Twist #2: Charlotte Hale’s Fly Scheme Worked, And The Tower Is Real

With its very first sequence in Season 4, Westworld hinted at more timeline shenanigans as the Man in Black utilized a fly army to gain access to the Hoover Dam, while much of what we’ve seen after that depicted the early trial phases of Hale’s fly-weaponizing scheme. But it was confirmed in Episode 404, whose title “Generations Loss” is itself a reference to her reveal, that her plan to take over humanity via airborne parasites was a vast success. And as Caleb soon discovers, it’s been 23 years since his humanly death, and the world is now populated by millions (perhaps billions) of adults who were infected with the flies as children, an age range when such perfect symbioses are best formed. 

As it turns out, the mysterious Tower that we’ve seen and heard about is actually a massive version of the device within Delos’ labs that uses soundwaves to control those who’ve been infected, and is located just off the coast of NYC. (Which definitely ties back to Peter killing himself in front of Christina, as suicides were part of the trial-and-error testing.) Tessa Thompson was divine in laying out the hope-destroying line of “Welcome to my world,” and it looks like humanity doesn’t have a shot at rising back up.

  •  So What Happens Next?

I mean, obviously humanity is going to rise back up, but it’s a matter of how. Because for all that Hale appears to be a world-conquering tyrant, viewers have only seen the Tower’s effects on display within New York City specifically. Which could mean other highly populated cities around the world aren’t yet under her grasp, and could provide assistance in taking her down. Although I don’t really get what the rest of the world would think the Tower is for. 

C / Frankie in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO)

Major Twist #3: Aurora Perrineau’s C Is Caleb’s Daughter 

To be clear, I’m sure there are some fans who guessed this from the start, since there are only a certain number of characters/twists to populate such theorizing. But it was still a jolt to the “aha” sense when it was made clear that Aurora Perrineau’s mystery character, dubbed C, is actually Caleb’s daughter Frankie. Nobody came out and said that her letter-specific name was in reference to her dearly departed pops, but that’s gotta be the case, right?

Now that we know what this character’s motivations tie into, it’s easier to understand why she’s working with Daniel Wu’s rebel leader J. And why she doesn’t have much time for taking nonsense from anyone else. She went through a pretty traumatic experience with her mom, and we don’t even know yet what happened to them after Caleb and Maeve’s mission went so awry. Nor what Uwade’s fate was, or is.

  •  So What Happens Next?

Frankie gets revenge, naturally. Of course, we don’t know exactly how it’ll happen yet, but one can only assume it will involve the mystery person that J and others were going to extract. Could that end up being Uwade?

Maeve buried in sand in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Major Twist #4: Maeve Is The Weapon Bernard Was Talking About 

Before we had a real clue of how the timelines worked in Season 4, I can’t imagine many fans out there expected for Bernard’s big weapon in the desert to be Maeve. Now that we do know it’s her, it sorta makes all the sense in the world, since she’s one of few hosts who was able to tap into empathy and humanity, which led to her sacrificing herself in order to take the Man in Black down. (Not that the whole “saving Caleb” part of that plan worked, but she doesn’t know that yet.)

I’m still not sure how all of these geographical changes make sense, as far as this desert area goes, though I’m curious to know what park was going to be built there, and why Delos didn’t just go forward with construction despite all the explosions and whatnot. Granted, Bernard likely would have found her even if she was beneath a fake medieval castle or a fake African jungle, but it’s odd that the land was left barren. 

  •  So What Happens Next?

Only Bernard knows that, but it’s easy to imagine Bernard will get Maeve back online somehow, so that she can get caught up with the past 23 years of events. But she’s almost definitely going to need some big upgrades of her own in order to take down Hale and her seemingly endless army. She could probably use some old friends by her side, too. 

Caleb looking out Olympiad Entertainment window in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Major Twist #5: Olympiad Entertainment Is (Probably) The New Delos 

This one also starts with a caveat, in that fans started theorizing about Delos connections as soon as Westworld namechecked Olympiad Entertainment as the company that Evan Rachel Wood’s Christina works for. It happens with every organization and brand name that comes up, and it’s often a safe bet to make. So it wasn’t so much shocking as highly intriguing when Episode 404 revealed that Hale was giving Caleb his fidelity test within the Olympiad building. 

To be sure, there’s always the possibility that this wasn’t quite what it seemed to be, and that the location switcheroo was just to throw audiences off. But that seems like it would create unnecessary storytelling hurdles, as it’s far easier to believe that a company responsible for crafting narrative games is actually a front for a devious corporation ruled by A.I. to control people’s minds. It’s the Delos mission statement, post-Ford. 

  •  So What Happens Next?

Considering this reveal appears to fully connect Caleb to Christina’s timeline — despite the fact that the Tower isn’t visible during her scenes — we can hopefully expect to see Paul and Wood to share the screen again, as confusing as it’ll be for all involved. (Viewers included.) I’m guessing this will also lead to the reveal that Hale figured out how to digitize the fly parasites, and decided it would be easier and cheaper to bypass physical parks to make way for infections via video games.  

close-up of Maeve's face in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO)

Minor Twist #1: Maeve Missing Caleb Is What Got Her Caught

Westworld answered one of my big questions about the Season 4 premiere with this reveal, as I did not understand Maeve outing herself with that trip down memory lane. Now we know it was her first big mental jaunt in years, and she wasn’t trying to tap into her own memories of her daughter and Hector. Instead, viewers learned that after Caleb regained consciousness from a post-wound coma, Maeve didn’t say goodbye before retreating into solitude, and that she remained out of contact as a way to keep him safe. But then she went and botched it all by missing him enough to try and hack into his limbic implant, which is what caused the power outage that drew the Man in Black to her. Maeve is a true friend, since true friends aren’t exactly perfect.

  • So What Happens Next?

I doubt Maeve would need additional reasons to go ballistic on Hale & Co. upon being reawakened, but she will almost definitely take Caleb’s death (and eventual host-ing) personally. Which probably won’t be good for Hale’s face. 

Teddy holding glass of whiskey on Westworld

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Minor Twist #2: Christina And Teddy Are Totally Dating Now 

The previously confirmed-to-return Teddy appeared at the end of the premiere in “handsome stalker” mode outside of Christina’s apartment building, and Episode 4 revealed him to be her blind date. Because this is Westworld, their predestined meet-cute in the bar was sparked when he picked up her lipstick rolling across the ground, marking yet another echo of Teddy and Dolores’ origin story. Their scene ends on a cheers to Christina and her path, wherever it leads, and if all these callbacks and on-the-nose references don’t lead directly to Super Dolores, my fidelity will begin decaying.

  • So What Happens Next?

Super. Dolores. Obviously! Ahead of that, though, I was already guessing Teddy 2.0 was specifically created as a means to break through the weirdness happening with Christina. And now I’m wondering if Maeve took part in that creation, or even if it’s actually Maeve’s brain pearl inside Teddy’s head.

Maya talking about her dream in Westworld

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Minor Twist #3: Maya Seemingly Remembers Being Infected By Hale’s Flies 

For all the thoughts and theories I’ve considered regarding Christina’s existence, I’ve less mental ammo when it comes to Ariana DeBose’s Maya. That confused feeling only escalated with “Generation Loss,” as Maya described her most recent nightmare, which involved a childhood picnic with her parents being disrupted by a swarm of flies that first attacked the screaming adults before descending on young Maya. If these characters’ actions are indeed happening concurrently with Host Caleb’s story, then Maya’s inherent nature could very well be tapping through the parasitic facade that Hale uses to control everyone. But there's also something to be said for the way the scene remained partially focused on the clothes-changing Christina as Maya talked, as if her roommate's dream had stoked her own memories.

  • So What Happens Next?

Not a clue for Maya, really. My only hope is that Westworld doesn’t reveal her to be another Dolores clone, and that she’s an organic being inside and out. Ariana DeBose deserves the best that Westworld can give. 

I’m not sure there’s anything left to say, beyond at least a dozen or so other spirited manifestos I could easily lean into. But for now, let’s mull over Episode 404's big reveals while anticipating the second half of the season. Just gonna drop this "MORE CLEMENTINE" note in the suggestion box before I go...

Westworld airs Sunday nights on HBO at 9:00 p.m. ET, with episodes available to stream for HBO Max subscribers as soon as they air.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.