When Caleb first enters Nathan's facility/home, he learns that in the event of a power failure all the doors will lock.

Caleb changes the code while Nathan is drunk (on the eve of Ava's escape) so that the doors will open during a power failure, instead of locking down. When Ava leaves, it appears at first that she leaves Caleb trapped in Nathan's room. But soon after, we see Caleb try to access the computer and then a power failure occurs.


At that point, can't Caleb simply walk out of the room because all the doors are now unlocked?

  • That computer did not suffer a power failure...
    – calccrypto
    Jun 22, 2015 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


It's a little clearer in the screenplay that the computers shut down, not because the power had gone out, but because Caleb attempted to use his own access card in the card reader. Since the power was never out, the doors remained locked.

He runs back to the monitors. On them, AVA has reached the MAIN ROOM. She walks straight to the smashed window. And steps through.
CALEB sticks his card into the slot by NATHAN’S computer. Instantly, all the screens die. Replaced by a single word.


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  • The screenplay link has a different ending from the film, in that we are never shown the world from Ava's perspective. This makes me wonder if that screenplay is applicable, seeing as it is distinctly different. The computers don't say rejected, and the sounds and lights of the room Caleb is in when he applies his card to the reader mimic the sounds and lights of the rest of the building when power goes out. I think it is reasonable that the theatrical ending should have led to Caleb's escape. Jul 27, 2015 at 20:23
  • @ResonantPictures - Well, we know that the power wasn't out because the lift is still working, as are the exterior doors.
    – Valorum
    Jul 27, 2015 at 20:28
  • Actually that's not quite right. Ava has already left the building by the time we are shown Caleb accessing the computer. And in addition to that, the entire hallway and not just the room is shown in red, indicating something has occurred beyond the room he is staying in. Much like the power outages previously seen. Please see this YT video for reference: youtube.com/watch?v=g5HeJb2SrUM Jul 27, 2015 at 20:40
  • @ResonantPictures - I stand corrected. It still seems more likely that the house locked (power shutdown or otherwise) because the card was invalid. Undoubtedly, it would have been part of the failsafe to lock the doors in the event of a system hack.
    – Valorum
    Jul 27, 2015 at 20:48
  • But why would the building basicly go into an all-out lockdown instead of simply going "can't hear youuuu" of every other part of the building?
    – Petersaber
    Aug 29, 2015 at 15:52

I was wondering this myself, then I rewatched that part. Caleb was trapped in Nathan’s room, simply because his keycard wouldn’t have access to Nathan’s room. Also Caleb was left to die, because if you remember Nathan said that the designers had created it so that power cuts were not possible, the only way that power cuts happened was because of Ava.


I believe the answer to your question is that he should be able to. Although the movie shows him attempting to leave and that he is unable to, I believe there is a discrepancy between what we see and what we are told in the movie. I have also searched for an answer to this question but have only found one article that suggests Caleb is able to leave, even though it doesn't line up with what we are shown when he is banging on the door with a chair. Please see this article for reference: http://whatculture.com/film/what-does-the-ending-of-ex-machina-really-mean.php/6

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