‘Archive 81’ follows archivist Dan Turner, who gets thrown headlong into an ancient supernatural struggle when he begins restoring and watching the tapes filmed by Melody Pendras. As the mystery deepens, the statue of an unearthly being appears increasingly frequently. The name “Kaelego” is also mentioned in hushed tones by secret cults that lurk in the murky depths of ‘Archive 81.’ So who is Kaelego? Should we be rooting for him? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who is Kaelego?
Kaelego is first introduced when Melody sees a statue of him during the secret ritual she spies on in the basement of the Visser building. Part of a cult, the tenants pray to Kaelego, who they describe as a god from another dimension. The cult’s goal is eventually revealed as to combine the world with their “god’s” realm, giving rise to an entirely new dimension. In short, Kaelego seems to symbolize an alternated reality, with his followers attracted by the idea of living in a “whole new world” ruled by a new god.
Apart from the statue, which is repeatedly seen and depicts the “god” in a seated posture, we also catch a glimpse of him on a page in an ancient text that Melody finds in father Russo’s study. Thus, it is clear that Kaelego is a relatively well-known entity in the world of ‘Archive 81.’ However, what is perhaps more complicated to decipher is whether Kaelego is a god or a demon. Interestingly, most of the death and destruction in season 1 seems to be caused by Kaelego’s followers (the cult) and not by the supernatural entity himself.
Is Kaelego a Demon or God?
As it turns out, Kaelego is both a god and a demon. Or, more precisely and according to what Melody reads in the ancient text, Kaelego is a half god-half demon. This puts an interesting twist on the entire narrative as it makes choosing sides all the more ambiguous. Of course, Melody and Dan are driven by personal motives and are haunted by Kaelego largely due to the actions of the supernatural being’s followers. However, it is difficult to say just how “good” or “evil” Kaelego is in the bigger scheme of things. This further makes it difficult to figure out whether the Baldung (who are against Kaelego) or the cult supporting the half-god is right.
That being said, Kaelego’s appearance is definitely monstrous. Without drawing too many comparisons to the murderous titular antagonist from ‘The Predator‘ or the aliens from ‘Independence Day,’ Kaelego looks decidedly ominous. It also doesn’t help his case when he appears through the white noise of a television screen, and at one point, even begins to crawl out of it (much to Dan’s terror).
Thus, from the perspective of the two protagonists (Dan and Melody), Kaelego is a demon. However, since they are just learning about his world, there is a chance that some of the entity’s positive aspects might also eventually come to light. Kaelego is, after all, a half-god too. Could it be possible that perhaps he is just not good at picking the right followers?