It looks like week to week that we’re going to get the Watchmen show logo given to us in different ways from episode to episode. This week in Watchmen S1E2, we get a logo scrolled across a German lady’s typewriter. It’s World War I. A German officer dictates a leaflet to her. It’s an entreaty to black US soldiers, extolling the good lives blacks have in Germany while pointing out how poorly they’re treated in the US. It ends up being dropped over a squadron of black US soldiers on the march. That paper that WATCH OVER THIS BOY was scrawled on last week? It was written on one of those leaflets, saved by a US soldier/that boy’s dad. That boy, the old man in the wheelchair from last week, still has it in his pocket when Angela drives up and sees him under the tree where Judd’s body is hanging.
Angela takes him to her bakery, frisks him, and handcuffs him to his wheelchair. She finds that paper and a bottle of pills on him.
We get a glimpse of Angela’s hidden lair when she goes to change into her Ninja Nun costume. Oh hey, she spray paints that makeup across her eyes. I always wondered how superheroes do that.
The old man, William, confesses to killing Judd. Despite all the ways he says he did it, Angela isn’t buying it. He tells Angela that Judd “had skeletons in his closet.” He keeps saying “I’m the one who strung up your chief of police,” which does nothing for Angela’s temper. Her superhero name is Night. We find that out after someone pages her and she calls back. She ziploc bags a mug William was drinking from and hits the road.
A girl in a beret pulls up to a newspaper agent to pick up a stack of the day’s papers for some lady. There’s enough papers there that the newspaperman asks her if the lady she’s picking up the papers for actually reads them all. Who is this mystery lady?
Angela drives up to the crime scene to find the cops milling Judd’s hanging body. She pretends she wasn’t just there hours ago. Mirror Mask joins her in her car. He explains in detail how Judd died in his forensic report. It wasn’t a pleasant death; he was still alive when they strung him up on the tree. They get into it a bit and Angela tells him, “Fuck you you shiny fuck,” which is easily the best line this episode. Glass is Mirror Mask’s real (non-made up by me) name.
A bunch of robo-winged cameramen take photos of the crime scene. They look like paparazzi versions of Killer Moth. After dealing with the paparazzi, Angela, Glass and Red Jumpsuit take down Judd’s body from the tree.
Flashback to what seems to be a happier night. It’s Christmas Eve, minutes to midnight, and Angela’s husband is excited to open up the big Christmas gift under their tree with his name on it. Their night is broken up by Rorschach-masked Kavalry, who break into the house and start firing shotguns at them. Angela stabs one of them in the face, but is shot by another.
She wakes in the hospital to Judd waiting there. He explains that Cal is okay. Judd wasn’t the Chief then, only a Captain. He’s also in a hospital gown. This was the White Night attack referenced in Angela’s school presentation last week. The Seventh Kalvary coordinated an attack against all the cops in Tulsa in the middle of the night. Her son from last week, Topher, was the son of Angela’s partner, Doyle, on the force. Angela and Cal adopted him. Most of the surviving cops are resigning. Angela says she won’t and Judd says he won’t either. Clearly, Angela does at some point, at least publicly. And I’m hoping we get that story in an upcoming episode.
Angela is thinking about that night while they zip up Judd’s body bag.
Russian Red wants to head to Nixonville and bust skulls. Angela, Glass and all the cops follow. Once they get to Nixonville, Russian Red announces he wants everyone to walk into a paddy wagon or else. It quickly escalates. The cops storm the trailer park, violently rounding everyone up. Angela and Glass hold back until someone tries to take a swing at Glass with a baseball bat. Then Angela releases all of her pent up fury on that guy’s facial bones.
Angela brings the bagged up mug to the Cultural Center. A video of Henry Louis Gates Jr greets Angela on a video screen. He explains the history of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Massacre shown in last week’s opening scene of Watchmen. She tests the a DNA sample from the mug. Henry Louis Gates Jr explains that only the survivors and direct descendants of the Tulsa Massacre can apply for the reparations laid out by President Redford, which fills in some nice backstory of the “Redfordations.”
When Angela gets home, some white dude who I’m assuming is one of Topher’s relatives, maybe an uncle, wants to see him, but is all too happy to take a check from Angela instead. By how he addresses her, he’s equal parts money grubber and racist.
Topher is building a big structure out of toy magnets when Angela tells him that Judd is dead. His magnet building looks just like the one that fell down in the Mars news report last week. At the end of their talk, Topher smashes it and it falls just like the big structure on Mars did.
People all over Tulsa are watching American Hero Story, which seems to be the in-story side story, similar to the Tales of the Black Freighter comic in the original Watchmen comic. Angela’s family, Glass, some bomb making Kavalrymen, everyone is watching this show. It’s narrated by an old timey hero, the Circus Strongman. In it, a 5 and dime is being robbed by some stick up men. Hooded Justice bursts through the window and very violently takes them out, repeatedly stabbing one, then using him as a human shield for another’s bullets, smashing the very large cash register into a third. The weirdest part of this scene? One of the stick up men grabs a newspaper from a newspaper boy right before the robbery for no reason other than it looked good on camera? Do I blame the makers of Watchmen or American Hero Story for this?
Angela pays a visit to Judd’s widow Jane. There are many other visitors there. A Senator named Joe introduces himself. He offers her whatever resources she needs to solve Judd’s murder. She reminds him that she’s not a cop anymore and then quickly passes out. When she awakes, Jane tells Angela to “get those fuckers who did this to him.” As soon as Jane leaves, Angela puts on some fancy night vision x-ray goggles and starts searching Judd’s room and closet. She finds a hidden chamber in his closet. Inside is a Klanman’s hood and robe with a sheriff’s star on it. Okay, Watchmen, I did not see that coming. What. The. Fuck.
Angela quickly and quietly makes her exit.
Time to check in on Adrian Veidt. He picks a tomato from a tree. Wait a second, tomatoes don’t grow on trees! You crazy geneticist, Veidt! His two person staff, Ms. Crookshanks and Mr. Phillips, give him another cake. They then perform his play for him. A masked man plays violin for ambiance. The Watchmaker’s Son story is about Jon Osterman and his transformation into Dr. Manhattan. The scene we’re seeing is about when John accidentally locked himself into the chamber that transforms him.
Whoa, Veidt ignites Mr. Phillips on fire in the chamber he’s locked in! Veidt is really going for that realism on stage any way he can get it! Is this what cinema verite is? A new Mr. Phillips, painted blue, descends to the ground as Dr. Manhattan. The masked violinists and stage crew unmask. They are all more Crookshanks and Phillips. They have other names until they get promoted to Crookshanks or Phillips. It doesn’t seem like a job you’d want. It seems as short lived as admirals in the imperial Navy. Hey, Vedit is able to salvage the watch from the former Mr. Phillips’ burnt husk of a body. Now that’s craftsmanship!
William has escaped from his handcuffs and is cooking on the stove when Angela returns to him. It turns out he also went to the grocery store. She’s surprised by all of this.
Angela presents the Klansman robe and asks William if he put it in Judd’s closet. He points out that he can’t walk upstairs. She wants to know if this is the skeleton in the closet he was referring to. William makes it sound like he wasn’t being that literal.
Angela gets a call from the History Center. It confirms William’s DNA and tells her that she is William’s granddaughter. This is news to Angela, it seems. Angela asks why he is here. He says that he wanted to meet her and show her where she came from. Angela tells him he’s under arrest. He says she can arrest him, but that his friends will free him.
Sure enough, right after Angela puts William in her car, a flying vehicle drops a giant magnet on top of Angela’s car and picks it and a smiling William up before flying off. Is William one of the mystery men from the Watchmen comic? The “Watch Over This Boy” note falls from the sky to Angela as the craft flies away.
Angela says what I’m thinking: “What the fuck?” Seriously, Watchmen, what the fuck?