It’s 1985 on Watchmen and Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons) is recording his message to Robert Redford from his secret headquarters. It’s an all Asian staff working for him. As he records, a cleaning woman sneaks into his office and hops onto a computer straight out of Lost. She doesn’t enter 4, 8, 15, 16. 23, 42, but does enter Veidt’s login. Is this Lady Trieu’s mother? A couple of C: prompts later and the painting behind the desk moves away to reveal a freezer unit. She steals a vial of what I’m guessing is Ozymandias’s sperm (Spermymandias?) since she replaces it with a vial of hand lotion. My suspicions are confirmed when she inseminates herself on Ozymandias’s office chair.
It’s 2008 and a lone figure approaches Ozymandias’s Antarctic stronghold. It’s Lady Trieu (Hong Chau), there to meet her father and tell him her grand plans. He’s unimpressed by her, and must be used to people attempting the dangerous trek to visit him, because he dismisses her immediately and even adds that no, she can’t use his bathroom.
But Trieu plays to Ozymandias’s greatest weakness, his ego (it’s how Dr. Manhattan got him to willingly go to Europa), and praises his secret plan from the original Watchmen, saying the tragedy of it is that no one knows he saved the world. This gets her inside.
Once inside, Trieu lays out her theory that Dr, Manhattan is on Europa, not Mars, and reveals that she has designed a interstellar probe tuned to his radioactive signature. The next thing she wants to do is capture him and take his power for herself. She just need a small loan from Ozymandias for $42 billion for her quantum centrifuge. This snaps Veidt out of her ego play. He calls her mom a thief and says that he’ll never acknowledge her as his daughter. He won’t even acknowledge her name, calling her Sample 2346.
We then move to the present with Veidt on Europa. He’s alone in his cell. The walls of the manor house begin shaking. When he looks outside, he sees a rocket ship landing. He’s had plenty of time to dig his hole since last week. He’s managed to dig a Veidt sized tunnel all the way to the lawn. He escapes and proceeds to the rocket. The Games Warden (Tom Mason) gets between him and the rocket. The Games Warden shoots Veidt, who falls, but rises. Ozymandias caught the bullet, mirroring a scene from the original Watchmen comic.
Veidt stabs the Games Warden with his horseshoe. The Games Warden calls him master and asks him why he made him wear a mask. Ozymandias replies “Because masks make men cruel” and cites his need of a worthy adversary to keep himself sane. When the Games Warden asks with his dying breath if he was a worthy adversary, Ozymandias says, “No,” proving once again what a cold blooded asshole Adrian Veidt is.
Veidt ascends in the rocket into the sky, and we finally see what he was spelling out with all those bodies: SAVE ME DAUGHTER. He looks down on what he wrote, happy that his message worked. I think Veidt knows who sent that rocket.
At the behest of the onboard computer, Ozymandias enters a stasis chamber for his return trip to Earth. He’s encased in gold, just like the statue in Tieu’s lawn. Oh man, wait a second, is this scene taking place now, or were all of these Ozymandias on Europa scenes in the Watchmen show’s not too distant past? Has that statue of Ozymandias on Trieu’s lawn been him this entire time? Freeze dried dad just waiting for the perfect time to be defrosted? Bian (Jolie Hoang–Rappaport) defreezes him. Trieu lets Bian know that she’s really Trieu’s mother, not the other way around, but Bian sounds like she already figured that out. Veidt looks like Han coming out of carbon freezing in Return of the Jedi. Trieu’s staff cleans him off. Veidt immediately recognizes Bian as a clone of Trieu’s mother.
Trieu was happy to see his SAVE ME DAUGHTER message on Europa. She wanted Veidt here to witness her crowning achievement, so she sent that rocket to pick him up. She gives him something less ridiculous than his superhero costume to wear, a sharp suit, though it still has a subtle Ozymandias logo emblazoned on it. Veidt looks out upon the now complete quantum centrifuge. He’s impressed by her. These two definitely have an interesting father daughter relationship.
The newspaperman watches Trieu’s people set up their equipment outside the Dreamland theater. Lady Trieu picks up her papers in person for the first and last time. The newspaperman thinks Veidt looks like Veidt, sort of. He tells Adrian that he could pass for Ozymandias at kids’ birthdays if he wanted too. Veidt asks what everyone thinks happened to Ozymandias. The newspaperman’s word sting when he tells Veidt that no one cares, he’s old news. Like I said earlier, Ozymandias’s greatest weakness is his ego.
The quantum centrifuge activates and hovers around Tulsa, seemingly searching for Dr. Manhattan.
The Keane boys, Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. (James Wolk), visit Cyclops HQ. Joe Sr. makes the Cyclops hand to forehead symbol as he passes the security guard. So Joe Sr. is old school Cyclops, meaning his anti-vigilante legislation in Watchmen was likely Cyclops motivated.
Laurie (Jean Smart) is still tied up. Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) has infiltrated the Kalvary, hidden behind a Rorschach mask. He lets Laurie know he’s there.
Dr. Manhattan materializes inside the Kalvary cage. Jean’s Smart’s reaction is amazing. Her facial reaction in this scene is more Silk Spectre than Malin Akerman was in the entire Watchmen movie.
Outside her house, Angela (Regina King) interrogates the Kalvaryman who teleported Jon. She’s breaking finger by finger trying to get him to say where they took Jon.
Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) mediates in vajrasana as Joe Keane Jr. goes into a ranting white man’s woes speech for the assembled Cyclops and Kalvary. He undresses as he does this. He reveals not only his white supremacist body but also how he figured out Dr. Manhattan was in Tulsa. It was from the White Night, when Cal teleported, instead of disintegrating, one of the Kalvary home invaders. That Kalvaryman ended up in Jon Osterman’s hometown. Joe Jr. put two and two together.
Joe Jr is wearing a Dr. Manhattan bathing suit under his suit. This is going to be the hot beachwear of 2020, I tell you now.
Angela rushes the complex as this speech is happening. All guns are immediately trained on her. She’s got a high powered gun with her, but not enough to take everyone out before they kill her. Angela says they’re being played by Trieu, who has clearly sabotaged this setup. She points out all of Trieu’s batteries all over the place. Joe Jr. doesn’t buy it.
Laurie wants Looking Glass to shoot Keane now. He doesn’t because “and then what?” Fair, LG. Fair. That said, my favorite thing about this Watchmen series is Jean Smart as Laurie Blake. Silk Spectre always seemed like a wet noodle to me in the original story. It’s great to see how tough as nails she’s become over the subsequent years. Jean Smart deserves an Emmy nomination for this role.
Joe Keane Jr. gets into a chamber that looks like it was specced on the original one that transformed Jon into Dr. Manhattan. He powers it up. When they flip the switch, energy waves cascade out across the room. Everyone’s hearing is knocked out, and they’re teleported to Lady Trieu’s setup outside the Dreamland Theater. Looks like Angela was right. The quantum centrifuge hovers overhead. Trieu’s people come in with high powered magnets that grab everyone’s guns. Trieu apologizes to Angela when she powers up her machine, since she’s about to kill her husband. Trieu is confused as to Senator Keane’s whereabouts. She opens the chamber he stepped into. A gelatinous liquid oozes out. I don’t think Joe Jr. is making it into the second season. The ooze formerly known as Joe Keane Jr. oozes everywhere, even into Dr. Manhattan’s chamber. It looks like that cell isn’t water tight.
Trieu reads a paper from Will Reeves to the assembled people. It names them as the senior leadership of Cyclops. He calls them out for their crimes. Jane Crawford (Frances Fisher) tells her to cancel the speech and just kill them already. Trieu is happy to oblige. She activates a switch and all of Cyclops disintegrates. Man, Jane’s true colors really came out in that scene.
Dr. Manhattan touches the Keane ooze. It turns blue and teleports people elsewhere. Veidt, Laurie and Looking Glass are teleported to Antarctica. Trieu isn’t happy. Dr’ Manhattan is all over the place, or all over time and space, asking things like “Jane are you cold? I can raise the temperature.” He can’t seem to focus on where he is.
Trieu isn’t happy by Dr. Manhattan’s play to move pieces to other parts of the board. For all her smarts, she didn’t see this coming.
Dr. Manhattan says the cage is affecting him. It’s hard for him to be present. Jon, I hear you, buddy. That’s how I feel every day walking around with all the world’s knowledge in pocket. By all the world’s knowledge, I mean a handful of iPhone games and Instagram.
When Angela asks why Jon didn’t send her off with Ozymandias, Looking Glass and Silk Spectre, Jon says it’s because “I don’t want to be alone when I die,” and tells her not to touch the lights. Trieu’s machine is sucking the Manhattan-ness right out of him, making him look more human as it proceeds apace.
Down in the Antarctic tundra, Veidt asks when the last incursion was in Tulsa. Good thing Looking Glass is there. He says it was three weeks ago. Veidt plans to drop more squids on Tulsa.
All of Jon’s happy times with Angela flash before his eyes. And then he’s Cal. And then he’s gone. The force of the energy wave throws Angela into the side of the Manhattan Phone booth.
Just like in the original Watchmen, Ozymandias narrates the villain’s plan, but this time it’s not his plan, and also things don’t go the villain’s way. Trieu enters the chamber. Vedit rains down frozen squid on Tulsa. Bian wakes Aybar. She tells her to get her and her friends out of there. What friends? Tulsa PD descends on the scene.
The Manhattan Phone rings. Bian answers. It’s Laurie. She tells her to run. “They’re coming from the sky. Get inside!” The first squid goes right through Trieu’s hand. Bian and Angela hide in the phone booth. The frozen squid perforate cop cars. Angela grabs a shield, and runs, using it as an umbrella. Bian hides in the phone booth. The quantum centrifuge falls out of the sky onto Trieu’s head. I’m guessing Bian didn’t make it out of that one either. Angela takes refuge inside the Dreamland Theater. Will is inside, in his old seat. Angela sits across from him. On the stage, her children sleep among the set pieces of Oklahoma. Will apologizes about Jon’s death. He’s not sorry about Trieu’s death. He tells her making a deal with Trieu was Jon’s idea, back when he first introduced himself to Will. Will and Angela discuss masks, mirroring Ozymandias’s conversation with the Games Warden earlier this episode of Watchmen. He disagrees with Ozymandias, saying a masks keep in the fear and the pain. He says, “You can’t heal under a mask. Wounds need air.”
Will then gives her a clue as to what comes next for Angela with “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a couple of eggs.” He said Manhattan said she’d understand. She doesn’t. Angela invites him to stay with her “just for a couple of nights” though I don’t think either of them believe that he’ll only be there a couple of nights. But Angela has her fear of being left behind, ever since her parents’ death, and even now can’t bring herself to fully commit verbally to having Will stay. And Will is a lot like his granddaughter int that regard.
Veidt, Laurie and Glass find Archie, Nite Owl’s airship. A quick aside from Veidt explains why Judd had one too. Nite Owl did licence them out to law enforcement agencies. Laurie arrests Veidt. He laughs at it. She doesn’t. Glass has proof, on disc of his crimes. It’s Veidt’s own confession. “So I suppose the FBI is going to arrest the president too?” “Sure, why not?” Seems prescient to our world just as much as Watchmen‘s. When Veidt calls out Laurie’s hypocrisy of knowing for years, she says “People change, at least some of us do.” Veidt’s pissed. Glass shuts him up with a wrench shot to the head.
Angela escorts her family out of the theater. It looks like a natural disaster struck outside. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma plays as they walk past the carnage. No one notices as they slip into Angela’s bakery. Her kids are surprised to see her lair and and her Sister Night costume. At home, Angela puts them all to bed. She finds eggs splattered on the floor from earlier that night, and Jon’s little widget thingie. Will says he’s going to bed, eulogizing Jon with “Sorry he’s gone but considering what he could do, he could have done more.” Angela cleans up the eggs. There’s one egg, untouched, still in the package. She remembers what Jon said about consuming part of him to obtain his powers, and his close up magic trick with the egg from the first time they met. She heads outside to the pool, cracks the egg open and slurps it down. He couldn’t even hard boil it for her? She rolls up her pants and steps in the pool. But does she step on the pool? We don’t know. The screen cuts to black as her foot touches the water. A cover of I am the Walrus plays us off (Get it? “I am the Egg Man.” The song is also the source of tonight’s Watchmen episode title, See How They Fly)
Last week, I said that I didn’t think we’d get a satisfactory conclusion to Watchmen this season. There was just too much to wrap up and not enough time. Sound familiar, Lost fans? But man, this wrapped up very nicely. Are we sure this is same Damon Lindeloff from Lost? It’s funny, I loved this season of Watchmen so much that I’d be happy if we don’t get a second season. Don’t get me wrong, if there’s a second season of Watchmen, I’ll be watching every week (and hopefully recapping it here on The Beat as well). But this season of Watchmen played out like an excellent nine episode movie. We got our beginning, middle and end without a large cliffhanger begging for another season. Well, other than finding out what Lube Man’s deal is, of course.