Watchmen, the HBO series based on/sequelizing the classic DC Comics series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, has remained a vital part of the American discussion given current events around policing and systemic racism in the United States. The show, created by Lost‘s Damon Lindelof, tackled those issues head-on, and did so in a stylish manner that has kept people interested in what went into the making of the series. One of the more bizarre elements of the Watchmen series, though, was the inclusion of a character known only as Lube Man, a mysterious masked vigilante in a skintight bodysuit who appears in one scene running down the street from Angela Abar, aka Sister Night (Regina King), before spraying liquid all over himself and sliding down a sewer grate.
Yeah. That guy.
One of the enduring mysteries of the series has been the identity of Lube Man, and while material on HBO’s Peteypedia indicated who he might’ve been, a new video appears to confirm the information, though not without question of whether it’s true or not. A discussion of Watchmen‘s music hosted by Rolling Stone‘s Alan Sepinwall and featuring Lindelof and series composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross was interrupted near its conclusion by Lube Man, who promised to reveal his identity if Reznor and Ross would provide music for a poem he had written.
The entire discussion is fascinating, but the Lube Man content begins around the 20 minute mark, and he finally breaks into the call at around 24:45. Lube Man accuses Reznor and Ross of not being able to actually improvise as tightly as they claim to, and proposes that they improvise while he reads his poem. The pair agree, on the condition that Lube Man unmasks, which he agrees to.
What follows (beginning at 26:15) is an absolutely incredible rap that doesn’t have a ton to do with Watchmen, though it does feature a reference to what Nite-Owl was up to during the series and to both Adrian Veidt and Doctor Manhattan. The final verse of the rap, though, features Lube Man pleading with the viewers:
Wake up, America, eat your Wheaties
Cancel the Karens, renew the Peteys
With that Lube Man removed his mask to reveal F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Petey (Dustin Ingram), apparently confirming what had previously only been hinted at. Following the unmasking, Lindelof reminded Ingram that he needed to return the costume, and that there wouldn’t be a second season for the series. At that point Ingram responded by spraying himself with liquid and fleeing.
Does this solve once and for all the mystery of Lube Man’s identity? It would appear so, though Lindelof himself called into question whether the appearance is official or not. “I’m really looking forward to the debate over whether or not this is canon,” Lindelof said.
Draw your own conclusions, dear reader.