Once again Watchmen gives us a compelling hour of television! This week’s episode, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own,” introduces us to the mysterious Lady Trieu, and gives us a bit more backstory on Angela Abar.
While I will say that I’m getting slightly annoyed with the show dropping clues and hints and then cutting out before they actually answer any of the questions they’re raising, I do think they’re building to something. And even if the pay off isn’t perfect, the acting is so incredible, and watching these characters bounce off each other each week is simply a delight.
Last Week, On Watchmen:
Oh, gosh, Laurie Blake. Is she my favorite character on TV right now? Quite possibly? Because I LOVE Angela, but Angela is also good, where Laurie is fucked up and problematic and mean and so, so damaged. And seeing her and Angela spark off of each other, neither giving a millimeter? I could watch many hours of that, not just one limited season.
I also dearly loved Laurie wrangling with Pete! The way they set him up to be an awkward nerd, only to have him remind Laurie that he’s actually a highly-trained scholar whose knowledge is relevant to the Tulsa case was beautiful. I’m exhausted by the usual trajectory of those scenes, where the well-informed characters are waved away for being too nerdy, when in reality their specialized knowledge is exactly what’s needed. It was fantastic to see this show nod to that, while also having some fun with the power dynamic between the mature, former-celebrity Laurie and her much younger assistant.
Plus, naturally, my favorite thematic stuff was that long, twisty joke Laurie told Jon. The way she decimates each of her former heroic allies, the way the brink imagery comes back when the car almost falls on her, the perfection of the line: “God snaps his fingers, and the hero goes to hell”—it just does so much work to pull the themes and tone of the Watchmen comics into the show.
And ooof that owl.
This Week, On Watchmen
We open on the Clark poultry farm, which is not doing too well, but given that the Clark’s trials and small triumphs are set to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers singing Islands in the Stream it all seems much more upbeat than it has nay right to. But then trillionaire Lady Trieu shows up to make them an offer on the farm—not money, as they initially expect, but their own baby, genetically sequenced
in one of Trieu’s labs from eggs and sperm they left at a lab years ago when they were trying unsuccessfully for a child.
Holy shit, Trieu doesn’t play.
Naturally they sign the house and property over, and come outside just in time to see the car streak through the sky, damn near crushing Laurie.
The rest of the episode plays out between Angela trying to investigate Will, while covering up all evidence that he exists, while also being investigated by Laurie. Laurie is polite enough to pretend that they’re all on the same team, investigating Angela’s destroyed car.
Naturally the investigation brings them into the orbit of Lady Trieu, and what seems to be a sinister overarching plot.
Here Be a Black Freighter Full of Spoilers
OK, so there are two huge revelations this week, vying for #1! First, Adrian Veidt is in fact in a prison of some sort, and he’s been murdering all those poor Phillipses and Crookshankses as he attempts to escape. My assumption, and a theory I’ve seen bandied about, is that he’s either on Mars or on the Moon, and that his immersive habitat comes courtesy of Dr. Manhattan.
Second, Will is in some form of cahoot with Lady Trieu! And also he can walk. The two of them scheme together in Trieu’s vivarium, and whatever they’re up to seems destined to mess Angela’s life up even more.
Angela crawling into Topher’s lower bunk was incredibly sweet. I dearly love the chemistry between these two. I also loved Cal being so matter-of-fact in his rejection of an afterlife. That was such a fun subversion of the usual take on that scene, and it certainly flows well with Topher’s hard realism.
OK, with that out of the way—what the heck was up with the lubed-up Daft Punk reject??? Is he just there to be a witness to Angela’s ongoing destruction of evidence? Is it Tooms, returned from the dead for a Very Special X-Files Crossover?
And finally…uh, did we really need the Baby Clone Lake? I mean, I certainly didn’t need it. It’s cool to find out where all the Phillipses and Crookshankses come from, sure, but e, and I cannot stress this enough, gad.
- Eggs! Eggs everywhere! I’m not sure if this is building on the owl imagery or the idea of all of life being contained in one small container, but whatever the case, this episode has dangerously high cholesterol.
- It seems Lady Trieu is building a giant sundial? Which is just an extra baller version of a watch.
- Wade runs out to photograph the Squidfall (and then develops those photos in a dark room!), and seems extremely sympathetic to the poor little squished guys. I’m going to say this here, very quietly: Wade is my favorite, and if he turns out to be a white supremacist or gets himself killed next week I’m going to be very sad.