The Wizeguy: Watching Watchmen

I really, really like this “remix” of Watchmen.

A lot.

It’s absolutely Appointment TV every Sunday night now. It feels good to have that again and it’s tough to choose between Mr. Robot and this each week, but right now its Watchmen in First, Mr. Robot taking the late show.

Now, beginning a series with an over looked massacre, examining how reparations would impact the culture, and casting a 48 year old Black woman as your super hero lead is bold. Regina King is killing it and this show is awesome. Hold up, Regina King is not killing it, she is destroying it and leaving all genre television actors/actresses in the dust. It really struck me how excellent her acting was during the hospital bed scene with the whole not crying part. Man that was striking.

I felt like “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” was practically screaming at you that Judd was involved with the Seventh Cavalry. It establishes that he really doesn’t approve of “Black Oklahoma,” and that he was once an actor, so he knows how to play a part. He goes out of his way to ramp up the tension with the police by okaying – against objections by the panda guy – the rule allowing themselves to be armed. At the raid he ignores safety to make sure that none of the terrorists survive to potentially be interrogated. And then at the end of the episode, he smiles and does the “tick tock” thing practically winking at the camera.

The reveal isn’t shocking because it’s not supposed to be. We all knew it was coming and given how prevalent it is in the real world, even if you missed the show’s trail of breadcrumbs, it still shouldn’t be a surprise that the white authority figure turned out to be a secret terrible person. But it was supposed to feel like a personal betrayal for Angela, because Judd wasn’t just her boss, he was her friend, and a father figure. For all we know, his feelings of affection for Angela were real to some degree. Was he the second gunman at her house? Did he have a moment of humanity and decide to spare Angela, or did he just see her as a potential prop to help his stage persona of “white knight.”

I’m really interested in how the show is making explicit parallels between the costumes and paraphernalia of “superheroes” and the literal Klan. When Angela scoped out the klan robes with her Nite Owl goggles (where did she get those? FBI confiscation from Dreiberg, or has police technology caught up to his prototypes by now? I.E. The MerlinCorp), I thought it was some sort of vigilante costume in a locker similar to the one she has in the bakery. And it was, just not a fun comic book vigilante costume. Watchmen the graphic novel wasn’t exactly subtle about how superheroes are actually kinda fashy, so this is just taking the comparison further.

I know that Angela’s partner and his wife were killed, and that several other officers were also killed (forty houses targeted), but Judd also makes a point of mentioning that most of the rest of the officers RESIGNED. Which begs the question, what kind of people rushed to fill in the empty police positions, protected now by a mask, and will that come into play later on.

I seem to recall Veidt’s certainty in his plan sort of faltering when Manhattan basically calls him out. If I’m right, I’m wondering if that kind of uncertainty, and the way Rorschach’s journal has kind of undercut the impact of the alien monster as well as kicked off a perverted, Klan-adjacent version of his moral compass has made him go off the deep end. Veidt’s plan’s biggest weakness was Dr. Manhattan which is why he spent a couple of decades designing a plan to prevent Dr. Manhattan’s omniscience and removing him from the planet. By the time Big Blue caught on, the destruction already occurred and he assented to the plan and even killed Rorshach to further the plan.

Adrian Veidt IS in prison but where and when that prison is still to be determined. He’s pulling tomatoes off a tree, he’s got a bunch of clones he’s indiscriminately killing, and he’s got some big plan in the works. But the aspect of his scenes that stands out the most is that they’re completely untethered from the rest of the show (or are they?).

We got a glimpse of Lady Trieu’s Millennium Clock in Episode 3 but we didn’t get to actually meet her until “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.” The mysterious trillionaire seems to have molded herself after Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt. However, I don’t think Trieu worships at the altar of Veidt, at all. I think she’s the one who sent him away in 2012. And they don’t both have clones. They aren’t two separate but equal clonemasters. She has all of Adrian’s stuff. She bought Veidt Enterprises. She has all his dimensional and cloning tech and everything else he invented.

I think it’s possible that the point of trapping Veidt in the snow globe was to make him get out of it. Maybe Trieu needed one last piece of the dimensional mechanics puzzle to be solved before she could start her plan, which almost certainly involves unmaking Dr. Manhattan with a time machine and saving Vietnam from being destroyed by a big blue god. Also, you know she’s going to be related to that pregnant woman the Comedian killed after she slashed his face, back in Vietnam.

Truthfully the biggest and most difficult paradox of this show’s dynamic that is provoking my thinking is the basic “How far would you go in the name of doing the right thing?” element that is the hallmark of good storytelling. After the first four episodes, I’m ALL in. The end? I’m sure I won’t see it coming and I can’t wait to see what happens next.


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