Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Watchmen Wednesdays: Episode 4

Buckle in for maybe the weirdest one yet.

In episode four, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own,” more characters are introduced and few mysterious solved. The episode opens with the introduction of Lady Trieu (excellently portrayed by Hong Chau), who wants to buy a farmer’s house and land—the payment? A baby that is biologically theirs due to leftover genetic material from when they medically tried to have a baby years ago. Of course, this seals the deal—just in time as something crashed onto the farmland they just sold, thus making it Lady Trieu’s.

Lady Trieu and the baby payment
We don’t know much about Lady Trieu, but here’s what we do know: she’s from Vietnam, she’s uber-rich, she bought Veidt’s/Ozymandias’ company, and she’s building the first wonder of the “new world” (ie something that can withstand the climate crisis). She’s also the one who took Angela's grandfather Will Reeves.

Over in Veidt wonderland, we did receive one answer—where do the clones come from? Wellll, apparently Veidt fishes them out of a lake like crab babies and then somehow grows them at a painfully quick speed (as demonstrated by the horrible screaming). Was anyone else as horrified by this as I was? It fits with the true weirdness of Veidt’s world but, dang, that was pretty awful. We aren’t given any time to recover from that weirdness before the newly grown clones are ushered into the dining hall to clean up their own clone massacre. Veidt admits to killing them all. That’s a big yikes from me, mate.

They get rid of the bodies by catapulting them.

When it comes to Angela and Agent Blake, the episode mostly featured a stand off. Angela is trying to keep Will Reeves a secret (as much as she resents him for screwing up her life) even while Blake takes over the investigation of the dead chief. I can only assume their relationship is going to explode pretty soon.

A few new mysterious pop-up or are remembered. First, the squids. No new information but the episode reminds us about them. Second, another new superhero appears—Lube Man—but all he does is run away from Angela and slide into a sewer. The object that crashes on the farm is never revealed, either, and Lady Trieu comes with a host of her own mysteries. Plus, the very end of the episode features Will Reeves repeating the “tick-tock” that has been associated largely with the white supremacist terrorist group the Seventh Kavalry (who were largely absent this episode).

For the reasons listed above, I gotta say this wasn’t my favorite episode. Last week, we got some answers and the return of a favorite character (and Agent Blake as played by Jean Smart is still brilliant and wonderful). This episode just created so many more questions that I worry aren’t going to be resolved in five episodes. I definitely trust showrunner Damon Lindelof (of Lost fame/infamy). He’s given us an amazing opening for a difficult show and got a nonfan pretty invested in this world. I’m down to see what he’s going to do with the remaining episodes.

Here’s what some other folks are talking about:
FIYAH poetry editor and writer Brandon O'Brien on Tom Mison

Speculative Writer Victor LaValle on Episode 4
Speculative Writer Brooke Bolander on the Veidt babies

My predictions for next week: the squids are gonna come baaaaaack, and I have a theory that Veidt is trapped in Lady Trieu's statue of himself. 


Phoebe Wagner currently studies at University of Nevada: Reno. When not writing or reading, she can be found kayaking at the nearest lake. Follow her at phoebe-wagner.com or on Twitter @pheebs_w.

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