And so it comes to an end. What started as a show I didn't hear much hype about became the most talked about and exciting show of the year. Showrunner Damon Lindelof provided a master class on storytelling in a nine episode arc that was also just super fun.
In many ways, episode eight set-up the expectations of episode nine, "See How They Fly." We already know Cal/Dr. M was teleported by the white supremacist group the Seventh Kavalry and that Lady Trieu has a plan to stop them.
First, Veidt's storyline is brought together through several flashbacks. Turns out, Lady Trieu is his daughter after her mother, a refugee working as a cleaning lady, inseminated herself with Veidt's collected cum kept hidden in his office. As one might guess, Veidt disowns her, says he'll never call her daughter, and that she has to work her way up from nothing just like he did (in typical grumpy white man style).
Of course, this isn't going to stop Lady Trieu. As we know from the rest of the season, she is successful, to the point that even Veidt must acknowledge her as his daughter in order to escape Europa and his torturous utopia. In the bodies spelled out in corpses of Mr. Phillips and Ms. Crookshanks, we now see he has written on the moon not only "save me" but "save me daughter." Thus, Veidt is rescued by Lady Trieu--and my fan theory was confirmed! In order to make the flight back, he's coated in some sort of gold goo that hardens. It is Veidt in Lady Trieu's garden, not a statue! I feel very gratified by my little moment. Lady Trieu unthaws him, and he gets to come along for the festivities.
While the Seventh Kavalry successfully captures Cal/Dr. M, Lady Trieu's plan is also successful and she kills the Seventh Kavalry leadership. That being said, Veidt is convinced that Trieu would be just as bad of a choice as the white supremacist Senator Keene to take on the powers for Dr. Manhattan. The season isn't necessarily charitable when it comes to demonstrating her ability to empathize, but we are never given the chance to know if she would have been good in blue. Veidt comes up with a plan to stop her, using frozen baby squids teleported to the center of Tulsa, OK, which destroys not only her machine but her, as well. Only on Watchmen, folks.
Even Veidt can't save Dr. M, but Angela is there when he dies. His powers are drained into Trieu's machine, and after that, we aren't sure, though Lindelof and his team have given us several clues that seem to confirm the next Dr. M.
|Angela Abar in a Watchmen promo with a significant tint to the color palette.|
That being said, I think this promo picture makes it pretty clear who, if anyone, is the next Dr. Manhattan.
The end of the season doesn't wrap up much the loose ends--such as if Veidt will go to trial again, this time for massacring people via giant squid rather than killing the clones. There's a chance that Damon Lindelof will make another season, but I'm also okay with the show ending as a near perfect run. I've still got a lot of thoughts spinning around, so I hope to write a longer essay about the series as a whole next year, but until then, I've got some suggestions to keep up the Watchmen vibe through the holidays!
- If you're like me and haven't read the original for various reasons, that might be a good place to start! I'm planning on reading Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons over the next few weeks.
- If you're an old time fan and the show has reignited the fires, then check out Doomsday Clock (2017-2019) by Geoff Johns, the sequel to the original comic.
- If you want a deep dive into the TV show lore, then check out Peteypedia, a wiki constructed by the writers' room to give you all the good details.
Thanks for reading along and experiencing Watchmen with me! I hope to see you in 2020 for a longer conversation about the series as a whole (and I'm sure we'll be talking about it once the Hugo nominations come out!).
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.