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Watchmen


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#51
D-Ray Kenobi

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There was also a quick little moment at the funeral where he thought he recognized her.



#52
Darth Ender

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Spoiler


How did you know? I'm not saying you're not a smart guy, but there was nothing to set this up. Was it a deep reddit leak from somebody in the know?

I do this for a living and I am never surprised-- but until Trieu mentioned his amnesia and accident I did not see it coming.

If you deduced this based on something concrete-- kudos.

 

I don't want to say I figured it out, but when Cal responded to the heaven/ death question as "nothing" (it just felt very out of place and and intentional) paired with his weird dynamic with Laurie, the thought occurred to me.  



#53
Metropolis

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There were hints that much is obvious. But thinking that he was Cal but not knowing that he was is Sherlock Holmes stuff.
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#54
R.CAllen

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Going to divide this into two rough categories : extratextual and within-the-text-itself.

 

1) I have seen Damon Lindelof's actually good television show and so I kind of feel I have a rough sense of his obsessions as a writer : the things he likes, the subjects he finds appealing, what goes around and around in his balding head (minor aside : it's mostly just 9/11). My assumptions for how he would use the character of Doctor Manhattan, even before seeing the first episode of this show itself, is basically just one of two approaches :

 

a) as an absent presence, never actually elaborated or truly appearing in and of himself for very long in the narrative (basically in the way he seemed to be a part of the show up until last episode's reveal, as someone we saw on TV or talked about by the other characters, having Veidt's freaky servants dressing up as him and Laurie on the pelephone, y'know, he's not there but they make a big point of him not being there). This is kind of the way he did whatever motive power or explanatory force or science-fictional novum was behind the Sudden Departure on The Leftovers, it was simultaneously constantly being addressed while also always being just out of reach.

 

b) as being there all along in some way, inherent, under the surface, just waiting to rupture. Basically, this kind of twist! I kind of pegged 'Doctor Manhattan becoming Jon Osterman again' as a good approach to Watchmen II years and years ago, as a literal teenager, it's not even an original thought, it's Superman II, it's the Gospels, it is the sort of thing you, reading these words, should have thought of yourself. It is certainly a much more engaging and fruitful path forward for the character than whatever Detective Comics Comics has decided to do w/him or will be doing w/him in the future (my guess : making him a Guardian of the Universe, one of the guys who boss around Green Lanterns, because he's blue and they're blue, in fact that's going to end up being why they're all blue in the first place, this is exactly a dumb enough idea for them to do within the next few years as the intellectual property of the series and the HBO show gets slowly but surely integrated into the DC Universe as a whole). This is kind of the way Lindelof did the main character of Kevin Garvey on The Leftovers, as a superhuman figure troubled and unaware and disdainful of his own cosmic purpose, a messiah who wasn't.

 

So coming to the show with that in mind I was pretty sure we were going to see what we saw, but, y'know, if anyone had forced me to put money on it after watching just the pilot I would have probably gone with Jeremy Irons being revealed to be Doctor Manhattan, gallivanting about on Planet Zog with the new life he had created. And if I'd been asked to explain my assumptions after initially posting what I actually did post, after seeing the first three episodes, well, I would have had other extratextual reasons to offer that would have been plausible, interesting, and compelling but would have turned out to be 100% wrong. I did not see Angela Abar's character knowing about this from a mile away, that came as a surprise within the episode for me, and I would have in retrospect argued for this twist coming down on her life like a ton of bricks precisely because of how it makes things harder for that character, stands as a fundamental betrayal of her as awful and horrific as what happened to Doctor Manhattan's previous two relationships, and complicates her making her way through the rest of the narrative and would drive a wedge between her and Laurie in the moments after they'd inevitably reconcile to help solve the murder. So I only seem like I got it right on the money because I said what I said when I said it, precisely then and no more of it.

 

With that understood, well, what role does Cal Abar play in the story? Is there room for just a supportive husband and father in this goddamn psychosexual murder mystery about how we are doomed by our pasts? Would they really hire an actor of his calibre (no pun intended) for such an undemanding role? Or is he going to end up being something else, doesn't matter what, he could have been the guy who actually killed Don Johnson, whatever. He's gotta be something! This isn't the actual factual comic book of Watchmen (1986-7) itself, which had a deep care and consideration for the ordinary people of the world, which was filled to the brim with people who are just that, people, cab drivers and locksmiths and paper salesmen and psychiatrists and artists and reporters, this is an adaptation of Watchmen and as such (just like the movie, too, come to think of it) it is going to go hard in the paint for everyone who matters being deeply intertwined within its masked-man BS. Calvin Abar was always going to be something other than what he is, for the same reason I'm a little worried those kids of theirs are going to turn out to be something other than what they are (are the kids going to be psychic? I have half an idea at least one of those kids, the boy, is going to be a psychic), because this is TV, HBO can pretend it's not TV 'til the cows come home, but it's TV. I have seen a lot of television, it is not hard to predict where television will go (it's actually a bad show that isn't predictable; anything surprising in an ongoing narrative should appear absolutely inevitable in retrospect), it doesn't matter who does what for a living, I don't need a leak from a reddit or what-have-you to come to some sort of conclusion about what I'm seeing and neither should anyone else.

 

and

 

2) Within-the-text-itself, well, the moment of revelation for me was during the funeral scene when Laurie and him met and she addressed him by name and he responded with 'Do I know you?' and I went oh, of course, that's what's up!


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#55
R.CAllen

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P.S. Lady Trieu is Laurie's half-sister. I am only, like, three fifths kidding.

 

[Edit : wait, I googled it and other people think this too! I have to come up w/something more farfetched!]

 

[Edit again : Senator Bob from Mad Men is going to become a red version of Doctor Manhattan and they're going to fight!]

 

[Edit again again : wait, I think that was Chip Zdarsky's joke from years ago of what he would do as a sequel. I am trying to come up w/something for the silver guy who slid into the drains and I got nothing!! I think we've reached the point where predicting what's happening next would be like knowing Ozymandias is faking an alien invasion w/a giant squid monster to solve the Cold War; we're not early enough that knowing 'the rich guy did it' would be a satisfying solution to a murder mystery counts as a good deduction.]

 

I gave it some more thought and actually have thirteen or so predictions :

 

Spoiler

Edited by R.CAllen, 05 December 2019 - 08:54 PM.

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#56
D-Ray Kenobi

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I'd be willing to put good money on Lady Trieu being Ozymandias's daughter.

 


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#57
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I feel like Dr Manhattan right now. That episode was both awesome and infuriating at the same time.
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#58
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Come on. No one has seen the last episode?

#59
Darth Ender

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Come on. No one has seen the last episode?

I agree.  I love the flashbacks.  I think Angela talking to her grandfather was sooooooo cool.  But it is frustrating that this is the second episode that many of the plot points are not moving forward/ I don't have an update on characters that I love.  



#60
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I loved the last two episodes, but I agree-- they were one plot point stretched over two episodes. Obviously, it's the core of the show's mythology so there was a lot to cover.

 

I love Doc Manhattan. They are doing him right I think.



#61
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Dr Manhattan makes me a little mad when he knows what is going to happen, yet refuses to act on something that might go wrong. It ticked Silk Spectre off. If you want to say he was powerless to stop himself from being captured because of the tachyons, okay maybe. He got the kids out of there. Just teleport Angela and yourself.

#62
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Yeah they shod have made his capture more inevitable. Like, he could have tried to escape but Angela wanted to end it with the 7th. Anything that made it predestined.

That's what they were going for, but it didn't quit connect.

#63
D-Ray Kenobi

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It's the same kind of deus ex machina as Doctor Strange in Avengers Endgame.  The all-knowing character knows what has to happen and how it has to happen, but if he tells other characters or the audience what that is, it won't happen.

We'll see how they wrap everything up in the last episode, but I feel like there was a lot that was planted that will pay off.  Walking on water, all the eggs, making waffles, making sure he got captured.  It's just nice that he exploded some bigoted heads on the way though.



#64
R.CAllen

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Come on. No one has seen the last episode?

 

LOL. Yeah! I saw it! I was wrong about so much.

 

(Lindelof making use of the signature Black Mirror song 'Anyone Who Knows What Love Is' during the bar scene and then dropping two more Irma Thomas songs, well, -  :hmm:.)

 

I don't have the $$$ to bet any money, good or otherwise, on anybody being anybody's daughter but I don't think Lady Trieu is literally Ozymandias' flesh'n'blood offspring - she might just see herself that way (perhaps the child of one of the servants he murders in the atrium?) and I base that supposition on how Adrian Veidt describes the origin of his own intellect, as a choice he made when young to rise above the average intelligence level of his unremarkable parents. Having that aspect of himself be heritable (while certainly in keeping w/the show's themes!) would somewhat clash with that'n. I guess what I'm saying is that I think he spelled out SAVE ME DOCTOR MANHATTAN with the corpses of his servants rather than SAVE ME DAUGHTER or what-have-you.

 

Anyway, we'll all find out in an hour or two (or, for me, more realistically, later in the week).



#65
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This was very much like Star Wars. Something that was meant to be something bigger, but could be self contained if it didn't do well. Though at this point I struggle to see where you go from here if Angela is the only "true" superhero.
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#66
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The only disappointing thing is that it's over. Great finish, part of me wants a second season and another part of me doesn't. They left enough sprinkles to continue but nothing that's begging for it. 


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#67
D-Ray Kenobi

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I hope they don't do a Season Two.  The last shot was just as good as the last one of Inception.  Just leave it ambiguous, I loved it.


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#68
Darth Ender

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This was very much like Star Wars. Something that was meant to be something bigger, but could be self contained if it didn't do well. Though at this point I struggle to see where you go from here if Angela is the only "true" superhero.

 

Dr. Manhatten was the only true superhero from the beginning.  To me, Watchmen is more of a commentary on society than about superheros.  

 

I hope they don't do a Season Two.  The last shot was just as good as the last one of Inception.  Just leave it ambiguous, I loved it.

I agree.  At least not a direct sequel.  I remember a Neil Gaimen's Marvel 1602 and I think that Watchmen would be great in a similar format.  



#69
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I'd be willing to put good money on Lady Trieu being Ozymandias's daughter.

 

You son of a bitch.

 

And I'm with you-- let's just leave it be. It was great, but it was dangerously close to falling apart. I'm still not sure its commentary on racer is consistent. Its a well-made house of cards, but let's just leave it be now cause if we add anything else it could implode.

 

HBO has actually been doing these one-off shows, which I think is great. Instead of running the IP into thr ground, they bank on the creators. Lindelof's other show had a few season run, but Mrs. Fletcher this year, and the two shows Danny McBride has done for them (all of these are great btw) were also limited runs.



#70
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This was very much like Star Wars. Something that was meant to be something bigger, but could be self contained if it didn't do well. Though at this point I struggle to see where you go from here if Angela is the only "true" superhero.

 
Dr. Manhatten was the only true superhero from the beginning.  To me, Watchmen is more of a commentary on society than about superheros.
Society has always been the backdrop, but Watchmen is about flawed, sometimes broken people that were our protectors. This show continued that narrative. Mirror Guy, lol okay Looking Glass, was the epitome of that.

Krawlie mentioned it earlier about this being a one season thing. I had read that that was in last because they didn't know if this would have the legs. Whatever the truth is, it's debatable if there is much story left. The only Watchman we haven't seen is Night Owl. Is there a story there? Sure why not. As Tank said, do you want to run your property into the ground?

#71
D-Ray Kenobi

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I'd be willing to put good money on Lady Trieu being Ozymandias's daughter.

 

You son of a bitch.

 

That was totally a lucky guess based on some breadcrumbs I picked up. 

Around three or four episodes in, you could tell how the show was planting seeds for future reveals.  This was one I started to pick up on.  Her wanting to establish a legacy, buying up that family farm, cloning her mom but only hinting about her dad.  I thought maybe that statue might be him, but I didn't think the show would be crazy enough to go there.

 

If HBO wants to do more of this, I hope they go with the connected anthology route like Fargo has done.  There's not much sense in having this story continued, but there's tons of other Watchmen stories in this universe that would be fun to do if they were just as smart as this was.  Maybe bring in a different top-tier showrunner each season and let them have at it.



#72
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Does this show do any recaps of the comic for people who haven't read it? Trying to decide if I should watch this solo or try to get my wife into it, and there's no way I can convince her to read it. She saw the Snyder movie, at least.



#73
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Eh, kinda.

It doesn't rely super heavily on the comic, but there's usually some quick exposition for the things that it references.  If you are familiar with the comic, there's a lot of payoff in some of the themes and easter eggs, but it isn't really necessary for the overall plot.

My wife doesn't care anything about the comic, but she still enjoyed the hell out of the show.


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#74
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Does this show do any recaps of the comic for people who haven't read it? Trying to decide if I should watch this solo or try to get my wife into it, and there's no way I can convince her to read it. She saw the Snyder movie, at least.

I think like the movie, it certainly helps to have read the original comics for sure. There's enough things said about the early era of superheroes, and what happened after 1985 to make it clear. Funny enough, 1985 is the era they talk about the least outside of the big plot beats.
 
Even though this isn't a sequel to the Snyder film, that movie was faithful enough that watching it should actually give you enough detail for the show. You'll just have to explain the squid stuff since the movie didn't do that.

#75
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In one fashion it assumes you are familiar but then in another you don't have to be at all. 





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