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Watchmen


54 replies to this topic

#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.
  • Darth Ender +1 this

#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 it's 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!



#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.]





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