Watchmen Recap: Rich A**holes Wearing Masks Rewind

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Summary

Watchmen is expertly constructed with a stunning and ultra-cool addition of a new strong female character.

This recap of Watchmen Season 1, Episode 3, “She Was Killed By Space Junk”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Last week’s episode of Watchmen was a stellar and satisfying follow up to its abnormally strong pilot episode. The way that Lindelöf and its writers touch on censorship compared to incitement (when it comes to the blackout of the media and its televised programming called “American Hero”, that’s something we haven’t seen in an episodic series, and certainly not in any broadcast network show) is interesting. The moral questions it sparks by showing a paid police force that has to hide behind a mask to enforce the law, so they can’t become targets, is a confounding one. Perhaps what makes the show even more daring is the way it has taken issues of racial, economic disparity and flipped them on their head by incorporating the issue of restitution for racially related financial crimes. It would be hard to continue the upward trajectory the show has been going for, but, my god, does it ever in tonight’s episode, titled “She Was Killed By Space Junk.” Who cares if the show can’t tell a joke.

“******* Oklahoma” is the last comment of the opening sequence when our new investigator is asked to fly into Tulsa to investigate the murder of Chief Crawford. Her name is Laurie Blake (played by the invaluable Jean Smart), she just set up a sting that entrapped “rich a**holes in masks” playing vigilantes and dressed up as the Batman. Senator Keane, looking ever like a Kennedy and running for President, wants her to investigate not the Seventh Cavalry, but the possible fake cops that keep running around enforcing the law because the poor man’s Ku Klux Klan usually always takes credits for murdering cops. She has an Owl named Who (get it?), and if you are familiar with the Watchmen comic book, she is better known as the retired superhero, Silk Spectre II.

When she gets to town, she enters what looks like the vigilante’s version of Guantanamo Bay where the Red Scare, Pirate Jenny, and Looking Glass are interrogating the round-up of the great trailer park invasion of 2019. She flips the tables on Detective Wade Tillman, having him take off his mask which she used as a mirror to pick food out of her teeth, and noted how his toy machine is known as the Racist Detector. Blake has now turned into McCarthy, and Glass/Nelson is about to create a list like the Hollywood Ten, by naming names, one of them being Sister Night, who he confirms is Angela Abar. Blake heads over to Crawford’s funeral, introduces herself to Night and her husband, where shortly afterwards masked Calvary member shows up with a bomb strapped to his body. He attempts to kidnap Senator Keane for being a traitor to his race, but Blake blows his head off with her hidden gun, while Angela grabs his lifeless body with the explosive projectile ready to take flight. She dumps him in the hole dug for her former mentor, pushing the casket in, where I would imagine he is clutching his ten-gallon cowboy hat, over the top of the bomb, effectively turning his body into a free cremation when it goes off.


Meanwhile, Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) is up to no good, living the life by giving some delicious ripe red tomatoes to The Game Warden, while using another cloned version of Mr. Phillips as an experiment, killing him with what looks like a first attempt at building his own astronaut suit as he ventures into the great beyond for him. Game Warden writes him a letter filled, according to Veidt, with ridiculous accusations, but is also so pleased he loved the tomatoes (ever think if our current president was this polite with his barbs, we would be much more welcomed in other countries around the world?). One less Phillips, one more basket of organic vegetables, another look at the adorable Ms. Crookshanks, and Veidt finally putting on his own mask, you have shorter, but an effective Master segment.

“She Was Killed By Space Junk” is an expertly constructed episode that introduces a strong, female character, with a terrific turn by Smart. It ends with a flurry of revelations. The episode-long joke is being told to Dr. Manhattan’s answering service, that she clearly had a past personal relationship with him (obviously physical since she carries around a briefcase of, no joke, a giant motorized Manhattan vibrator that gets hers so randy she goes and does her partner who could be the age of her grandson), and everyone’s big hero has been vacationing on Mars. It all ends with a piece of space junk dropping from the sky, almost killing Spectre in the process, that looks an awful lot like the car Will Reeves flew off at the end of the last week’s episode.

We will have to wait until next week where we will obviously find out, or maybe in a few, that it seems like Senator Keane set up the bomber to make himself even more presidential. In the meantime, we will have to ponder why Blake wanted to run an autopsy on Crawford’s body, and why it’s almost too convenient there is nothing left to examine.


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M.N. Miller

M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.

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