Watchmen Recap: Scott Bakula Style

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Summary

Watchmen goes Scott Bakula style tonight as Sister Night takes a leap with the help of Nostalgia — use as directed.

This recap of Watchmen Season 1, Episode 6, “This Exceptional Being,” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


When we last saw our favorite Watchmen, Wade turned Angela in as the only way to keep her safe and save her family, but not before she swallows the entire bottle of Nostalgia. We are left to wonder how will this affect her in the future? Are the masked men who are about to perform a “purge” on Wade’s house? This week, if you were invested in those outcomes, you are about to get a shock of a lifetime. In usual Lindelhoff fashion, he pulls a rabbit out of his hood while you are looking back at the previous episode’s questions. This episode, titled, “This Exceptional Being,” starts with an episode of Hooded Justice being interrogated Sid Hudgen’s style, very “hush, hush.” The lawmen (one of them played by Erik Palladino) wants to unmask the vigilante; he loosens the noose around his neck, takes off his mask, and just before they snap his pretty picture, he beats them the way a caped crusader can, right before the “American Justice” title sequence.

Of course, Angela starts to feel the effects of her grandfather’s medication, taking someone else’s nostalgia will not give you that person’s memories it is prescribed to; it won’t have you relive your own. Right after Blake explains that to Sister Night and asks her to sign a release form to pump her stomach inside the cell, she falls into a deep memory of Will Reeves earning his New York City police badge in 1938.  On what appears to be Reeve’s first night, he sees a man burn down a delicatessen (played by HBO veteran character actor Glenn Fleshler). Reeves though gets his idealistic world shattered, as he arrests the man, and finds him on the street less than a day later, told by his Sergeant to let it go. If that wasn’t enough, he is jumped by his fellow officers the following night, hung from a tree, cut down after several agonizing minutes, and then told to stay of out “white folks” business.  After picking himself off the ground with his pride still intact, he decides to police the streets in a mask, with a noose around his neck, since he can’t do it in his dress blues. Yes, if it looks familiar, there is a reason, because Will Reeves is Hooded Justice. Of course, in the show within the show, he is played by a Caucasian actor Cheyenne Jackson, which is an odd occurrence of timing after the news that the screenwriter of the recent film, Harriet, told the press that in the ’90s, the studio wanted Julia Roberts to play the role.

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Why does everyone think Hooded Justice was white? Will wore his mask but used white paint around his eyes to give his foes and those pesky watchful bystanders that impression. This leads to Reeves telling his wife, who already knows how full of anger he is, and he unveils his entire backstory to her. He tells her about the movie theatre, being snuck out of Tulsa in the back of a vehicle, leaving his parents behind. The love of his wife, who wasn’t as supported at the celebratory dinner after earning his badge, is now behind him taking on all sorts of less than desirables, including a secret station for the Seventh Kavalry. Right after he takes on a half-dozen of 7K’s finest, he is woken up by Blake and her husband Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II of Aquaman fame) who tries to remind her who she is, so she stops tumbling down her grandfather’s rabbit hole. She succumbs to another memory, with a visitor named Nelson Gardener, who claims to be associated with Captain Metropolis, and wants to recruit Hooded Justice to join forces with a band of masked crime fighters and is going to form the Minutemen. Night’s Scott Bakula virtual reality then gets a surprise, as they jump to a scene of Reeves having intercourse with his new partner in crime, Nelson Gardener aka Captain Metropolis, and finds herself in the middle of an insidious criminal conspiracy in the meat-packing district of Harlem. He believes the Seventh Kavalary is using mind control to start riots within the African-American community in Harlem. Unfortunately, his partner in crime and justice won’t let the Minutemen help with the “black unrest.”

After dealing with the conspiracy on his own and burning down the Cyclopes mind control warehouse in the process, Watchmen finally let us in on the secret of how Reeves hung Judd Crawford from that large tree. He has harnessed the mind control techniques with an oversized flashlight, telling Judd to hang himself off that branch while the light flashes rapidly in his face.  Soon it flashes back to Night, who gets the super-cut treatment of what else has happened in Reeve’s life; his wife leaving him with their son, scenes of the entire group of Minutemen, being told to stay away from Tulsa, and lastly, a flashback of her own, in color, of her grandmother picking her up to take her home. When Abar wakes up, she does so in a clean, almost pristine, comfortable white bed, with Lady Trieu by her side, and we can only assume she saved her from not being able to escape her grandfather’s memories.

This first season of the Watchmen is a departure, from what I have been told, from the series, and seems to be going all-in with its first strong season. I can only wonder what is going to happen next in the final two episodes.


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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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