Watchmen finally attempts to ask that age-old question of what came first: The Chicken, The Egg, or Dr. Manhattan? Lindelof’s season (or series?) finale is decisive, and won’t please everyone.
This recap of Watchmen Season 1, Episode 9, “See How They Can Fly”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Where is Albert Brumley when you need him? After eight long episodes, Watchmen‘s clock has finally run out. Or has it? Many fans were convinced that Lindelof’s wet dream of a Comic Book spin would be a one-off, but most of them know how this industry works. When Dr. Manhattan tells Ozymandias/Veidt, “Nothing ever ends” I immediately thought sarcastically, “Yeah, no ****” and wondered what online school Dr. Manhattan obtained his doctorate in physical education from. I’m even starting to think his whole shtick of making mistakes and then telling everyone around him, “Hey! I knew that was going to happen” is like a circus act, so he can keep his street cred as the smartest, most powerful Blue Man since the show his distant cousins made famous on the Vegas strip.
So, I think I’m the most powerful being on earth. Why? Is it my delightful arrogance? It’s most likely the fact that I know how great I am because of my incredible modesty. As I used my unbelievable humility, I concentrated on Lady Trieu and the spoiled little brat that Senator Keene really is, I could hear both (well, Keene is slower, so his revelation came a bit later) channel their inner Gob as they realized they both made “a huge mistake.” That’s right, in an unusual partnership of when good meets up with evil at their weekly ***** sessions, Lady Triue and Keene have teamed up to steal Dr. Manhattan’s powers (I mean, I wish they really did because it was more of an exercise in following the leader, then kill the leader before they realize what happens). The young, handsome, and totally nutty spoiled leader of the Seventh Kavalry wants to use it to make white America strong again, by taking them back, Wonder Years style. Lady Two-Face, on the other hand, wants to fix the world for the better, so she can unveil herself of her daddy issues (I think she would be weak-kneed at a single’s bar if good old Charlie Harper walked by).
That’s all besides the point because if you want the big blue dicks power of multi-tasking and seeing the future, it’s already set in motion, you can’t stop it, so unless you are ready to use it to make a killing playing the ponies or going Hell or High Water on a handful of banks, what’s the point? In true fashion with what usually happens when two alphas team up with different agendas, they turn on each other. LT channels her childhood and gets her laser tag on, shooting up the 7k-magic band like a bunch of racists in a barrel that’s wrapped in a white sheet, along with Keene’s Wicked Witch like exit. She’s, as Veidt puts it, a raging narcissist because it takes one to know one.
Now it’s Veidt’s turn to turn the tables. LT flew him out in her own personal space ship, encasing the man in Jabba like carbonate, so he looks like an Ozymandias chocolate bunny wrapped in gold foil. Dr. Manhattan saves Laurie, Veidt, and Looking Glass from her lasers, but leaves Angela by his side, so he “has to die alone.” Trieu(dat) steals Dr. Manhattan’s power, storing it in her contraction above, and just before she is about to upload his upgrade if you will, Veidt unleashes hell; squid hell that is, giving us a shot of what happens that day in 1985. Laurie calls Angela, so she can escape, grabbing a briefcase shielding her for the squid’s flesh-eating frenzy.
Of course, she runs into the same Tulsa theatre where we saw a young Reeves escape from decades prior. He is sitting in his wheelchair, wrapped in what I would imagine is his Sunday best bathrobe, and has a final all-encompassing moment, taking it all in, and wondering what kind of 9 weeks it has all been. He then moves in with Angela, I can only hope Laurie, and Looking Glass pull a Full House-style living situation with her three adopted kids. This all leads up where the viewer asks themselves the question, what came first? The Chicken, the Egg, or Dr. Manhattan? It appears her lover has left his essence(eww) or power in a lone egg, referencing something he told her when they first met, answering her question by letting her know in theory she could walk on water if she drank it. So, of course, she pulls a Rocky Balboa, takes it in, and just before her foot hits the water, the season ends, and we are left to wonder what happens next.
The finale will be decisive for many; it could even be considered, especially the final two episodes, selling out their ideals for a more conventional, crowd pleasing ending, which goes against what Lindelof set out to do. One would think, after Lost and The Leftovers, he could have seen the future in front of him, but what’s done is done. It was a phenomenal take on a beloved comic book classic, and we can only hope they don’t ruin it any further with another season if Lindelof does walk away.
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.