Watchmen: If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own

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They’re taking things a bit literally here

 

They seem to enjoy playing with the opening title sequence on Watchmen, and they get a bit more creative with this one. The show title emerges through a gradually cracking shell, with the WATCHMEN logo much like a yellow egg yolk. They play with a lot of expectations this go around, and weave a few of the scattered plot threads a bit closer together. As most writers have wanted to say at one point or another, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.”

The egg theme is carried on to the opening scene, where we saw a small farming couple going through their day and trying to keep their operation going, in part with a roadside stand that clearly isn’t attracting a lot of customers. The couple, the Clarks (bold choice having farmers named Clark with a big red barn in a comic book property and have no relation to the famed Kents) get through their day and get to bed. The attempt at getting a good night’s sleep gets interrupted by a late-night knock on the door. Enter Lady Trieu, a reclusive billionaire with a reputation for being a bit erratic. She has an interesting discussion with the couple, making them an unexpected offer with a bonus that can’t be beat for these two particular people. Just as they agree to her terms, something odd happens which catches them by surprise but Trieu was apparently expecting.

 

Back in her “bakery,” Angela does a fairly thorough job of destroying the evidence of her recent “guest.” She gets interrupted in the midst of this by a call from the Cultural Center she got some information from before, and is very distracted by what she learns. Later, in costume, she covers her tracks ahead of time and breaks in to that same Center to learn more. The place is a technological marvel, although some of it seems a bit more complicated than it has to be. She learns a lot and ends up with more questions, but gets interrupted again, this time by a loud impact from outside. Racing out, she finds Agent Blake where we left her last time, with a car that fell from the sky. It turns out to be Angela’s, missing since a very unusual escape she witnessed. They exchange a few barbs and Blake walks off. Angela checks her car out and makes an interesting new discovery.

 

After a full and odd day, Angela gets home to find sleeping arrangements have been rearranged, so she goes to crash elsewhere. She has a discussion with someone she wasn’t expecting to, and gets an odd, and fuzzy, reassurance. Come morning, family discussion ranges from falling cars to the afterlife or lack of same to waffles. Afterwards, Angela pays a call on Wade Tillman, AKA Looking Glass. He has some really strange living arrangements and hobbies. She asks him for an off the books favor and they discuss their late chief. There’s a lot of banter about weird and extremely weird. Her next errand is what should be simple evidence disposal, but she gets interrupted by someone in a striking suit who makes a unique getaway after a chase. Finally getting to work, she has an unexpected encounter with Senator Keene.

 

They part on good, or at least friendly, terms, and she brings what’s leftover from her earlier run-in to Pirate Jenny and Red Scare. They’re largely uninterested, and refer her to the new boss. Blake has taken over the police, which I’m not sure FBI agents are supposed to do, and the Chief’s old office. They discuss fingerprints and friends, as well as potential family history, until Petey comes in with a new lead on the strange recent history of Angela’s car. Blake has been doing some snooping that annoys Angela, and, to even the scales a bit, Blake instructs Petey to give Angela Blake’s sordid history with the Minutemen. Angela is surprised, to say the least. Petey also doesn’t like the currently airing American Hero Story we keep seeing in the background.

 

This strange group arrives at Lady Treiu’s headquarters, gets an abbreviated tour, and then is escorted to the lady herself by her daughter, Bian. Petey, not being a woman, has to wait by the car. Lady Treiu is just as odd as when we saw her before, going on about her building and the conditions in her special room. Treiu and Sister Knight exchange comments in Vietnamese which Blake presumably doesn’t speak. They also talk about Veidt, the genius hero turned villain Ozymandias. This leads to another scene with the man himself, who has a stranger method than I had thought for getting new help. He leads the newcomers on a horrifying tour of his mansion/castle, and then shows a very interesting method of body disposal that he takes copious notes on while vowing to escape his prison. He’s a very strange man, even for a genius inventor.

 

Angela gets back home and discusses a few of the day’s events with Cal. There’s clearly a lot to their past we don’t know about yet, and some that she is clearly just as happy to keep from Blake. Cal gives a surprisingly friendly assessment of Blake.

 

The show ends on a strange scene that shows there are a lot more connections here than we knew about. Bian awakes from a nightmare and goes to see her mother. She relays her odd dream, and Trieu has an even stranger reaction to it. After a demonstration of her different parenting style, Trieu shoos her daughter back to bed and continues her discussion with her visitor. Trieu’s guest is someone we’ve seen before, although what the connection is between her and this character, I have no idea and they don’t tell us. The two of them are working on some elaborately complicated plan, and they clearly have different approaches in mind. There’s mention of a deadline, commitment, family complications, and a phrase you really wouldn’t expect from either of them repeated a lot. The end credits are done to some really good music.

 

What I liked: This is a very rich and detailed world, and you get the feeling there’s a lot more around the corners we just haven’t been able to see yet. Looking Glass is intriguing me, as is the saga of Angela’s car. Knight’s run-in with the man of strange escapes was weird, but interesting. The Cultural Center is someplace I’d really like to see more of. I’m really wondering about what happened in the opening scene. Trieu’s guest was an interesting connection.

 

What I didn’t: I still just don’t like Blake. She’s annoying and abrasive. They couldn’t be making Veidt less sympathetic if they tried.

 

This is a good, unpredictable, enjoyable series. They made a good choice of not continuing the earlier story/series/movie. I’ll give this one a high 3.5 out of 5.

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