Who watches the Watchmen? I guess it’s us!

So I was thinking more about episode 8, and I don’t get Angela’s distress about inadvertently putting Will Reeves on Judd’s tail. That absolutely wasn’t the prime event setting the series in motion, but rather it was the White Night, when Jon revealed his identity by saving Angela. Presumably that was when the Seventh Kavalry and Senator Keene put their plan in motion to steal Dr Manhattan’s powers. In which case, we now know Judd was involved, or at least knew about the Kavalry’s actions during the White Night, so what’s there to feel bad about? Judd was a two-faced racist at worst, or a two-faced “moderate white” at best. I think Angela’s in the clear here, but perhaps there’s something I’m missing.

I mean, that presupposes you and her have the same overview of events, which might not be the case.

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Fair point, so let’s consider what Angela could reasonably know:

  1. Will Reeves, possibly in conjunction with Lady Trieu, likely was responsible in some way for killing Judd Crawford.
  2. Judd Crawford has a prominent display for white supremacist robes in his bedroom, indicating at least some sympathy for said ideology.
  3. Angela knows that Cal used his powers during the White Night to save her, and with that came the risk that his true identity was discovered.
  4. Trieu told Angela about the Seventh Kavalry plot to take Carl’s powers, and that she knows he’s in Tulsa by way of Will Reeves.
  5. Cal tells Angela he spoke with Will before getting Adrian’s implant put in.

Surmising all that, Angela would at least be able to deduce that what Trieu told her was accurate, and she can then guess that the 7K plot was hatched on the White Night when Carl’s identity was revealed. But the Kavalry goons all died during the 7K home invasion. And the person she sees when she wakes up later that night is Judd Crawford. Hence, he’s likely a bad guy, or at least compromised enough that his killing would feel justified.

Admittedly some of these connections aren’t immediately obvious, but Angela’s a detective. I feel like she’s up to the task of putting the pieces together.

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Can anyone help me understand the elephant? That felt like some nonsense prestige TV shock bait.

An elephant never forgets.

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Disregarding the idiom, elephants also have an incredible amount of neural clusters and a marginally similar brain to ours, so it also “makes sense” to use an elephant to extract memories while also reminding us of the ethical implications of technological progress.

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It was a subtle ‘fuck you’ to Game of Thrones Season 8 for promising elephants but never delivering.

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As someone who finds game of thrones mania somewhat annoying I can get down with this.

So, finished the Watchmen finale and uh… I kinda hate what they did with Lady Trieu, but I suspect the problem is with my expectations, and not necessarily with the show.

It sucks that she’s the only prominent Vietnamese character in a series where the invasion and colonization of the Vietnam is a huge plot point, and that the show never really deals with the perpetrators of that violence, even though we literally get the asymmetrical power of the U.S. personified as a character (only to have him brush off any questions about it with “trying to be what people wanted me to be”).

It also seemed kinda unnecessary and gross how they felt the need to tie Treu’s genius to having Veidt’s genes? I like the idea of the person who surpasses Veidt being the daughter of someone he considered beneath his notice, someone completely unanticipated by him even after he planed the whole world’s future in absurd detail, but making her the villain doesn’t seem like it actually adds to the themes of white supremacy and generational trauma that the show set out to explore.

And as hilarious as it was to know the top racist was destined to get raider-of-the-lost-ark’d, having all the 7th Calvary taken care of with magic manhatten rays wasn’t just anticlimactic, it meant the show didn’t have to tackle their entrenchment in the police in the finale, and despite episode 2’s Klan robe in the closet, it seems like the show never intended for its protagonist (or Looking Glass) to confront American policing as an inherently corrupt institution-- which is frustrating because it laid the groundwork for just that! Early on, it genuinely seemed like the show might do more than just dividing the police into “the bad cops” and “the good cops,” but despite having to dodge the police at different points in the story, no non-white supremacist actually finds themselves in opposition to the power structures themselves, we just get “secretly bad cops” added to the list.

I dunno. I’m having trouble articulating why I found what the show did so unsatisfying, and maybe I should give the show more credit for actually acknowledging white supremacy exists in the United States, but the reception of this show by some folks as an incredible, interrogative work just seems to emphasize how low the bar is when it comes to dealing with the political reality of America. Aside from the scene in the theater, which was the only part of the finale that felt like it wanted to say something, it seemed like this show abandoned the through-line of how trauma (particularly generational trauma) plays out across people’s entire lives. Really curious if it landed differently for y’all, especially if you read the comics (I’m afraid I haven’t).

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While I think that the overall final product of the Watchmen TV show was an overwhelming success, I am pretty much with you regarding the criticisms of the finale. Presenting Trieu as the antagonist for the show felt very off to me. Her sins appear to be being a trillionaire (valid!), having an Ozymandias-sized ego, and being a little off with regards to social skills. I don’t see how her having Dr. Manhattan’s powers would necessarily be a net negative, given that her stated aims are to disappear nukes and clean the air. If she only did those two things and then left the Earth forever she would have already done more good than Osterman ever did with his godlike gifts. The only case made against her is that Veidt thinks he’s too similar to her and therefore undeserving of such power, even while knowing that Osterman had already died.

And yeah, I find it more than a little off-putting that the show trades in some yellow-peril nonsense while positioning itself as woke about the black experience in America. The fact of the matter is that Trieu is judged unworthy of Manhattan’s power because she is an ambitious Vietnamese woman, and not just by Veidt. Everyone considers this a win that no god exists rather than an Asian one. And yes, Angela gets the powers afterwards, but no one outside of possibly Will Reeves could know that. And why is Angela more worthy? This all feels like Thor’s hammer bullshit without the jokey tone of the MCU.

I don’t want to come off as too negative on the whole thing, as this genuinely was one of the most exciting TV shows I’ve ever followed. The Kavalry was pretty fun to watch as you could tell early on that these bumbling idiots weren’t really the endgame, and Irons unleashed against the rest of the cast was a sight to behold. Also, the last shot of Angela’s foot touching the water was thematically perfect.

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Did the Waypoint crew ever say for sure if they were going to do a Waypoints of Watchmen?

With the now freelancing Docotor Walker trying to share the show with his parents over the holidays, don’t hold your breath.