HBO's Watchmen season finale recap: We still have a few questions

It's all over... or is it?

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6 min read

Lady Trieu's true intentions were finally revealed.


HBO's Watchmen is over. The nine-episode run of the series based on the iconic comic of the same name threw mystery after mystery at viewers. While the final episode answered many questions, some still linger. 

We'll dive into those questions -- but first, a recap of the Watchman series finale. 


Episode 9: See How They Fly

It turns out that Lady Trieu was the one pulling all the strings. Her mother, Bian My, worked at Adrian Vedit's base in the Antarctic and stole a vial of his sperm to impregnate herself. The result was Lady Trieu, the "world's smartest woman." 

After being dismissed by Adrian, Trieu developed her own plan to save the world. Although, it felt more like trying to show up her daddy. Trieu provided the Seventh Kavalry with the tools needed to capture Doctor Manhattan, while she also developed the tech needed to actually transfer his godlike powers to her. 


Like mother, like daughter, like mother again. 


All of this was foiled by Adrian, who ended up saving the world again. Of course, before he could do this, he had to get off Europa. Lady Trieu sent a spacecraft to rescue him from Jupiter's moon after seeing the "Save Me Daughter" message we glimpsed in episode 5.

We also learn that he came up with his own hero story that was played out by the clones in order to keep his sanity from living in a "perfect" world. This also explains why his captor, the Game Warden, also provided him the horseshoe hidden in the cake. 

Also, for those who haven't read the comics, one of Adrian's great feats as a younger man catching a bullet with his hands. It appears he still has some moves at his older age. 

Now, the questions. 

Did Angela absorb Doctor Manhattan's power? 

In the last few minutes of Sunday's episode, Angela becomes focused on an egg that supposedly has Doctor Manhattan's powers. She eats it and attempts to walk on water in the backyard pool. The screen cuts to black right before her foot makes contact. 


Doctor Night? Or Sister Manhattan?


This is the kind of ambiguous ending to expect from Damon Lindelof, series writer and executive producer, but there's a subtle clue it may have worked. Throughout the show, the same shade of blue as Doctor Manhattan skin was seen in shots in and around Angela's home, hinting he was in disguise. The last shot of the show has a blue filter look that's supposed to represent the morning light, but it could be mean she received Doctor Manhattan's powers. Maybe not all of them hence the lighter blue of the shot, or it could be the color represents the start of her developing powers. 

Still, Lindelof could be pulling a fast one. If there is a Watchmen season 2, there's a good chance it starts off with Angela falling into the pool. If she absorbed godlike powers, it would make sense that she would feel the effects immediately,  rather than waiting to try them out by walking on water. 

Will Adrian be punished for his crimes? 

Another big question: What will happen with Adrian now that he's back on Earth?. Looking Glass and Laurie Blake captured him with plans to have him charged for the death of 3 million people. This criminal case could be the focus of season 2 if there is one. Let's also not forget that the government and certain businesses benefit from people still believing the Earth was attacked by aliens back in 1985, so that could also play a part. 


The real hero of the show. 


Other questions:

Whatever happened to Lube Man? 

Special Agent Dale Petey was likely Lube Man, but there was no hero moment for the wannabe. An entry on Peteypedia is a memo written by him talking about a book called Fogdancer, which was popular among masked vigilantes. A summary of the book describes an outfit that sounds similar to what Lube Man was wearing, making a strong argument it was the FBI agent. 

What will happen to Lady Trieu's daughter?

It was hinted in episode 4 that Lady Trieu's daughter was actually a clone of her mom. Adrian confirmed that as soon as he saw her. She's a young woman with incredible intellect, but seeing the fate of her mother, or rather daughter, may keep her delving into plans for world domination. She'll likely become insanely rich unless Lady Trieu's empire goes under when the public becomes aware of her plans. 

What will happen to Nite Owl? 

We know Dan Dreiberg is still in jail, and Sen. Keene, who's now just a pool of slime, won't be able to follow up on getting him out. Will he just stay there or will season 2, if it happens, give some closure? Maybe he'll share a jail cell with Adrian? 

On Monday, Lindelof made his final appearance on the Offical Watchmen Podcast released by HBO following every three episodes. During the show, he provides answers to some lingering questions. 

Was Judd Crawford part of the Klan and ultimately a bad guy?

Yes. As Lindelof explains, Judd planned the capture of Doctor Manhattan with Sen. Keene. What changed was when the officer was shot in the first scene of the show. Because of that one Seventh Kavalry guy shooting a cop, Judd had to think of a new plan on the fly that included investigating the organization. He also didn't expect Angela would have beaten out of a confession of one of the Kavalry members, but he did try to sabotage the police raid on the farm where the members were collecting lithium batteries. 

Why did Sen. Keene work with the Seventh Kavalry?

Sen. Keene was a member of the Cyclops organization, which was an offshoot of the Klan. What he saw in Tulsa at the time was this new group calling themselves the Seventh Kavalry that began after the reparations were given to the descendants of the Tulsa massacre. He realized he could use this new organization as his own personal army to complete his plan. 

What was with the elephant? 

In episode 7, Angela was under the care of Lady Trieu and going through a mental dialysis after taking a whole bottle of Will Reeves' nostalgia pills. It was shown later that she was actually connected to an elephant instead of her grandfather. Lindelof says another writer, Lila Byock, came up with the idea of using the pachyderm. It's the symbol of Lady Trieu -- there's the saying "an elephant never forgets" and it would act kind of like a hard drive with all these memories stored in its brain. 

Why does Doctor Manhattan fall in love with Angela?

Lindelof said this was a big topic of discussion for the show's writers. According to him, the reason Doctor Manhattan fell in love with Angela knowing full well it would end in his demise is his need to experience the future he already knows. He knew he would fall in love with Angela, but he wasn't clear on when or how until it happens in episode 8. Lindelof brings up how it was similar in the comics as Doctor Manhattan met Laurie Blake at the first meeting of the hero group Crimebusters. Going into that meeting, he already knew the group would disband and that he would eventually break up with Laurie, but he had to experience it to know why. 

Will there be a second season of Watchmen? 

"I don't know and probably not," Lindelof said. He says he doesn't have an answer to the question of "why" and "why now" for a second season of the show. 

Originally published on Dec. 15.
Update, Dec. 16: Adds details from podcast.