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Utopia Talk / Movie Talk / (TV) Watchmen
Cherub Cow
Mon Oct 28 01:38:15
After I wrote too much about episode 2, I figured this deserves its own thread, though I have mixed feelings about the show so far.

(UP thread for episode 1: http://www...hread=84886&time=1571918559463 )
Cherub Cow
Mon Oct 28 01:38:23
@Watchmen S1E2: "Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship"

I figured I'd give this show three episodes before abandoning it for not being worth the time. After the second episode, things seem to be on track for that plan. It's just not too interesting, and it has these annoying plot pause-for-effect moments where things were (apparently) supposed to be intense revelations.. whereas, for the viewer (or me anyways) they're just matter-of-fact moments. This is something that typically occurs in bad TV such as "Supergirl", "Grey's Anatomy", or cheesy soap operas, so it's no wonder that Damon Lindelof plots things out in this way (though episode 1&2 director Nicole Kassell should also take the blame).


Like, Angela finding out that Will Reeves is her grandfather.. Okay, that's not unexpected, and it doesn't exactly shatter her character's worldview that she has a grandfather who's trying to educate her on the latent racism of the person she admired. It's *totally* expected, and even from the initial setup moments with Chief Crawford, it should be pretty obvious to most viewers that he has a secret criminality (his cocaine use and his quick judgment to give officers firearms for 24 hours) and is somehow behind or involved in the White Night (i.e., it would be a surprise if Crawford *didn't* orchestrate the White Night to put himself in greater control and that Angela surviving it was an unintended outcome (maybe Judd's emotional connection to her meant that he couldn't quite kill her? Or he wasn't supposed to kill her, just wound her?)). Yet, with Lindelof being behind the show's viewers, it could be that the show doesn't "reveal" (not a true reveal since it should already be known) Crawford to be affiliated with the Rorschach-masked Seventh Kavalry for another couple of episodes. They definitely should have "revealed" it this episode, but I guess they think that Angela needs to do more digging to find that out. Will Reeves seems to think that it would blow Angela's mind to know it all too quickly, but it's a mistake if the show thinks that viewers are as behind the curve as Angela has turned out to be.

The other stuff going on in the show doesn't amount to much yet. Angela's adopted son, Topher (excessively angry boy who looks like excessively angry girl from "Logan"), seems to have Dr. Manhattan-like abilities (floating that model while building it), but cool powers in the hands of a child's mind usually just end up being Deus Ex Machinas for later. Like, maybe Angela will be in trouble, and Topher will vaporize someone — Dr. Manhattan style — revealing that he's the son of Silk Spectre II and Dr. Manhattan, placed under Angela's protection. That would be another "too late for the viewer to care" plot development. They have already failed to get ahead of that in an interesting way.

It also looks like Veidt's (Jeremy Irons') insanity is being developed a little more, but again, it's not that interesting. Like, yeah, he's cloning people and killing them to act out his fascination with time and with Dr. Manhattan. That's nice; one must stay busy in retirement, anyways. All that means is that he's waiting for a plan to come into focus, but *that* just means that in poorly-directed format he can be spliced into a later "reveal" moment (the impending watch battery suicide vest attack) as being behind everything. That is, it *should* be an interesting and even casual reveal, but the way the show is structured, for viewers it'll be more like, "Yeah. We knew already. Get over it."

The obvious move for the season based on pacing so far would be that Veidt is the one actively working to discredit Rorschach's journal by aligning Rorschach with the Seventh Kavalry. (*That* could be interesting — if they did it well (they won't).) Apparently, Nite Owl II has already arrived to remove Will Reeves (who else could grab an entire car? The smaller version of Owl's flying machine that the police have would not be up to the task), which means that Will Reeves wants the truth to be known regardless of the consequences (Rorschach-style), but Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II don't want Reeves messing with the game board. With Silk Spectre II coming onto the scene next episode as this FBI agent (revealed in the next episode preview), it could be that she's arrived for additional damage control (i.e., she was put in place by Veidt to further the narrative that the Seventh Kavalry are racist conspiracy theory loons, which, again, lets citizens in the show dismiss Rorschach's journal by association).

Angela keeps investigating Will's hints and discovers...
• that Veidt arranged for Crawford (a former KKK member) to come into power via a purging of the police force on the White Night,
• (hopefully) that Crawford was tasked with discrediting Rorschach's journal by aligning Rorschach with the racism of the Seventh Kavalry,
• that the Seventh Kavalry was given more power than they should have had via Veidt's sponsorship and Crawford's leadership,
• that Will Reeves is (likely) a former Watchmen (part of the original Minutemen?) and at least an insider (because he knows Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II), that he saw things getting out of hand, and that he wanted his granddaughter to know that she was being used by Veidt.

The broader narrative is one of the "noble lie", like the conclusion of the Watchmen comic. People like Rorschach and America's black population have been driven underfoot such that when they see some truth in the world they have to be silenced for it, because the lie fixes problems in the short term. The return of Rorschach's journal was the truth finding its way to the surface again, so now Veidt has to silence the truth for his noble lie. But, again, people like Reeves and Angela will work to uncover the truth, so that maybe this time people can hear it. (I.e., Cheney did 9/11) ;)
Cherub Cow
Mon Nov 04 02:59:13
@Watchmen S1E3: "She Was Killed by Space Junk"

The show had another one of those moments where I guess audiences were supposed to be like, "Oh! Really??" This was at about 40 minutes when it is "revealed" that Jeremy Irons is Veidt... Umm.. yeah.. we fucking know. Get ahead of it, show writers.

And it was mostly just a character-building episode otherwise. Silk Spectre II is jealous of her lost youth, ultra-cynical, looking for a reason not to be. She had that boy-toy motel visit scene, which seems oddly derivative of Gillian Anderson's character in TV's "The Fall" (Anderson's character specifically selects another officer whom she thinks will be willing to have sex with her for the sake of a night's bodily needs). "Oddly", because maybe it's a stretch that these writers saw that show. It may just be an easily-conjured trope... Dr. Manhattan at least heard her call, and while it would make some sense to connect the falling car with the car that was grabbed by a Nite Owl II ship, from immediate context, Dr. Manhattan must have teleported it as a way of saying, "Message received." That gives Silk Spectre II a reason to have an emotional upswing.

A slight piece of news is that Veidt is being held captive as opposed to being away by his own design. That — coupled with Veidt trying to build a suit with a breathing apparatus that is capable of withstanding extreme cold — may mean that Dr. Manhattan built a giant prison for Veidt on Mars (i.e., Veidt is trying to escape Mars but needs a suit and ship capable of traveling to Earth). That may also mean that *Veidt* is not behind the Tulsa plot to make Rorschach's journal seem like conspiracy theory nonsense. It could just be Dr. Manhattan or Nite Owl II... They did say that Nite Owl II is in prison, so maybe there's another kid on the table, flying mom and dad's ship, or Nite Owl II escaped without anyone knowing.

Senator Keane seems likely to be a Seventh Kavalry plant. When Silk Spectre II makes her shot, he gives a look like, "That wasn't part of the plan." He may have intended to be taken then escape or something to make himself look heroic enough for the presidency (Probably he'll be president at the start of season 2?).

The pacing is awful. So far, this would be about 20 minutes of a movie, but they've stretched it to 3 hours of near-empty filler. They're going to be pulling teeth with these obvious plot developments, so I don't know if I'll keep watching.
Cherub Cow
Mon Nov 04 03:05:43
*"(i.e., Veidt is trying to escape Mars but needs a suit and ship capable of traveling to Earth)"

Correction. I just watched the next episode preview.. it looks like Veidt is building a teleporter, not a ship. They also showed a glimpse of Dr. Manhattan on Earth, so I've officially been dragged into next week's episode :(
Mon Nov 04 04:23:40
Recomend, CC?
Cherub Cow
Mon Nov 04 05:38:18
Not so far :/
It could be that it's just doing setup for good episodes later, but right now it's just not happening.
the wanderer
Fri Nov 08 23:04:26
i'm enjoying the show :p

i didn't know it was Veidt until you said so :p (although i haven't read any comics if that would've helped... i saw the newspaper saying Veidt was dead & assumed he was dead)

also him being on Mars was a good theory too, i had no idea what to make of the cold suit

the problem isn't the show, just you being too smart perhaps... but you didn't anticipate the Dr Manhattan dildo, didja?
Cherub Cow
Sat Nov 09 06:35:09
lol. Definitely didn't expect the dildo, though it was kind of matter-of-fact so I didn't laugh at the time :D
..And it weirdly fits her character, since she prefers orgasms with Dr. Manhattan but emotional connections with Nite Owl II ;D

I maybe do need to give the show more of a chance when it comes to plot developments. I think I'd just like it a lot more if they made their reveals in a low-key way. Mr. Robot has impressed me with that a lot. You'll get ahead of the characters, but then the narrator will say something directly to the audience like, "You knew all along, didn't you?", which works whether or not the viewer knew, whereas Watchmen makes the assumption that no one knew.

"i didn't know it was Veidt until you said so :p (although i haven't read any comics if that would've helped... i saw the newspaper saying Veidt was dead & assumed he was dead)"

Oh, yeah.. Comics may help, but I think the movie gives all the needed info if you've seen that. The newspaper thing seemed like a clue since they didn't know for sure that he was dead — just that he had been declared dead due to long absence. Then they show Jeremy Irons living a secluded life of riches with over-obedient servants, and the limited cast options point to him. Then for the kicker, on imdb they list Jeremy Irons as Veidt. Lol :D .. that might be cheating, though ;D
the wanderer
Sat Nov 09 11:41:49
i saw the movie just didn't know how much the show was connected... the limited previews i saw didn't seem to have clear overlap so didn't know if any familiar characters were going to be involved

i thought the Veidt newspaper was just an easter egg type reference (like the smiley face eggs & blood-drip on badge)
the wanderer
Sun Nov 10 22:43:08

-- Watchmen S1E4: If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own --

Veidt's artificial world seems confirmed... quite a weird one at that :p... could be the Moon rather than Mars

is slippery sewer guy a known character?

a weird show to be sure :p
Cherub Cow
Mon Nov 11 03:28:41
@intro: I'd forgotten about that Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton "Islands in the Stream" song :D

@title ("If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own"): Is Damon Lindelof preemptively responding to the people who expect him to "Lost" this up? ;D

"Heaven is pretend."
Lulz, yes! \:D/

"could be the Moon rather than Mars"

Looks like it with that transition! I guess Dr. Manhattan wanted Mars to himself ;)

"is slippery sewer guy a known character?"

I'm not familiar with him... His greasy pig technique was certainly novel ;D ... maybe he's a private citizen aligned with the viewer who's figured out the back-plot and is working against the police and Kavalry?

That chase scene further painted Regina King's (Angela's) lack of physical presence. It wasn't easy to believe that she could keep up with a tall lanky runner-body while herself being short and stocky and running in heels...

[Me]: "and while it would make some sense to connect the falling car with the car that was grabbed by a Nite Owl II ship, from immediate context, Dr. Manhattan must have teleported it"

Oops. ¿Porque no los dos? ;D .. no.. just good timing I guess?
Trieu and Reeves being allied means that Nite Owl II really may be in prison (they don't need Nite Owl II to fly their ships)..

@farm couple:..hmm, pretty sure that showing people that you have access to their medical records would be illegal even in the Watchmen universe ;)
They had me wishing that they'd turn down Lady Trieu just to shut down her callous power, so good job if the writers wanted people to start out hating her :p

Looks like she's Veidt part II. Not even a thinly-veiled connection there with her buying Veidt's business. And with her being Vietnamese and her daughter having some kind of memories of a burning village, that puts her in an anti-Dr.Manhattan position since Dr. Manhattan brutalized Vietnam. She also said that she built her fortune through "advanced pharma and biomedical tech"; and with that clone baby she presented, that probably means that her daughter is a clone of herself (complete with latent memories of her own traumatic experience in Vietnam) and that she's been helping Veidt to escape. That is, maybe she gave Veidt clone technology for him to use for subjects and support and she's building the "clock" to help Veidt teleport back to Earth. So, once the clock is completed, Veidt puts on his spacesuit, launches himself through Dr. Mahattan's barrier, and is teleported the rest of the way by Trieu...

Also, Will Reeves being able to walk (another of those "not a big deal" reveals that was over-played on screen) could mean that those pills represent the fruit of Trieu's bio successes. I.e., maybe it's some kind of anti-aging medicine that kept Trieu young (explaining why she looks young and yet was in one of the villages that Dr. Manhattan brutalized) and why Reeves can walk. Then again, Trieu's clone daughter may just be her successor.. like she replaces herself with a fresh clone (complete with memories) as her clone body starts to fail. That probably better explains why her daughter has to sleep with IV therapy (Steps necessary to keep the clone viable). It could also explain why Reeves still looks old; the pills help him walk, but he's not young-looking.

And their "tick tock, tick tock" ending seems to be the awaited connection between them (Trieu and Reeves) and the Seventh Kavalry. Silk Spectre II must not know ( #TeamManhattan ). Reeves also (sort of) made it seem like his meddling with Angela has been part of the plan as opposed to unplanned interference (This from that conversation he had with Trieu about gradually preparing people to hear the truth). So, I still think that means that he's getting her ready to learn that Rorschach's journal was true, but it's not part of working against Veidt/Trieu.. it's probably more like recruiting his own successor for Veidt support. That may be why they want Veidt back: get his genetic material so that Veidt can continue to ensure that his new world order can persist beyond his normal lifespan.

Not sure why they did that weird misandrist feminist moment before meeting Trieu ("So sorry. Ladies only."). Either the show wanted to pass the Bechdel Test, or that was just some random stuff Trieu's daughter said because the other FBI agent couldn't be trusted with high level info...

Anyways, the show may be growing on me. I was only annoyed by one scene in this episode ;D .. I do hope that they don't make a big deal out of it if it turns out that Silk Spectre II speaks Vietnamese and understood that coded conversation between Angela and Trieu.. but the show can't be perfect I guess ;)
the wanderer
Mon Nov 11 21:15:02
some kind of anti-aging pills makes sense (though didn't occur to me :p), as they did note he'd be over 100 years old

I assumed the IV was somehow related to how she gets the memories but your theory may be better :p
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