Watchmen: See How They Fly

"Godspeed."

Damn, this is a long one.

I won't lie, the season finale of Watchmen left me a little cold upon my first viewing. Sure, the characters and performances were at their usual best, the dialogue and cinematography rocked my socks off all the way to the end. There were a lot of questions left unanswered, plots or characters that ultimately didn't have quite the impact I thought they would, and a twist in the opening scene that I'm still not sure what to think about.

In time, I think I will come to see it in the same way I see the ending of the book, which this finale definitely acts in the spirit of. But I've come to the conclusion that 'See How They Fly', while just as grand and ambitious and ballsy as the rest of the season, is one of the weaker episodes just because of what a mixed bag it was for me.

This was one of a few reasons why this review has taken so long to write.

Let's take the very first scene, for instance. We are given another flashback to 1985, set in Karnak shortly before Ozymandias unleashes his fake alien squid on New York. Among his many soon to be murdered servants, we follow a Vietnamese cleaning lady. We soon recognize her to be Lady Trieu's mother, the original Bian, who sneaks into Ozzy's office, easily hacks his computer, unveils an extensive collection of semen samples (I never imagined Adrian Veidt would remind me of Butters Stotch) hidden behind his portrait of Alexander the Great, and uses a fancy gun to artificially inseminate herself with the seed of the world's smartest man. And so begins Lady Trieu.

Putting aside the bizarre nature of this scene alone, it raises a few too many questions. Who exactly was Bian? How did she go from being one of many traumatized Vietnamese refugees to some kind of middle-aged, independent covert operative targeting Ozymandias? How did she come by all these skills and resources? How did she know about the hidden semen samples? What was her goal when it came to birthing Lady Trieu? Did she raise her simply to challenge or surpass Ozymandias and the other crimefighters from back in the day? How was she able to escape Karnak, let alone Antarctica? If she was already this smart and capable, why did she even need Ozzy's sperm?

And yeah, I get that this version of Ozymandias is even more self-involved than his original incarnation, but the idea that he would allow anyone who was involved in his plan back then to live is a little hard to swallow. I mean sure, he let Laurie/Silk Spectre and Nite Owl live, but only because he knew he could count on their silence. I could kind of forgive his confession tape to Robert Redford, since it was only presented long after his plan succeeded, but not this. I just find it hard to believe that Ozymandias, even this version, would have simply neglected to think about someone because they were just a cleaning lady; he recognizes Bian's pre-teen clone after like five seconds.

Don't get me wrong, I like the unexpected father-daughter rivalry between Veidt and Trieu. I'm just not as impressed with this little origin story that explains it. It just feels too late in the game to be dropping a bomb like that. Unless that was the point. Is Lady Trieu the show's version of Veidt's surprise alien squid?

Okay. End of meandering rant. Let's get on to the things I did enjoy.

Game Over

Probably the most satisfying storyline, to my own surprise, was Adrian Veidt's. Aside from the fact that it was generally just fun to watch Jeremy Irons being bombastic and doing a bunch of weird shit, it was a brilliant interpretation of this character's future. His arc also provided some of the show's most delightfully wicked twists.

Our gradual discovery of the nature of Veidt's prison with every episode was good, but we see the full picture here. Turns out, everything that has happened on Europa has been almost entirely by his own design as opposed to Dr. Manhattan's. He quickly figured out that ruling over a bunch of interchangeable humanoids with no will or desire of their own was boring, and resolved to use his unwanted connection to Lady Trieu to get a ride back home.

So, to occupy himself in the near decade it would take for a spaceship to reach him, he decided to play a game with his subjects. His main opponent was The Game Warden, previously revealed to be the first male Europan, Dr. Manhattan's version of Adam from Genesis. I had thought before that The Game Warden was someone Manhattan put in place to ensure that Veidt didn't get out. But like the horseshoe in the cake, The Game Warden and even that weird-ass trial he put Veidt through were part of the "master's" plan all along. A recreational activity to stave off his growing madness; it's up in the air as to whether or not he succeeded. In his attempts to be a good servant to his master, "Adam" became a brutal tyrant. He was so lost in his role that he even tried to gun Veidt down to prevent his escape, only to fall victim to his infamous bullet-catch and die at his hands.

I had mistakenly believed that the tear Veidt shed at the end of his trial was brought about by guilt over his unforgivable crimes, but according to Lindelof, he was actually crying because he doesn't feel guilty, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The show has done a great job at illustrating his moral ambiguity, right up to this last episode. As he is about to board Lady Trieu's spaceship, there's a moment where he appears to hesitate, as if unexpectedly touched, when Ms. Crookshanks places his crown upon his head and bids him farewell. Of course, he quickly dismisses it and leaves. Not significant.


The End is Nigh

But even better than the twists on Europa is the fact that the statue of Veidt in Lady Trieu's vivarium was really him, frozen in golden carbonite (or something) during the return trip to Earth. Like Dr. Manhattan, he was on Earth in plain sight way before we even realized it; the reason Trieu bought that farm couple's home and land in episode four was because that's where the pod containing Veidt landed. At first I thought this was gonna be a Black Mirror type of fate; he gives everything he's got to escape one prison only to then be trapped in suspended animation forever, becoming nothing more than an enlarged, gilded version of the Ozymandias action figures that decorate his office. Thankfully, Veidt is released by his prodigal daughter just in time to witness her activate her Millennium Clock and do what he never could: destroy Dr. Manhattan.

While I'm not crazy about her origin, I did like Lady Trieu coming full circle as the series' main villain. Especially since, like Ozymandias in the book, she's a villain with distinctly noble intentions. On the surface, that is. She rationalizes that by killing Dr. Manhattan and taking his powers for herself, she would be able to truly save humanity, eliminating the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons and reversing damage to the environment, things Manhattan never bothered himself with. But it's clear that her adversarial disposition towards both Manhattan and Ozymandias is personal to her. As I said, it seems to be strongly implied that Trieu was born with the purpose of dethroning Ozymandias, so to speak, and her background as the child of a Vietnamese refugee and comments about Manhattan in the past seem to hint that she's got a lot of resentment towards him too. And as Veidt states later, she's even more of a megalomaniac than he is. If she did acquire that kind of power, who's to say she'd handle it any better than someone like Joe Keene, Jr., let alone Jon Osterman?

Not only that, but Trieu herself is a very cold, ruthless person, whose congeniality comes off as tongue-in-cheek. And as this episode demonstrates, she appears to be a woman who, despite her seemingly limitless intelligence and ambition, never stopped being a spoiled child. That makes her just as unsuited for superpowers as an arrogant white supremacist, in my opinion.

Even her heroic actions are achieved in a particularly villainous way, namely her manipulation and eradication of Cyclops and the Seventh Kavalry. Trieu really takes after her father in this way. Just as Ozymandias once blindsided the quarreling United States and USSR with his squid gambit, Trieu comes along and renders the war between the Tulsa Police and Seventh Kavalry largely meaningless when both turned out to be pawns in her long term goal of taking Dr. Manhattan's godhood.


Time's Up

This ending is different than the graphic novel in that there is actually some catharsis, but the tone is still intentionally anti-climatic.

Cyclops and the Seventh Kavalry have been the most obvious threat all season. And just when it looks like their diabolical plans are about to come to fruition, they discover that they were nothing more than unwitting pawns to the actual threat. I very much enjoyed seeing these elitist, racist pieces of trash get totally owned by this little Vietnamese mastermind, who used their blinding hate to get what she wanted before casually vaporizing them all. And it was doubly satisfying knowing that this all happened because of Will Reeves, who used his knowledge of Dr. Manhattan's human disguise and Judd Crawford's connection to Cyclops to complete the mission he began as Hooded Justice.

I'm slightly less happy about the anti-climax with Lady Trieu. Well, I just thought that her goal with the Millennium Clock was going to be loftier than what it turned out to be. I thought she was going to turn everyone in Tulsa, or perhaps even everyone on Earth, into superhumans. In the end, her plan was the same as the Seventh Kavalry's. And gets derailed just as easily.

However, I was totally down with the way in which it got derailed. Dr. Manhattan teleports Veidt, Laurie and Wade to Karnak, hoping they will figure out a way to stop Trieu. Which Veidt accomplishes in about three minutes, letting frozen squids rain from the sky. I just remember the earlier episodes where I wasn't sure how to feel about the darkly comedic tone they were taking with Ozymandias, but now I don't care. It's just hilarious to me that he's once again saved the world from potential destruction by weaponizing squids, never the mind the fact that he's happily murdering his own daughter -- granted, they only know each other for a few hours, tops (but seriously HBO, what is up with you and dads murdering their daughters?) -- and barely noticing Laurie and Wade's understandable horror.

Moments after obliterating Dr. Manhattan, Lady Trieu is mere seconds away from fulfilling her lifelong ambition, only to watch it all crumble before her eyes in a hailstorm of icy cephalopods. True to her lineage, her hubris ended up being her downfall. As her Millennium Clock comes crashing down on her head, she knows she would have gotten exactly what she wanted had she not insisted on bringing her father back to Earth so she could rub her ultimate victory in his face.


While I'm half and half on it, I can see that the anti-climatic nature of these events is, in some ways, even more necessary for the show than it was for the book.

One of the points of the original Watchmen is that there are some issues that can't be solved by putting on a colorful costume and beating up bad guys. Ozymandias sort of embodied this notion. He totally owns the old school Watchmen when they try to fight him, and even if they could defeat him, it wouldn't matter because he'd already won. And since his evil master plan ended up preventing humanity from nuking itself into oblivion, beating his ass and turning him in would have only made things worse.

In the show, we see the fears that bind everyone are personified.

Whereas the book ended with one era of fear taking the place of another (The Cold War and the Doomsday Clock forgotten as fear of Extra-Dimensional Incursions took hold), this Watchmen ends with the societal fears in question being represented by distinct individuals. The legacy of racism and violence and hatred that has permeated this entire story has Senator Keene, his father Joseph Keene, Sr., Jane Crawford and the senior leadership of Cyclops as its representatives, all of whom are snuffed out almost as an afterthought. Meanwhile, Dr. Manhattan and Lady Trieu represent the looming presence of uncontrolled superpowers that could potentially threaten all of human existence, and they are also unceremoniously dispatched.

So the anti-climax works in a sense. Because as satisfying as it was, killing Cyclops and the Seventh Kavalry obviously does not kill the hateful beliefs they perpetuated for generations. And while Dr. Manhattan and Lady Trieu may have died, their legacies live on. All of that revolutionary god-killing technology still exists and young Bian survived the squidfall, who's to say she won't carry on in her daughter's place or that there isn't a genetic copy of Trieu just waiting to be hatched somewhere; her main field of expertise was genetics. And, in the end, another potentially godlike superhuman rises from the ashes and egg shells of the fallen.

Nothing ever ends, right?

Watch The Eggs

Knowing now that this will be a limited series, as the original was, I'm able to appreciate the new Watchmen in a different way.

It makes things like the opening scene a bit easier to swallow. And it also makes other characters who weren't as prominent, such as Red Scare, Pirate Jenny, Panda and Lube Man, stand out as interesting tidbits in the greater narrative at play. As Damon Lindelof has stated, this was in homage to the book, which habitually utilized ancillary elements to flesh out its fictional world; Hooded Justice, one of the most significant characters in the show, is basically the original Watchmen's version of Lube Man.

Ending it now saves the writers the trouble of trying to keep escalating things, or recapture the magic of this one season. It's one of the reasons why the book made such an impact. The adventures do not continue for these heroes, at least, not as we've seen them in this story. What happened in this story happened.

It helps that we get a fairly bright conclusion to most of the story and characters. I'm particularly pleased with how they handled the fate of the original Watchmen.

Despite being about as detached as ever, Dr. Manhattan actually evolved a bit and did some genuinely heroic things. Orchestrating the downfall of the Seventh Kavalry, Lady Trieu and his ally turned foe Ozymandias, thereby avenging the Greenwood Massacre and the destruction of New York as well as preventing an unchecked egomaniac from dominating the Earth and beyond, is a lot more than he did in the comic. It was also nice to see him regain his humanity somewhat. It was really endearing that Jon Osterman was most happy not as a world-class physicist or as a government-sponsored superhero or as a virtual god, but as a perfectly normal husband and stay-at-home dad.

Laurie's evolution comes later, but it's just as meaningful. She began this series as the most cynical character around, with nothing but disdain for masked vigilantes and the state of her world, but she is seriously confronted by her past in this episode. She's forced to watch as Jon, the man she still loves, is imprisoned and eventually destroyed by those who mock what she, Jon and their comrades once were. Then she can only stand by helplessly as Ozymandias once again "saves the day" by indiscriminately murdering a bunch of people. And finally, seeing Nite Owl's ship the Archimedes ("Archie") seems to remind her of her heroic roots. She decides to stop playing along with Veidt's big joke, teaming up with Looking Glass to arrest her former ally for his crimes against humanity. She's changed for the better.

At the very least, Ozymandias's time on Europa brought him to terms with the fact that he is a total narcissist. Confronted with the Utopia he always dreamed of, he realized the truth. He doesn't belong in paradise because, despite his desire to create a more orderly world, a man like him thrives on chaos. Without a problem to solve, he has no purpose. It also became apparent that he craves recognition for his efforts to save the world, as monstrous as they were. A wish that is granted as his arc is beautifully capped off with his well-earned ignominious downfall. Maybe the golden carbonite was foreshadowing, because Ozzy does end up in another prison right after escaping the one before. He wanted recognition, now he's going to get it. The whole world will know what he's done, but I doubt too many will thank him for it.

Looking Glass is a character I wish had more screen-time, but I was happy that he came full-circle too. In a happy accident, he is brought face to face with the man who is singularly responsible for the trauma that has defined his life. And with Laurie's help, Wade finally brings him to justice; not only does he KO Veidt with a wrench while he's busy making excuses for himself, Wade managed to swipe the fake squid confession video that Keene showed him earlier. His wry smile at the end hints that he may have conquered the fear that has ruled him for 34 years. It was also just nice to see him and Laurie bonding a little as they beat up and arrest Ozymandias.

Thankfully, things also end on a brighter note for the Abar/Reeves family. In the wake of her tragic loss, Angela forgives her grandfather for his role in Dr. Manhattan's death -- seeing as how it was all according to Dr. Manhattan's plan anyway -- and invites him to come home with her and the kids. The story began with Will watching his family and home go up in flames as a child. Now, with his pursuit of justice complete, it ends with the 105-year old Will being welcomed back into the lives of his distant relatives. He and Angela have both found the home and family that eluded them for so long, giving them some hope for the future.

Of course, it wouldn't be Watchmen if things ended on a note of total finality. Lindelof is a writer who understands the finer qualities of ambiguity. And there's a lot of that here. Laurie and Wade taking down Veidt is bound to seriously rock the boat on the world stage, for instance. But the real game-changer in the end is Angela, who discovers that her late husband may have left a little gift for her. In egg form.


Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

While it's possible that Manhattan was just being metaphorical when he told Will "You can't make an omelette without breaking a couple eggs," I doubt that's the case. Seeing as how virtually everything else in the season happened by his design, it seems likely that egg does contain his super-powered essence. But we go the Inception route, cutting to black right before we find out whether or not Angela Abar can walk on water. But like the deliberate open-ending of the graphic novel, this opens the door to all kinds of tantalizing possibilities in our minds.

Angela does seem like a more ideal choice for the world's next superhuman; certainly more worthy than self-absorbed jerks like Lady Trieu and Senator Keene. I could definitely see her learning from the mistakes of Dr. Manhattan and making efforts to change the world. Then again, who's to say Angela wouldn't experience the exact same downsides of nigh-omnipotence that Jon Osterman did? Maybe she would feel powerless in the face of the inevitable too. Or maybe everything she herself is destined to do is totally awesome, like changing the world with a snap of her fingers. People act like being an indecisive pushover was something Dr. Manhattan's powers did to him, but he was like that as a human. It just wasn't as pronounced. Sister Night is no pushover. She is aggressive and tenacious. She plays by her own rules.

I can imagine her maintaining her costumed, Blaxploitation-inspired alter ego, just with the added bonus of godlike superpowers. Powers that she uses to continue her crusade against bigoted and fascistic terrorists across the world. Maybe she could bestow the same abilities on other likeminded individuals as well, to counterbalance her own power. After all, the question at the heart of this story still stands: Who Watches the Watchmen?

Hey, a guy can dream.

Anyway, ending the show with one season also allows its creators to do what the original did so brilliantly. It wasn't just telling a "realistic superhero" story. Those are a dime a dozen nowadays, and rarely do they ever take that concept further than "what if superheroes were morally gray assholes who cuss and kill and have kinky sex?" Don't get me wrong, you see a bit of that in the world of Watchmen too. But like Alan Moore, Lindelof is interested in the social, political, philosophical and psychological ramifications of such a reality. They were exploring real life issues, things that go deeper than superheroes or even comic book culture. With Moore, it was an examination of the Cold War that was hanging over everyone's heads back in the mid to late 20th Century. With Lindelof, it's taking a hard look at America's deep history of racial violence and political strife, as well as the legacy both have carried into the future, issues we have only just begun to acknowledge in our own world. Overall, this series was a poignant exploration of the lasting effects of trauma.

Lindelof is also paying tribute to a book he and countless others love and respect a great deal. Personally, as a fan of said book, I think everyone involved in this series succeeded with flying colors. I have mad respect for their refusal to simply retread the same old ground and actually trying to do something as daring and original as the source material. Like the limited series of 1986, Watchmen of 2019 is cool, weird, haunting, enthralling, freakishly clever and not something that's likely to be forgotten any time soon.

Capes and Masks:

* Like a comic book, this whole season has been a feast for the eyes. But even more than that, the music is on point. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have delivered some of their most unique work to date with their dark, mysterious, John-Carpenter-esque score. The soundtrack choices have also been consistently wonderful. For this episode, we have the slow motion sequence to the tune "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" from the play Oklahoma. "Lacrimosa" by Mozart has been a leitmotif for Ozymandias; hearing it rise dramatically as he begins his self-righteous tirade only to be cut off when Looking Glass knocks him out may have been the most satisfying moment of this show. And having a cover of "I Am the Walrus" play during the end scene and credits was pretty damn fitting.

* Apologies for not pointing out the egg motif earlier. I legitimately did not catch on to it until the previous episode. According to Lindelof, eggs are to this show what the bloodstained smiley face was for the book. A unifying thematic symbol. I can see why.

* I've loved the clever use of the "Watchmen" title card throughout this season, but this one is particularly good. Take a close look at the clapperboard.

* I always found Lady Trieu's winter-themed clothing to be curious. Now it seems like it was foreshadowing her connection to Ozymandias.

* Nothing but praise for the acting on this show, all great performances to match great characters. We, of course, have veterans like Louis Gossett, Jr., Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, Frances Fisher and Don Johnson showing us how it's done; Smart, in particular, deserves praise for pulling off a character that is a badass but jaded FBI agent, a wannabe edgy comedian, a retired costumed vigilante and a former celebrity socialite all at once. I don't think I've ever seen Regina King and Tim Blake Nelson star in such a massive, high concept project like this before, but they were both completely engaging as the show's main protagonists. However, I found myself equally impressed with fairly newer actors who I've only seen in maybe one or two things. Yahya Abdul Mateen II, who recently portrayed Black Manta in Aquaman, pulled off a very subtle and surprising performance as Cal/Jon/Dr. Manhattan. Jovan Adepo was heartbreaking as young Will Reeves/Hooded Justice. James Wolk was a lot of fun as the villainous Senator Keene. Tom Mison and Sara Vickers are definitely two people I'll be on the lookout for in the future. But the one I enjoyed the most has to be Hong Chau as Lady Trieu. Prior to Watchmen, I'd only ever seen her in a minor role on the show Homecoming. Now I can't wait to see what she does next. She had the most striking character, in my opinion. Which is saying something when you consider her competition here.

* For awhile, I wondered if there was a greater goal behind Senator Keene and the Seventh Kavalry than just mere bigotry, especially after Keene revealed they all knew about Veidt's squid hoax. But Keene makes it clear in his little speech that it's not the millions upon millions of people victimized by 11/2 that motivates them. The terrorism, the cloak and dagger, even catching Dr. Manhattan, it all stems from outrage over President Redford's reparations to victims of racial violence. Keene still pulls the anti-racist line again though, claiming they shouldn't be punished for the crimes of their ancestors. It's really just an excuse to reinforce the belief that white people are entitled to superiority over all others. Good riddance.

* Judd and Jane Crawford only befriended Angela and her family to make their eventual capture of Cal/Dr. Manhattan go more smoothly. They certainly fooled me. Maybe that's why Judd was snorting cocaine before dinner at the Abar residence. Needed a little mood stimulant.

* Of all the nods to the graphic novel, Senator Keene's Dr. Manhattan style black speedo might be the funniest.

* Excellent use of the split-diopter shot right before Lady Trieu's death. Her face is framed in the foreground with the statue of Christ on the cross in the background, symbolizing her god-complex and goal of being resurrected in a more powerful form. When the shot is used again, the Christ statue is smashed to pieces as she watches her Millennium Clock collapse overhead.

* When Angela takes her family to her secret lair and her adopted son Topher sees her Sister Night costume, it felt like a kid entering the Bat Cave. Maybe it's a little hint or suggestion that Topher will one day put on a mask and fight crime. Like Angela and many other "costumed adventurers," Topher is also scarred by the trauma of murdered parents.

* While the holidays, work and general procrastination also played a part, the other big factor that delayed this review was my discovery of all the supplementary material online that provide greater insights into the show. As the comic featured excerpts from various in-universe sources, the show writers have done the same with "Peteypedia", a series of memos and documentation by minor character Agent Dale Petey; many things that aren't fully addressed in the show are given a closer examination here. And for a more direct guide to the series, I would also recommend checking out The Official Watchmen Podcast, where Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin interviews Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof in three parts.

Quotes:

OG Bian: ... Fuck you, Ozymandias!

"Adam"/The Game Warden: May I ask you something, master?
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias: Of course.
"Adam"/The Game Warden: The mask. Why did you make me wear a mask?
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias: Because masks make men cruel.
"Adam"/The Game Warden: That’s what you wanted? To make me cruel?
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias: I had eight years to kill. And having a worthy adversary helped keep me sane.
"Adam"/The Game Warden: And was I, master? A worthy adversary?
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias: … No. But you put on a hell of a show.

Lady Trieu: Were those bodies that you made the letters with?
Veidt: (nods profusely)
Lady Trieu: Wow. There must be a cool story behind that.

Lady Trieu: Now, we’ve got a god to kill. Let’s roll out, shall we.

Senator Joe Keene, Jr.: (to Dr. Manhattan) I got you, you blue fuck!

Keene, Jr: When are ya now, doc?
Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan: It's... 1985. All we ever see of stars are their old photographs.

Keene, Jr.: I’m about to become the most powerful man alive, Laurie. Waving my dick in everyone’s faces would just be overkill. YEEHAW! Let’s get blue!

Laurie: Adrian?
Veidt: Ms. Juspeczyk. What a pleasant surprise.
Laurie: Ah shit. Am I dead?
Veidt: No. But the night is young.

Angela: Blake and the others. You sent them to get help?
Jon: Yes.
Angela: Then why didn't you send me?
Jon: I don't want to be alone when I die.
This is even sadder when you remember how Jon became Dr. Manhattan.

Wade Tillman/Looking Glass: You slaughtered half of New York, singlehandedly. Unassisted mass murder on a scale unseen in human history.
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias: I saved humanity, you ignorant hayseed. Now, if you would kindly stop distracting me, I'd very much like to save it again.

Veidt: Reruns. I'll show her a goddamn rerun!

Laurie: What's she going to do with this power once she's got it.
Veidt: She claims that she is going to fix the world.
Wade: How do you know she won't?
Veidt: Because she is clearly a raging narcissist whose ambition knows no limits. It's hubris, literal hubris. Anyone who seeks to attain the power of a god must be prevented at all costs from attaining it. But believe me, that girl will not rest until she has us all prostrate before her, kissing her tiny blue feet!
Our hero Ozymandias, still bringing those LOL moments.

Lady Trieu: (last words) Motherfucker.

Will Reeves: The hood. When I put it on, you felt what I felt?
Angela Abar: Anger.
Will Reeves: That’s what I thought too. But it wasn’t. It was fear, and hurt. You can't heal under a mask, Angela. Wounds need air.

What else can I say? It's an amazing series, a shining example of the vastly creative potential of modern serialized entertainment. Kind of a bummer that it ends here, but really I'm just glad that it exists. It was a pleasure to review anything Watchmen related. I look forward to watching it again, but first I think I'm gonna go back and reread the graphic novel. Four out of five gatling guns from the heavens.

16 comments:

Henrik Bennetter said...

Great review, and analysis, Logan. Just like the series, I didn't want it to end...

Tim said...

Excellent review, Logan. Totally worth the wait. :-)

I'm a huge fan of the original story and I had set my expectations low for this show. Such a pleasant surprise that it turned out to be the best thing I watched last year.

I just hope, hope, hope that it does remain a limited series. To do otherwise would invalidate the impact of this beautifully formed, self-contained story.

Tim

TheShadowKnows said...

I agree with Tim on all counts: I expected this to be a garbage fire compared to the original series, I was pleased to see it was pretty good after all, and I hope they don't try to continue it.

Logan Cox said...

Thank you, guys.

I too was very uncertain about this show, but it vastly exceeded my expectations.

Given how well this turned out, I don't think I'd be opposed to another type of continuation of this universe somewhere down the line. So long as it had a story worth telling. But for now, I'm cool with their decision to let it stand on its own as a limited series.

Miksterious said...

Thanks Logan. I’ve been looking forward to reading your review. I read each review after watching the episode, so reading this one feels like I’ve completed the series now.

Logan Cox said...

That is incredibly flattering, Miksterious. Couldn't have asked for a better comment. Thanks for your patience.

Anonymous said...

Since this was from Lindelof, I was very wary of watching it. And, of course, it was Watchmen. But many friends recommended it. and in the end I caved.

Such a great series. And no forced extension. This was sooooooo far away from the shitfest that was the final season of Lost.. Damon, you're forgiven.

Now, don't fuck up again.

Logan Cox said...

I feel the opposite.

Lost was and still is one of my favorite shows (final season and all), which is why I almost always give Lindelof the benefit of the doubt; I actually respect him even more knowing all the hurdles he and Carlton Cuse faced behind the scenes of Lost and how good of a job they did with the show in spite of that. Seeing how well Lindelof did with Watchmen has got me interested in seeing The Leftovers now. He's got flaws to his work like any artist, for sure, but generally he does good job.

Anonymous said...

He did a great job here, but Lost... they were the ones that put the hurdles there, because they were in a hurry to leave and do Star Trek and other things. They got offered a full season after the writers' strike, but they said that they didn't need one, they had already thought of everything!. And then, they kept opening more and more threads in the final season, reached the finale, ignored absolutely everything they had been writing for 5 years and wrote a pretty episode with magnificent music and to try and soften the fans' hearts. And hey, fuck you and goodbye, fans.

And then ST was one movie of pure fan service, two additional FUs (like JJ would do with Star Wars later).

But Watchmen was great, so let's agree with that and agree to disagree with the rest.

Billie Doux said...

I'm in the middle here. After six years of reviewing and obsession, I was unhappy with how Lost ended and I haven't been able to make myself rewatch it. At the same time, I do respect the massive effort that Lindelof put into it.

I didn't like The Leftovers, and I made myself watch the entire thing to the end. But there are some whose opinion I respect who think it was utterly brilliant.

Logan Cox said...

Anonymous, I'll agree to disagree about anything if I can prevent this comment section from randomly devolving into a "art is dead/raped my childhood" type rabbit hole centered around modern Star Wars movies. I encounter enough of those as is. No, thank you.

Billie, not for nothing, but it was my own obsession with Lost that brought me to this blog; back when I went by YourModestGuru. I originally came for your Lost reviews, but thanks to Doux Reviews I was led to discover several other shows I really grew to love.

Billie Doux said...

Logan, I'm so glad you found your way here and I'm not surprised it was because of Lost. I wrote hundreds of pages about Lost, and I'll never be sorry I did because it was worth the effort. And I've also discovered other shows I now love because of the writers and readers who have found their way here. Doux Reviews is a community and it means the world to me.

Anonymous said...

Well, the new SW movies didn't rape my childhood, I still love the originals in all their (untouched) glory and watch them from time to time with my kid. The prequels were shit, though, and JJ's were even worse. And I'll gladly agree to disagree there too, if necessary.

I've also found many new interesting shows here. I've been reading reviews from the times of the old Buffy reviews at.. god, I can't even remember the old domain anymore, it's been so fucking long. Was it just tv.com?. Anyway, thanks a lot for everything, Billie. I still can't fathom that Supernatural is ending, and that I've been reading your reviews for yet longer than that's been on the air.

And I wouldn't put limits on what to comment (especially by throwing "rape" at it) as long as we're being respectful to each other, but.. not my website, not my decision.

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, and wow, what a comment -- thank you. And thank you so, so much for staying with me that long. Wow again.

My Buffy reviews originally lived at tvtome.com. When it turned into tv.com in 2004, I left and created my own site, billiedoux.com, and moved all of my reviews there. And then in 2008, some wonderful people started asking if they could write for my site. With so many other writers, it didn't feel right for it to be just named after me, so in 2013, we moved everything to a new name, Doux Reviews. We have nearly 10,000 reviews now.

Diverse opinions are always welcome. I only delete comments that are spam, are outright mean and/or obviously trolling, or anything that attacks the writer of the review. Fwiw.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, tvtome, that was it!.

Here's to another 20 years visiting the site (and maybe even someday dropping the anon cloak), so thank you again for all your hard work (and that of the rest of the writers, of course).

Billie Doux said...

Anonymous, all my best wishes, and I hope for the same.