We begin this week’s episode of Watchmen by plunging through history to the war and the ensuing racial tensions bubbling away. It’s exacerbated further by a German General trying to coerce soldiers into switching sides, boasting how well they treat black people in their ranks. As a soldier clutches the letter and contemplates his actions, we cut back to where we left off during the last episode. Angela takes the wheelchair-bound man back to the diner where it’s revealed he has psychic powers and his name is actually Will. Snatching up the cup he drank from for evidence, Amanda feigns surprise when she receives the inevitable call from the police about the Chief’s death.
Once there, she discusses matters with Looking Glass and takes offence when she feels he’s interrogating her. After Red Scare shows up, causing a ruckus with a couple of other men on the scene, they all band together and get the Chief down from the tree. As they do, we cut back in time and see a co-ordinated attack on the police by the Cavalry.
Lusting for blood, in the present Red Scare collects up the police and charges straight for Nixonville, rounding up all possible Cavalry members in a desperate bid for answers over who killed the Chief. Amanda watches the carnage unfold before heading to get DNA tested, intent on finding out just who she actually is and what her connection may be to Will.
After talking to her kids about the state of the world and the uncertainty everyone is feeling, our various characters prepare for the wake before we stylishly cut to American Hero Story, a broadcasted program depicting the life of…someone. Who this character is remains to be seen but a slick action sequence ensues soon after, depicting a colourful robbery. We then cut back to Amanda and see her put on a brave face, heading to the Chief’s wake.
Unfortunately, she passes out midway through talking to Jane, catching everyone by surprise. Up in the Chief’s bed, Jane tends to Amanda and tells her to get some rest before catcing the ones responsible for killing her husband. When Jane leaves the room, she looks around and finds a Ku Klux Klan outfit in the closet, prompting her to leave the house with it in her possession.
Meanwhile, Ozymandias continues his play, with a twisted crescendo involving burning one of his workers alive. After the play, he snatches up the watch from his charred fingers and congratulates the others for a job well done. Angela, with the Klan outfit in tow, confronts Will and asks him if he set it up for her to find. He shakes his head but a phone call takes Angela by surprise; the DNA results are back and it turns out Will is actually her grandfather. She takes him to her car but just before leaving, a giant magnet attaches itself to the roof and takes him away into the sky as she watches the car leave.
Aside from a couple of neat Easter Eggs and nods to the source material, Watchmen’s latest episode is a slow, methodical crawl through flashbacks for most of its run-time. While that’s fine to set the scene, it also feels like the show perhaps should have released 2 or 3 episodes in a row like Hulu does if it intends to have this sort of pacing attached to it. As a binge-watch I’d imagine Watchmen is probably a more satisfying show to sit through but as a stand-alone episode, this recent slice of politically-charged drama is lacking.
I watch a lot of superhero content and right now Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Titans and The Boys are all far stronger shows than Watchmen. It’s a shame too because out of the five shows I’ve mentioned, Watchmen is actually the one that intrigues me the most but right now it’s lacking that cutting edge to help it stand out among the slew of other titles in the same category. There’s still time for the later episodes to change my opinion but as it stands, Watchmen is simply okay rather than one of the must-watch shows of the year.