Wanna Hear A Joke?
If, like me, you’ve been lukewarm over Watchmen so far, Episode 3 may just be the one that changes your opinion. With an interesting structure, broken up by monologous phone calls to Dr. Manhatten, and the introduction of Laurie Blake, Watchmen finally starts to move in the right direction.
We begin with Agent Blake herself narrating the scene while cutting to a bank robbery. A masked hero arrives but it turns out he’s been set up and the entire incident has been staged to arrest him. Despite being able to get away, he’s shot in the back and as Blake looks at him with disdain, she heads home where another agent arrives, offering lavish praise for capturing Revenger. However, he also has a task for her too and relays the information about the dead Chief hung from the tree.
Piquing her interest, especially given her job as an anti-vigilante officer, she’s briefed on the situation, with the inclusion of a Rorshach diary entry that may hold some clues, much to the disdain of the lead investigator. As they continue, they discuss Judd which leads Blake to pick a random agent to join her as they head to the scene of the crime.
When Blake eventually arrives at the station, she looks upon the chaos of possible Seventh Cavalry members being interrogated, before heading into the pod to speak privately with Looking Glass. There, she sees through his unsettling facade and breaks down his powers, where the balance of power shifts to her and he reluctantly admits that Sister Knight is Angela and she’s currently at Judd’s funeral.
After police check her identification, Blake heads to Judd’s funeral where Angela is paying her respects. Blake immediately hands over her card before Angela steps up and sings her eulogy for Judd. However, a rogue Seventh Cavalry member arrives with a bomb strapped to his chest and asks for the Senator. Blake takes the initiative though and shoots the man in the head, prompting Angela to bundle him into Judd’s grave and drop the coffin on top of the body to try and stifle the ensuing blast. The shattered remnants of the flag and body scatter as the bomb explodes, while both Blake and Angela catch one another’s gaze.
Meanwhile, Ozymandias works on a suit of armour but unfortunately his experiment is a failure, prompting him to head out and find something with “thicker skin”. It’s here we learn he’s actually held captive by the game warden and after writing a letter back to him, he dresses in his superhero outfit and prepares for another hunt.
Back at the graveyard, Blake confronts Angela while they look into how the Seventh Cavalry broke in. She mentions Judd’s secret compartment and as an air of tension hangs over them, she admits her suspicions of her. Afterward, Blake heads back to the phone booth for one final joke, ending with a punchline involving dropping a brick on God. As she leaves the booth, apathetic and convinced Dr Manhatten isn’t listening, a car falls from the sky. As she looks up and spots a distant, solitary light in the sky, she laughs to the heavens.
Structurally, Watchmen’s recent episode works perfectly to keep the pacing consistent throughout and keep the satirical tone high. Blake absolutely steals the show here too and her steely resolve works so well to offset some of the other established characters we’ve met so far. She certainly ruffles some feathers here and seeing how weary the other heroes are of her during the episode, certainly reinforces her power.
With a cliffhanger ending and plenty of questions hanging over this one, Watchmen finally looks set to deliver some action and crucial plot development in the weeks ahead. The future certainly looks suitably bright for this highly anticipated superhero series but whether it can capitalize on this and build a solid foundation going forward remains to be seen.
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