The Trieuth Will Out
The problem with a series like Watchmen stems from the illustrious history of gritty, well-written superhero shows that have come before it. With Swamp Thing nailing the horror elements earlier this year and Nolan’s Batman trilogy hitting the heights of realism, Watchmen attempts to combine the shocking and satirical with a slow-burn story in an attempt to carve out its own niche in this crowded market. The result is something in desperate need of some pace and a series that ultimately feels more dull and mundane than it should. Watchmen is not a bad show but it’s not a particularly great or exciting one either, one that’ll probably serve as a better binge-watch than an episode a week. Given the hype behind this one pre-release, it’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed with Watchmen.
We begin episode 4 with two farmers living happily together until trillionaire Lady Trieu arrives in the middle of the night and tells them she wants their house. After giving them an ultimatum and conjuring up a baby to sweeten the deal, the farmers hurriedly sign the contract before stepping outside and watching as a meteor crashes down to Earth.
Angela, meanwhile, begins to dismantle Will’s wheelchair, sawing and burning the evidence, before receiving a call about her family tree from the Ancestry Centre. Once there, she discovers that Will is definitely her grandfather but before she can ponder over this too much, a crash outside sends her rushing to the street where Detective Blake stares at the heavens, laughing maniacally. This brings us back to the end of last week’s episode.
Angela and Blake discuss the falling car and it’s here Blake makes it clear she knows that Angela is Sister Night. After discussing this at home with Calvin, she speaks to Looking Glass, who’s held up in a shelter following the meteor hitting Earth. She shows him the Klan outfit and asks him to hold onto it before leaving, commenting on his weirdness as she does. Speaking of weird, Angela then finds herself chasing a strange superhero through the streets, who slides into the drain and out of sight, before Angela heads back to the station.
Once there she learns Blake has matched prints on Angela’s car back to Will. More evidence comes in soon after too, prompting them to take a drive together. There, we learn that Blake has familial ties to the Minute Men; her parents were The Comedian and Silk Spectre. After a bit of an awkward silence, they arrive at their destination which brings them before Lady Trieu, who has built an impervious structure as part of her “new world”.
Midway through asking Lady Trieu about the car and her equipment, Trieu asks Angela in Vietnamese about her Grandfather and the pills. She inevitably replies in hostile Vietnamese herself, while Blake remains oblivious to their conversation. While they both head back home after receiving a list of people who may be responsible for the car drop, we cut to Ozymandias on his estate where we see him creating clones, lamenting his four-year prison sentence.
While Angela heads home and speaks to Calvin about Blake, Lady Trieu and Will discuss the future and it’s here we see he can actually walk. As he heads out and talks about time, we leave the episode, and series, with numerous unanswered questions.
Who is the slippery superhero who disappeared in the drain? Will we see Dr. Manhatten this season? Are we likely to see The Cavalry again? What about the giant squid? Watchmen has done well for the past few episodes to ask these weird and wonderful questions but with only a handful of episodes left to wrap things up, the show feels in danger of leaving things without definitive answers and consistent arcs for each character.
Tonally, the show does well to keep things feeling tense and on a racial knife-edge but beyond that Watchmen really lacks the same cutting edge that other break-away superhero shows have achieved in the past. Still, it’s early days yet and there’s still time for that to change but this episode ultimately does little to progress the main plot line. Hopefully this changes next week though as we reach the business end of the season where I hope this ends with an almighty bang.