Let's Discuss That Wild 'Watchmen' Ending
The final episode of HBO's Watchmen pulled off a rare, shocking TV victory: It managed to resolve nearly every question it had raised over the course of the series. Notice I said nearly. A few threads were left dangling and, for many, some other elements, like the Millennium Clock, remain downright inscrutible.
With so much nutty stuff happening in that killer finale, you might find yourself still saying, "Wha???" We're here to help. Most of the biggest questions we had were, thankfully, answered pretty definitively and overtly, but let's attempt to parse some of the kookiest junk and tie up the remaining loose ends.
What was Lady Trieu's mysterious Millennium Clock anyway? What happened to Angela at the end? What fate befell Adrian Veidt and who were he and Laurie talking about? Will there be a Season 2? And perhaps most importantly -- what happened to Lube Man?! Read on.
What is the Millennium Clock, actually?
Lady Trieu's Millennium Clock has been one of the weirder questions looming over Watchmen this season. Even when her reason for being in Tulsa became clear, we knew little about the "first wonder of the new world" that she was building for seemingly no particular reason.
Turns out that the Millennium Clock isn't just a temporal monument: it's actually a quantum centrifuge, a device that hypothetically gives Lady Trieu the capacity to sap Dr. Manhattan of his power and transfer it into her body. While the clock itself has gigantic proportions, the device in question is actually quite small: as Trieu prepares to leave her vivarium, a sphere floats out of the top of the structure and travels down to Greenwood for the main event.
So, yeah -- the Millennium Clock does "tell time," as Bian concisely puts it in Episode 4. While it seems like the gigantic structure itself may truly be little more than a docking ground for the quantum centrifuge, it's also a monument to Trieu's power and the new era she hoped to usher in as the next Dr. Manhattan.
OK, so why did Angela eat a raw egg next to the pool?
The season's final sequence is a bit bizarre and ends abruptly with Angela downing a raw egg and nearly taking a hesitant step onto the pool in her backyard. As the flashback indicates, it all ties back to a conversation that she had with Jon back in Vietnam about transferring his power to another by theoretically imbuing it within an egg or other item of food for someone else to consume.
In Episode 8, Angela smashes a carton of eggs that Jon was levitating in the air; in the finale, Will says that Jon told him to relay to Angela that "you can't make an omelette without breaking a couple of eggs," a piece of wisdom that she'd theoretically understand when the time was right. That time seems to be when she returns to her house with Will and the kids, discovering the pile of eggs she smashed. There's one left — making the hypothetical connection between the egg talk and Jon's capacity to pass on his powers, Angela decides to consume it.
The pool is part of testing whether or not she's inherited Jon's powers -- if she's able to walk on the surface, then she's the next Dr. Manhattan. Given the conversation she just had with Will Reeves about Dr. Manhattan not having put his abilities to full use, it's likely that she'd keep herself much more grounded than Jon did.
What's going to happen to Adrian Veidt?
After getting petrified Han Solo-style on his journey back from Europa and left on display in Trieu's vivarium until he became relevant again, Veidt ended up theoretically "saving the world" once again by dropping a load of frozen squid on Trieu and her device in downtown Greenwood. This, of course, only happened after Dr. Manhattan managed to use Joe Keene's liquified viscera to teleport Adrian, Laurie, and Wade to Veidt's fortress in Antarctica.
Despite the fact that he only just (narratively speaking) escaped from Manhattan's unintentional prison on Europa, Veidt is back in custody. After dropping the squid, he leads Laurie and Wade to the refurbished Owlship -- more familiarly known as Archie -- that Dan Dreiberg and Rorschach left when the crash-landed on the continent in 1985. While the model was mass-reproduced for use at police stations across the country, this is the Dreiberg original. As an officer, Wade conveniently knows how to pilot it.
While Veidt was clearly prepared to live out the rest of his life at the Antarctic base, Wade and Laurie have proof -- Veidt's confessional tape to Robert Redford -- of his crimes against humanity. While he was found "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!" by a bunch of pigs on Europa, it's yet to be determined as to whether he'll be held accountable in federal court.
For now, we can only imagine the ridiculous trip ahead of Laurie, Wade, and Adrian on their way back from Antarctica. Given his vigilante past and status, perhaps there's a chance that Veidt could end up in prison with Dan Dreiberg, the former Nite Owl II and Laurie's old flame.
What went unresolved in the finale?
First off: Lube Man. It's almost poetic that our favorite silver spectre appeared on screen for but a nanosecond in Episode 4, only to slip and slide into obscurity and never spoken of again on the show. But who the hell is he? Where did he come from? And why was he running around in a shiny morph suit? HBO's supplemental compendium known as the Peteypedia may have an answer for us: Is Lube Man the costumed alter ego of Agent Dale Petey? His documents pertaining to "fogdancers" -- special U.S. forces officers in Vietnam who ran around cleaning up war crimes and coating themselves in a protective liquid to prevent burning -- indicate that the Watchmen universe novel Fogdancers may have inspired him to put on the costume and fight crime. And the final Peteypedia entry just might reveal his plans. Run, former F.B.I. agent Agent Dale Petey, who is almost certainly also Lube Man, run!
As for the children of the lake left on Europa, their fate is anyone's guess. In the full tenure of the show, they've only been of use in service of Veidt's power trips and weird fantasies. With him gone, there's a whole little society of Mr. Phillips' and Ms. Crookshanks' left to do as they please. Will they survive without their maker or their master?
And finally: Why was Angela tethered to that sleeping elephant via IV tubes in Episode 7? Does it only have to do with "an elephant never forgets"? Are the elephants databases for human memory? How does that work? Is it a coincidence that Abar rhymes with Babar? Are there other elephants storing memory, or was that the only one? Did Lady Trieu back up her memories into the external elephant drive prior to her final ploy, in case she needs to be cloned? Vexing!
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