The end of this love story plays out over the last hour of the season. The white supremacist organization, the 7th Kavalry, captures Dr. Manhattan in order to transfer his power to wannabe president Joe Keene (James Wolk). But the group is just a red herring. Instead, it's Hong Chau's Lady Trieu who emerges the show's true Big Bad. The finale reveals that she is Adrian Veidt's (Jeremy Irons) daughter via artificial insemination -- and the theft of his sperm sample -- and has inherited his Messiah complex. When all is said and done, Dr. Manhattan is gone, but so is Lady Trieu. Manhattan was able to teleport Veidt back to his Antarctica lab where he, along with Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) and Wade Tillman (Tim Blake Nelson), unleashed more squids and saved the day.
The ending of this saga was thrilling, certainly. Lindelof and this episode's co-writer Nick Cuse gave us human goo and a hailstorm of squid bullets from the skies. It all culminates in an evocative cliffhanger of a final shot: Angela eats an egg she assumes contains Manhattan's power and places her foot to the surface of her pool, testing whether she can walk on water. "I Am the Walrus," yet another cheeky, inspired music cue, hits. (Get it? "I am the egg man.") Perhaps Angela -- if she indeed becomes the new version of Dr. Manhattan -- could do more for the world than her spouse ever did, just like her grandfather, Will Reeves (Louis Gossett Jr.), formerly Hooded Justice, suggests.
But as exciting as that concluding beat is, disappointment hit as the credits rolled. The early episodes of Watchmen had been brilliantly messy, eager to wrestle with difficult themes, including the historical trauma with which many black Americans live. But in making Dr. Manhattan the center of the story in the final two episodes, it streamlined its plot in a manner that felt almost too neat. The painful history Angela endured when she swallowed and re-lived her grandfather's memories in the devastating sixth episode, becomes secondary to her devotion to a spouse who knew this tragic ending was predetermined.